The most prevalent means for delivery a new Ferrari was, for a long time, by allocation of a pre-ordered car from an importer or distributor. Cars were in such short supply that markets outside of Italy could see just 2 or 3 cars arrive at a time. In the UK for example, all cars would come in through Maranello concessionaires before dispatch to independent dealerships. On very rare occasions, Ferrari would intervene and sell a car ‘diretta’ or direct to the end user. This is only the norm on cars supplied to prominent figures, racing drivers or in this instance, to the very first man to win for Ferrari at Le Mans. This 288 GTO was supplied new to Luigi Chinetti, one month before his 85th birthday.
Having been appointed the Ferrari Factory Agent by Enzo Ferrari himself, Chinetti opened the very first, and for a while the only, Ferrari dealership in the USA. The first car sold by Chinetti was #0002M in the first quarter of 1949, the Turin Motor show car of 1948. Just a few months later he would be in the hotseat of #0008M alongside Lord Selsdon for his third 24hrs of Le Mans. Chinetti reportedly drove the car for 23 of the 24 hours. His achievements marked a turning point for the marque and entered #0008M into the history books as the only car to ever win both the Mille Miglia and Le Mans 24hrs – a feat it achieved in the same year!
Chinetti took delivery of the car in Europe at the factory, collecting it himself in December of 1985 as noted by the Italian registration document. He would subsequently drive the 288 to Le Mans in June of 1986. As a ‘Diretta’ sale from the factory, the car would not receive its book pack until had received its running in service carried back at the factory at Assitenza Tecnica in July 1986. Chinetti’s name was added to the front of the book by Jacques Swaters’ Garage Francorchamps in Belgium who cared for the car throughout his ownership.
The car would change hands the following year to an eccentric character, Jean-Pierre Van Rossem through Garage Francorchamps. An economist and stock market guru, Van Rossem founded the investment company Moneytron, who claimed to offer endless returns. He later went on to own the Onyx Formula 1 team and was subsequently sentenced to five years in prison for fraud.
At his most successful, Van Rossem was the proud owner of over 100 Ferrari’s and two Dassault Falcon 900 aircraft. He drove the 288 GTO to a race meeting held at Circuit Zolder organised by Garage Francorchamps, and the car was photographed on the grid alongside two Ferrari 308GT/Ms. Garage Francorchamps would handle the servicing for both 1986 and 1987.
In 1988, the GTO was imported into the UK and cared for by prominent marque collector Peter Rae, with servicing carried out by Graypaul Ferrari of Loughborough.
Since 2000, this 288 GTO has been cared by a single private owner in Japan. Accompanied by its original book pack, original service book a, with Luigi Chinetti’s personal signature as well as its supplementary Japanese service booklet with a ream of invoices,and spare wheel this stunning 288 GTO is available to view at our showrooms outside London immediately. Arriving at DK Engineering in August 2023, this example is presently undergoing a comprehensive engine out service and inspection along with a full detail to ensure the car presents as expected.