Last week I was taking my 84-year old grandmother out to breakfast in Wheatridge when in the distance I saw what I thought to be a Ferrari approaching. I quickly buried that hope because too many times I’ve made the mistake where I see a “Ferrari” that turns out to be a Mitsubishi 3000 GT.
When it got closer, I saw that it wasn’t the Mitsubishi but indeed a Ferrari, and not just any Ferrari. I was sure my eyes were deceiving me, but as it roared by I knew what I’d seen: the legendary F40. Called the “best supercar the world has ever seen” by Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond, this monster of a car began production in 1987 and was made to celebrate Ferrari’s 40th anniversary. It is also the last car personally approved by Enzo Ferrari himself.
Built to compete with the Porsche 959, the Ferrari F40 was powered by a 2.9L twin-turbocharged V8 that produced 478 horsepower. The car is very light and aerodynamic and is significant because it is the first production car in the world to have a top speed of over 200 mph. The Porsche, which was made the year before, had a top speed of 199.
When it was new, the F40 sold for roughly $400,000 ($830,000, adjusted for inflation) and today sells for just under $1,000,000. Even for a Ferrari that’s incredibly expensive, putting the F40 on the same price tier as revered cars like the McLaren P1, Porsche 918, and Ferrari’s current top dog, the LaFerrari.
Of the 1315 F40’s produced, less than 300 were imported into the United States, making them an incredibly rare sight. To put that into perspective, you are more likely to see a Bugatti Veyron on the streets than you are to see an F40. Never in my life did I think I’d get lucky enough to see one even in a show room, but to hear one roar by was a once in a lifetime experience that I’ll remember forever.
Since most of us aren’t lucky enough to own a real Ferrari, check out Nathan’s review of the Alfa Romeo 4C, the budget Ferrari!