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Ferrari F40: Buying guide and review (1987-1992)

Ferrari F40: Buying guide and review (1987-1992) Classic and Performance Car
Ferrari F40 Ferrari F40 Ferrari F40 Ferrari F40
Is the Ferrari F40 the most iconic supercar of the 1980s? it’s certainly up there with the Countach, but this was also an exceptionally important car for Ferrari. It was the last road car signed off by Enzo himself, and it signalled the beginning of the 200mph era for Ferrari. 
It evolved out of the Group B Ferrari 288 GTO, and was powered by a brilliant 2.9-litre twin-turbo V8 engine – pushing out in excess of 478bhp. Making no bones about its lack of interior luxuries, Ferrari marketed the F40 as a racing car for the road… even though it was never technically built to go racing. The 202mph Ferrari felt raw and absolutely phenomenal, thanks in part to the extremely low 1100kg weight. 
Every car nut wants to own an F40 at some point in their life. That’s a fact. Okay, Ferrari got over-excited and ended up building 1315 of them rather than the 400 they initially suggested but, even so, this is both an iconic Ferrari and one of the greatest, most exciting road cars ever made. So it’s actually brilliant news for potential buyers that they made so many, otherwise an F40 would be valued in the millions by now. At around £500,000-800,000 today, depending on mileage, it actually offers great value. Yes, really.
Here’s some man-maths to prove it. Adjusted for inflation, the F40’s original list price of £163,000 in 1987 becomes £417,000 today, so values haven’t gone up as much in percentage terms as you might think. Looking at it another way, the McLaren F1 is probably the world’s greatest supercar ever made, but that doesn’t make the F1 worth 12-15 times more than one of the greatest Ferrari supercars ever made. But it’s not all good news, as potential F40 buyers should be aware that the F40 delivers one of the rawest driving experiences of any recent roadgoing Ferrari and, on a long trip, an F40 can soon become a complete pain in the backside. Literally.
They’re noisy and completely impractical, there’s no real boot to speak of (unless you jettison the spare wheel under the front hood), they’re impossible to park, LHD only and the easiest car in the world to a hit a kerb with. But an F40 is also one of the most aggressively beautiful supercars ever built, and today’s draconian legislation means there will never be another Ferrari like it ever again. That’s what makes the F40 such a great supercar buy today.
Which one to buy? 
In total, there were more than 1315 F40s built, which means that there are plenty of cars to choose from. Over the course of the five-year production there were a few changes, but generally you will buy on condition and mileage, rather than age or options. Ferrari Classiche certification is great if you’re looking for an extremely original example. 
The earliest 50 or so cars can be identified easily due to Plexiglas sliding windows, while pre-1991 model are also desirable due to their lack of catalytic converters. Later models were also offered with adjustable suspension, however it’s the fixed cars that are most sought after. US-spec cars differ in a few minor ways. All F40s were originally painted red, however a few have since been re-sprayed a different colour. It’s also worth noting that the F40 was originally only available in left-hand drive form, although seven right-hand drive examples were produced for the Sultan of Brunei… 
Although the F40 wasn’t designed for motorsport use from the outset, a hand full of race-spec LM cars were produced by the factory. 

Performance and specs

Engine 2936cc, twin turbo V8
Power 478bhp @ 7000rpm
Torque 425lb ft @ 4000rpm
Transmission Five-speed manual gearbox
0-60mph 3.7sec
Top speed 202mph

Dimensions and weight

Wheelbase 2451mm
Length 4430mm
Width 1989mm
Height 1130mm
Weight 1100kg 

Common problems

• The Ferrari V8 engine is generally bulletproof, although there are a few things you need to keep an eye out for. Check for oil leaks, which are quite likely from the cam covers, and also possible from the turbo cooling pipes.

• Regular servicing is the key, so be sure to buy a car that has been pampered. Turbos shouldn’t give trouble unless the car is driven very hard or on track often, while the cambelt should be replaced every two years without fail.

• It’s well know that the brakes on the F40 are probably its weakest link. Many cars, especially those used on track, have been upgraded. The standard set-up is okay for road use, but at more than £6000 for a set of discs and pads, make sure they are in good order.

• As an F40 owner, one of the big expenses you will have to endure is the replacement of the rubber fuel cells. Ferrari recommends this is done every ten years, although US-spec cars were fitted with a much more durable Aluminium tank.

• Like the engine, the five-speed transmission is extremely reliable. When cold it might feel a little recalcitrant but as soon as the oil has warmed through it should feel slick slotting into each gear.

• Like most supercars, the clutch has a pretty short life – especially if the car has been abused from a standing start. Expect to pay around £4000 including parts and labour to replace it.

• All but the very lowest mileage cars will have been repainted at some point, so don’t let this put you off. Stone chips scratches are easily picked up, so check the paint carefully. It’s also worth checking the quality of any recent paintwork. A good tip is to check the condition of the headlight covers. Stone chipped headlight covers can be a giveaway to a car that’s had a hard life.

• Inspect the underside of the engine cover for any stress fractures or cracks – as this can flex.

• It’s worth checking that the air-conditioning works as you will really need it in the summer months.

• Carefully inspect the condition of the interior and plastic trim. Most of this can be replaced with genuine parts from Ferrari, but as you might expect this can get frightfully expensive.

Owners clubs, forums, specialists and websites

- www.ferrariownersclub.co.uk
- www.ferrariownersclub.co.uk

- www.ferrariclubofamerica.org

- www.ferrariclubitalia.it

Summary and prices

The F40 is an amazing machine to drive, and offers a pure experience many more modern Ferraris just can’t deliver. This is the key to the car’s success, and why despite the high build numbers, values are so extreme. Ultimately, it’s still a cheaper alternative to the much rarer 288 GTO, and if your intention is to use the car as it was intended, then there are lots of usable examples on the market.

Prices for the higher-mileage examples start from around £600k today. These will perhaps have been used on track, and most certainly will have been painted more than once. They’ve also potentially been fitted with upgrades that aren’t easily removed, which isn’t a problem unless you want Ferrari Classiche certification. £750,000 should be enough to find a more original example though. Then there are the collector-grade cars. With minimum mileage and the right history, an F40 could potentially fetch over £1million to the right buyer. If you’re looking for the rare LM version then be prepared to pay a lot more.

Images: Dean Smith/evo Magazine
Ferrari F40 Ferrari F40 Ferrari F40 Ferrari F40
Last updated: 4th May 2016
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Ferrari F40 cars for sale

7 Search results
Ferrari F40
849950 995000 GBP
  • Ferrari F40

    £929,995 £929,995

    Variant: F40 Non Cat Non Adjust 1989 'F' reg with 7,381 miles (11,880km) F40 Non Cat Non Adjust, Rosso Corsa with Black F40 Interior. This Particular example has been most recently maintained By Merdien Modena, Dick Lovett Ferrari and DK Engineering. The Paintwork and Body is in Excellent Condition all over. The Carbon Weave is visible on all sections of the vehicle body, which indicates that the car is on it's original Paintwork. It has been properly stored and is a credit to it's former keepers, it really is like stepping back in time when you consider just how original this car really is. It was Supplied new By Garage Francorchamps s.a Bruxelles Official Ferrari Distributor. The Fuel Cells LH and RH where replaced By Dick Lovett Ferrari In 2013. It comes complete with its Original Wallet, Book Pack and Service Record as well as its original Tool Kit. It also has a Ferrari Classiche Certifcate to endorse it's quality and originality. This car is a must see. The successor to the Ferrari 288 GTO, it was designed to celebrate Ferrari's 40th anniversary and was the last Ferrari automobile personally approved by Enzo Ferrari. At the time it was Ferrari's fastest, most powerful, and most expensive car for sale. As early as 1984, the Maranello factory had begun development of an evolution model of the 288 GTO intended to compete against the Porsche 959 in FIA Group B. However, when the FIA brought an end to the Group B category for the 1986 season, Enzo Ferrari was left with five 288 GTO Evoluzione development cars, and no series in which to campaign them. Enzo's desire to leave a legacy in his final supercar allowed the Evoluzione program to be further developed to produce a car exclusively for road use. A figure from the Ferrari marketing department was quoted as saying "We wanted it to be very fast, sporting in the extreme and Spartan, the F40 is for the most enthusiastic of our owners who want nothing but sheer performance. It isn't a laboratory for the future, as the 959 is. It is not Star Wars. And it wasn't created because Porsche built the 959. It would have happened anyway." Power came from an enlarged, 2.9L (2936 cc) version of the GTO's IHI Twin Turbocharged V8 developing 478 bhp. The F40 did without a Catalytic Converter until 1990 when US regulations made them a requirement for emissions control reasons. The Body was an entirely new design by Pininfarina featuring panels made of Kevlar, Carbon Fibre and Aluminum for strength and low weight, and intense aerodynamic testing was employed. Weight was further minimized through the use of a plastic windshield and windows. The F40's light Curb Weight of 1,369 kg (3,018 lb)[5] and High Power output of 478 PS (352 kW; 471 hp) at 7000 rpm gave the vehicle tremendous performance potential. The first independent measurements put 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 321 km/h (199 mph) onto the French Sport Auto September 1988 cover.

    • Year: 1989
    • Mileage: 7381 mi
    • Engine size: 2.9
    For sale
    Clinkard Performance Cars-Clinkard Performance Cars
  • Ferrari F40


    1992 Ferrari F 40 For Sale Ferrari F40 / only 2153 miles / like new . The car is in a perfect condition and the selling price including a big service and new tanks and tires. Ferrari F40 :The Ferrari F40 is a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive, two-door coupé sports car built from 1987 to 1992, with the LM and GTE race car versions continuing production until 1994 and 1996 respectively.The successor to the Ferrari 288 GTO, it was designed to celebrate Ferrari's 40th anniversary and was the last Ferrari automobile personally approved by Enzo Ferrari. At the time it was Ferrari's fastest, most powerful, and most expensive car for sale.

    • Year: 1992
    • Mileage: 2153 mi
    For sale
    Alfa Giulia
    +4968428918938 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • Ferrari F40 at SuperVettura - Non Cat Non Adjust Model

    £995,000 £995,000

    HOME STOCK EMAIL Rosso Corsa Registered 1989 12,900KM / 8,000MILES Main Dealer Service History Non-Cat - Non-Adjust Model The car has completed the Ferrari Classiche program and the file documenting the original quality and standard of the car is available for inspection, along with the many service bills the car has been given over its years. For further information or to arrange an appointment to view the vehicle please do not hesitate to contact us. £995,000 Submitting Form... The server encountered an error. Form received. Submit FURTHER INFORMATION FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THIS VEHICLE PLEASE COMPLETE THE ABOVE FORM. ALTERNATIVELY, EMAIL OR CALL OUR SALES TEAM USING THE DETAILS BELOW: SALES@SUPERVETTURA.COM T. +44(0)1344 620072 M. +44(0)7541 888310 FACEBOOK /SuperVettura TWITTER @SuperVettura INSTAGRAM /SuperVettura

    • Year: 1989
    For sale
  • Ferrari F40


    1990 FERRARI F40 At its inception Ferrari’s F40, developed from the 288 GTO Evoluzione, smashed through an automotive barrier that had remained untouched, bettering 200 mph by achieving a top speed of 201.4 mph. Taking inspiration from the Formula One team and following the tried-and-true formula of “less is more” in order to make it as lightweight as possible. The F40 had no carpet, utilized door pulls instead of traditional handles, and could be ordered with roll-up or fixed windows (installing power-operated windows was simply out of the question). As a result of these fanatical weight-saving measures, the F40 tipped the scales at a feather-light 2,400 pounds, paving the way for a powerful engine to rocket it into the annals of automotive history. The F40’s engine was based on the 288 GTO’s twin-turbocharged V-8, but it was bored to displace nearly three litres. Following some additional tuning, the engine could produce 478 brake horsepower, making it the most powerful road going Ferrari to date. This engine, combined with its lightweight nature, made the F40’s performance figures just as incredible as its top speed. A sprint from 0 to 60 could take just 3.8 seconds, and the car could be powered onwards to a quarter-mile time in 11.8 seconds. Braking was equally impressive, and the F40 could bring itself to a stop from 60 mph in just 119 feet, if necessary. This example is the much preferred Non-cat’ / non-adjust’ specification.  The service record supports a lifetime accumulation of only 5953 Kms (3700 miles), during which the car has wanted for nothing. Replacement belts and tanks comprise part of an invoice totalling some thirty thousand pounds spent during the past weeks. Accompanied by a detailed history file and presented in ready-to-go order, here is a rare opportunity to acquire an iconic Ferrari as the Jewell in the crown of any collection, or the most exhilarating road/track drive imaginable. Available for inspection in Kew today.  

    • Mileage: 3700 mi
    For sale
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