That isn’t just any Ferrari F40 burning to the ground… that’s a piece of Ferrari history! Yeah, it’s the extremely rare F40 prototype that was unveiled at the 1987 Frankfurt Autoshow. And only 8 were ever made!
This isn’t the first one to go up in flames either. It seems they’re becoming a true endangered species! And someone buy that guy with the garden hose a drink, he’s now a patron saint of the car community!
So, why is this such a sad day for automotive history? And what makes the F40 so special?
History of the F40
Let’s take a step back to before the Ferrari F40 was even an idea. See, Ferrari created the 288 GTO supercar in the 80’s to compete, and win, in the wildly exciting Group B rally class! But, Group B was sadly discontinued in 1986 due to safety concerns. No kidding. Manufacturers exploring new technologies for insane amounts of horsepower, wild body kits, and drivers with balls bigger than grapefruits made this one of the craziest motorsports of all time! It was literally the most insane racing ever!
And it’s crazy Ferrari wanted a piece of the action… But when Group B was discontinued, Ferrari had 5 championship-ready 288 GTO Evoluzione cars, and nowhere to race them! Such a shame. And that very same year, 1986, Porsche launched the gorgeous, tech-forward 959, which had the looks of a German supermodel and tech that no one could match. It was the fastest, most modern sports car in the world, with a complex all-wheel drive system with variable electronically-controlled torque distribution, tire pressure monitoring systems, which was a first, and a 3.3-liter turbo engine pushing 444 horsepower to power this extremely lightweight shell.
Lets just say, your boy Enzo Ferrari noticed, and like all great competitors do, he wanted to not only compete with the 959, he wanted to win! Since Ferrari was founded in 1947, Mr. Enzo Ferrari himself wanted to build a masterpiece to celebrate its 40th anniversary, and more importantly, show his friends over at Porsche who was king! And boy, oh boy, he drummed up something legendary!
What Made the F40 Special
While the 959 was tech-forward, the Ferrari F40 went down a different path, and Enzo made one of the last great analog supercars. It really was a simple recipe, kind of like grandma’s chocolate chip cookies, only the best ingredients, and made with love.
The Ferrari F40 was made up of 3 things: lots of power, low weight, and no nannies to save the nut behind the wheel. Just look at the thing. The beautiful body design was penned by his friends at Pininfarina, and was made out of advanced materials like kevlar and carbon fiber to not only keep the weight off, but to also provide structural rigidity. And to save even more weight, there were no carpets, no power windows, stereo deleted, and even no power steering. Even on the inside, there aren’t any door handles! Just a little piece of string to pull the door closed!
We all know Ferrari is synonymous with naturally -aspirated screamers. You know, the beautiful V8s and V12s of yesteryear. Yet, Enzo and his boys had a little trick up their sleeve that wasn’t normally associated with Ferrari’s rev-happy motors: forced induction! Yeah, the 2.9-liter received not just one, but two turbochargers to pump out 478 horsepower. And unlike turbochargers introduced in the next decade, like sequential turbochargers on the 2-J that decrease turbo lag, the F40 had old school, zero-to-hero snails that came on like a freight train at around 4000 RPM. I bet the devil himself would be scared to drive this thing!
And how much did this mid-engine, rear-wheel drive supercar weigh? Just a little more than my brother used to tell all his friends I weighed, at just 2,425 pounds, which is extremely light for a road car. This lightweight build gave it the ability to casually reach a top speed of 201 miles per hour, which low-key is the first road legal car to actually have a triple digit top speed that started with a 2!
The F40’s Insane Pricetag
The iconic Ferrari F40, which was built to celebrate 40 years of Ferrari, hence the name, is now over 30 years old, and goes down as one of the most celebrated vehicles of all time! And to get your paws on a regular F40 these days, it’ll cost you… about $1.5 million! And the hyper-rare, and super combustible, prototype F40? Well, let’s just say auctions for those don’t have the prices listed. So, imagine a big number and then double it.
So, you could buy that, or I have an idea, you buy one of these Ferraris that you actually can afford and buy me a mansion with money you save!Just a recommendation.
Anyway, it’s truly sad to see that this valuable and historically important F40 burnt to a crisp in Monaco. However, there are rumors that it’s going to be rebuilt. Until then, I’ll say my daily prayer for this departed F40.