Monterey

19-20 August 2016

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Lot 239

1990 Ferrari F40

  • Chassis no. ZFFGJ34B000087123
  • Engine no. 24573

Sold for $1,265,000


Please note that an import duty of 2.5% of the purchase price is payable on this lot if the buyer is a resident of the United States. Please note that Internet bidding is not available for this lot. Interested parties that are unable to attend the sale may register to bid by telephone or place a commission bid online at rmsothebys.com.

478 bhp, 2,936 cc DOHC V-8 engine with twin turbochargers and Weber-Marelli fuel injection, five-speed manual transmission, front and rear independent double-wishbone suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 96.5 in.

  • All original, including factory exhaust; just 2,400 kilometers (1,490 miles) from new
  • Desirable European-specification model
  • Fresh full service after 16 years of private enthusiast ownership
  • Original manual in folio and service booklet


FORTY YEARS OF FERRARI

In 1987, not only was Ferrari approaching its 40th anniversary, but it was also engaged in a supercar war with rivals Lamborghini and Porsche. Lamborghini’s Countach took the world by storm with its radical styling and incredible performance, making it the poster-child of a generation. Adding fuel to the fire, Porsche introduced the 959 in 1986. The car was laden with many technological firsts for the automotive industry, and it was also capable of a blistering 197 mph, making it the world’s fastest road car. Of course, Ferrari would not let this stand; it needed something to silence the naysayers and put itself back atop of the record books.

Ferrari’s F40, developed from the 288 GTO Evoluzione, punched through an automotive barrier that had remained untouched, as it not only bested the 959’s top speed, but it also broke 200 mph in the process, achieving a top speed of 201.4 mph.

Unlike the 959, the F40 went about achieving 200 mph in a completely different fashion. Instead of using cutting-edge technology and loading the car down with modern-day conveniences, Ferrari, as per usual, turned to its Formula One team for inspiration and stuck with the tried-and-true formula of “less is more” in order to make the F40 as lightweight as possible. In terms of the F40’s chassis, the track dimension of the 288 GTO’s chassis was widened and a fresh steel-tube frame was reinforced with an extensive use of carbon fiber, making the platform significantly lighter than its predecessor. When stripped out for racing, Ferrari was able to save a few further precious grams. The F40 had no carpet, utilized door pulls instead of traditional handles, and could be ordered with roll-up or fixed windows (installing power-operated windows was simply out of the question). As a result of these fanatical weight-saving measures, the F40 tipped the scales at a feather-weight 2,400 pounds, paving the way for a powerful engine to rocket it into the annals of automotive history.

The F40’s engine was based on the 288 GTO’s twin-turbocharged V-8, but it was bored to displace nearly three liters. Following some additional tuning, the engine could produce 478 brake horsepower, making it the most powerful road-going Ferrari to date. This engine, combined with its lightweight nature, made the F40’s performance figures just as incredible as its top speed. A sprint from 0–60 could take just 3.8 seconds, and the car could be powered onwards to a quarter-mile time in 11.8 seconds. Braking was equally impressive, and the F40 could bring itself to a stop from 60 mph in just 119 feet, if necessary.

Production of the F40 was originally planned for just 400 units, and even with a list price of roughly $400,000, which was an astronomical price for a car at that time, many traded hands for much more than that when new. As a result of the car’s desirability, massive demand pushed total production numbers to 1,311, all of which would be in left-hand drive and liveried in classic Rossa Corsa paint. Of those examples, only 213 were delivered new to the United States, making Ferrari’s ultimate road-going machine even rarer in its largest market.

Adding to its overall historical importance, the F40 was the last car to receive the blessing of Enzo “Il Commendatore” Ferrari before his passing. Enzo had envisioned the car as an ideal way for the company to celebrate its 40th anniversary, as it would both promote all it had accomplished in its short history as well as highlight its plans for making the next 40 years just as exciting as its last. As such, the F40 signaled the end of an era for one of the most iconic marques in automotive history.

THIS F40

The F40 offered here, chassis number 87123, is identified by its serial number and metric odometer as being a European-specification model, though equipped with catalytic converters, and was originally finished as it is today in Rossa Corsa with red cloth seats. Interestingly, though shipped new to Italy, it was offered for sale in the Los Angeles Times as a brand new car, priced at $560,000 with the seller scheduled to take delivery next week, during the height of “F40 mania” in December 1990. Apparently effort had been made to entice a United States buyer into bringing the new car to that country at a higher price.

The car instead remained overseas, passing into British ownership later in the 1990s. In 1998 it was acquired by Tony Raftis of Australia, who sold it a year later to Bernhard Dransmann of Osnabrück, Germany, without ever taking it out of England. Subsequently, it was sold in 2000 to a Japanese collector in whose ownership it remained until recently.

The car has service records and registration documents back to 2006, which help to confirm its 2,400 kilometers (1,490 miles) from new. Reportedly well-serviced over the past 10 years, it recently completed a fresh service at Formula Automobile (Ferrari of Denmark), including installation of new fuel tanks, a belt service, replacement of the spark plugs, and all fluids; receipts will be on file for this work by the time of sale. Aside from this work, the F40 remains exceptionally well-preserved and original, down to its factory exhaust, and even includes the original service booklet and original owner’s manual in its leather folio. Even the paint is original, as can be seen by the carbon weaving visible through the factory coat.

The F40 remains today one of the hottest supercars on the market, and among the most desirable of all modern Ferraris. The example offered here will certainly not disappoint, with both its well-maintained original condition and its fierce performance.

Addendum

Please note that due to California emissions, this vehicle must be purchased by a dealer or out-of-state resident. Also note that this title is in transit.

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 911. Barney l... 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. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... 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

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

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. ... 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