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 floor pan, 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 Plexiglass 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 converters 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).
This exceptional example was supplied new to the United Kingdom in March 1991 to its first owner, a hotelier and former racing driver, Mr David Mathews via Maranello Concessionaires. Interestingly, this example was ordered on special request as 1 of 2 F40s in addition to Maranello’s original allocation figure from Ferrari and was equipped with desirable adjustable suspension as well as a fitted alarm and fire extinguisher system from new.
Once delivered, Mr Mathews kept the F40 as a prised possession with intention “to keep the Car indefinitely” quoted from a letter written by him to Mr M Konig, the then Director of Maranello Concessionaires. The F40 was exercised so rarely that by May 1993, when the cambelts were changed during its first service, it had covered only 78 miles.
In August 1997 it was purchased by its second and most recent private owner, Mr Anthony Travers OBE. Mr Travers immediately placed the car into storage as an investment following a proper decommission where it has remained to date.
Today this remarkable and unrepeatable example remains a true time-warp collectors’ piece having covered only 482 miles from new and is accompanied by its original and complete book pack as well as copies of the original order forms and correspondence between Mr Mathews and Ferrari. The visible weave is not only present on every panel but is unrivalled to any other example we have seen through the doors of DK Engineering. Having arrived at DK the panel numbers have been inspected and confirmed to be the original items as well as still wearing the original tyres that it departed the factory with.
We have completed a comprehensive major service and replaced the fuel tanks. As such this unique collector’s item is available to view immediately in our showrooms just outside London, ready for the next chapter.