There was no ABS, no traction control, no electro-hydraulic paddle shifting, and no stability control. With a 201 mph top speed and 0 to 60 mph in less than four seconds, no one was disappointed with the F40. Ferrari proposed only a limited run of 400 or so F40s, but the model's reception was overwhelming and the run kept growing until 1,315 were built by the time production ended in 1991.
The F40 was a simple machine that, like the greatest Ferraris of the past, relied upon its engine for its performance. Suspension and layout were conventional, and there were no serious attempts to employ cutting-edge technology. The F40 was good, sound, basic design, with a superb twin-turbocharged engine, aerodynamics heavily weighted toward downforce and stability, and generous use of lightweight composite materials. The chassis was - like the 125 built 40 years before - based on two large-diameter steel tubes. They were joined and stiffened by light, compound structures, to be sure, but the basic form was as rudimentary as the ones welded together in the Gilberto shops a generation before.
Competition was not in Ferrari's original plan for the F40, but Daniel Marin, managing director of French Ferrari importer Charles Pozzi SA, took the initiative and authorized Michelotto, the famed Padova Ferrari service centre, to construct a series of F40 LMs for racing under IMSA rules in the U.S. Just 19 were built.
These were followed by five official F40 GT's, also built by Michelotto to regulations for the Italian Supercar Championship and, as F50 GTE's, in the mid-'90s BPR GT series. The BPR Organization adopted air-restrictor regulations to handicap engine output and overall performance, but the lessons learned in the earlier competition F40s were applied to the limits of the rules in building the F40 GT's for these series. These few F40 GT's were much more highly developed race cars that were lighter, had better aerodynamics and sophisticated flat-floor ground effects, full ball-jointed suspensions, quick-fill fuel systems, wider wheels and tires, lower ride heights and other improvements that made them the most sophisticated of all the F40-based race cars, and potentially the fastest when relieved of their air-restrictor trumpets.
The GT programme was adopted by many owners independently and as a result a number of cars were privately converted (from a standard road car) over the years and successfully raced in various championships throughout the world. Such was the effectiveness of the basic design of the F40 that cars were seen out racing at a competitive level right through until the late 90's, when the cars were by then some ten years old! A remarkable feat.
This F40 was supplied new to Italy, being manufactured in 1989 and delivered in 1990 as a standard Non Cat & Non Adjust example. Some years later the car found its way to Japan where it was uprated and it is believed it raced in the Japanese GT series. More recently the car found its way back to Europe and has been subjected to a beautiful restoration at which time the car was repainted, had all four corners stripped and rebuilt, a full engine inspection and service, and an interior retrim.
As such, today the car is UK road registered and presented in superb concours condition throughout but importantly in its "GT" specification. This includes, lightweight clam shells front & rear, lightweight lower rear valence, "LM" style headlights & front clam shell with added radiator extraction ducts, "LM style sill Nasa duct, fully adjustable waste gate, revised engine management, big brakes & wheels, digital race dash, electric passenger window, fully adjustable suspension and "LM" venturi ducts & rear wing.
The car represents a fabulous potential track day assault weapon or even an F40 for the road with a bit more flare! For Enzo Ferrari's 40th anniversary as a constructor under his own name, he gave his design team a very simple instruction: 'Build a car to be the best in the world.' Time has shown that they complied.