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Ferrari F40

Owned from new until his passing in 2014, Cesare Bagni masterminded and produced composite body panels for Ferrari from the 312PB to the F50  

Cesare Bagni's F40 - A Unique Piece of Ferrari History

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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 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 1,202kg 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 of eleven panels made from Nomex, Kevlar and Carbon composite with a heavily ventilated Plexiglas rear windscreen. 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 1,311 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. We have sold close to 200 examples and our workshops have maintained approximately 100 different examples at various points in their life over the past twenty five years. With this we are generally acknowledged as the leading F40 specialists in the world.

In 2018 we sourced this remarkable example for prominent Ferrari collector. A rare sale direct from the factory, this ‘Non-Cat’ example was supplied new to its first owner, Cesare Bagni, in April 1990.

Bagni and his business T.I.R. (Trasformazione Italiana Resine) was established in 1968. After his military service, he started building fibreglass dodgems for amusement parks in a borrowed workshop then working his way up, he produced a fully fibreglass concept car for Fiat.

Enzo Ferrari contacted Bagni after seeing news of this car in the local media, and proposed a collaboration between T.I.R. and Ferrari. Enzo’s eternal pursuit of speed and weight reduction saw him in desperate need of innovative, lighter materials that retained rigidity. Competition was fierce in Formula 1 with countless big names battling for the podium. In the small regional town of Calerno, Bagni’s close knit workshop would soon be providing body work for the top drivers’ cars in the golden era of Formula 1; Niki Lauda, Clay Regazzoni, Gilles Villeneuve to name but a few.

A quiet and humble man, Bagni would always shy away from the media. When journalists approached him, he would pretend to be a normal worker and explain the owner was out of town for a few days. Described by Enzo Ferrari himself as a ‘hard-worker’, there were no holidays or Sundays. Instead he would work tirelessly, rewarded with great satisfaction and recognition from his peers. The majority of those who worked for him started young and remained by his side even beyond their retirement age.

After his successes in Formula 1, with evolving technology he would go on to create the composite bodies for the finest models from the Ferrari marque. Bagni would develop the bodywork for the likes of the extremely special one-off 712 Can-Am, created from a modified 512M and featuring the highest capacity engine built by Ferrari, a 6.9 litre V12 producing upwards of 670hp in a car that weighed just 800kg wet!

He would go on to produce body panels for the top-of-the-range 288 GTO, F40, and finally the F50 including a multitude of cars in between; the 308, BB, Testarossa, 328,348, 355 to name but a few.

Collecting his own F40 would no doubt have been an incredible moment for Bagni. With such strong ties to the factory and motorsport, his car was exclusively tended to by Michelotto for the early part of his ownership, with the car returning for maintenance and warranty work. Such a hard worker that he was, the car only saw very occasional use during his entire ownership.

This car is additionally set apart from all other F40’s. Delivered new in 1990 and supplied as a ‘Non-Cat’ example, it was later upgraded to ‘Adjust’ suspension by Michelotto. A testament to his unrivalled relationship with Ferrari, this example is also the only car to have fitted by Ferrari, an F50 gear knob.

Cesare Bagni passed away on 3rd September 2014 after a lifetime of building the greatest Ferrari road and race cars. The only Ferrari he would ever own, his F40 remained in his family’s care, dry-stored and having covered just 3,999 km until we sourced it in 2018.

In 2018 we imported the car to the UK and completed a comprehensive major service, replacing the cam belts as well as the fuel tanks. Since then, the car has remained in our secure storage facility.

Available to view immediately at our showrooms outside London, this F40 presents in superb condition with just 4,000km from new, matching body numbers on all panels and of course a matching numbers engine. It benefits from unrepeatable and fascinating provenance, a history file with photographs of Bagni with Enzo, images of his factory as well as letters from his daughter who kept the car after his passing at the family home. The car is also accompanied by it Red Book Classiche Certification.

Cesare Bagni's F40

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