Introduced at the 1987 Frankfurt Motor Show, Ferrari’s new F40 stunned the industry, as it combined raw-edged, radical styling with state of the art mechanical technology. Without question, driving an F40 is best described as a visceral experience, hammering the senses with its blinding acceleration, quick reflexes and howling exhaust note. The experience is addictive, a powerful narcotic for the soul of a driver. More than anything else, its absolute purity of purpose underlines the experience. Few concessions were made to creature comforts – no radio, no carpets, no power windows, not even door panels. Instead, racing seats with red Nomex covers clarify the point, which is of course, uncompromising performance.
In true Ferrari tradition, the F40 bridged the gap between the company’s road cars and racing cars, representing a further progression of the 288 GTO Evoluzione. Cost-no-object engineering produced technical specifications that remain the stuff of fantasy even by today’s jaded standards. A carbon-fiber and Kevlar-reinforced steel space frame chassis with composite body panels was mated to an Evoluzione twin-turbocharged and intercooled four-cam, port-injected V-8 engine, controlled by a race-proven Weber-Marelli engine management system and producing close to 500 bhp.
The twin-turbo road-racer weighs just 1,100 kg and is blindingly quick. Several magazines road tested the F40 in the late 1980s, and recorded a zero-to-100 km/h time of just 3.9 seconds, zero to 160 km/h in 7.8 seconds, and zero to 225 km/h in just 14 seconds. Other independent tests clocked it a couple of tenths quicker to 100 and 160 km/h. Either way, the F40 was the fastest road car ever produced upon its introduction. In fact, over 20 years later, the F40 retains its supercar status and remains in a unique, rarified class with such heavyweights as the later McLaren F1.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in May of 2009 at Ferrari S.p.A., Fiorano Modenese, Modena, in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California and in January of 2012 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.
471 bhp, 2,936 cc double overhead cam, four-valve V-8 engine, Weber-Marelli electronic port fuel-injection, twin IHI turbochargers with Behr intercoolers, five-speed manual transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension with double wishbones, coil springs, hydraulic dampers and anti-roll bars, four-wheel ventilated hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,450 mm (96.5 in.)
Source: RM Auctions Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel and Tom Wood