In an incident that seems straight out of a movie, a rare Ferrari that once belonged to Formula 1 racing driver Eddie Irvine was stolen by a prospective buyer on a test drive. In the German town of Dusseldorf, a thief pretending to be a potential buyer of the red Ferrari 288 GTO responded to an advertisement for the sports car and fixed a meeting with the seller. According to the German media, he and the seller went on a test drive for around six miles from Dusseldorf to Neuss, after which the seller agreed to let the would-be buyer drive the Ferrari and got out of the car to swap places. That’s when the man got into the driver’s seat, hit the gas pedal and sped off. The police launched a search for the Ferrari and the thief and thankfully found the car hidden in a garage in the town of Grevenbroich, which is not too far from Dusseldorf. The suspect, however, still remains at large.
The Ferrari 288 GTO is an extremely rare car with only 272 examples ever built. It was described as the most powerful and fastest sports car by Ferrari when it was launched in 1984. The Ferrari 288 GTO often ends up fetching for more than $3 million in auctions and is highly coveted amongst car collectors. While it was currently being sold by a German millionaire, the car’s record listed that it was formerly owned by the ex-F1 driver Eddie Irvine, making it even more special. The 53-year-old Northern Irish driver had raced for Jordan, Jaguar, and Ferrari during a nine-year career in Formula and came close to winning the championship in 1999. He was also a teammate of F1 legend Michael Schumacher when he raced for Ferrari.