Maybe we’re not getting that Ferrari F40 after all

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Aug 19, 2021 | Ferrari, Monterey, F40, Auction

Photography Courtesy Gooding & Company

Remember when a Ferrari F40 only cost a million bucks? We do–in fact, we wrote about the experience over at Classic Motorsports.

From that piece:

When the driver steps on the gas I want him to shit his pants,” Enzo Ferrari is rumored to have said at a briefing on the car. 

Our experience with the F40: not much turbo lag along huge forward thrust.

The V8, quite colorless at idle, becomes brutal as the revs rise. Its metallic, sharp snap bellows loudly through the interior. Snap off the throttle, and the engine hisses through the waste-gate valves, only to pick straight up again should you desire to have another go. (And trust us, you will; the F40 is an addictive thing.)”

What about the old-school, non-ABS brakes? Just fine–and you can read the entire about the entire driving experience here.

Enjoying the F40 experience today? Well, Gooding & Company just sold one for nearly $3 million–$2,892,500 if you want to be accurate. It was a U.S.-spec model built for 1992, the final year of production, but did sport less than 2500 miles.

Le sigh.

So, if not an F40, what’s today’s go-to dream supercar?

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CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
8/18/21 8:20 a.m.

Honestly, I can dream of blowing 3M on a car just as easily as blowing 1M.  

 

Rodan
Rodan SuperDork
8/18/21 12:19 p.m.

Today's 911 Turbo is probably a better, and faster car for a lot less money, but it will never have what the F40 has.  Even a current McLaren doesn't get the blood up like an F40.

It may not be the prettiest Ferrari, but it's still the stuff of dreams.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe PowerDork
8/18/21 12:22 p.m.

Car acquaintance has two of them that he picked up years ago in the mid 6 figures. I have had a ride in one and the only thing nice thing I can say about being in one on the street is that they are a very nicely assembled Italian kit car. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/18/21 12:32 p.m.

Does the F40 strike the right balance between yesterday and today, refined yet raw? 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
8/18/21 12:34 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

When I finally bought my Black Jack Special there was a 58 Ferrari Testa Rossa project car  for sale about the same time. Asking price was $6500. 
    Not long ago a similar car sold for 56 million.  3 million might seem cheap in the future. 

Trent
Trent PowerDork
8/18/21 12:43 p.m.

I have recently had the opportunity to do a bit of work to one.

Compared to the Diablos and more "pedestrian"  Ferraris I usually see the F40 is just different. It is very clearly a homologation car. A race car with only what was needed to be road legal tacked on. 

Diablos are lurid, extravagant, unpleasant and distasteful. 328s, 360s and 488s are awesome but the F40 is a whole other level. 

 

BTW, I couldn't get it up on that lift. the car sits too low and is too smooth underneath.

I also understand why an oil change is a several thousand dollar event with one of these.

After my experience with this I have an idea of what project Binky will be like to service. Everything is in the way of everything else.

 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/18/21 12:53 p.m.

I'd grab a 288 GTO first. It has the advantage of being gorgeous. 

mfennell
mfennell Reader
8/18/21 12:58 p.m.

Sometime around '99-'01 there was a yellow F40 FS in NJ for $225k.  IIRC, it was owned by a friend of the owner of The Ultimate Garage.  There's still a pic on his site:  https://www.ultimategarage.com/

EDIT: every time I visit Classic Coach in NJ, there's at least one partially taken apart.  Love to look at them.  Agree they don't  look like fun to work on.

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/18/21 1:02 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I came in to say the same.  Obviously you are a man of good taste.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/18/21 1:07 p.m.

If you want to "E36 M3 your pants" when hitting the accelerator, try a Mercrdes 300SD with a large truck barreling down on your position.  wink

Jay_W
Jay_W SuperDork
8/18/21 1:24 p.m.

I walked around a 288 GTO back when they were new. Man those are striking. I still think that it's the best looking Ferrari street car.

Rodan
Rodan SuperDork
8/18/21 1:30 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I'd grab a 288 GTO first. It has the advantage of being gorgeous. 

I remember seeing a 288 GTO parked on the street at the Pebble Beach Concours back in ~1988-89.  It had 10k on the odometer, and rock chips and bugs all over the front.  My kind of guy... 

The 288 is gorgeous, and probably a much better street car, but I'd still take the F40.  wink

trakktapedude
trakktapedude New Reader
8/18/21 1:54 p.m.

In the early nineties,I had the chance to drive a Euro spec F40 for about ten laps at Jarama, Spain.

THEN, I got to ride with Adrain Campos, ex-Formula One shoe,  for another five laps or so. I had driven a BMW M1 in the 24 Horus of Daytona a few years before, so could at least push the car a bit. 

But, my best memory was of Adrian hammering the car through a pretty quick turn, and casually looking over at me to comment how nicely balanced the car was, as it was howling and twitching and jumping and trying, in vain, to kill us. 

The F40 will always be the best Supercar.  

It is not how fast you are going, but how fast it feels like you are going. 

Jay_W
Jay_W SuperDork
8/18/21 2:01 p.m.

In reply to trakktapedude :

Yer killing me... I'm dying o' jealousy here...

trakktapedude
trakktapedude New Reader
8/18/21 2:05 p.m.

In reply to Jay_W :

Believe me, I know how lucky I was.   

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
8/18/21 3:29 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I think that "balance point" cars are 100% dependent on your own age. For me, the demarcation line between the past and the future is the Maclaren f1. The f40 was always a classic, and never what the future looked like.

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/18/21 5:40 p.m.

When I was a kid the F40 was the only car I'd have traded internal organs for. It still is. There used to be a shop down the block from ours that had one and a 348 challenge car. Every time the door was open I'd have to go peek in at it. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/18/21 9:08 p.m.
CrustyRedXpress said:

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I think that "balance point" cars are 100% dependent on your own age. For me, the demarcation line between the past and the future is the Maclaren f1. The f40 was always a classic, and never what the future looked like.

Oh, the F40 wasn't "the future" by a long shot, it was the last gasp of the Old Ferrari, where Enzo ridiculed the people who would buy any crap he'd put out with his name on it.  That, and its combination of excess and singular purpose, is its charm.

It was a Group B homologation special that took a little too long in the oven, by the time it was done the party was over with.  Look at cars like the Lancia Delta Stradale (possibly mangled the name) for another Italian supercar that was clearly intended to meet a racing regulation, not be anywhere near "good" as a street vehicle.

Those days are probably never going to be back again, so the F40 is in a strong sense the last of its kind.  And what an exclamation point for that era!

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
8/18/21 9:21 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

If you want to "E36 M3 your pants" when hitting the accelerator, try a Mercrdes 300SD with a large truck barreling down on your position.  wink

Arguably the slowest car in the world, 0 to 10mph.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/18/21 9:23 p.m.
CrustyRedXpress said:

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I think that "balance point" cars are 100% dependent on your own age. For me, the demarcation line between the past and the future is the Maclaren f1. The f40 was always a classic, and never what the future looked like.

That's an interesting concept, and I'm not sure I ever felt that way. Maybe it's just because growing up during the late-70's & 80's in a rural environment devoid from anyone who embraced "modern" automotive technology left me believing that all the good/fast cars were built in the past? Though by the late-80's I'd experienced that turbo 4cyl cars weren't slow, and a few years later warmed up to fwd. 

Even at my peak of autocross & car culture involvement, while I was excited for new models like the WRX, Evo, S2000, etc. there never was a specific point in time where I felt a major transition. 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
8/18/21 9:30 p.m.

For that kind of money,  I'd still get a Mustang with enough left over for a few years of consumables and an engine rebuild. It'll make you E36 M3 your pants if you know what you're doing. Even if you don't, it will at least do it once.

 

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
8/18/21 10:32 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

I dunno-maybe I read too many car magazines as a kid? I grew up rural too and have never even seen an F1 IRL.

I feel the same way about music though. When I listened to "Kid A" (even thought I hated it at first) everything before it was suddenly old and everything after was new. 

 

11GTCS
11GTCS Dork
8/19/21 6:40 a.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

If you want to "E36 M3 your pants" when hitting the accelerator, try a Mercrdes 300SD with a large truck barreling down on your position.  wink

Whole new meaning to "rolling coal" eh?

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