1990 Ferrari F40
2,936cc DOHC Twin-Turbocharged V8 Engine
Electronic Fuel Injection
478bhp at 7,000rpm
5-Speed Manual Transaxle
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Disc Brakes
*Highly optioned, non-cat, European-spec example
*Major service completed in May 2017
*Ferrari Classiche certification in progress
*Sold new by Cornes & Co with known history from new
*Ferrari's 40th anniversary supercar
THE FERRARI F40
"The take-up into the next gear is flawless and, with the turbos cranking hard, the blast of acceleration just goes on again and you seem to be in a blur of time conquering distance, gearshifts and noise. It has the tonal quality of an F1 engine, if not the sheer ferocity. From outside, if you stand and listen, you hear the frantic whoosh as the turbos start to drive oh-so-hard" Autocar magazine, May 1988.
No Ferrari road car is more closely associated with Enzo Ferrari than the F40, the final project under the direction of Il Commendatore before his death in 1988. Built to commemorate the Italian carmaker's 40th anniversary, the F40 was, at its introduction in 1987, Ferrari's most powerful production car to date. Its 2936cc twin-turbocharged V8, nestled beneath the sloping buttresses of the berlinetta coupe's roofline, produced 478bhp and 426 lb-ft (577 Nm) of torque, delivering "supercar" levels of performance: 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and, more significantly, a top speed of 201mph (324km/h). No production car before the F40 had ever pushed beyond that barrier.
The F40 was mechanically based on the racing version of the 288 GTO, the GTO Evoluzione, which had been built to take on Porsche's 959 in the FIA's Group B category. With the elimination of Group B however, Ferrari was left with a handful of Evoluziones that would be used to develop the F40, whose race-bred heritage is clearly evident in its lack of anti-lock brakes, steering assist, and any sound-deadening measures. In fact, in contrast to the 959's technical complexity, the F40 achieved its remarkable performance in the traditional Ferrari manner - combining a powerful engine with light weight and a slippery shape, and a competition-tuned suspension with a large footprint.
The four-cam engine is also based on the GTO's, though it was bored out to three liters and re-tuned to achieve the prodigious output. It was placed longitudinally, which greatly simplified the mounting of the twin water-cooled IHI turbochargers. The Weber-Marelli electronic injection is fed from two fuel tanks, one just ahead of each rear wheel.
Sitting on a frame of tubular steel and composites, the F40 shares the same length wheelbase as the GTO's, but the track is wider. Due to the extensive use of composites throughout the car, the F40 weighs just 2,425 pounds (1100kg), more than 500 pounds less than its supercar rival - the Porsche 959. The comprehensive weight-saving program even included, if desired, Plexiglas side windows and paint so thinly spread that the body panels' Kevlar weave can be seen underneath.
The F40's bodywork was designed under the direction of Leonardo Fioravanti, who also was responsible for the 288 GTO, Daytona, Dino 206/246 GT, 512 Berlinetta Boxer, and numerous other projects in his time both at Ferrari and later with Pininfarina. His initial wedge shape was, in tune with the car's racing-related development, then taken by Pininfarina and refined in the wind tunnel for optimum downforce and low drag. Though augmented with NACA ducts for cooling the engine, brakes and cockpit, a louvered Plexiglas engine cover, and that looming rear wing, the F40 is a simple and elegant shape delightfully absent of extraneous elements.
The cockpit too, is all business, offering little in creature comfort but reaffirming the F40's essential character as a racecar for the street. Beyond the well-bolstered seats, gated shifter, padded steering wheel, and analog instrumentation, there is little to engage the eye from the driver's seat, but that's primary to the F40's raison d'etre to fully immerse the driver in a pure Ferrari driving experience. The all-independent suspension is comprised, at both ends, of unequal-length wishbones, coil springs over telescopic shock absorbers and an anti-roll bar; the brakes are Group C-derived hydraulic 13-inch Brembo discs; and the aluminum wheels, which sport F1-style center locks, are wrapped by 245/40ZR-17 tires in front and massive 335/35ZR-17 rubber at the back.
Thanks to the innovative body/chassis construction, under way the F40 feels as rigid as though it were carved from a solid diamond. In another case where Ferrari's racing experience translated to the street, the F40's tubular steel spaceframe and bonded-on panels of Kevlar composites provide a torsional stiffness that would have been impossible to achieve with conventional means. As a result, handling is exceptionally crisp and the car responds to inputs as though there were not a mechanical but a telepathic connection between the driver and the wheels. The F40 will never be mistaken for anything other than it was intended to be a racecar for the street.
Autocar concluded its test thus: 'On a smooth road it is a scintillatingly fast car that is docile and charming in its nature; a car that is demanding but not difficult to drive, blessed as it is with massive grip and, even more importantly, superb balance and manners. You can use its performance - the closest any production carmaker has yet come to racecar levels - and revel in it. ...there's little doubt it is the very personification of the term sports car.'
Production of the F40 initially called for just 400 units to be built, and even with a list price of roughly $400,000 - an astronomical price for a car at that time, many examples traded hands for a significant premium. As a result of the car's desirability and enormous demand, Ferrari pushed total production numbers to 1,311, all of which left the factory in left-hand drive and liveried in classic Rossa Corsa paint.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
In accordance with the Ferrari technical statement, this exceptional European-spec F40 was completed at the Maranello-based Ferrari Works in March of 1990. This example left the factory as one of the sought after cars void of catalytic converters, fitted with the desirable sport seats, six-point harnesses, and roll up glass windows. The F40 was sold new in Japan by the prestigious Cornes & Co to its first owner Yuji Ookusu, who registered the supercar on May 28th, 1990. The car would remain in Japan where it received fastidious care until being purchased by the consignor in May of 2015.
Upon acquiring the F40, the consignor brought the car to the experts at Formula Automobile (Ferrari of Denmark) where a full service was performed on file is the $9,000 receipt documenting the service. Today, with just over 35,000 kilometers on the clock, the car is in outstanding condition. It is clearly evident that the exotic supercar has been maintained to the highest of standards - one would have a hard time finding another example this well sorted. While in Japan, the problematic adjustable suspension was replaced with a standard setup, a common practice that Ferrari performs on many routinely driven F40's.
Before coming to the sale, the car was brought to Miller Motorcars of Greenwich, Connecticut in May of 2017, where a fresh major service was performed, insuring that the cars new owner need only worry about making time to enjoy what is widely regarded as the world's best driving car. A Ferrari Redbook application has also been submitted and paid for by the consignor so that the new owner can obtain the highly coveted Ferrari Classiche certification.
Offered with books, leather pouch, Redbook application, and $30,000 in receipts which include the extremely recent major service, this superb F40 stands out as one of the absolute best examples to use and enjoy, just as Enzo Ferrari intended.