Arizona

19-20 January 2012

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Lot 258

1991 Ferrari F40 Berlinetta

  • Chassis no. ZFFMN34A7M0087345

Sold for $781,000


471 bhp (SAE), 2,936 cc mid-mounted V-8 engine with dual overhead camshafts per cylinder bank, four valves per cylinder, Weber-Marelli engine management and port fuel injection, twin IHI turbochargers, Behr air-to-air intercoolers, five-speed manual gearbox in rear transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension with unequal-length A-arms, coil springs and anti-roll bar, and four-wheel ventilated hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 96.5"



• Less than 300 miles from new and well documented; still on original MSO

• Three owners from new, originally owned by Lee Iacocca

• An enduring supercar icon, the last Ferrari under Il Commendatore



Introduced in 1987, Ferrari’s F40 supercar was nothing less than a shock to the senses and a masterful combination of raw-edge, radical styling with state-of-the-art technologies used throughout its engine, body and chassis designs. Without question, driving an F40 is truly a visceral experience, hammering the senses with brutal acceleration, go-kart quick reflexes and a howling exhaust note that is music to the ears of the devoted enthusiast. The overall experience is addictive—a powerful narcotic even.



Conceived in 1986, the F40 project was intended to celebrate Ferrari’s landmark 40th anniversary. Il Commendatore, Enzo Ferrari, is reported to have said, “Let’s make something special for next year’s celebrations in the way we used to do it.” A friend of Ferrari, Gino Rancati, who received a silver plaque to commemorate the occasion, suggested the car’s name. It was inscribed, “To Gino Rancati for a brilliant idea.” An accompanying letter said:



Dear Rancati, with this plaque I want to commemorate our meeting on the 4th June when you kindly contributed to the choice of name for the GT car we presented at the Frankfurt motor show. Your contribution has produced excellent results—the ‘F forty’, based on the idea of forty years of Ferrari cars, identifies and personalizes the fastest Ferrari GT. Kindest regards. G.B. Razelli.



Poignantly, next to this, in slightly shaky script with violet ink, was, “To Signor Gino, Ferrari.” Sadly, the F40 was to be the last car that Enzo Ferrari would see launched by the company he founded.



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.



Weighing just 1,100 kilograms, the F40 was capable of blinding performance. Fast Lane magazine road tested the F40 in the late 1980s, achieving zero-to-60 times of just 3.9 seconds. From a standstill, Ferrari’s supercar accelerated to 100 mph in just 7.8 seconds and to 140 mph in 14 seconds! Independent testing revealed even quicker acceleration times. Regardless of the source, the F40 proved to be the fastest road car ever produced, and its performance abilities remain simply staggering in every respect today.



While the initial production run was limited to about 400 examples, the market demand was so overwhelming, even with the car’s stratospheric price tag, that production continued until 1,315 F40s were built by the time production ended in 1991. American Ferrari enthusiasts, however, had to wait until 1990 for the chance to own one. With such strong demand, U.S.-specification cars traded at premiums of many thousands of dollars above their list price in the heady “supercar” market of the time. Over a three-year period, only 213 examples of the F40 were built for the U.S. market.



While every F40 is “special” indeed, this example from 1991 has covered fewer than 300 miles from new, and it is still unregistered and listed on its Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO). As the 94th of the 213 U.S.-specification F40s, it was produced during October 1990. With just three owners from new, its original owner was none other than the famed American automotive executive and business leader Lee Iacocca. Having recently received a major service by Patrick Ottis, the noted Ferrari marque specialist, the F40 is now offered from the current owner’s impressive private collection and complete with extensive documentation confirming the former ownership of Mr. Iacocca. Among the documents are such items as the Ferrari Certificate of Origin dated October 12, 1990, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency letter, Italian export paperwork, an engraved “Built Especially for Lee Iacocca” card, the Owner’s Warranty and Service Book, the warranty card and one piece of personal correspondence. A genuine “blue chip” investment-quality exotic automobile, this 1991 F40 will certainly continue to top the Ferrari collector’s wish list for many years to come.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 9... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. He is a life-long automobile enthusiast and ... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Ian Kelleher

ikelleher@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Jonathan Sierakowski

jonathan@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Jonathan Sierakowski developed a passion for classic cars while working at a Connecticut restoration shop as a teenager. He graduated with a... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. He att... read more

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007 following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, where he was based out ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more