Enzo’s Last Race Car: 1987 Ferrari 288 GTO Evoluzione

In about twenty-four hours, the RM Sotheby’s auction for one of three privately-owned 1987 Ferrari 288 GTO Evoluzione cars will end. We may not know the price paid for this sublime example of suspended homologation, nor may we know who purchased it, as the arrangement is by sealed bid. The car currently sits in Lugano, Switzerland. This tip comes to us courtesy of Araknid78, who specializes in the truly exotic. The 288 GTO Evoluzione is one of the most rarified of all Ferraris. The car is based on the 288 GTO, the granddaddy of all supercars, developed when Ferrari was prevented from bringing the 308 GTB to Group B racing. The freshly designed 288 was the result, a car made as light as possible through the use of Kevlar and fiberglass, and given the first twin-turbo engine that Ferrari produced. Alas, after the magnificent 288 GTO hit the pavement, Group B was shut down due to several accidents in the series. Meanwhile, Ferrari’s manufacturing machine was taking advantage of a rule that allowed for up to 20 “evolution” cars to be built as test beds for future development of the originally homologated vehicles. Thus were six Evoluzione’s born – one prototype and five “production” cars. Of these six, only three are in private hands, and this is one of those.

The motor is a 2.9 liter V8 augmented by twin turbochargers. Most of its parts are alloy, and at its final phase of development, this motor produced some 650 bhp, launching the Evoluzione from zero to sixty in well under three seconds. Its top speed is a scorching 230 mph. In case you are worried about its running condition, all is well after a recent $150,000 service by Michelotto in Padova, Italy.

If you’re planning a quick trip out of town with the honey, I would leave the Ferrari behind. The interior is spartan at best, with drilled pedals, race seats, and – handy for those pesky electrical problems – the fuse box right in front of the passenger’s seat. No carpets, no radio. One of the very “Ferrari” features is the delicate gearshift – it’s so Enzo-esque to be powering around a 650 bhp beast with a slender wand of a gearshift like this one.

Meanwhile, at the tail end, which is what everyone else is going to see if you can learn to drive this thing, is the channeling that will help keep the chassis from launching into the air upon acceleration. Downforce is your friend with 650 ponies in your hands. Of course, this car is meticulously documented, including its Ferrari Classiche “Red Book”, manuals and records, and proof that its original owner was Jean Blaton, a famous race car driver. Any guesses as to what a rare beast like this Ferrari might sell for?

Comments

  1. BlackTa

    Found myself searching the text for words such as, Fiero or kit car.

    Like 4
    • Ike Onick

      Spot on. Never saw one before and my first thought was “kit car”. Actually my first thought was “Man, that is an ugly-a$$ front end”. Imagine my surprise when I saw the rear-end.It managed to be worse than the front treatment. Enzo must have had two pair of sunglasses on when he approved that design in a darkened room on a cloudy day.

      • Michelle Rand Staff

        It was not built to be a production road car. It was built for performance, specifically Group B racing.

  2. JS

    I am not sure how famous Jean Blaton is given that I have never heard of him. As far as the sale price goes I hope somebody coughs at least $3 million. Must have been pretty needy to get a $150K service bill.

    Like 2
    • Martin Horrocks

      Maybe not famous, but significant, Blaton raced as “Beurlys” and was a top amateur driver. He was a Le Mans specialist, entering between 1958 and 1979, mainly in Ferrari, often finishing in the top 5, with 5 podiums. So good!

      Close connections with Ferrari through Ecurie Francorchamps explain why this very special Ferrari was available to him.

      Like 9
    • gary

      When a clutch is 20k and a tune up is 15k it doesn’t take long to add up.I know a guy that has two Lambo’s and he says the maintenance cost are astronomical. He is single and bought them right so he doesnt mind.

      Like 1
  3. Greg Millard

    What is the one white gauge – seems odd in the otherworldly sublime interior?

    Like 1
  4. Douglas Plumer

    So…Barn Find? Perhaps we are getting off track a bit?
    I do have the same Momo steering wheel on my 72 BMW 2002 though.
    I feel richer now.

    Like 6
  5. ABikePeddler

    Typical of Italian hyperbole, 650hp pushing this much body work through the air to the tune of 225 mph is utter nonsense. But this is typical of Italian manufacturers in this era.

    • Joe Elliott

      Not sure why you’d say that. Do you also not believe that the ‘regular’ 288GTO goes 189 mph with 400 hp? Extrapolating from there, basic physics tells us the same shape should require ~570 hp to reach 225 mph, and have the point of the Evo is to make it slipperier. It’s not a big car and the wing can probably be adjusted down to almost zero induced drag for a top speed run.

      Like 1
      • Joe Elliott

        *half.

        Damn autocorrect.

  6. Chuck

    Me want.

    Like 2
  7. Howie

    I will guess $4 million.

    Like 6
  8. Dennis

    Run out of cars for “Barn Finds”?

    • Michelle Rand Staff

      Variety is the spice of life. If you page through the selections today, you will find plenty of other fodder.

      Like 11
      • Dennis

        Variety is great but did this come from a barn, shed, field? Nope! It is called “Barn Finds”. I can go out on car lots and find you some pristine cars all day long. Maybe we’ll start posting them here.

        Like 1
      • Michelle Rand Staff

        You are always welcome to submit tips. We write only about what’s submitted to us and approved for assignment; we don’t pick the cars.

        Like 1
  9. George Birth

    Good thing this one’s in Switzerland, otherwise some dude would buy it for his kid, who would run it into the ground or wrap it around a tree or power pole. This car needs to be meticulously maintained or forget it. These type of cars should be driven by professional drivers who know how to handle that much HP. That much HP in the hands of an inexperienced driver is a lethal weapon.

    Like 3
    • harold daniels

      Geese, yeah. You’d be relying on skills, experience, and good rubber, to keep it on the track, wouldn’t you???

      Like 1
  10. JoeNYWF64

    Oddly, some of these very expensive cars never had a dashboard to brag about.

  11. ThunderRob

    The Muira was the grandaddy of supercars..this is the grandaddy of hypercars.

    Like 2
  12. tompdx Member

    $7.5 mil?

    After all, there are only 3 for billionaire Ferrari enthusiasts to bid on … I’m probably 50% low!

    And thanks for the “variety.” While I love to view the beater projects and think “what if”, I also like to drool over the exotics that are so far out of reach that I can’t even bother with that thought.

    Like 5

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