1992 Ferrari F40
$1,200,000 - $1,400,000
RM | Sotheby's - AMELIA ISLAND 6 - 7 MARCH 2020 - Offered on Friday
- Ferrari Classiche Certified
- Retains its original chassis, engine, and gearbox
- One of only 22 examples built in 1992
- The 199th of 213 delivered to the United States
- Desirable US specification equipped with catalytic converter and air-conditioning
- Minimally driven and fastidiously maintained; currently displaying 12,759 miles
- Documented by marque historian Marcel Massini, service invoices, and CARFAX report
- An exceptional example of Ferrari’s revered 40th anniversary gift to itself
To this day, the F40 remains one of Ferrari’s most captivating and impressively engineered supercars. Originally engineered from the superlative 288 GTO model to be an FIA Group B competitor against the likes of the Porsche 959, the F40 continued forward even after the racing class was canceled. Rather than scrap the program entirely, Ferrari used the five initial 288 GTO Evoluzione examples as the basis of a new 40th-anniversary road car, which would be the last supercar devised under Enzo Ferrari’s stewardship.
The F40 chassis consequently featured a race-developed tube-frame chassis with four-wheel double-wishbone independent suspension, coil-over Koni shock absorbers, and four-caliper ventilated disc brakes. Leonardo Fioravanti’s coachwork design, which was aerodynamically perfected in Pininfarina’s wind tunnel, was built with paneling woven of Kevlar and carbon fiber, reducing the 288’s curb weight by approximately 20 percent, while simultaneously tripling the car’s structural rigidity. The twin-turbocharged V-8 was bored to displace 2.9 liters and equipped with twin IHI turbochargers and Behr intercoolers, and married to a five-speed gated-shifter transaxle. The resulting performance was stunning, with 478 hp and 425 foot-pounds of torque capable of taking the F40 to 60 mph from standstill in 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 201 mph.
Cosmetically, the F40 amply reflected its basis in race-car development, with the low-weight body echoed by numerous interior considerations. Weight was further reduced with the use of cloth upholstery on plastic-composite racing seats, pull-strap door openers, drilled pedals, and sliding Perspex windows (roll-up windows were eventually adopted).
Publicly introduced at the 1987 Frankfurt Motor Show, the F40 was initially earmarked for a low production of 400 examples, but unexpected customer interest prompted Ferrari to ultimately build 1,315 cars. The commemorative supercar was initially only available in Europe, and early examples were built without catalytic converters or adjustable suspensions. In 1990 a more developed version began taking deliveries in the United States, standard-equipped with air-conditioning and catalytic converters. By the model’s production conclusion in 1992, just 213 examples had been specified and delivered to North America.
Occupying such an important position in Maranello’s supercar lineage, it is hardly surprising that many F40 examples were initially purchased by astute collectors and largely restricted to showroom viewing and concours exhibition. Relatively few cars were driven in anger under track conditions, but a handful of drivers were lucky enough to experience the F40 under such conditions. Case in point: Five-time Le Mans champion Derek Bell was allowed to push the car’s limits during a test drive for Classic & Sports Car magazine conducted during the mid-2000s. His verdict was “It’s just magnificent…This is a car to make your hair curl. The power delivery is sensational, and I love the way the turbos come on with such a rush. Very quickly the situation changes from neutral understeer to amazing oversteer, but it’s all superbly predictable.”
Despite being the first installment in a long line of commemorative models that includes the F50, the Enzo, and the LaFerrari, the F40 continues to hold a special place in the heart of Maranello enthusiasts, bearing a closer relationship to FIA race cars while having been supervised by Enzo Ferrari himself. Often occupying a crowning position in marque-focused collections, the F40 has evolved into one of Ferrari’s most celebrated supercars, revered by Maranello purists and hypercar aficionados alike.
Claiming modest driving use and a short chain of caretakers, this Classiche-certified F40 is one of the finest examples offered in recent memory. One of the last cars built, chassis no. 92978 is the 199th of 213 examples specified for the United States and one of only 22 built in 1992. Retailed through Cavallino Classics in Scottsdale, Arizona, the F40 was sold new in May 1992 to an unknown owner who regularly serviced the car. By 2002 the F40 was sold to Michael Bruno Jr., a respected Ferrari collector residing in Armonk, New York, at which point the odometer displayed approximately 7,000 miles.
Three years later the F40 passed to a longtime Ferrari Club of America member who retained possession for ten years while treating the car to two major services that included the important timing-belt replacement. This owner offered the Ferrari at Pebble Beach in August 2015, in preparation for which the car was serviced again by Wide World Ferrari Maserati in Spring Valley, New York. The car was also certified with a Ferrari Classiche Red Book, confirming the presence of all the original factory-equipped matching-numbers equipment.
Purchased then by the consignor, a respected collector based in Florida, the F40 has continued to enjoy a life of minimal use and fastidious care. In September 2019 the car received an additional evaluation and service by Ferrari Maserati of Ontario, during which the fuel pumps were rebuilt, the fuel injectors were flushed and cleaned, the spark plugs were replaced, and the battery was recharged.
Currently displaying 12,759 miles, this modestly used and collector-owned F40 is documented with a history by marque expert Marcel Massini, service invoices, and the Ferrari Classiche certification, and it is accompanied by tools and owner’s manuals in the proper leather pouch. It would make a superb addition to any sporting collection, ideal for display at regional concours d’elegance and marque-focused gatherings or visceral driving use on the open road.