1985 Ferrari 288 GTO



United States | Hinsdale, Illinois



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  • One of just 272 production Ferrari 288 GTOs manufactured
  • Odometer reads just 7,962 km from new at the time of cataloguing
  • Supplied new by Lake Forest Sports Cars in June 1985; factory-equipped with air conditioning and power windows
  • Retains its numbers-matching engine, gearbox, and body, with continuous family ownership for over 20 years
  • Serviced in January 2022, along with an application for Ferrari Classiche Certification with work to complete certification to be included in the sale at the seller’s expense
  • Accompanied by Ferrari Sale and Service Organization book, Massini Report, Owner’s Service Book, service invoices spanning 2004 to 2022, toolkit, Use & Maintenance manual, and Warranty Card


By 1984, the words “Gran Turismo Omologata” carried enormous weight in the Ferrari world. Since 1962, the 250 GTO had been considered the finest sports racer that Ferrari had ever produced. With an astonishing racing record—rivalled only by its sensational driving dynamics—the GTO was cemented into sports car lore as nothing short of a legend. For Ferrari to revive such a legendary moniker, any new GTO would be expected to match or surpass the 250’s incredible record in motorsport.

Seeking to contend in the notorious FIA Group B, Ferrari developed and produced the GTO to homologate the model for competition within that series; this called for a production run of 200 cars. Group B was incredibly popular following its introduction in the 1980s, especially in Europe, and Ferrari was eager to jump into the fray—and Maranello was certain that its car would be unmatched in competition. However, Group B was canceled shortly thereafter, leaving the factory with a fully developed and homologated car but no series in which to compete. It was clear that the public was eager to experience Ferrari’s newest no-compromises supercar, and the GTO was certainly not going to disappoint the brand’s fans or customers—even without a spot on the grid.

While it shared visual cues with the 308 and 328, there was no denying that the 288 GTO (as it was later dubbed) was more special than its siblings. Visually it held a more aggressive stance, with composite and Kevlar forming the majority of the bodywork. The doors and deck lid were formed from lightweight aluminum, with an imposing shape that hinted at its prodigious performance. The race-bred 2.8-liter V-8 engine with its twin IHI turbochargers pumped out a monstrous 400 horsepower and 366 pound-feet of torque. The 288 GTO could rocket to a top speed of 189 mph, making it the fastest road car ever produced at the time of its unveiling. Its acceleration was equally impressive, and the car could reach 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.8 seconds and 100 mph in 10.2—fast enough to keep everything short of a fighter jet in its rearview mirror.

Performance aside, the GTO’s interior was graced with a host of modern amenities. The Kevlar-framed bucket seats were lined in leather, and buyers could request air conditioning, electric windows, and an AM/FM radio/cassette stereo as optional extras. Other than those few comforts, the GTO offered nothing to distract the driver from the task at hand. The new GTO clearly resonated with Ferrari’s clientele, as 272 examples were built by the time production ceased (which was over 25 per cent more than the amount required for FIA Group B homologation).

The GTO was the first in the lineage of modern Ferrari supercars, and it remains incredibly rare, seldom seen on the road and even less frequently offered for public sale.


The example on offer, chassis 56773, is one of the 272 Ferrari 288 GTOs built from 1984 to 1985. It left the factory on 3 May 1985, finished in Rosso Corsa, with the cabin upholstered in black leather; its “Daytona” style seats featured optional red cloth inserts. Destined for the United States, chassis 56773 was equipped with air-conditioning and power windows but without a radio, a nod to the racing DNA of the model.

Following the federalization process carried out by the North American Ferrari agent, the car successfully arrived in Illinois at the supplying dealer, Lake Forest Sportscars. There, this 288 GTO was sold new to its first owner, Donald Schaff, who resided in Florida. Per the accompanying Ferrari Warranty Card, Mr. Schaff took delivery of his new car on 10 June 1985. Little is known about the first few years of chassis 56773’s life, but the car was observed on 19 August 1991 at Walnut Creek Ferrari in California, where the odometer reading was noted as 3,388 km.

By 1993, chassis 56773 had changed hands, and is mentioned by the Ferrari expert Marcel Massini in his report as being sold in April to Cavallino Imports of Dixie Hills, New York. This 288 GTO then entered the possession of the third owner, Mr. Dennis Farrey of Dani Investments in San Carlos, California sometime in 1996. Farrey retained chassis 56773 for four years, before offering the car for sale in the Ferrari Market Letter on 8 April 2000, stating the mileage was 4,517 km. Farrey successfully sold his car to the fourth owner in 2001.

The car returned to the Illinois branch of its original supplying dealer in 2003, where on 23 May the cooling system was inspected, and the odometer noted as reading 5,279 km. Later that year, on 2 October, the 288 GTO returned to Lake Forest Sportscars, where the water pump was replaced at 5,861 km. During its third year of ownership, chassis 56773 received an oil and brake-fluid service, along with an inspection on 19 January 2004. According to the invoice, this 288 GTO left Lake Forest Sportscars on 5 February, having undergone the required servicing, four-wheel alignment, adjustment of the gear linkage, and the torquing of all suspension components in preparation for a track-day event. Following the three weeks the Ferrari spent during its service and preparation, the odometer reading recoded on the invoice at 5,925 km.

In 2005, the owner continued his meticulous maintenance regime for this 288 GTO, spending $3,358.54 with Motor Kraft in Noblesville, Indiana. Where the timing belts were changed, all lubricants replaced, the braking system flushed, new Bosch fuel pumps installed, and the hydraulic clutch assembly rebuilt. A $5,774.67 invoice from Motor Kraft dated 1 June 2009, reflects that a major service was carried out on chassis 56773, along with adjustment of the valves, replacement of the timing belts, tensioners, camshaft cover gaskets, crankshaft seal, fuel filters, brake fluid, and brake-light switch.

The accompanying service history highlights that, despite the low odometer readings, this 288 GTO did not sit idle, being instead selectively driven and thoroughly maintained. On 10 December 2012, the owner returned his 288 GTO to Motor Kraft for the third time, having $4,889.15 spent on servicing. All the fluids were drained and replaced, fuel hoses and clamps renewed, cambelts changed, while the cam covers were removed, stripped, and repainted in the correct red crackle finish before being fitted to the engine with new gaskets and seals.

On 31 July 2020, more than $18,000 was spent on a major service, with nearly $6,000 worth of parts installed on the car, and 12 days spent at the workshop of Continental Auto Sports in Hinsdale, Illinois. All the fluids were drained and replaced as stated on the invoice, while at the same time, a cambelt service was carried out, and a new water pump and spark plugs installed. The final task completed was having a set of four new Pirelli P Zero tires mounted to the wheels, with the invoice noting that chassis 56773 had covered 7,815 km at the point of service. Please note that although the speedometer face was converted to display in miles during federalization, the odometer still reads in kilometers. As a result, some records on file erroneously recorded the odometer reading in miles instead of in kilometers.

Prior to being offered today, this Ferrari 288 GTO underwent yet another service at Continental Auto Sports on 31 January 2022, comprising an oil and brake fluid change and replacement of the oil pressure gauge sensor. Importantly, this 288 GTO has had its application for Ferrari Classiche Certification submitted at this time, all contributing to a cost in excess of $12,000.

Displaying just 7,962 km at the time of cataloguing, this 1985 288 GTO represents an extremely rare and exciting opportunity to acquire a pristine example of one of Ferrari’s most desirable road cars. Chassis 56773 offers the chance to obtain a “time warp” example of a North American 288 GTO featuring a complete ownership history record, and invoices detailing regular care and maintenance throughout the course of the current 20-year family custodianship. Retaining its fully numbers-matching engine and gearbox along with original books and tool kit, it is likely one of the most attractive North American offerings of a Ferrari 288 GTO in recent times.