Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Scaglietti
*Please note that this car will not be sold for use or resale in California or to a non-dealer California resident.
Exceptional 12,000-Kilometer ExampleRobert M. Rubin, New York, New York (acquired new in 1985)Joseph Perella, East Hampton, New York (acquired from the above in 1986)Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2002)
In the early 1980s, Ferrari decided to build a car to compete in the FIA’s popular Group B rally series, which had inspired some of the most innovative high-performance cars of the era. Drawing on technology developed during Formula 1’s famous Turbo Era, Ferrari set to work on a new car that could be homologated for racing. The result was the 288 GTO – the first Ferrari to use the Gran Turismo Omologato moniker since the 250 GTO of the early 1960s.
At the heart of the 288 GTO was a DOHC V-8 engine placed low and longitudinally in the chassis, giving the car outstanding weight distribution. Designed to be powerful, reliable, and efficient, the 2.85-liter engine incorporated competition features including twin IHI turbochargers with BEHR intercoolers, an auxiliary oil cooler, dry-sump lubrication, and injection and ignition systems inspired by Ferrari’s contemporary Grand Prix program.
For the first time on a road car, Ferrari employed exotic composite materials in the chassis and body. This not only increased structural rigidity but also dramatically decreased weight: GTOs were more than 700 lbs. lighter than the company’s other two-seat V-8 models. The aggressive Pininfarina-designed bodywork, loosely based on the 308 GTB, featured styling cues from the original 250 GTO, the most notable being angled air vents on the rear quarter panel.
Weighing in at just 2,550 lbs. and producing 400 bhp, the 288 GTO was capable of sensational performance with 0-60 times under five seconds, 0-100 times under 10 seconds, and a top speed of 180 mph. Alas, the new GTO never had the opportunity to demonstrate its brilliance in competition, and only five Evoluzione models were built before the FIA put an end to the notorious Group B series. With only 272 examples built, the road-going 288 GTOs are among the most exclusive Ferrari street cars produced in the last 50 years.
The 288 GTO presented here, chassis 57481, is a truly exceptional example of Ferrari’s first limited-edition supercar.
Completed in July 1985 and finished in the standard Rosso Corsa livery, this mid-production 288 GTO was factory equipped with optional air-conditioning, power windows, and the distinctive two-tone seats, upholstered in black leather with red fabric inserts. As evidenced by original sales documents, 57481 was originally purchased by well-known New York collector Robert M. Rubin. At the time he ordered the 288 GTO, Mr. Rubin was in the midst of assembling a superb collection of important vintage Ferraris that, at its height in the late 1980s, included a 250 MM, 250 GT Tour de France, 250 GTO, 250 Testa Rossa, and 330 LMB.
During this period, Mr. Rubin was also in partnership with Doug Pirrone, proprietor of Berlinetta Motorcars, a respected independent Ferrari garage based in Huntington, New York. Having performed the necessary Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency certifications on at least 10 288 GTOs, Berlinetta Motorcars was well versed in the process and completed the federalization for 57481.
Soon after taking delivery of the new 288 GTO, Mr. Rubin found the Ferrari supercar too modern for his collection and sold it to his friend Joseph Perella, a financier then working at First Boston. During his 17-year ownership, Mr. Perella entrusted the car to Berlinetta Motorcars for maintenance.
The consignor, a private California collector, purchased the 288 GTO from Mr. Perella in June 2002.
Like Mr. Rubin and Mr. Perella before him, the consignor has had Berlinetta Motorcars carry out any service and maintenance work, and he takes tremendous pride in knowing that one garage has carefully serviced and maintained this 288 GTO from new. In fact, in preparation for the sale, the consignor shipped the car from California to New York to have a major service performed in July 2016.
Chassis 57481 is a rarity among 288 GTOs in that it remains in excellent original condition, having never required significant restoration or repair work. Beautifully maintained in all respects and retaining factory finishes and inspection markings, this Ferrari shows little evidence of use over the past three decades. Consistent with its condition is its low mileage; at the time of cataloguing, the odometer displayed just 12,775 km (7,938 miles).
Another unique quality of 57481 is that it has not been exhibited at a concours d’elegance or Ferrari Club of America event and thus is virtually unknown to the wider car-collecting community. The consignor reports that, during his ownership, the Ferrari has “been kept off the racetrack and under the radar, unknown to those who follow the whereabouts of these cars.”
In keeping with its pristine condition, the 288 GTO is offered with its original handbook folio, which contains the original owner’s manual, warranty book, dealer directory, Weber-Marelli fuel injection manual, Blaupunkt radio pamphlet, and other factory literature. Also included in the sale are the original tool kits, car cover in the original carrying bag, and Schedoni fitted luggage, which has been kept in its protective bag and stored inside the original cardboard box supplied by Ferrari.
Beyond these important accessories, the 288 GTO is presented with an extensive file of documentation, meticulously assembled in a 100-plus-page binder. Included here are all service records from new, the original international motor insurance card and data di immatricolazione supplied in July 1985, as well as records and photographs relating to the car’s importation and federalization process.
As the original, limited-production Ferrari supercar, the 288 GTO will maintain an important place in the history of the fabled marque. Unlike the F40, F50, Enzo, and LaFerrari, the 288 GTO was originally intended for motor sports homologation purposes, and the model broke new ground with regards to technology in a Ferrari road car. The remarkable qualities of these rare competition-bred Ferraris have long been recognized by connoisseurs and are increasingly appreciated by today’s collectors.
In consideration of its minimal use, exceptional originality, careful maintenance, and close connection with respected collectors, this is a superb 288 GTO and one modern Ferrari that will surely appeal to the most discriminating audience.