Lot 308

Dare to Dream Collection

1985 Ferrari 288 GTO


$3,882,500 USD | Sold

Canada | Toronto, Ontario



Chassis No.
Engine No.
Gearbox No.
Canadian Registration
  • One of 272 examples built; the cornerstone of the “Big Five” Ferrari supercar dynasty
  • Benefits from 26 years of single-owner care followed by ownership by renowned five-time Ryder Cup-winning professional golfer Ian Poulter
  • Certified as a matching-numbers chassis, engine, and gearbox example with a Ferrari Classiche Red Book and corresponding Certificate of Authenticity
Please note, this lot is registered in Canada and import duty will be applicable to all countries outside of Canada, including the United States. RM Sotheby’s will assist buyers with importation and for residents of the USA, in obtaining a US title.

As the halo Maranello product of its era, the Ferrari 288 GTO was the quintessence of the word “awesome”, challenging the Porsche 959 and Lamborghini Countach for the abject devotion of salivating teenage boys worldwide. Originally devised for racing, the 288 was for all intents and purposes a hot-rod version of the 308 model; extended in physical dimensions, equipped with a twin-turbocharged V-8 engine, refined with racing-specification components, and adorned with a new flared-fender, spoilered version of Pininfarina’s iconic coachwork.

With production capped at 272 examples, the 288 GTO was assured the rarity of a high-level collectible, and it has since gone on to be recognized as the progenitor of Ferrari’s modern tradition of limited-edition supercars and hypercars, succeeded by the F40, F50, Enzo, and LaFerrari. Even the legendary racing driver Phil Hill was impressed by the new GTO, as he clarified in the August 1984 issue of Road & Track: “The progressiveness of the [288] GTO's flow of power and its remarkable control are as good or better than anything I've ever experienced…The grip of the car on the road is phenomenal and noticeably increases with speed…As pleased as I am to see Ferrari competing strongly in F1, I'm delighted they will once again have a Gran Turismo car with true competition potential. That's what the name GTO meant in the first place.”

This striking 288 GTO claims former celebrity ownership and a 2019 mechanical restoration by a specialist in Italy, resulting in a particularly desirable example of Maranello’s mid-1980s flagship supercar. According to a substantial file of documentation that includes the original filled-out warranty booklet, former bills of sale, service and refurbishment invoices, a Marcel Massini history report, and a Ferrari Classiche Red Book, chassis number 52465 began construction in October 1984 and was completed the following January, equipped with air conditioning and power windows, and finished in Rosso Corsa paint over an interior of Nero vaumol leather.

Distributed to the official marque dealership Pasolini Automobili, the Ferrari was sold new to Emilio “Chico” Gnutti, one of Italy’s most accomplished executives in the financing industry. Although the GTO was officially purchased by his company Fin-Eco Leasing, a signed 2013 statement by Mr. Gnutti attests that he was the sole owner of the car from its original delivery, indicating that the car benefitted from single-owner care for 26 years. In October 2006 Mr. Gnutti applied for certification from Ferrari Classiche, and the car was issued a Red Book and Certificate of Authenticity that confirm the continued presence of the matching-numbers chassis, engine, and gearbox.

In November 2012 the Ferrari was offered for sale and it was acquired by a British dealer who quickly resold the car to the English professional golfer Ian Poulter. Perhaps best known for being part of five different Ryder Cup-winning European teams, Poulter is also an avid Ferrari enthusiast, and within his Orlando, Florida-based collection the 288 GTO enjoyed the company of fellow flagship Prancing Horses ranging from a 275 GTB/4 to a LaFerrari.

The Dare to Dream Collection acquired the 288 GTO in 2015, and it has subsequently benefitted from substantial service work, including a thorough mechanical refurbishment in 2019 by Ferrari specialist Autofficina Carlo Bonini in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Currently displaying 26,617 kilometers (~16,539 miles), this mildly used and expertly refurbished 288 GTO would make the perfect complement to any supercar collection or modern Ferrari hypercar gathering—and it is of course the cornerstone of any assemblage of Ferrari’s “Big Five” supercars.

Like an early Tag Heuer chronograph or a pair of Air Jordans, the 288 GTO was the first entry in a now legendary halo product line. This finely presented example, replete with celebrity ownership provenance, will undoubtedly make a crowning addition to any sporting garage.