The nightmare of any car dealer is when a criminal disguised as a potential buyer to make away with a car during a test drive. This time, it is a Ferrari worth millions, and the nightmare turns into a waking one, as a car dealer in Germany discovered on the 13th of May, 2019.
The Duesseldorf Police Department in Germany has received a report that a potential buyer drove away a rare Ferrari 288 GTO while pretending to test-drive the car. The model is a limited release Ferrari with just 272 units built between 1984 and 1987. It competed in the Group B Circuit Race, which is like the Group B Rally circuit but for road races. The Ferrari 288 GTO is one of Ferrari’s most in-demand classics from the 1990s.
The Ferrari 288 GTO is valued at over a billion Naira
According to the information released by the Düsseldorf police, the criminal posed as an interested buyer and showed a keen willingness to acquire a 1985 model, the 288 GTO. The buyer who came in a taxi, looked the car over, and then proceeded with the seller on a test drive, with the seller behind the wheel.
Afterward, he (buyer) got out to take the wheel. However before the seller could get back into the car, the thief revved up the engines and disappeared in the Neuss-Uedesheim area.
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Düsseldorf police would later discover the stolen car one day afterward in a garage, much to the relief of the auto-dealer. It appears the Ferrari’s own reputation and uniqueness helped it, as Police request for information regarding the "Rosso Corsa" red Ferrari car with registration number D-06073, turned up a few helpful witnesses. The information obtained led to the car in the garage.
Dusseldorf Police tracked the missing Ferrari to a local garage with the help of witnesses
The auto-dealership website had identified the vehicle as once belonging to Eddie Irvine, a past popular Formula 1 race driver from Northern Ireland. Irvine had raced for the automaker from 1996 to 1999. Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper also corroborates this story.
Respected auctioneer RM Sotheby's, speaking through Peter Haynes, values the car at within the price range of $2.5 million and $3.5 million. That's a whopping ₦900m and ₦1.3bn. Now that would have been one auto-theft for the books!