Lot 19

2016   |   Scottsdale Auctions 2016

1985 Ferrari 288 GTO

Coachwork by Scaglietti


$2,000,000 - $2,400,000



Car Highlights

One of 272 288 GTOs Built
Ferrari Classiche Certified; Accompanied by Red Book
Fastidiously Maintained by Marque Experts
Offered with Numerous Rare Spares, Fitted Luggage, Books, Tools and Records
Thrilling Embodiment of the GTO Legend

Technical Specs

2,855 CC DOHC Twin-Turbocharged Alloy V-8 Engine
Weber Marelli Fuel Injection
400 BHP at 7,000 RPM
5-Speed Manual Transaxle with ZF Limited-Slip Differential
4-Wheel ATE Ventilated Disc Brakes
4-Wheel Independent Suspension with Coil Springs over Coaxial Koni Dampers and Anti-Roll Bars
Register to Bid

Ferrari Classiche CertifiedLarry Thompson, Tarzana, California (acquired new in May 1985)Brian Harvey, Long Beach, California (acquired in January 1987)Stephen Hill, Los Gatos, California (acquired via Ferrari of Los Gatos in 1993)Current Owner (acquired from the above)

In 1982, the FIA restructured its sports car classes, creating the famous Group B. Embracing a far freer formula than the preceding regulations permitted, Group B rules notably limited total engine displacement and reduced homologation production requirements. Enzo Ferrari envisioned an extremely high-performance competition car, and the resulting mid-engined coupe, the 288 GTO, utilized a lightweight steel-tube chassis covered with body panels of fiberglass, Kevlar, and aluminum. Pininfarina design chief Leonardo Fioravanti penned a body shell that was faultless in form, featuring curvaceously flared fenders, a deep front air dam, pronounced spoiler, and rear fender vents in reverence to the 250 GTO.

The 288’s engine was precisely built to 2,855 cc to meet Group B regulations, which limited turbocharged theoretical displacement to four liters. Twin IHI turbochargers were implemented, bringing total power to an impressive 400 hp and helping launch the lithe 2,560 lb. car from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, with a top speed of 189 mph. Introduced at the 1984 Geneva Auto Show, the model was officially dubbed GTO, though it has since become known among enthusiasts as the 288 GTO.

FIA discontinued Group B racing in 1986, and as a result, Ferrari’s new GTO never saw competition. Still meeting its homologation minimum of 200 cars, the 288 GTO was produced in a fleeting batch of 272 examples, and the model represents the first of Ferrari’s modern, ultra-exclusive supercars – an antecedent to the F40, F50, and Enzo.

This spectacular mid-production 288 GTO is one of the most fastidiously maintained examples in the world, having benefited from meticulous upkeep and a long-term ownership period exceeding two decades. Chassis 55669 was completed in March 1985 and imported to the US by Larry Thompson. Following brief ownership by Brian Harvey of Southern California, the 288 was acquired by Stephen Hill, a noted Ferrari Club of America judge.

Mr. Hill treated his supercar to a well-rounded life of spirited use, doting maintenance, and care. Chassis 55669 is notable for its originality, even retaining its original fitted luggage; a set of date-coded Goodyear Gatorback tires; and reserve, period-correct, blue-colored NOS UFI oil filters, which haven’t been made in such a color for over 20 years. This car possesses all of the hallmarks of authentic factory-correct upkeep. Used occasionally for Ferrari-sanctioned exhibition track sessions, this 288 GTO offers strong performance and concours cosmetic detail. The GTO has recently received its Ferrari Classiche Red Book certification, which attests to the car’s matching-numbers status and authenticity – including its engine, transaxle, suspension, and brakes.

This GTO is stated by Mr. Hill to have received all factory updates and its “five-year major,” engine-out service, at a total cost of nearly $25,000. This 2013 service by Steve Fremgen included new timing belts and tensioners, valve and cam adjustments, and the replacement of numerous seals and gaskets. The air-conditioning compressor and alternator were also addressed and numerous hoses and rubber seals were replaced. Today, the 288 GTO shows just over 57,000 km (35,400 miles). Mr. Hill believes that when the car was imported in 1985, the odometer was manually advanced to approximately 15,000 km, as was common practice at the time to satisfy a requirement of its federalization. With this in mind, this GTO has most likely covered about 27,000 total miles from new. The current owner has continued to exercise and maintain the GTO and has performed a bell housing reseal and replaced the clutch master cylinder.

This GTO is accompanied by an array of spare parts, most of which are no longer available for purchase. An incredibly rare set of original fuel rails featuring original Weber Marelli IW-019 fuel injectors is included. Also, spare left and right side turbochargers accompany the car, as do rare factory headliner, dash, and door panel materials. This sensational 288 GTO would be a crowning addition to any collection of modern supercars or Ferraris. It is a breathtaking embodiment of the GTO legend.