Ferrari F40: Showpiece of the Week

Want an F40 to drive, not simply to ogle?

To understand better the allure of the Ferrari F40, which is as strong as it’s ever been 30-odd years after launch, think about what makes cars collectible nowadays. Not only does it carry that badge (Enzo’s very last sign off), it was a stripped out, no-holds-barred road racer, with a manual gearbox, feisty nature and limited production numbers. It was meant to be more limited, yes, but F40s still aren’t exactly common. Combine all that with it being the first production car to surpass 200mph, plus the incredible way it looks, and really it’s a surprise F40s aren’t worth even more money.

Of course, all this mystique and near-divine provenance stuff does result in a problem. Understandably given what the cars are worth, owners are mollycoddling F40s, feverishly protecting mileages going up to protect values. But the counter argument to that is the F40 being one of the most exhilarating, exciting, downright thrilling Ferraris to drive ever made, and therefore one of the most desirable road cars ever made too. To not drive an feels like a missed opportunity of mammoth proportions. But they’re worth a lot of money. And so the discussion goes around.

Look at the F40s currently for sale: most with four-figure mileages, some as low as just 4,000. Not this particular one, however: this 1990 F40 has covered 27,000 miles, or very nearly a thousand a year. It’s been used, driven and enjoyed for decades, probably in even better running condition than those museum exhibits and ready for another owner to do just the same while we still can. This F40 is never going to be one of the lowest mileage examples around, even if it stood still for the next 20 years, but crucially now the car has reached such a point of reverence that it’s never not going to be desirable. Imagine in 10 years time this car is for sale again with another 10,000 or so miles on it – somebody, somewhere is still going to want it. Aren’t they?

Set the PH classifieds criteria to a minimum price of £500,000 and a minimum mileage of 25,000 – as we all do on a regular basis, surely – and this F40 is the newest car there with a 959. Everything else with comparable mileages is much, much older, reflecting how rare it is to see a car like an F40 with some actual use behind it. In a world where the wealth of cars going straight to collections is better known than ever, that’s heartening to see.

Obviously though, this F40 is not some kind of baggy, neglected old hack – that just won’t happen now with the car’s reputation. It’s a non-cat and non-adjust (i.e. the most desirable spec), and has spent a decade in the UK – 2008 being the year it obtained Ferrari Classiche certification, too. It’s had four owners over here, has been sold by DK previously and comes with a fresh service from this September, plus the cambelt service in 2017. The crucial fuel tank replacement was done in 2013, so there’s a few years left in those, and there’s said to be plenty of carbon weave visible too. It’s hard to think of there being a more desirable F40 around.

Because, yes, there will be those even more pristine and even better suited to concours competitions. But why would you want to do that? Imagine the sensory overload of driving an F40 now instead, with nothing but your feet and hands to manage the twin-turbo V8: no power steering, no traction control, no ABS. The kerbweight of a supermini with the power, still, of a pretty serious sports car. It must be out of this world.

Now £885k is not a bargain to anybody, but it’s the most affordable F40 by hundreds of thousands of pounds and one that can continue to be enjoyed as intended – and not simply as an exhibit. Perhaps December isn’t the time to be spending the best part of a million on a 30 year-old Ferrari, but let’s hope someone can take the plunge at some point in the New Year. It looks like an opportunity not to be missed.

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