Arizona

19 - 20 January 2012

Lot 258

1991 Ferrari F40 Berlinetta

To be auctioned on Friday, January 20, 2012

Sold for $781,000

  • Chassis no. ZFFMN34A7M0087345


471 bhp (SAE), 2,936 cc mid-mounted V-8 engine with dual overhead camshafts per cylinder bank, four valves per cylinder, Weber-Marelli engine management and port fuel injection, twin IHI turbochargers, Behr air-to-air intercoolers, five-speed manual gearbox in rear transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension with unequal-length A-arms, coil springs and anti-roll bar, and four-wheel ventilated hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 96.5"

• Less than 300 miles from new and well documented; still on original MSO
• Three owners from new, originally owned by Lee Iacocca
• An enduring supercar icon, the last Ferrari under Il Commendatore

Introduced in 1987, Ferrari’s F40 supercar was nothing less than a shock to the senses and a masterful combination of raw-edge, radical styling with state-of-the-art technologies used throughout its engine, body and chassis designs. Without question, driving an F40 is truly a visceral experience, hammering the senses with brutal acceleration, go-kart quick reflexes and a howling exhaust note that is music to the ears of the devoted enthusiast. The overall experience is addictive—a powerful narcotic even.

Conceived in 1986, the F40 project was intended to celebrate Ferrari’s landmark 40th anniversary. Il Commendatore, Enzo Ferrari, is reported to have said, “Let’s make something special for next year’s celebrations in the way we used to do it.” A friend of Ferrari, Gino Rancati, who received a silver plaque to commemorate the occasion, suggested the car’s name. It was inscribed, “To Gino Rancati for a brilliant idea.” An accompanying letter said:

Dear Rancati, with this plaque I want to commemorate our meeting on the 4th June when you kindly contributed to the choice of name for the GT car we presented at the Frankfurt motor show. Your contribution has produced excellent results—the ‘F forty’, based on the idea of forty years of Ferrari cars, identifies and personalizes the fastest Ferrari GT. Kindest regards. G.B. Razelli.

Poignantly, next to this, in slightly shaky script with violet ink, was, “To Signor Gino, Ferrari.” Sadly, the F40 was to be the last car that Enzo Ferrari would see launched by the company he founded.

In true Ferrari tradition, the F40 bridged the gap between the company’s road cars and racing cars, representing a further progression of the 288 GTO Evoluzione. Cost-no-object engineering produced technical specifications that remain the stuff of fantasy even by today’s jaded standards. A carbon-fiber and Kevlar-reinforced steel space frame chassis with composite body panels was mated to an Evoluzione twin-turbocharged and intercooled four-cam, port-injected V-8 engine, controlled by a race-proven Weber-Marelli engine management system and producing close to 500 bhp.

Weighing just 1,100 kilograms, the F40 was capable of blinding performance. Fast Lane magazine road tested the F40 in the late 1980s, achieving zero-to-60 times of just 3.9 seconds. From a standstill, Ferrari’s supercar accelerated to 100 mph in just 7.8 seconds and to 140 mph in 14 seconds! Independent testing revealed even quicker acceleration times. Regardless of the source, the F40 proved to be the fastest road car ever produced, and its performance abilities remain simply staggering in every respect today.

While the initial production run was limited to about 400 examples, the market demand was so overwhelming, even with the car’s stratospheric price tag, that production continued until 1,315 F40s were built by the time production ended in 1991. American Ferrari enthusiasts, however, had to wait until 1990 for the chance to own one. With such strong demand, U.S.-specification cars traded at premiums of many thousands of dollars above their list price in the heady “supercar” market of the time. Over a three-year period, only 213 examples of the F40 were built for the U.S. market.

While every F40 is “special” indeed, this example from 1991 has covered fewer than 300 miles from new, and it is still unregistered and listed on its Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO). As the 94th of the 213 U.S.-specification F40s, it was produced during October 1990. With just three owners from new, its original owner was none other than the famed American automotive executive and business leader Lee Iacocca. Having recently received a major service by Patrick Ottis, the noted Ferrari marque specialist, the F40 is now offered from the current owner’s impressive private collection and complete with extensive documentation confirming the former ownership of Mr. Iacocca. Among the documents are such items as the Ferrari Certificate of Origin dated October 12, 1990, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency letter, Italian export paperwork, an engraved “Built Especially for Lee Iacocca” card, the Owner’s Warranty and Service Book, the warranty card and one piece of personal correspondence. A genuine “blue chip” investment-quality exotic automobile, this 1991 F40 will certainly continue to top the Ferrari collector’s wish list for many years to come.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

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California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

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Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

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New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Political Science. ... read more

Jack Boxstrom

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+1 818 703 2816
Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

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United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Peter Giddings

pgiddings@rmauctions.com

+1 925 831 2048
California, United States

A life-long car enthusiast, Peter joined RM’s California office with over half a century of experience in the automotive and rac... read more

Peter Blond

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United Kingdom

Peter Blond joined the RM Europe team in 2013 after being immersed in the collector car industry for more than 60 years. An... read more

Rob Myers

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Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

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California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more

Jeff Whiteside

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Ontario, Canada

Jeff Whiteside joined RM Auctions as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer following almost three decades in a diverse r... read more