1989 Ferrari F40
One owner from new
1989 Ferrari F40 Berlinetta
Chassis no. ZFFGJ34B000083620
"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.
Introduced in 1988 to celebrate Enzo Ferrari's 40 years as a motor manufacturer, the iconic F40 was the ultimate supercar and is historically significant as the first production passenger car to have a claimed top speed of over 320km/h. It is also the last Ferrari to be personally approved by Enzo Ferrari prior to his death in 1988. A mid-engined, two-seater berlinetta, the F40 was a development of the limited-production 288 GTO and like the latter mounted its power unit longitudinally rather than transversely. Much had been learned from the development of the Evoluzione version of the 288 GTO - intended for the soon-to-be-abandoned Group B competitions - which enabled Ferrari to take the F40 from drawing board to dealers' showrooms in just 13 months. A 2,936cc quad-cam V8 with four valves per cylinder, the F40 engine employed twin IHI turbochargers to liberate 478bhp at 7,000rpm. For the seriously speed-addicted, this could be boosted by 200bhp by means of a factory tuning kit.
Of equal, if not greater, technical interest was the method of body/chassis construction, the F40 drawing on Ferrari's Formula 1 experience in its use of composite technology. A one-piece plastic moulding, the body was bonded to the tubular steel chassis to create a lightweight structure of immense rigidity. The doors, bonnet, boot lid and other removable panels were carbon fibre. Pugnaciously styled by Pininfarina, the F40 incorporated the latest aerodynamic aids in the form of a dam-shaped nose and high rear aerofoil. Despite the need to generate considerable downforce - and with a top speed of 201mph, higher than the take-off speed of many light aircraft, the F40 needed all the downforce it could get - the result was a commendably low drag coefficient of just 0.34. The F40's interior reinforced its image as a thinly disguised race-car, with body-contoured seats, an absence of carpeting and trim, and sliding Plexiglas windows. When it came to actual competition, race-prepared F40s more than held their own and in the Global GT series proved quicker on many circuits than McLaren's F1 GTR.
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 race car levels - and revel in it. ...there's little doubt it is the very personification of the term sports car." Even today the F40 has the power to impress.
When production ceased in 1992 only 1,315 of these quite exceptional cars had been completed, all of which were left-hand drive and finished in Rosso Corsa when they left the factory.
Today, much of the F40's enduring appeal is the fact that it is one of the last great 'analogue' supercars, designed and built at a time when the driver was expected to be in full control and before the introduction of electronic interventions in the form of anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, and paddle-shift automatic gearboxes, which have since become the norm. It also lacked a brake servo, air conditioning, interior door handles, and power steering... As Ferrari marketing executive Giovanni Perfetti explained: "We wanted it to be very fast, sporting in the extreme and Spartan. Customers had been saying our cars were becoming too plush and comfortable. The F40 is for the most enthusiastic of our owners who want nothing but sheer performance." Even so, the F40 could not remain unaffected by the march of technological progress, gaining refinements such as ABS, catalytic converters, and adjustable suspension as development progressed. As one would expect, it is the early F40 representing the model in its purest and most basic form that is of the greatest interest to collectors.
Reacquainting himself with the F40, F50, and Enzo Ferraris for Octane magazine (July 2014 edition) racing driver Mark Hales declared: "The F40 is for me, the special one. Not just because I have spent so much time in them, but because it was such an explosive, other-worldly creation when it first appeared, and it still retains much of that character." Enough said.
A desirable non-cat, non-adjustable model, this particular F40 was ordered new by the current vendor in June 1989. A passionate motoring enthusiast and Ferrari aficionado, the current owner had bought several new Ferraris since the 1970s. When the F40 came out, he instantly fell in love with it and ordered one as a loyal customer of Garage Francorchamps, the famous Belgian Ferrari dealership of Jacques Swaters, a personal friend of the owner. The F40 was ordered with the optional wind-up windows, which the owner considered more practical than the basic sliding windows. He also ordered air conditioning.
The F40 was registered in the owner's company's name on 15th December 1989 through a leasing agreement, which had been cancelled by 1992 when the car was taken off the road. It would remain dry-stored for the next nearly 30 years. There is a service sticker in the door opening, reminding the owner to return the car for its next service at 6,000 kilometres in 1993! The Ferrari comes with the following:
Its first and only Belgian registration document
Insurance document 12/12/1989 27/12/1990
Original Certificate of Conformity by Ferrari importer Garage Francorchamps dated December 1989, Brussels
Purchase contract (order) dated June 1989 mentioning the Ferrari F40 with extras (air conditioning and normal winding windows as options)
The original leasing contract dated 13/12/1989
Correspondence regarding the end of leasing contract in October 1992 after which the car was no longer registered
Ferrari F40 magazine (Auto Collection No. 21) dedicated only to the F40 and describing the car in detail, dated 1994
The original Ferrari F40 pouch containing all the original books including the original service book in the current and sole owner's name. The service book is stamped on one occasion only: at 1,226 kilometres on 11/06/1990 with Garage Francorchamps in Brussels
Original tool kit
Today the odometer reads 1790 kms, the genuine mileage from new.
Totally untouched and totally original, this ultra-low mileage and outstanding Ferrari F40 has hardly seen the light of day in 30 years making this almost certainly unique and fully documented example an incredibly rare find and worthy of the closest inspection.
Please be advised that due to the limited number of kilometres recorded on the odometer, this Lot may incur VAT liability upon registration in the EU. The VAT payable will be the rate prevailing in the country of registration.