FERRARI F40 (1987)
by Mark Nobes, chief editor
In 1987, Ferrari decided to build its quickest and most expensive road car, the F40, to celebrate its 40th Birthday. It went on to become one of Ferrari's most iconic models.
Based on the 288 GTO (this was descended from the 308/328 GTB) it featured a larger, modernised version of the GTO's engine - a 2.9 litre V8 with 478bhp, that could be tuned up to 600bhp. The body (designed by Pininfarina) was very aerodynamic and built to give a stable drive. The F40 needed to hold the road as it could reach 200mph, thanks to the addition of twin turbochargers and fuel injection.
Copyright-free, public domain photo of a Ferrari F40
For two years, the F40 was the fastest road car in the World! The road car was discontinued in 1992.
Ferrari's plan was to build 400 cars with a RRP of $400,000. However, 1,311 were built in total, and some buyers have paid up to $1.6 million for cars that were previously owned by a celebrity. Nigel Mansell's F40 sold for $1 million in 1990, which was a record at the time.
A lot of focus was placed on the aerodynamics of the car to gain as much speed as possible, with a strong emphasis on stability. The forced induction engine produced a lot of heat, and so cooling was also given a lot of attention. The F40 had low drag thanks to its spoilers and the rear wing.
The car had its fair share of critics, with many criticising its rear vision, handling and 1950s twin-tube technology. Indeed, it is believed that in 1990 only 10% of owners were actually driving their F40s and merely bought them to accumulate cash. Prices rose to 7 times the list price in 1989. However, the bubble quickly burst.
Beautiful blue Ferrari? Actually, it's been photoshopped, but I think it looks pretty cool.
A PARADE OF RED FERRARIS
Photo: Goodwood Festival of Speed 2007 - Ferrari F40 LM (1995) in F1 paddock. This was one of four F40 racing cars available in 1995.