With its ferocious performance and scintillating aerodynamic styling, Ferrari's F40 has often been called the greatest supercar ever built. The model recalled Maranello's revered tradition of sport/racing cars during the 1950s and early 1960s, conceived as a race-ready Ferrari that could be driven to the track with the manners of a road car. Claiming the distinction as the last model engineered under Enzo Ferrari's leadership, the appropriately named F40 commemorated four decades of Ferrari production.
Not long after the F40's official debut at a July, 1987 press conference in Maranello, discussions of a special competition-prepared version emerged, and the necessary tuning and modifications were entrusted to Giuliano Michelotto, whose work on the Lancia Stratos rally cars and the Ferrari 308 IMSA cars had earned him due praise. Michelotto's conversions packages of standard F40 examples into so-called F40 GT specifications were then sold by the factory to privateer racers. The GT modifications, which employed an even lighter body by the renowned restorer Dino Cognolato, proved to be a forerunner to more purpose- built racing versions, such as the F40 LM and the F40 LM Evolution.
There were only approximately 7 official F40 GTs built. All were converted by Michelotto - famous for handling various Ferrari Spa backed projects. These cars were described as F40 CSAI-GT cars and all featured uprated engines, larger F40 LM Brembo brakes and F40 LM cooling ducts, lighter carbon fibre front and rear clam shells, racing uni-ball rose jointed suspension, F40 LM wishbones, fully adjustable anti roll bars (front and rear), wider CSAI-GT wheels and many other subtle modifications.
This car, chassis 85690, is a race winning example of only 16 recognised Competitizione F40's that were prepared for GT racing in period. This car is one of the most well-known and widely documented of the F40's that ran in the Italian GT Championship culminating as one of the 3 car official 'Ferrari Club of Italia' Team Cars in the 1993 season.
The car was delivered new to Pierre Popoff of Lerici Italy in July 1990. Popoff was a close friend of Enzo Ferrari and his construction firm helped build the Mugello racing circuit. As an enthusiastic member of the Ferrari Club Italia Popoff had the car modified for racing in the inaugural 1992 season of the Italian GT championship and continued to contest the car in 27 rounds of the championship between 1992 and 1994 including two wins in the final year and seven podiums on other occasions.
The car was initially prepared for the 1992 season by Nicomedi however work and support was swiftly entrusted to Ferrari's close collaborator Michelotto and it was supported by them for the remainder of its race career including numerous upgrades to ensue the car remained competitive as the series progressed. The car is extremely well documented and appears extensively in the definitive book 'F40 da Corsa' and has been the subject of various reviews in other publications over the years. At the end of its competition career the car reverted back to use as a road car.
In 1997 the car was imported to the UK where it has resided ever since and has been looked after by primarily Maranello and more recently Bob Houghton Ferrari. In July 2008 the car was granted full Ferrari Classiche certification (Red Book) and then in 2013 with the close collaboration of the original owner's son, Andrea Popoff, the car was carefully and sympathetically converted back into its 1993 race livery and specification whilst also keeping the car usable as a road car.
As the CSAI-GT race cars were essentially lightly modified standard road cars the conversion work was primarily centred around reinstalling Brembo brakes, adding additional cooling ducts to the front brakes, refitting the race exhaust and modifying the car to run on original period correct (and incredibly rare) 17" magnesium wheels. The suspension was left in road specification (rubber bushes vs rose joints) for better compliance on normal roads and of course the car runs on normal street tyres. Since it was first imported into the UK the car has been fastidiously looked after and is accompanied by a huge history file including copies of all invoices, receipts and MOT's detailing the full extent of all the care that has been lavished on it by some of the UK's best known specialists.
Please contact DK Engineering for the full race history.