17 May 1999
1985 FERRARI 288GTO
Chassis no. 56659
Rosso Corsa with black leather interior
Engine: V8, 2855cc, twin overhead camshafts to each bank, twin turbos and intercoolers, 400bhp at 7000rpm, dry sump; Gearbox: five speed transaxle; Suspension: independent front and rear with wishbones and coil springs; Brakes: four wheel ventilated disc. Left hand drive
The honoured title GTO was revived in 1984 by Ferrari for the coupe with which they intended to compete in International Group B events. The fabulous new design, a 400 bhp supercar of superlative beauty was in every respect a fitting successor to the hallowed 250 GTO, flowing Pininfarina lines realised in advanced racing-style composite materials by Ferrari Formula One engineer Harvey Postlethwaite. The 288GTO was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in the spring of 1984; by the London Show in the autumn, all the 200 cars that Ferrari had committed to built to meet Group B regulations had already been sold. Although the 288 GTO resembled the 308GTB, its structure was rather more sophisticated, underpinned by an all-steel tube chassis. The twin turbocharged dry sump vee-eight engine was now installed in-line and transmitted its abundance of power through a twin plate clutch to the five-speed all synchromesh transaxle set behind it. The body structure made use of carbon fibres, light metal alloys and sophisticated epoxy resins to boost strengh while reducing weight. In the 288GTO, Ferrari succeeded in bringing together the latest Formula technology while offering the driver such refinements as electric windows and climate control. Its racing origins were underlined by the presence of a roll bar in the cabin.
Notwithstanding the hulking Goodyear tyres on 10 x 16 wheels, it was possible to spin the wheels in the dry in any gear up to very high speeds. Maranello quoted close to 190 mph maximum speed and 60 mph could be reached from a standing start in a awe-inspiring 4.9 secs. It took no longer than 15.2 sec. to reach 124 mph. In the end, the factory produced 278 of them, all in red. The 288GTO, the very essence of the rare and exclusive supercar, moved seamlessly into classic status.
This example was sold new in June 1985 by Maranello Concessionaires Ltd in the UK to the first owner in the Channel Islands. During its present ownership it has been well looked after and there are invoices on file for work attested to since 1992; the current recorded mileage is just 8167 kms. The Ferrari is Swiss registered.
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