Rare Ferrari worth £1.75m stolen when buyer sped off during test drive

Rare £1.75million Ferrari that once belonged to F1 star Eddie Irving is stolen after thief posing as a would-be buyer speeds off during a test drive

  • German police hunting thief posing as a car buyer but sped off during test drive
  • Red Ferrari 288 GTO said to be worth around £1.75 million stolen in Dusseldorf
  • The same model was reportedly owned by former Ferrari F1 driver Eddie Irvine

German police are looking for a rare 1980s Ferrari sports car that once belonged to racing driver Eddie Irvine after it was stolen during a perspective sale.

The red Ferrari 288 GTO thought to be worth around £1.75 million ($2.2 million) was being taken for a test drive in Dusseldorf when the would-be buyer sped off.

Only 272 models of the rare sports car were ever built and one of the previous owners includes Ferrari driver Irvine, according to German media.

Northern Irish driver, Irvine was a teammate of F1 legend Michael Schumacher, winning four Grand Prixs during his career racing for Ferrari, Jordan and Jaguar.

Police in the city said the man answering an advertisement for the supercar, first registered in 1985, turned up for a previously agreed appointment on Monday.

German media carried pictures purportedly showing the suspect approaching the car.

The would-be buyer sped off with this £1.5 million Ferrari 288 GTO during a test drive in Dusseldorf. German media reports say this picture purportedly shows the suspect approaching the vehicle

He and the seller went on a test drive for around six miles (10km) from Dusseldorf to Neuss, during which the seller got out of the car to swap places with the would-be buyer. 

The man got into the driver’s seat, hit the gas pedal and sped off, police said.

According to Bild the man police are hunting is said to have been French-speaking. 

Police said today that officers had not been able to find the car and appealed to the public for information. 

Bernhard Kerkloh, Managing Rirector of the dealership said the alleged thief was ‘quite relaxed’ during the meeting and had been interested in the Ferrari for two or three weeks. 

The red supercar was taken during a test drive from Dusseldorf to Neuss, German police said

He also said he was still hopeful the thief would be apprehended as the car was very distinctive and fingerprints were left all over it. 

Kerkloh told German newspaper Hamburger Abendblatt: ‘You can not bring the car into the market. The car is too flashy.’

The Ferarri 288 GTO was approved in January 1985 and had only 42,532 accident-free kilometres on the clock. 

When introduced to the Geneva Motor Show in 1984, it was the most powerful and fastest sports car Ferrari had ever built. 

The GTO has 400hp, black full leather seats and is in the best condition.     

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