1985 Ferrari 288 GTO
Model Variant: GTO Exterior Color: Rosso Corsa Interior Color: Black
The Ferrari 288 GTO was first among Ferrari’s lineup of Supercars so designated by the company as
its decennially produced, limited edition flagship of cars subsequently succeeded by the F40, F50,
Enzo and La Ferrari which incorporated Ferrari’s latest racing derived technology applied to their
state of the art road-going cars.
The 288 GTO (Type F114) was a limited edition, exotic development of Ferrari’s enormously popular
entry level workhorse, the 308 GTB, and produced in Ferrari’s Maranello factory from 1984 through
1987. The GTO designation stands for Gran Turismo Omologata (homologated) and a modern homage to
the landmark 250 GTO
which served as Ferrari’s flagship from 1962 to 1964
The 288 GTO was originally designated to participate in the FIA’s Group B category of sports car
racing which was created as an underclass to the Group C prototype class, and supplanting Group 5
as the production based GT category. Just as Group C prototypes caught on with sports car
manufactures, Group B caught the imagination of manufactures such as Audi, Peugeot, Ford and Lancia
which saw fertile ground for the cars in the World Rally Championship (WRC) and they built
tremendously powerful four wheel drive production-based cars to compete, transforming the category
into a golden age for rallying which ran from 1982 until 1986 when the cars were running in excess
of 1,000BHP and were deemed too powerful and unsafe to continue after driver and spectator deaths
tarnished the class.
“Group B rules were intended to regulate racers that were developments of high- performance road
cars. From the outset there was little or no demand, and consequently no market, for Group B-spec
GTs.” legendary motorsport photographer and writer John Brooks states. “The cost of producing 200
examples for homologation was out of the question financially for Porsche and Ferrari who were both
in a very different commercial position in the mid-80s than they are today”.
Brooks elaborates, “Only Ferrari and Porsche produced endurance sports cars to Group B
specifications. Ferrari had Michelotto use the 288 GTO chassis to create the GTO Evoluzione but
none of the six cars constructed ever made it to the races. The exercise was used to develop
components and lightweight materials that found their way on to the soon to be launched F40.
Porsche built just one 961 based on their 959 model, it finished 7th at Le Mans in 1986 and was
partly burnt out the following year after an accident on the Sunday morning”.
From the beginning, Enzo Ferrari’s entire business plan was putting racing technology to work in
his road cars as he had starting building and selling road-going cars to finance his racing
ambitions. Ultimately, the first production turbo Ferrari engine appeared in the 288 GTO which
embodied turbo technology Ferrari was gaining in Formula One at the time. The 288 references the
GTO’s 2.8 liter DOHC, 4-valve V8 with IHI twin-turbochargers, cooled by Behr air-to-air
intercoolers and featuring Weber- Marelli fuel injection.
The extremely compact 2.8 liter engine sits longitudinally in the middle of the car directly behind
the cockpit. The extra space in the engine bay is taken up with the turbo chargers and intercoolers
and the extra plumbing surrounding it. The 5-speed manual gearbox is located in the traditional
place at the rear of the car with drive supplied straight out to the rear wheels.
Perhaps more than any other car, the 288 GTO was the manifestation of the “racing car for the
street” concept and setting the tone for the modern Supercar. A contrast in methods as the minimal
interior gives way to a luxurious cabin featuring comfortable leather seats and air conditioning
all with properly placed buttons and switches.
Given their staggering performance 288 GTOs are remarkably agile and comfortable cars to drive. As
collectible cars, the Ferrari 288 GTO has emerged as one of the most desired of the low-production
Ferraris with only 273 made, they are rarer than younger brothers F40, F50, Enzo and La Ferrari.
The original MSRP for the 288 GTO was $83,400, only marginally more than sister car, the 308 GTB.
An investment in the car when new would see it grow to enormous heights as the cars are now trading
well into the millions of dollars as they check all the boxes prized by serious collectors, hand made,
low production numbers with racing car performance packaged in a beautifully Pininfarina sculpted body.
This 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO (#2739) in traditional Rosso Corso with black leather interior was sold
originally to American fashion icon and car collector Ralph Lauren and later to noted American car
collector Bob Tkacik of Maineline Exotics. Mr. Tkacik still refers to the car as “Ralph”. The car
comes equipped with factory A/C and power windows.
Ferrari Supercar models compared:
Model Years produced Total 288 GTO (1984 – 1987) 273
F40 (1987 – 1992) 1,311
F50 (1995 -1997). 349
Enzo: (2002 – 2004) 400
La Ferrari (2013 – 2016) 499
(Marcel Massini’s 288 GTO Register 12 Jul 1994). Originally red with black leather. Air and p/w.
Owned 1986 by Ralph Lauren (Stan Nowak 29 Sep 1986).
-Sold directly by the factory sales department to Essex Leasing Ltd., Bologna, Italy. According to
Autofficina Sauro Mingarelli in Bologna it was then sold to first owner, Ralph Lauren of Polo
Fashions in New York, NY/USA. Delivered at Modena on 16 Jun 1985. USA legalized. Still owned by
Lauren in late 1988. Serviced and Maintained by Berlinetta Motorcars of Huntington Station, New
York. Registered on New York license plates, “GTO 2”.
Either sold, serviced or restored by Autosport Designs, Inc., Mineola, NY/USA. (Tom Papadopoulos 30
-Purchased Sep 2003 by Bob Tkacik, Prime Toyota, Saco, ME. 8,112 miles. (Tkacik telecon 24 Sep
2003). Nov 2004 at Ferrari French Quarter Classic, New Orleans. Red with black interior.
-Aug 2007 at FCA International Meet, Corning, NY/USA. Entered by Dan Watkins. Gold class
-July 2010 offered by Joe Sackey Classics, LLC, Laguna Beach, CA. Rosso Corsa with all-black
(VM8500) interior. Owned for many years by Ferrari collector Ralph Lauren. Fully maintained
including recent belt service, show detailed by Wayne Obry’s Motion Products. Immaculate.
Books & tools. 9,200 miles. (FML 3514).
-January 2015 present at the Cavallino Classic 24 Concours d’Elegance at The Breakers, Palm Beach,
FL/USA per list provided by Marcel Massini. Owner: Jay Goldman. Red with black
interior. NY plates FTL 8487.
“At Curated, we do not acquire cars simply for inventory but rather based on what the car is. We
love interesting provenance, very low production, very low mileage, very special and often weird
John Temerian, Jr.
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