The Ultimate Supercar? 1992 Ferrari F40 Survivor

While it may not be accurate for all of our Barn Finds readers, I’m sure that more than a few of you would have your “ultimate garage” defined in your head. These would be the cars that you would own if money were no object. My garage would be pretty eclectic, but it would undoubtedly include a Ferrari F40. It was the final model that was personally approved for production by the great Enzo Ferrari, and today, good examples will easily achieve seven-figure sale prices. This 1992 model is one of the last produced, and it is set to go to auction on August 13th in Carmel, California. It has been listed for sale here at Bonhams, and they have set the auction estimate at $1,500,000 – $1,800,000

While it was styled by Pininfarina, I’m not going to pretend that the F40 was the prettiest car that rolled out of the Ferrari factory. For me, the 458 Italia holds that distinction, but the company designed the F40 with a focus on function over form. As the car that was intended to celebrate the company’s 40th Anniversary, Mr. Ferrari was seeking to produce the ultimate supercar, meaning that aerodynamic efficiency, downforce, and effective cooling took precedence over appearance. That isn’t to say that the F40 is an ugly car, but its appearance is probably more purposeful than anything that had come before it. The car’s underpinnings utilize steel tubing, over which are draped panels made from plastic, composite materials, and aluminum. The company would have preferred to produce the entire vehicle from carbon composite, but there were some doubts at that point about how well these structural elements would survive over an extended timeframe. The exercise aimed to ensure that the production vehicle was as light as was physically possible, which is also why none of the windows are made from glass. All cars left the Ferrari factory finished in the iconic shade of Rosso Corsa, although some vehicles were repainted as per customer wishes before delivery. Even the paint demonstrated the company’s fixation about weight. Every ounce counted. It is common to find unrestored examples where the weave of the composite material is visible through the paint due to the practice of applying the thinnest coat possible. That doesn’t appear to be an issue with this F40. Its paint shines beautifully, with no evidence of physical damage or problems. The Plexiglass windows are in good order, while the distinctive 5-spoke alloy wheels look flawless.

For people who expected life in the lap of luxury for their considerable financial outlay, the F40’s interior came as a rude shock. Not only didn’t the buyer receive such touches as a radio, but carpet and sound-deadening materials also weren’t available. Ferrari even deleted door handles to save weight. The cord that you can see in the door pocket was the alternative that Ferrari employed. Ferrari offered air conditioning, but one motoring journalist claimed it was about as effective as a tiny mouse exhaling through a drinking straw! However, I can forgive all of these shortcomings when I spy that beautiful leather-wrapped wheel and the elegant gated shifter. The interior of our feature car is in as-new condition. The owner sourced genuine upholstery material and treated the interior to a retrim. The stitching work was completed by a company in Modena, and the finished pieces were shipped to the US for installation. Otherwise, everything is original, and it all presents as well as might be expected in a low-mileage survivor.

While Enzo Ferrari always stated a preference for engines with twelve cylinders, he was willing to reach a compromise with the F40. This car is a mid-engined classic supercar, and it has the drivetrain to justify that tag. It is powered by a 2,936cc V8 engine that features two IHI turbochargers. Power output is claimed to be 471hp, and this finds its way to the rear wheels via a 5-speed manual transaxle. Performance figures are legendary, with the ¼ mile being blitzed in 11.4 seconds before the car winds its way to 201mph. That last figure was vitally important to Mr. Ferrari. Porsche had recently released its legendary 959, which bristled with state-of-the-art technology. It was capable of touching 197mph, but Ferrari harbored the desire to produce something faster. They succeeded with the F40, and by breaking to 200mph barrier, they also scored a vital psychological victory over Porsche in the market and with the motoring press. Herein lays one of the reasons why the F40 appeals to me. I won’t deny that the 959 was probably a better and more civilized beast, but to me, the Ferrari was one of the last true driver’s cars. To extract peak performance, there was no traction control, electronic stability control, anti-lock breaks, and other aids of any description. Getting the best from the F40 demands finely-honed driving skills, and I’ve always felt that it sets this car apart from the competition. A vehicle loaded with technology will flatter to deceive, but the F40 is capable of exposing the truth. This Ferrari is in good mechanical order and has only accumulated 16,000 miles on the clock since it left the factory. The owner sourced an American catalytic converter and a pair of genuine IHI turbochargers last year, and he has had these installed. All of the major servicing is up-to-date, and all of the belts have been replaced as per the factory recommendations. It is ready to be driven and enjoyed by its lucky new owner.

If I had a fat wallet or an understanding bank manager, I wouldn’t hesitate to bid on this 1992 Ferrari F40. Unfortunately, since I have neither, I am forced to be an interested and envious spectator. I will be curious to see where the hammer falls because values have been increasing over the past couple of years. That brings me to the question of my dream garage. I have to admit that it would consist of an eclectic collection of classics. The F40 would be there, as would a 2005 Aston Martin V8 Vantage, a Series I Jaguar E-Type Roadster, and a 1987 BMW M3. I would throw in an early Mini Cooper S, a Subaru 360 Young S, a 1966 Mustang GT Fastback K-Code, a 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda, and a 1966 Dodge Charger Hemi. An odd assortment of cars? Undoubtedly. I would be interested to see what our readers would park in their garage if money were no object.

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Comments

  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    Not exactly a “Barn Find”.

    Like 6
    • RayT Member

      I dunno.

      If I had a barn — climate-controlled, secure and neat as a pin — and the spondulix to go with it, you might find a Ferrari or five in there. Maybe even a F40….

      Like 9
  2. Mitchell G. Member

    Barn Finds: Is the Ferrari F40 the ultimate supercar?
    McLaren F1: Am I a joke to you?

    Like 11
  3. Anthony M.

    LOL, man the whiners live everywhere. If people aren’t whining that it “isn’t a barn find” — they’re whining that it IS a barn find, but hasn’t been cleaned up for the photos.

    Man, move on or shut up and enjoy the photos and articles that are provided for your entertainment and/or education.

    People who suck: “Not exactly a barn find” — “Too many doors” — “I can’t believe they didn’t clean it” — “It’s not a big block” — “Whine, whine, whine, whine some more. Good GOD already…

    Great car… childhood dreamcar.

    Like 46
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      I just don’t care to read about high-end auctions
      I’d rather see stuff that the average person could
      possibly afford.

      Like 7
      • wuzjeepnowsaab

        @angliagt, that is what the page down button is for.

        Getting off your lawn now.

        Like 6
    • robert semrad

      Need to potty?

      Like 2
  4. RKS

    I bet this car is fun but I wonder if it would brake the bank to replace the breaks lol.

    Like 3
    • wizzy

      In the neighborhood of 40K for a complete brake job.

      Like 2
  5. qmmq

    I was a freshman in high school when the F40 came out. So…yes, for some of us this was the ultimate. Unless you were a Lambo dreamer, guess kinda like Chevy vs Ford, Honda vs Toyota.

    Like 3
  6. Valentine

    It sure has had a lot of repairs done for a 16,000 mile “survivor”… interior, turbos, exhaust, etc. Sounds like what it survived was a flood.

    Like 2
  7. SebastianX1/9

    Almost identical performance to a $90,000 F355.

    Like 2
    • ccrvtt

      Yeah yeah yeah…

      F40 0-60: 4.1 sec., 2007 Corvette 0-60: 4.2 sec.
      F40 1/4 mile: 12.2 sec., 2007 Corvette: 12.6 sec.
      F40 top speed: 201mph (alleged), 2007 Corvette: 186mph

      F40 price: $1,400,000, 2007 Corvette: $25,000 (or so)

      And which one do YOU want in YOUR garage?

      Like 4
      • wizzy

        it’s not all about speed, dude.

        Like 1
    • ccrvtt

      Almost identical performance to a $27,000 C6 Corvette, but I know what I’d rather have in MY garage.

      Like 2
      • Gary

        Yes, give me the Vette and the rest of the 1.5-2.0 million can go to a worthy cause. Might be fun on Earth to have the bragging rights that you own something that only very few alive today can afford, but will your mouth be flapping at the gates of Heaven?

        Like 5
  8. David Cantrell

    “ is ready to be driven and enjoyed by its lucky new owner.”

    That car will NEVER be driven more than a few feet and will most likely be put in a collection and sit for years until someone needs money. My steadfast rule is if you have a car, any car drive it. It’s found the car and you no good to never enjoy what it was built for…

    Like 2
    • wizzy

      Not necessarily, David. I have a client that drives his regularly.

      Like 2
    • David Cantrell

      More often than not people see these as investments. I’m happy atleast to know that some people out there drive them as intended.

      Like 1
  9. Jt

    I read Barn Finds every day. I skip over cars I have no interest in. One sure skip is every Firebird or GTO. Now someone’s blood pressure is rising as I dismiss the penultimate car in their world. My suggestion: Look at the title for the car, click on it if you want to see more or simply pass it by. The folks who have built Barn Finds into a piece that I look forward to everyday can put any vehicle they wish and none of us are required to like or read about any of them. Leave the whine for the cheese. My first lottery buy will be a nice F-40.

    Like 9
  10. Howie Mueler

    Even in my dreams this is out of my league.

    Like 4
  11. Rusty

    1964 250 gt lusso is by far the prettiest Ferrari ever made as far as I’m concerned. Anything post 1990 does nothing for me.

  12. JoeNYWF64

    Hardly what i would call an exotic dash.
    Crank windows, no a/c(let alone dual climate control), no cupholders, & no video screens – a younger passenger would no doubt be very upset inside this car.

    Like 1
    • wizzy

      Built for racing not comfort or glamour.

      Like 1
      • Gary

        No, built for profit, and sold because of prestige.

        Like 2
    • AllisC

      Hmmm. Sounds just like my Civic.

      I had a middle aged woman with me one day who said, “I’m sorry, but I can’t figured out how to open the window.” I explained about the crank handle…

  13. George Mattar

    Not a car for today’s pussy boys who drive air conditioned SUVs. And you actually have to shift it. God forbid you pansy boy. A close friend of mine wanted to buy a new F40 in 1991. He had the money. He planned to drive the car daily into Center City Philadelphia from the Main Line. The salesman at Algar Enterprises told my friend no spare tire. He didn’t buy the car. Truly one of Enzo’s greatest works.

    Like 2
  14. Arbymiller

    At some point in the past, I thought I recalled some automotive expert stating that, if it were possible to do, and that is a very large ‘if’, the aerodynamics on the F40 were such that at it’s top speed, it theoretically could drive upside down as the down force being generated would overcome the weight of the car and keep it ‘stuck’ to the ceiling.

    If that were possible, where does that leave a modern F1 car with all it’s active air management?

    Like 1
    • Dallas

      I think you’re thinking of the Porsche 962. Last time I was at the Porsche museum in Stuttgart they had one displayed upside down to illustrate the point.

  15. Bruce Ironmonger

    Went for a ride in one back in the 90’s. 140 mph out the back of Palm Springs. It was noisy, hard ride and uncomfortable but still an experience.

    Like 1
  16. araknid78

    Hammered home at $1,600,000 on 8/13/2021

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