200 kilometres since total restoration 1990 Ferrari F40 Berlinetta Coachwork by Pininfarina Registration no. G739 AUD Chassis no. 84901
Announced in 1987 to celebrate Enzo Ferrari's forty years as a carmaker, the 200mph F40 was the ultimate supercar. Inevitably, comparisons were made with the rival Porsche 959, but whereas its German rival represented a cutting-edge, technological tour de force, the F40 exemplified traditional Ferrari values. A relatively straightforward car, the F40 relied on enormous power, low weight, race-bred suspension, generously sized tyres and excellent aerodynamics to achieve a level of performance near-identical to that of the infinitely more complex 959. Developed from the limited-production 288GTO, the F40 was a two-seater, mid-engined coupé that mounted its V8 power unit longitudinally in the chassis (rather than transversely like the 308/328) a layout that greatly simplified the accommodation of the twin water-cooled IHI turbochargers. Enlarged from the 288GTO's 2,855cc to 2,936cc for the F40, the four-cam, 32-valve motor produced 478bhp at 7,000rpm (some 20 percent up on the 288) with the promise of a further 200bhp if the optional factory tuning kit was specified. In one of its aspects the F40 did rival the 959 for innovation, and that was the method of body/chassis construction, which represented a new departure for a Ferrari road car. Drawing on Ferrari's considerable experience in the use of composite technology in Formula 1, the F40 chassis comprised a tubular steel spaceframe with bonded-on panels of Kevlar, resulting in torsional stiffness greatly exceeding that of a metal-only structure without the penalty of excess weight. Carbon fibre was used for the doors, bonnet, boot lid and other removable panels. Using a wind tunnel and computer projection, Pininfarina produced a body that generated sufficient downforce without excessive drag, while avoiding the aerodynamic excrescences that adorn so many out-and-out competition cars. Nevertheless, there was no mistaking the pugnaciously styled F40's antecedents as one climbed inside, the body-contoured seats, absence of carpeting and trim, and sliding Plexiglas windows only serving to re-enforce its image as a thinly disguised racecar. This particular Ferrari F40 was involved in a heavy front-end accident, following which its owner, Vittorio Colombo, commissioned the celebrated Ferrari competition specialists Michelotto of Padova for a full restoration. Just as Schnitzer is the officially sanctioned competition arm of BMW and AMG fulfils the same role for Mercedes-Benz, so Michelotto has long enjoyed close links with Ferrari, overseeing the Maranello factory's GT and sports prototype racing programmes as well as assisting with the development of road cars such as the 288GTO and F40. Michelotto's rebuild was undertaken in 1995/96. The chassis was irreparable and a new one was provided by Ferrari, stamped with the original number. The rear of the car was undamaged hence the engine and gearbox were retained. On completion, the odometer was zeroed (from total unknown) and the F40 delivered back to Colombo at a Swiss address with only delivery/testing miles recorded. Previously owned in the UK by a Mr Stavros Neocleous of West Yorkshire, '84901' has been serviced annually since 2006 by Graypaul Nottingham (four occasions) and Joe Macari in London (one visit), the odometer reading being recorded as rising from 182 kilometres in June 2006 to 195 kilometres in May 2010. In addition, there is a JCT 600, Leeds stamp on the inside back cover of the service book for an oil service and replacements cam belts dated 26/08/99 (at 154 kilometres). The cam belts were last changed by Joe Macari in May 2008. Offered with current MoT/tax and Swansea V5C document, '84901' represents a rare opportunity to acquire a fully restored example of the last model to bear the personal imprint of the late Enzo Ferrari, created by him in the spirit of the legendary Le Mans-winning 250LM. Its tan leather wallet containing the stamped service booklet, instruction manuals and Ferrari Sales/Organisation leaflet comes with the car.