Iconic Ferrari F40 prototype for sale
A prototype of arguably Ferrari's most iconic road car, the F40, will come up for sale next month at a Monaco auction.
The race liveried F40 is one of eight F40 prototypes thought to have been made by Ferrari before the production version was released. It has been upgraded to F40 GT racing specification by Italian company Michelotto, and will be sold with a full documented history of work.
This is also the car that Ferrari displayed at the 1987 Frankfurt Motor Show, the year the F40 was put on sale.
Just over 1,300 F40s were made between '87 and '92, and when it was unveiled it was Ferrari's fastest and most powerful road car - and the last commissioned by company founder Enzo Ferrari before he died.
It's said that in the summer of 1986, Enzo asked his engineers to "make something special for next year's celebrations in the way we used to do it."
What he got the following year, Ferrari's 40th anniversary, was a sensational supercar powered by a 2.9-litre twin turbo V8 engine with 471bhp. It was the purest, most advanced road car the company could possibly have made, with the breadth of Ferrari's racing knowledge at the heart of its development.
Constructed primarily from carbon fibre, aluminium and Kevlar, Ferrari's priorities were low weight and aerodynamic efficiency. To the former end, it was sold without a radio or carpets, and its windows were plastic. The paintwork is so thin that the weave of the carbon fibre body panels can be seen through it.
The result is a 0-60mph sprint of just 4.1 seconds and a 202mph top speed.
The car had a £250,000 list price back in '87 (around £575,000 adjusted for inflation), though it was so sought after that some reportedly paid four times that amount to get their hands on one.
GT specification cars like this one - the sixth of the eight made - were lightened even further, and had race-oriented upgrades including lowered suspension, uprated Brembo brakes, wider wheels and tyres, a quick fuelling system and an engine power hike, to around 600bhp.
This car made its race debut in 1992, having been owned by Ferrari for the first couple of years of its existence.
Following a successful stint in GT racing it was bought by an Italian collector, in whose care it was "sparingly driven and dutifully maintained," according to seller RM Auctions.
The result is "a beautifully presented and blisteringly fast F40 Prototype/GT...one of the most desirable examples of the celebrated supercar ever offered for sale."
It's estimated to sell for €700,000 - €900,000 (£575,000 - £750,000) at the Monaco auction in May - the same auction that will sell this Ferrari speedboat, which amazingly has a higher estimated sale price than the F40. It's a crazy world.