Built to mark Ferrari’s 40th anniversary the aptly titled F40 is arguably the ultimate poster car of all. With a nose low enough to trip up passers-by and a spoiler tall enough for them to lean an arm on, it appeared to have been designed by a teenage relative of Pininfarina and not the master coachbuilder himself. But one should remember that this true celebration of Ferrari’s first 40 years was a stunning modern statement that was conceived, approved and had the direct involvement of the great Enzo Ferrari himself - the final car before his passing - what an accolade!
But while the image was perhaps something adolescent, the technology was far more serious than many people understood. The F40 was the first production car to employ the extensive use of composite materials in the body panels; ideology learned from the emerging carbon fibre technologies in Formula One.
Under the enormous rear clamshell sat a mid-mounted 3-litre V8, with added boost provided by two IHI water- cooled turbos. The 478bhp was fed to the rear wheels through a 5-speed manual gearbox and 0-60mph could be achieved on just 4.1 seconds. At its 1987 launch the F40 was the fastest production car in the world, in fact the first car to genuinely top 200 mph, to outshine all of it’s natural rivals, including the Porsche 959.
Quite understandably demand for the supercar of the moment was overwhelming and Ferrari’s coy attitude to releasing production information only intensified the hype. Once the production line began moving, and second-hand examples made their way to market, cars could trade hands for anything up to £1,000,000 each. Demand was ultimately satisfied after five years of production and 1311 F40s has been delivered. All of them were left hand drive, save for a handful of specially ordered cars for the Sultan of Brunei. Today, it is still considered possibly the finest and most focused pure driver’s Ferrari of them all.
This Ferrari F40 was delivered new to Italy in 1991 and resided there in very pampered conditions until 2012, covering fewer than 11,000 miles.
Having been well maintained and treated to highly sympathetic usage, this F40 remains in the most exceptional original condition apart from the bone- tingling sports exhaust. The Rosso paintwork, matching interior trim and carbon fibre are all in the terrific order to be expected for such a low mileage car.
It is a later ‘Cat’ model, but without the adjustable suspension - to many the ideal specification. The glass windows and air conditioning result in this being a surprisingly comfortable and civilised car, whilst offering true exhilaration when put to the test.
The late 1980s and early 1990s was an era in which interest for supercars was at an enthralling level and the F40 is that period’s undisputed icon. For enthusiasts who grew up with it and for admirers who can only look back retrospectively, the F40 will always be their all-time favourite Ferrari and one on a par with the 250 GTO. As already mentioned, the iconic F40 was famously the last car ‘signed off’ by Enzo himself and for that reason many enthusiasts consider it will always be the definitive example of the ‘Supercar’.