Monterey | Lot 116
1994 Ferrari F40 LM
The Pinnacle Portfolio: A Rare Collective of Automotive Distinction
$3,300,000 USD | Sold
| Monterey, California
13 August 2015
- Radically updated over the road going F40; lighter and much more powerful
- The 18th example of 19 produced
- One of just two with the pushrod/rocker arm suspension; the only example in private ownership
- Quite possibly the finest surviving example and perhaps the most original in existence
- Full service by Ferrari of Central Florida, including its timing belts in July 2013
- The ultimate Ferrari F40; unrivaled track performance
720 bhp, 2,936 cc F120 B 90-degree V-8 engine with twin IHI turbochargers and Behr intercoolers, Weber-Marelli electronic fuel injection, five-speed manual transmission, front and rear independent pushrod suspension with rocker arms, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 96.45 in.
A RACE CAR FOR THE STREET GOES RACING
Two hundred miles per hour was a mythical speed in the 1980s.
Akin to the race to break the sound barrier 40 years earlier, and as hard as everyone tried, the 200-mph mark remained elusive. For the last 20 years, manufactures have been inching closer and closer to cracking 200 mph, but with ever step forward, the next step would prove exponentially more difficult. Many thought Porsche would be the first to crack the mark with their ground-breaking 959, but even they turned up three miles per hour short.
Ferrari decided to make their own run at 200 mph. For their 40th anniversary, the factory went in the opposite direction of Stuttgart and built an incredibly lightweight and aerodynamic supercar that was fitted with an extremely powerful twin-turbocharged V-8. Sure enough, the plan worked, and the F40 was the first production car to break 200 mph, registering a top speed of 201.4 mph. The F40 proved that sometimes less is indeed more.
While Ferrari never originally intended for the F40 to go racing, a number of individuals with the wherewithal to put the car on the track quickly realized the F40’s racing potential. Daniel Marin, of Charles Pozzi SA, successfully lobbied Ferrari to authorize Michelotto to produce a series of racing examples that adhered to IMSA rules, giving the world’s fastest production car a chance to earn its keep on the race track.
This limited-production Ferrari, dubbed the F40 LM, for Le Mans, would be much more radical, exclusive, and exciting than the already intense F40 in every way. Michelotto took the opportunity to completely revamp the car by reinforcing the chassis and fitting more aggressive bodywork with more extreme front and rear wings, as well as uprated brakes and suspension, a competition-spec gearbox, wider wheels and tires, and an even more stripped-out interior, which featured a futuristic digital dashboard. In a further effort to save weight, the F40’s distinctive flip-up headlights were replaced with fixed lamps behind Lexan covers. In the end, the F40 LM weighed in at just 2,314 pounds.
The engine, now designated F120 B, retained the same displacement as the road going car, but the output of the IHI turbochargers was upped to 2.6 bar and the compression ratio was increased to 8.0:1. Michelotto also fitted bigger Behr intercoolers, new camshafts, and a new Weber Marelli electronic fuel-injection system. Power was quoted as 720 horsepower at 7,500 rpm, but without the air restrictors required for competition, the engine could produce upwards of 760 brake horsepower!
CHASSIS NUMBER 97904: THE FINAL F40 LE MANS
According to Michelotto, chassis 97904 is the 18th example of 19 F40 LMs built. It is also one of only two examples updated with a pushrod and rocker arm suspension, which has greatly improved the car’s handling in conjunction with its refined aerodynamics.
However, while this car was indeed ready to race at a moment’s notice, like other F40 LMs that came before it, chassis 97904 would never turn a wheel in anger on a race track when new, saving it from the rigors and possible damage associated with racing and leaving it as one of the finest and most original examples in existence.
After the car was completed in July 1993, it was delivered new to Remo Ferri’s Maranello Motors Ltd. in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada, which would later become Ferrari of Ontario. It was listed for sale by Maranello Motors in December 1994 and was later owned by John Bisanti, of Rhode Island. Bisanti showed the car a number of times in his ownership, including at the Cavallino Classic and the FCA National Meet in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1999, as well as once more at the Cavallino Classic in 2000.
The car’s engine returned to Michelotto for a full service in July 2003 and chassis 97904 left Bisanti’s ownership that year, being purchased as part of The Pinnacle Portfolio shortly thereafter. Like all the other cars in the collection, it has been accordingly maintained and properly preserved. The car has been fully serviced by Ferrari of Central Florida in July 2013, where it received a timing belt service, along with having all fluids replaced, invoices for which accompany the sale. A recent compression test is also on file for inspection.
Chassis 97904 is simultaneously a Ferrari of tremendous intrinsic collector value as well as the ultimate track machine that a driving enthusiast could search for. This example is unquestionably one of the finest of its breed, as it has not been subjected to the stresses of racing, and it is a perfect specimen of originality and collectibility. Simultaneously, though it has never been raced, it has nevertheless been serviced regularly, ensuring that it remains the very best and a virtually “brand-new” example, with which to go racing if desired. Equally important to note is that the only other F40 LM equipped with a pushrod suspension is currently owned by Ferrari themselves, making the opportunity to acquire chassis 97904 truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will surely never be repeated. Whether its destination is a race track or a polished garage floor, this is the F40 LM to be considered.