If you grew up in the ’90s, there’s a good chance you had a Ferrari F40 Berlinetta slapped to your wall. The penultimate supercar of the late 1980s was a true piece of automotive ingenuity and the perfect embodiment of the Ferrari culture. Sleek, sexy and effortlessly powerful, the 1989 Ferrari F40 Berlinetta was peerless in its pursuit for cool and naturally, everyone wanted one. Flash forward thirty years and nothing has changed. At an auction held by Bonhams over the weekend, one of the finest examples ever seen went under the hammer, fetching an incredible €1,840,000 (AUD$2,914,008).
First introduced in 1988, the F40 was originally designed as a celebration of Enzo Ferrari’s 40 years at the automaker. Naturally, the supercar, which turned out to be the last vehicle he signed off on before his death, didn’t disappoint. It featured a mid-mounted 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V-8 that was paired with a five-speed manual transmission. That combination sent power to the rear wheels, making it capable of generating up to 471 horses and 426 ft-lbs of twist. It could also rocket the car from zero to 60 in 4.2 seconds and to a top speed of 201 mph, which briefly made it the fastest production car of all time.
Considering few vehicles of this vintage are offered publicly, the auction marked a special opportunity for collectors. Held in Belgium, the auction offered fans a chance to look at some serious impressive vehicles, including a 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24s Spider America and a 1968 Ferrari 365 GTC, however, all eyes were on the Berlinetta.
After spending much of the past three decades in storage, the vehicle was immaculately presented in near-perfect condition. With just 1,790 kilometres on the odometer and complete with all books and tools, the piece remains one of the most astounding vintage Ferraris to ever be offered.
“A desirable non-cat, non-adjustable model, this particular F40 was ordered new by the current vendor in June 1989,” Bonhams confirmed. “A passionate motoring enthusiast and Ferrari aficionado, the current owner had bought several new Ferraris since the 1970s. When the F40 came out, he instantly fell in love with it and ordered one as a loyal customer of Garage Francorchamps, the famous Belgian Ferrari dealership of Jacques Swaters, a personal friend of the owner. The F40 was ordered with the optional wind-up windows, which the owner considered more practical than the basic sliding windows. He also ordered air conditioning.”
While initial estimates had placed the 1989 Ferrari F40 Berlinetta at around USD$1.7 million, interest swelled, pushing the figure up. Bonhams confirmed the final figure of €1,840,000 (AUD$2,914,008) on Monday which, while enormous, surprised no one. A pristine condition example of one of the finest road cars ever built? How could you put a price on that?