Snarling Beast: 1990 Ferrari F40

At Ferrari, there was racing, and then there were cars that must be sold to support racing, and then there were road cars that were race cars in disguise. The first of these was the 288 GTO, a supercar that arrived in 1984. Twin-turbocharged and capable of 190 mph, the 288 GTO was later homologated for Group B racing, creating the 288 GTO Evoluzione. Carrying 650 hp in its rear and capable of 225 mph, the Evoluzione project was brought to a halt when Group B was canceled. All dressed up with nowhere to go, the Evoluzione still had a role to play: a factory test driver managed to convince Ferrari to civilize the concept for road use, and thus was born the F40. With its composite body, liberal use of Lexan (rear deck, windows), integrated roll cage, carbon fiber interior, and 470 hp engine, the F40 was so fast that its retail price included a trip to Maranello to learn to drive it. No such advantage now that it’s a used car, but the well-heeled will still want to take note of this 1990 Ferrari F40 up for auction with Gooding & Company at Amelia Island on March 2. Plan to spend $3.0 to $3.5 million. Thanks to Araknid78 for this exotic tip!

The motor is a 2.9-liter derivation of the 288 GTO V8 engine, equipped with twin turbos, two Behr intercoolers, and a Weber-Marelli fuel injection system – all mated to a five-speed synchromesh gearbox. Claimed output was 478 hp. The car was capable of reaching 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. Its top speed was 200 mph. Adjustable suspension enhanced the handling, and 13″ cross-drilled ventilated brakes could bring the car to a halt from 70 mph in less than 220 feet. This particular car has just 1236 miles on the clock, and of course, impeccable provenance with ownership history from new, manuals, its Red Book, and a complete tool set.

The interior is Spartan, with fabric-covered seats, carbon fiber interior panels, felt-covered dash (reduces glare), no glovebox, drilled pedals, and gated shift. Early cars had windows that slid open; this later car has window winders. But none had door handles, just a pull cord. In a slight nod to creature comforts, air conditioning was standard, though not reputed to be particularly effective. You don’t so much sit in the F40 as wear it.

Designed by Pininfarina, the F40 could be had in any color, so long as it was red. The car’s arrival in 1987 was met with furious jockeying for a place in line to obtain a copy – a fact that may have been gratifying to Enzo Ferrari, who passed away one year and three weeks after the first F40 rolled onto a road. Originally the factory planned to make 400 F40s, but demand was so great that the final number settled at 1315 when production ended in 1992. This example is as fine as any available, with a major service performed six months ago at a cost just shy of $30k. As momentous as the estimate may seem, past sales justify the range.


  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Another ‘90’s iconic car-how many posters were sold, adorning the walls of not just schoolboys (and more than a few very interesting schoolgirls) bedrooms but garages ranging from classy commercial to shade tree shacks?
    This is a car that for its time was reputedly the closest you could get to flying a jet at ground level-this is Ferrari’s version of a four wheeled cockpit.
    You know how to pick ‘em, Michelle.👍🏻

    Like 8
  2. jnard90 jnard90 Member

    Nice write up on an iconic vehicle.

    Like 6
  3. Big C

    2023 Mustang GT. 470hp. 150+mph. $44,000. And I can hear the stereo, and it’s “service” doesn’t cost the price of a used one.

    Like 9
    • Bobby

      Impossible to compare a mustang to an F40. They are light years different and the price obviously reflects that.

      Like 29
    • wuzjeepnowsaab

      It’s not just a silly comparison, it’s an irrelevant one. Go sit in the corner and think about what you did.

      Like 26
      • Big C

        Figures a Saab driver would chime in.

        Like 4
    • Bob P

      But you’re still just driving a Ford.

      Like 17
      • Solosolo UK

        Nothing wrong with that as there is nothing wrong with a Ford, however, it will never compete successfully with a Ferrari.

        Like 0
    • Tracy

      And while your Mustang is dropping like a rock in value this car is increasing by the value of you mustang every year!

      Like 18
      • Grant

        Ridiculous. Buy the Mustang, and if you have the extra money to buy this, invest in something else with what is left over. Something tangible. I say, buy land. No matter what the economy does, that is never going out of style. The rich boys who buy these for investments will eventually get bored and move on to something else. Who knows, art, totem poles, web toed women, whatever. The point is, cars are for driving,not for investments, period. I could care less if my Mustang (that costs a twentieth of the price) drops in value. I don’t mind paying for an experience. For what this thing is worth, do you think it will ever get driven? All this is good for is for bragging rights at some country club. That, and luring pretty gold diggers into your bed. The gold digger could really care less about the car, what she wants is your money, the car just shows that you have a lot of it. (gosh, and you thought it was your animal magnetism!) Just show her your other investments, that will be enough to have her warm your bed.

        Like 10
      • Big C

        And while your supercar is in the shop, getting the engine pulled for the second time for it’s next service? I’ll be sure and wave.

        Like 2
    • ABikePeddler

      And you end up owning a Ford Mustang not to mention you own a depreciating asset. The Ferrari on the other hand has proven to be a massively appreciating asset. 10 years ago an F40 would set you back $700,000. 10 years later it’s worth 2.7 million dollars more.

      Like 1
  4. Rob

    F yes! Better than Playboy. Back when cars lacked nanny controls; you had to actually know how to drive it or pay the price.

    Like 10
  5. George Mattar

    A real car you have to drive. No stupid paddle shifters for an 18 year old who can’t drive stick. Greatest Ferrari ever.

    Like 0
  6. Stefan Desimone

    F-40 the only Ferrari F1 car for the street but if you cant drive this is not the one for you ! This is a drivers street F1 Race Car. I was so lucky when I was able to go for a ride in one and nothing I was ever in is even close, ENZO’s Master peace

    Like 5
  7. Howie

    Count me out, way out!!

    Like 2
  8. douglas hunt

    not my favorite Ferrari, yet I certainly appreciate its raw performance.
    Definitely no comparing it to a modern car or a mustangc[sic]
    It just screams that exotic vibe like few others ….

    Like 1
  9. Neal Jacobsen

    Well everybody, if you can afford 3.5
    Million for the Ferrari,
    $30,000 for maintenance check would be no problem. Keep that in mind. None of the people who responded could ever buy this car. I can tell by your answers. Compare to a Mustang? Yes, you really need to get a time out and sit in the corner while you think about what said. Even a $300,000 Corvette is no comparison. These are in a class along with Lamborghini, etc.
    A mustang? It’s like comparing a corvair to C8/Z06 Corvette. Just not possible. Before all of you Hollar back at me I will say I like Mustangs. But let’s keep any kind of comparison in the real world. Thanks everyone!

    Like 2
    • Brian

      But when I win the lotto !! LOL

      Like 1
    • Grant

      3.5 million? The world is full of hungry children. How could a buyer for something so frivolous ever live with themselves? It is said that a rich mans reward is here on Earth, not where the greatest pleasures are found. Enjoy your fancy toy.

      Like 2
    • Big C

      So, you’re rich, and you like spending money. I get it. And, I’ve got somewhere for you to sit, too.

      Like 1
  10. Neal Jacobsen

    I, for one could not even afford to buy a couple of wheel ług nuts for this car. It is way out of my class too! But, you know it would be fun to get a ride in it and go by the snobs I graduated with. Thumb my nose at them. Just once.
    Anyway, it was nice to see the car. My first love was always Ferrari as a kid. This is not a Minnesota car as our roads and pot holes would tear it apart. Let’s move on to the GTO’s and Mustang’s of the world. In our class!
    Have a great week Grant!

    Like 1
  11. Stefan Desimone

    F40 why is a Rustang even talked about ?

    Like 3

    All us car nuts know what an F-40 is, and know that the vast majority will never ride in one or drive one, let alone own one … we can only hope to come (far away) close … my other dream car is the 250 GT California but I’ve settled for a Nissan 350Z 6-speed Roadster – 162mph and 35mpg, but not at the same time, and zero problems after 19 years with 3000 mile oil changes and 108k miles on the same clutch …

    Like 1
    • douglas hunt

      yep, my favorite Ferrari is the Boxer, followed closely by the Daytona…I too will never own one, but does not stop me from appreciating them for what they are.
      while I have gravitated towards the German cars, previously owning a e46 coupe, and now I am playing with an Audi TT mk1, while daily driving a mk4 GTI

      Like 0
    • 370zpp 370zpp Member

      Jon., we all have dream cars, yes. And waking up from that dream to a Z Car is something I completely agree with.
      The simple phrase that stays with me; “Bang for your Buck”

      Like 1
  13. Melton Mooney

    There is a ‘kid’ in my town who owns an F40 and several other supercars. I’ve heard he’s in his early 20s. He invented something when he was in high school or something like that. He also owns Paul Walker’s (from those car movies) personal Nissan GTR. The F40 and GTR were at a local show recently parked alongside the usual car show fare. No barriers, no ropes, just sitting there. Class act.

    Like 1
  14. MLM

    Like the Ferrari 250 GTO, this is also one I will probably never ride in let alone own one, but I am still content in life. No you can’t compare a Mustang(nor one of it’s ’80s rivals which I own one a Buick Grand National) but probably like the Mustang owners, I still have a smile on my face and still content and grateful.

    Like 0

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