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Ferrari's 201mph F40 is the definitive supercar and has a formidable reputation alongside the 250 GTO as possibly the best road Ferrari built to date. With the F40 Pininfarina produced an era defining creation, one that even today is instantly recognisable by old and young enthusiasts alike. F40's were closely derived from the experimental GTO Evoluzione's and the road 288 GTO (that the F40 replaced).
The design features a tubular steel chassis with bonded composite inserts, most notably around the sills and floorpan, The 2936cc motor produces approximately 500bhp at 7000rpm with the help of two water-cooled IHI turbochargers running 1.1bar of boost - at 1202kg the F40 had a and still has a phenomenal power-to-weight ratio. Shatteringly fast by any comparison (especially for 1988), the F40 can sprint from 0-60mph in just 4.4 seconds and hit 201mph flat out making it the first production car to surpass this mystical boundary. Whilst the GTO had pioneered the use of composite panels, the F40 was the first whose bodywork was constructed entirely from such materials. Comprising eleven panels made from Nomex, Kevlar and Carbon composite with a heavily ventilated Plexiglas rear windscreen. Sliding Lexan windows were fitted to the first 50 cars, these getting replaced by wind-ups thereafter.
The F40 was a landmark not just on account of its crushing performance and stunning looks, but it was fittingly the last ever car presented by Enzo Ferrari, this taking place at Maranello in June 1987, 14 months before the great man's death.
From 1991 onwards cars were fitted with catalytic convertors to meet ever tightening legislation and at this time adjustable suspension became an option. Production was discontinued in 1992 after 1311 examples had been completed in five years (600 or so being bound for the USA and being noticeably different to their lighter and faster European cousins), the F40 was only ever available from Ferrari in left-hand drive and presented in Rosso Corsa. (Approximately 7 examples were converted to RHD for the Sultan of Brunei)
Ahead of the production of road cars were a handful of prototype examples. This one, confirmed as the last Pre-Series Prototype and Development Car, was built alongside the first production car being completed in approximately March 1988. There is no exact figure as to how many were built but most recent research has concluded that the figure was most likely 9; more interestingly only 6 are thought to survive in their original form with some having not been seen since 1988, one having suffered a total write off and one having been converted into the F40LM prototype and subsequently a very successful race car.
As a result this car differs slightly from the final specification road cars. The interior features, most noticeably, the seats later used in the LMs and the headlining is attached directly to the roof. On the outside, the car benefits from Lexan Sliding windows and fog lights positioned either side of the rear number plate in the rear grille.
Other notable features include the MOMO script on the steering wheel, the flat faced brake ducts front and rear as well as a two piece spare wheel well and leather strap to hold the non existent spare wheel! Other intricacies include different style door hinges, the style of the bar above the wastegate due to its prototype fabrication, different construction of the clams, different Kevlar pattern and style on the chassis wrapping panels and evidence of previous data cabling for testing equipment and monitors.
This last point is interesting as the car also features the chassis modifications for adjustable suspension. It is assumed, with reasonable assumption, that this car was used by Ferrari from 1988 to late 1990 to develop the Cat system and possibly the adjustable suspension system although today it is in non adjust specification.
Fast forward to late 1990, and the car was supplied to the first private owner and declared as “new” (despite its “76xxx” chassis number as opposed to circa “86xxx” series where they were approximately at that point in production). It had been seen at Zanasi just prior to this, presumably for a rebuild/refresh. At that time and during the course of ownership it had many details altered to make it more like a production car. Presumably the owners did not want their car to be different to other F40s not knowing if it’s former and extremely important heritage and duties.
Prior to sale this car has been treated to a comprehensive major service and recommissioning by no better than its original development team at Michelotto in Italy. All belts, water pump, clutch and fuel lines have been replaced. Additionally, the turbos and brake calipers have been overhauled. The car was throughly inspected and confirmed as being the one and same prototype pre-series car it it is declared to be and some of the smaller details that had been removed or converted during the cars life were converted back to as it would have been when new.
Today the car has covered an indicated 17,300 kms from new and is also accompanied by its classiche certification confirming it as matching numbers.
Available to view at our showrooms immediately, this example presents a unique opportunity to acquire a much sought after and important part of F40 history.