Classic Ferrari worth millions stolen on test drive

Classic Ferrari worth millions stolen on test drive

An opportunistic car "collector" used a test drive to make off with a Ferrari worth $2.2 million.

The suspect had expressed interest in buying a 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO, police in the German city of Düsseldorf say.

He turned up by taxi to the dealership and two hours later, on a test drive, it was time to swap drivers.

But when the seller stepped out of the car, the would-be buyer quickly hit the accelerator and vanished. The car was later found in a garage.

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Police say the "historic vehicle" with 43,000km (27,000 miles) on the clock should be valued at more than $2.2 million.

A listing for the car on the dealer's website says it once belonged to former Northern Ireland Formula 1 driver Eddie Irvine – who raced for Ferrari between 1996 and 1999.

Similar vehicles are frequently listed with prices over $3 million in the US. They are often sold through specialist auctions at the likes of Sotheby's.

Luckily for investigators, the distinctive car - in bright Italian "Rosso Corsa" red - attracted so much attention that it was quickly found on Tuesday evening after police appealed for witnesses.

It was discovered hidden in a garage in the town of Grevenbroich, not far from Düsseldorf city center.

The suspect, however, remains at large. Police have released a photograph of the man inspecting the Ferrari before the theft.

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The managing director of the dealership told Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper the man had exchanged calls and emails over the course of a number of weeks.

Bernhard Kerklo told the newspaper the car could never be sold on the market as it was "too flashy".

Insiders - the only real buyers for such a rare collector's item - would instantly know it was the stolen vehicle, he said, as all the models of this type ever sold are well-known.

Only 272 of the Ferrari 288 GTO were ever built.

If your car is stolen, you're going to need a Prior-to-Total Loss Appraisal to receive full compensation from your insurance company.

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Classic Ferrari worth millions stolen on test drive