In the last nine months, five Ferrari F40s sold for over three million dollars. The most expensive, a 1992 U.S.-market car went for $3,855,000 at Monterey, showing 9,447 original California miles on the clock. Aluminum fuel tanks may be preferable to the European ones that need replacing all the time, yet considering how 1,315 were made in total, that’s quite a sum for any F40. Brand new, these cars cost $400,000. By 1994, you could get one for half that.
As the last major Ferrari approved by Enzo himself, the F40 was developed from the stillborn Group B project and the resulting 288 GTO Evoluzione, only to become a prototype-style supercar made for the road in 1987. It was a mixture of Kevlar, carbon fiber and aluminum, all bolted to a rather agricultural tubular steel frame, with a body made by Cesare Bagni, a long-time composite specialist supplier of Enzo running Trasformazione Italiana Resine.
Ferrari wanted to produce just 400 examples of its anniversary special, yet demand before the market crashes of the early Nineties was so high, they ended up making more than triple that. All F40s were supposed to be red, but certain members of the House of Bolkiah ordered a fleet resprayed by Pininfarina Special Projects. As for the factory paint, many Ferrari dealers decided to correct Maranello’s finish, since Ferrari didn’t care for a flawless shine on the carbon fiber. Ferrari preferred lightness.
There are more F40s out there than F50s, Enzos and LaFerrari coupés combined. That volume alone kept prices at a reasonable level for a long time, and since Giuliano Michelotto built racing cars with Ferrari’s blessing in period, people knew the Dino-based Tipo F120A/F120D engine could take a beating. Modifications don’t necessarily decrease an F40’s value, as evidenced by the originally Dutch Nardo Gray racing F40 that sold for $2,750,000 at Scottsdale 2023. Luckily for the rest of us, some owners don’t mind putting proper miles into their tuned F40s, especially if the Rosso Corsa is gone already. There are loads of really good colors out there, and most look perfect on Pietro Camardella’s Pininfarina design.
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The red car that RM Sotheby’s managed to sell for $2.2 million at Villa Erba last weekend had a scratch on its rear bumper. On the side, just behind the wheel. That seemed odd for a car fully restored by marque specialists Carrozzeria Zanasi and Bonfatti, given that’s not the sort of patina low-milage F40 connoisseurs are always on about. The overspray through the vents, the shade of the green sealant between the panels, the paint peeling from the exhaust is more to their liking.
The mint green F40 belongs to Schaltkulisse, a high-end collector car business based in Taufkirchen, Germany. Kind of like DK Engineering’s pair of F40 pace cars at Goodwood, the mint green Ferrari was partly sent to Como to generate a million posts on social media, no doubt. Taufkirchen is also a five hour drive from Como through picturesque Lichtenstein, so I can only hope they’ve done the road trip.
I’ve talked to Mate Rimac at Villa d’Este, and he actually drove his Bugatti Chiron all the way from Zagreb. That’s seven hours in peak Piëch comfort. Five hours through Europe in an F40 must be a very different experience, yet one I would cherish.
Keyword: Modify Your F40