2012 is the 25th birthday year of the Ferrari F40! Who doesn’t love this absolute classic? What a car! So, how is the car world celebrating?
2012′s Silverstone Classic on 20th to 22nd July will feature the largest get together of F40s there has ever been. About 50 cars will be present for the special event which has been organised by the Ferrari Owners’ Club. The last time such a gathering took place was at the 2007 Silverstone Classic, where 40 enthusiasts and their Ferrari F40s got together.
Catalunya Classic Revival
Celebrations have already been held in Spain, as fans of the Ferrari F40 met at the Catalunya Classic Revival (Espiritu De Montjuic) over 20th to 22nd April. According to Top Gear, seven F40s met with two F50s, a 288 GTO, an Enzo, a 250 GT SWB, a Testarossa and a Mondial for a burn around the circuit – sounds like a fantastic line-up!
The F40 tradition
How did it all begin? Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari commissioned the F40 in 1987 to mark Ferrari’s 40th anniversary, hence the name F40.
You’d think Ferrari would have a clue just how successful and popular the F40 would be, yet, at £200,000 a go, they only made 1,315 cars. This is despite the eighties being a time of financial excess and power suits, when it was pretty much the style to be tearing around in a red sportscar!
And so, there was a huge demand for the sports coupé, and the F40 went on to become one of the most profitable cars in Ferrari history. It was so popular that legend has it some paid as much as £1 million for their F40!
How did it perform? In its heyday the F40 held the record as the world’s fastest production car, with a top speed of 201.4 miles per hour. Its mid-engine rear wheel (RMR) configuration is typical of sports car designs and gives favourable weight dynamics.
Enzo Ferrari had predicted that the F40 would be the last car to be commissioned by him before his death. This predication proved accurate when he died a year later aged 90.
The design of the F40 body was undertaken by the legendary Pininfarina. With the late Sergio Pininfarina at the head of the company, it was built using ultra-light weight carbon fibre and Kevlar panels and also featured plastic windows. It was built in Maranello, home of the Ferrari factory, in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy.
Production of the car stopped in 1992 and by 1995, the F40 was to be succeeded by the F50 in GT1 racing, however only three racing F50s were produced, and they never competed. A prototype, the F50 GT, was developed to compete in GT1-class racing. The car was faster than the consistently outclassed 333 SP, yet Ferrari did not continue with the F50 GT, and put their efforts into Formula One racing. The three chassis Ferrari built were subsequently sold off.
On Top Gear, Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson both refer to the F40 as the “greatest supercar the world had ever seen”. Jeremy Clarkson also said “the F40 is one of the most beautiful cars ever made”.
DJ Chris Evans has a collection of 11 Ferraris including the Ferrari F40; along with a 288 GTO, limited edition SA Aperta, and a custom 250 GT.
Car number plates for the Ferrari F40
The Ferrari F40 is a great car to match a car number plate to. The F series of the prefix range will suit the age of the car provided it was not built before 1988. F40 would be the ideal prefix range to start with.
The F40 in popular culture
The Ferrari F40 is famous, and for good reason. It’s been seen in Gone in Sixty Seconds, The Simpsons, Jamiroquai’s Cosmic Girl music video, South Park, American Dad, and countless episodes of Top Gear; check the films and appearances the F40 has made at the Internet Movie Cars Database.
Several used Ferrari F40s are currently available on Autotrader’s website, starting at £349,850 and several more Ferrari F40s for sale on Pistonheads’ website.
This car has a rich and well-deserved place in history and is undoubtedly one of the best supercars ever made. For such a price it didn’t even have “luxuries” like a stereo, or carpets, yet its power and beautiful styling led the way.
The Ferrari F40 really captures the essence of a generation. How are you celebrating its 25th birthday?