Sold for $2,200,000 at 2014 Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction.
One of the final commands given by il Commendatore
before his death would be very straight-forward but not so easy to achieve. His command was to build the best car in the world. He would live just long enough to witness his factory's response.
Though his days were truly numbered, Enzo was still pointing the way forward for his company and that way forward included building the ultimate. This would be a daunting challenge laid down by the autocratic Ferrari. His factory needed to respond.
The Group B category had come to an end. Ferrari had been building the 288 GTO to compete within the category. When the series was brought to an end the company was left with some 288 GTOs with nowhere to go. The idea would be to turn them into road cars. Therefore, Ferrari had cars destined for the track no driving on the road. Always looking toward his legacy, Enzo would determine his factory should concentrate on building the ultimate expression of a track car for the street.
Utilizing Kevlar, carbon fiber and aluminum, Pininfarina would be given the task of designing a body to suit a chassis that made use of a 2.9-liter V8 that was twin-turbocharged and developing more than 470hp. Combining power with the aerodynamically-efficient Pininfarina body, the new F40, which celebrated Ferrari's 40th year as a manufacturer, was capable of going from zero to 60 in well under four seconds and was the first road legal car capable of breaking 200mph.
The F40 would make its debut in 1987 and Enzo would have the opportunity to see how his team responded to his challenge. Upon inspection of the car the indomitable figure would give his stamp of approval and would officially kick-off a whole new line of supercar that would eventually include others like the McLaren F1, the Enzo, Bugatti Veyron and many others.
During the early years of Ferrari the factory focused on building cars for the track, and then, de-tuning some for the street. The F40 would end up approaching the equation from the opposite point of view. Making its debut as a road legal supercar, it wouldn't take very long before new examples would be produced for racing.
The F40 was never intended for racing, but, seeing that it was the first road legal car to exceed 200mph it seemed a natural progression. As early as 1989, the F40 could be seen at the track. The first examples would be found in the GTO category as part of the IMSA series. Despite the power and the aerodynamics, the F40 still needed some changes to make it competitive within GTO racing. Therefore, the LM evolution would be constructed.
The F40LM would be a considerable improvement upon the original F40. The 3.0-liter engine would be tweaked. Aided by a Weber-Marelli electronic fuel injection, the twin-turbocharged V8 engine was now capable of more than 700bhp. Four-wheel disc brakes, four-wheel independent suspension and a front and rear diffuser all aided in the F40 becoming a fast, stable performer through the corners, as well as down the straights.
There would be just 19 F40LMs produced. Chassis 97893 would be the penultimate example. Though thoroughly race-ready, this particular example would never be raced. Initially, the F40 did not have a catalytic converter making them illegal in the United States due to emission standards. This particular example would be just one of two or three that would ever be produced and sent to the United States. Completed in early June of 1993, 97893 would end up in San Francisco at a dealership, the only dealership in the United States owned by the Ferrari factory itself.
Accumulating no mileage, the F40LM would be sold in November of 1994 and would make its way to Osaka, Japan. The car would arrive in Japan in early 1995. The first owner would be Art Sport. A little while later, another Japanese Ferrari collector would purchase the car. The F40 would remain with this collector until 2007, at which time another noted Japanese collector purchased the car.
The F40 has remained in Japan as part of a notable collection. However, in 2014, the F40 would return to the United States where it would be auctioned as part of Bonham's Quail Lodge event.
By Jeremy McMullen
A truly fine example of Enzo's ultimate road car, 97893 would not merely be one of the very few F40LMs, but it would be one of the even fewer to ever make the journey to the United States. This low mileage world traveler would end up selling for $2,200,000.
Sold for $2,200,000 at 2014 Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction.
Ferrari Enzo, in celebration of the company's 40th anniversary as a constructor under his own name, tasked his design team to 'Build a car to be the best in the world.' What they came up was a mid-engined, two-seater Berlinetta that was a development of the limited-production 288GTO. Its power unit was mounted longitudinally rather than transversely. It was a four-cam 3-liter V8 engine with four valves per cylinder and with the help of twin IHI turbochargers offered 478 BHP at 7000 RPM.
The body/chassis construction of the F40 drew inspiration from Ferrari's Formula 1 experience in its use of composite technology. A one-piece plastic molding, the body was bonded to the tubular steel chassis to create a lightweight structure of immense rigidity superior to an all-metal structure. The doors, bonnet, boot lid and other removable panels were carbon fiber. The style was courtesy of Pininfarina and fine-tuned through wind tunnel testing. It incorporated the latest aerodynamic aids in the form of a dam-shaped nose, and high rear aerofoil.
Inside, the F40 had body-contoured seats, an absence of carpeting and trim, and sliding Plexiglas windows. There was no ABS, no traction control, no electro-hydraulic paddle shifting and no stability control.
Top speed was achieved at 201 MPH and they had a sub-4 second 0-60 mph. Initially, just 400 of the F40s were planned to be produced. Even with their $250,000 price tag, they were extremely popular, and production continued until 1,315 were built by the time production ended in 1991.
The F40 was designed and built for the public. Competition was not in Ferrari's original plan for the F40 but Daniel Marin, managing director of French Ferrari importer Charles Pozzi SA, took the initiative and induced Ferrari to authorize Michelotto, the famed Padova Ferrari service center to construct a series of F40-based cars for racing under IMSA rules in the U.S.
This example is the 18th built out of a total production run of 19 cars. It was delivered new on June 8th, 1993, through Ferrari North America to their new Ferrari of San Francisco dealership. This makes it one of the very few F40LMs delivered new to the United States. Perhaps just two or three, at most, were delivered new to California.
The car was sold in November of 1994 to Art Sport of Osaka, Japan, and the car shipped to them. The car, having seen no mileage, arrived on the Japanese shores in March 1995. The car remained with Art Sport, still in as-new condition, before being sold to a Japanese Ferrari collector, who kept the car until about 2007, when it came into the care of its present owner, another Japanese collector.
This is the 19th of only 19 F40LMs produced. It has never raced and has extremely low mileage. It remains in factory original condition throughout.By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2014