It was Ferrari’s fortieth anniversary gift to themselves. It was the last car Enzo Ferrari saw introduced. It had two huge turbos, nearly 500 hp, and rear-wheel drive. The styling came from Pininfarina, and it couldn’t look more exotic if it tried. It’s our autoTRADER.ca Find of the Week, a 1991 Ferrari F40.
It was designed as a replacement for the 288 GTO. Porsche was readying the 959 for a run at the FIA’s Group B sports car racing, and Ferrari needed to compete. Group B was the all-out set of rules that gave us cars like Audi’s Quattro S1, the Ford RS200, and a slew of mid-engined hot hatches like the Renault 5 Turbo and the Peugeot 205 T16. After the death of Group B, Enzo Ferrari wanted to further develop the 288 GTO into a road car.
But Ferrari’s last Ferrari wasn’t going to be another grand tourer with some big-turbo power added. This one was going to be a stripped-down, all-out supercar. Capable of astonishing speed and handling.
The powerplant is a 2.9L V8, with twin-turbochargers. It produces 478 hp, a number that was astonishing at the time. The body was an all-new design with exotic materials like kevlar reinforcement, carbon fibre, and extensive use of aluminium. The use of composites and large panels meant that the car had only 11 body panels.
The suspension is a double-wishbone design, with extremely low clearance. Ferarri designed an adjustable suspension that could be raised, but this car has had an improved aftermarket system fitted. It can raise and lower at the touch of a button, helping the owner to escape obstacles like speed bumps and low curbs. The rear tires were 335 mm wide, massive even by today’s standards.
The Pininfarina-penned body was angular, taut, and efficient. It underwent significant aerodynamic testing to make sure it was as stable as it was fast. They only built 1,311, and they were all in red. If you see the rare car in a different colour, it’s been resprayed after it left the factory.
Inside, there were red cloth seats with carbon frames, a roof liner, and a felt dash cover. The rest of the interior had no trim or carpet, just raw materials or some paint. The door handle was a string. Early cars didn’t even have roll down windows. It looked the race car part inside. There was air conditioning though, as the lack of insulation and mid-engine layout made for a warm cabin.
The F40 was the kind of stripped-down single-purpose supercar that modern regulations have made impossible for a major manufacturer. Even cars like the Ariel Atom have more safety features and comfort than the F40. But none of the modern lightweights has this much presence. It battled the all-wheel drive and computer-laden Porsche 959 in magazine tests and in video games, where the real winners were the fans reading and playing.
This 1991 F40 is a European spec car. That means it’s lacking the impact bumpers that upset the looks of American cars. Euro cars have a little more power, a little less weight, and owners say that they have seatbelts that are easier to use.
The seller says that this car has had a major service done less than 200 miles ago, and a minor service even more recently. They have a full inspection report from Ferrari available to potential owners.
This is a low-mileage car, with under 30,000 km on the odometer. It’s claimed to be all original and numbers matching. Even the original toolkit and manuals are included.
If you’re in the market for one of the all-time classic Ferraris, then our Find of the Week, for sale in Montreal, PQ, is one you’ll want to look at. And if you just want to dream, here are 43 gorgeous photos for you to stare at.
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