In celebration of Ferrari’s 40th anniversary, the company decided to produce the fastest, most powerful road car in its history. It would also be the last car whose production Enzo Ferrari would personally oversee. His vision was of a mid-engined, rear-wheel drive, two-door street-legal sports car that was developed directly from a competition car. It implemented cutting-edge composite materials with a wind tunnel developed, aerodynamically optimized body, and a number of advancements borrowed directly from a racing development of their most powerful car at the time.
As early as 1984, the Ferrari factory in Maranello had begun development on an evolution of the Ferrari 288 GTO to compete against Porsche’s 959 in Group B competition. After a series of major accidents, the FIA made the decision to disestablish the Group B class, leaving the five completed 288 GTO “Evoluzione” cars with no series to be campaigned in. Four of the five 288 GTO “Evoluzione” models were sold off to private clients, and one was retained at Ferrari’s factory. Using that car as a model to basis, their engineers set their sights on manufacturing the F40.
The heart of the F40 was a modified and mid-mounted 2.9L version of the 288 GTO’s twin-turbocharged engine with a higher compression ratio and an increased boost pressure. Ferrari reported the engine’s output at 478 horsepower at 7,000 rpm, but most marque experts claim that the engine’s true output was in excess of 500 horsepower. A three-pipe exhaust system was one of the unique features in its design with two conventional exhaust pipes coming directly off of the IHI turbochargers, and one smaller exhaust pipe in the center from the wastegate of the turbochargers. The engine was paired to a rear-mounted, five-speed synchromesh gearbox, with an option available for a non-synchromesh “sport” gearbox. Four-wheel disc brakes with drilled brake rotors were tucked away behind 17×8 and 17×10 inch three-piece Speedline wheels with center locks.
The F40’s chassis was built on a tubular steel frame with its Pininfarina-designed body fabricated from lightweight carbon fiber, Kevlar, and aluminum in just eleven sections. It was one of the first production cars ever to mainly use composite materials in its body panels to reduce drag at high speeds. A partial undertray was built beneath the car to channel airflow beneath the car and up into the radiators and intercoolers, while a second featured diffusers to reduce lift. Massive NACA ducts along the side and rear of the car channeled air into the intakes and brake ducts, while a larger front spoiler and rear wing were integral to increasing downforce. The massive swing-up front and rear clamshells provided ample access to all of the F40s mechanical components. Despite the increased width and length, the F40’s drag coefficient was still extremely low at just 0.34. The weight-saving measures taken in its construction resulted in a curb weight of just 3,018 lbs.
The cabin of the F40 reinforced the impression that the F40 was built with speed as the primary objective and presented the connection between race and road car more than others in the marque’s history. A simplistic dashboard with grey upholstery, two bright red fixed carbon-backed race seats with three-point harnesses, a gated shifter, and a simple perforated vinyl headliner make up the interior. It is completely devoid of any storage or stereo system, door panels, and carpeting- instead favoring bare carbon fiber and a simple pull cable for the doors.
The FIA required 200 units to be produced in the event that the F40 participates in any Group B race events. When production commenced, Ferrari had planned to produce no more than 450 examples, but in total 1,311 F40s were produced over the entirety of its production due to the immense demand by enthusiasts.
This four-owner, mid-production European Specification example has been moderately driven and shows just 16,705 kilometers on the odometer. It was originally imported to Switzerland through Graber Automobile AG to its first owner, Bruno Baumann of Belgium. Its second owner in Germany commissioned Ferrari Classiche to perform certification in 2012 with 15,457 kilometers on the odometer. The 24-page report attests to its originality and that it retains its original engine, transmission, body panels, and chassis as well as its mechanical components and maintenance items are correct to the manufacturer’s original specifications. Since the certification was performed, a Tubi Style tubular exhaust was installed in place of the original muffler- the original was retained and is included with the vehicle. Since new, it has been serviced at regular intervals according to Ferrari’s maintenance schedule. In the care of its last three owners, it has been minimally driven and still presents in impeccable condition throughout.
In its era, its performance was rivaled only by the 959, which many journalists agreed was the better car but significantly less thrilling to drive. Enthusiasts today still claim that the F40 remains the most exhilarating road car ever produced and an important model in Ferrari’s legacy. This example is a rare opportunity to own one of what is arguably the most iconic supercar of all time and the last model to be overseen by Enzo Ferrari himself.
Four Owners From New
Mid-production European Specification model
Ferrari Classiche Certified
Original Engine, Transmission, Chassis, and Body
Tubi Style Tubular Exhaust Currently Fitted
Original Muffler Included
Owners manual Set in Original Leather Folio
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