1991 Ferrari F40
- Recent full service by Motor Service S.r.l in Modena
- Complete with its original books and tools
- Undergoing Ferrari Classiche certification
“THE BEST-EVER FERRARI”
Nineteen eighty-seven was a big year for Enzo Ferrari. Not only did he celebrate his 90th birthday, but more importantly to him, it was 40 years since he built his first car. A year earlier, Enzo was reported to have said: “Let’s make something special for next year’s celebrations, in the way we used to do it”.
That special car was the F40, and it would be the last one that “The Grand Old Man”, as he was affectionately known, would see launched from the legendary company he had created.
At that time, Ferrari was engaged in an all-out war with arch-rivals Lamborghini and Porsche. Lamborghini’s Countach had taken the world by storm, with its radical styling and record-breaking performance, and it became the ultimate poster car for a whole generation. Not to be outdone, Porsche introduced the superb 959 in 1986. The car was laden with a host of technological firsts and was capable of an unbelievable 197 mph, making it the world’s fastest road car.
Never one to be bested by his rivals, “Il Commendatore” did not sit idly by and let Lamborghini and Porsche have the last word. His response would be emphatic, describing the car as “the best Ferrari ever”.
The name for this new car had been suggested by a friend of Ferrari’s, Gino Rancati, who was at Ferrari’s office for a meeting with Razelli, the general manager. Razelli had shown him the new Ferrari, which was to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Rancati asked what it would be called, and Razelli replied that they had two or three possible names but wondered what he would call it. Rancati replied: “Since Ferrari’s biggest market is the United States, and since it is now 40 years since the first Ferrari car has appeared, it should have an English-language name, for example ‘Ferrari Forty’”.
Rancati received a silver plaque with the inscription: “To Gino Rancati, for a brilliant idea”. On the left was a black Cavallino Rampante and on the right “F40 June 1987”. 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 40 years of Ferrari cars, identifies and personalises the fastest Ferrari GT. Kindest regards, G.B. Razelli”. Next to this, in slightly shaky script and violet ink, was “To Signor Gino, Ferrari”.
Mechanically, the F40 bore much in common with the 288 GTO, and it was, in fact, closely based on the 288 GTO Evoluzione, which was a race version of the GTO. The F40’s engine was also based on the 288 GTO’s twin-turbocharged V-8, which was bored to displace almost three litres. When this displacement was combined with additional tuning, the car’s output exceeded 478 horsepower, making the F40 Ferrari’s most powerful road car to date. Ferrari’s riposte to the Lamborghini Countach and the Porsche 959 was to create the first production car to break the mythical 200-mph barrier, and the F40 did just that, as it was capable of reaching a top speed of 201.4 mph.
THIS FERRARI FORTY
This F40 was produced in May 1991 and originally sold in Italy by Crepaldi Autos, of Milan, to Mr Pietro Brigato, of Grumolo delle Abbadesse, Vicenza. It was first registered through his company, Old Cars S.r.l. The F40 was then offered for sale in November 1991, showing only 625 kilometres on its odometer. The Ferrari was bought by a resident of Fürstenfeldbruck, Germany, and then, on 4 June 1992, it was taken to Garage S&T in Munich for its first service. Later that year, the car returned to the shop for another service, this time with 5,834 kilometres on the odometer. The F40 was regularly maintained by S&T, receiving four additional services up until April 2002. Its next service was at Eberlein Automobile, another Ferrari dealer in Kessel, Germany, where it was noted that the cam belts were changed at 34,229 kilometres. In 2008, the car received another cam belt service, this time at Ch. Pozzi S.A.R.L. in France.
The car, a later model in the production run, which ended in 1992, comes with catalytic converters and adjustable suspension and is now presented with less than 41,000 kilometres. It has been submitted for Ferrari Classiche certification and has recently received a full service at Motor Service S.r.l in Modena, which included the installation of new cam belts and a new set of Pirelli P Zero tyres, fuel tank, suspension, and brake rebuilds, and an engine calibration. This F40 also retains its original manual, tools, and a spare set of keys.
With the added distinction of the last Maranello road car to be engineered under Enzo Ferrari’s direct leadership, the F40 remains one of the most celebrated high-performance supercars ever built, and this example is certainly one of the best.