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RE: Ferrari F40: PH Used Buying Guide

RE: Ferrari F40: PH Used Buying Guide

Thursday 7th December

Ferrari F40: PH Used Buying Guide

Lucky enough to be in the market for Ferrari's most hallowed supercar? Here's what you need to know.



As Ferrari celebrates its 70th anniversary, the F40 stands as a reminder of how it raged against its middle-age back in 1987. Like so many mid-life crises, the Italian firm got itself an all-out supercar, but this one was just a bit more special than the others.

For starters, the F40 was the last car to be signed off by Enzo Ferrari himself, so it has the caché of coming from the classic era. Then there are the performance figures: 202mph flat out and 0-60mph in 4.1 seconds. Oh, and that acceleration time was a conservative number from the factory, with contemporary road tests recording 3.7 seconds.


It was also hugely expensive when launched in 1987, costing £160,000 landed in the UK. Unlike today, where there's a plethora of ways to blow large six figure sums on cars, the F40 stood out like a big red sore thumb on the price lists.

The cost was supposed to have bought its lucky owners exclusivity, as Ferrari planned to build only 400. However, bowled over by demand, the Italian firm ended up making 1315, with 78 reckoned to have originally made it to these shores. All F40s were left-hand drive and finished in Rosso Corsa - though abound of particular cars which left the factory in other colours - some have been repainted and others have ended up as race cars.

For a limited run car, the F40 had an enduring lifespan and the last was only delivered in 1992. Later cars, from 1991-on, came with catalytic converters and adjustable suspension to address some criticism of the car's low nose when trying to get up inclined driveways or over speed bumps.


This tells us the F40 was always intended as a road car, but its spec reads more like a racer's. The 2.9-litre V8 was fitted with twin IHI water-cooled turbos and pushed air into the engine via two Behr intercoolers. There was a large dollop of turbo lag until they came on boost and delivered a huge blast of acceleration to make this one of the most exciting Ferraris to drive. The result was 478hp at 7,000rpm and 426lb ft of torque.

In today's terms, that doesn't sound a lot, but the F40 weighs 1,100kg dry thanks to carbon fibre bodywork and being unencumbered by modern safety kit. Performance like that makes the F40 just as addictive to drive now as it was when launched, and this has kept prices up despite it being more numerous than many limited edition Ferraris. One thing you will want to look for is a Classiche certificate from the factory to guarantee any car you buy is as it should be.

Inspired? Search for Ferrari F40s in the PH classfieds.



Bodywork and interior

Carbon-Kevlar is used for the body panels and is expensive to repair - look for any signs of damage or cracks.

Check you can see the weave of the carbon-Kevlar material through the paint as the colour coat was very thinly applied from the factory. Panels should be unpainted on the underside.

Green sealant along joints is original from new or a sign of a knowledgeable owner or restorer.

The front splitter is prone to damage from kerbs and speed bumps.

Some cars have Perspex side windows that are lighter but scratch easily.

Perspex is also used for the engine cover and is pricey to replace if it's damaged.

Look underneath for any damage or cracks on the chassis tubes.

The driver's seat bolster wears but can be repaired easily.

Interior trim is fragile but it's all available from Ferrari - at a price.

If air conditioning is fitted, make sure it works as it makes the F40 a much more pleasant place to be.


Engine and transmission

Watch for any signs of smoke from the exhausts when the car is started or under acceleration - if either turbocharger has failed, it's expensive to put right.

Worn turbos will also be noticeable by increased noise and reduced performance.

A routine service is every 3,000 miles and should be around £1,000 at a specialist.

The cambelt should be replaced every two years or 6,000 miles. Reckon on this costing £2,000.

Oil leaks from any gasket or pipe in the engine must be attended to immediately - the cam covers are a known point for leaks and hot turbos and exhausts will soon ignite any errant oil.

The gearbox is tough but, in typical Ferrari fashion, needs to warm up before it works smoothly.

The clutch should last well with a sympathetic driver and many will cover 20,000 miles before needing replacement. City driving and less careful drivers can reduce clutch life to 5,000 miles with a replacement costing around £4,000 fitted.

Watch for blocked or corroded pipes for fuel and oil on any car that has not been used regularly.

Fuses are a weak point with the F40, so any car with an uprated fuse box is a good bet.

The fuel pump's plastic cover breaks, an aluminium replacement is available and worthwhile.

The rubber fuel cells degrade and should be replaced every 10 years - some US-spec F40s have aluminium tanks that avoid this problem.


Suspension and steering

Unequal length wishbones front and rear are durable, but make sure tyre wear is even across the full width of the tyre as a sign of proper alignment.

The later adjustable suspension set-up is now regarded as less desirable as parts are tricky and expensive to come by.


Wheels, tyres and brakes

Brakes are the F40's only real weakness. They are the first thing that will give up during track use and even fast road driving can see them fade. A full replacement set of discs and pads is £6,000 and, for track use, competition-spec brakes are a good investment.

The 17-inch alloy wheels are each held on by a single nut to a Rudge hub. This can be tricky to use when removing the wheels, so look for damage and check the specific tool for the job is still in the original tool roll.

Original Pirelli P-Zero rubber can be difficult to find, so don't dismiss a car running on another premium set.


SPECIFICATION - FERRARI F40

Engine: 2,936cc, V8 turbocharged
Transmission: 5 -speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 478@7,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 426@4,000rpm
MPG: 27.4*
CO2: N/A
Price new: £160,000
Price now: £850,000 upwards

Author
Discussion

V8 FOU

Original Poster:

2,275 posts

71 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Hmm.....
1100kg. That's less than that VW Polo you are getting moist about......

Progress. Not.

Never liked the F40 that much BTW

findlay_MX

69 posts

122 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Excellent to see that PH are not afraid of some real-world consumer advice, if a year or so too late. The last F40 I bought was an absolute bucket. It had even been fitted with an ancient Subaru Brat bodykit and a front-engine boxer unit. I was had I tell you.

Limpet

2,470 posts

85 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
One of my all time favourite cars, but what possible excuse is there for a 2 year / 6,000 mile cam belt life?

Pie-n-Peys

119 posts

42 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
This has to be the most pointless PH buying guide ever.

As if anyone who's in a position to buy one of these would be reading this as a guide.

xjay1337

9,270 posts

42 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Very useful buying advice.

As if anyone buying an F40 would actually need any advice..... it's not a Honda Civic.

Interesting reading but I have to be honest - I don't see the point.
Advertisement

sc0tt

14,815 posts

125 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
I'll leave this here.

Turn up your speakers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYYA2jE3Ze0


IanCress

3,981 posts

90 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Still waiting for them to dip below £10k.

[checks glasses guide]

No, not yet.

cib24

557 posts

77 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
xjay1337 said:
Very useful buying advice.

As if anyone buying an F40 would actually need any advice..... it's not a Honda Civic.

Interesting reading but I have to be honest - I don't see the point.
Website clicks bro.

matrignano

1,575 posts

134 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
It's spelled "cachet".

Krikkit

11,048 posts

105 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Lighten up guys, what's wrong with a bit of fun?

hondansx

2,946 posts

149 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
No idea how anyone would find this offensive; miserable bunch you lot are.

Would be cool to have some ownership perspectives. I know a guy with one for sale and it has the adjustable suspension, something people are afraid of but something he felt was really useful. It would be good to know about the little details like that, as well as of course running costs just out of fanciful curiosity!

CS Garth

1,304 posts

29 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Pie-n-Peys said:
This has to be the most pointless PH buying guide ever.

As if anyone who's in a position to buy one of these would be reading this as a guide.
At Xmas Autocar do a road test of a random vehicle Concorde, Oil Tankers etc. It's a bit of light relief.

La Liga

9,571 posts

80 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
I love the clip of Mansell in his flat cap biggrinhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRp_NKynITs

Gameface

132 posts

1 month

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
For years I've been undecided about purchasing an F40, but now with this guide to hand, I have the knowledge to safely proceed and fulfil my dream.

Thank you Pistonheads.

Vocal Minority

7,710 posts

76 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Pie-n-Peys said:
This has to be the most pointless PH buying guide ever.

As if anyone who's in a position to buy one of these would be reading this as a guide.
I bet your wife married you for your sense of humour....


xjay1337 said:
Very useful buying advice.



Interesting reading but I have to be honest - I don't see the point.
Hopefully a little light editing to shed some light on the point....

cookie1600

810 posts

85 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Ha!!! It's like a buyers guide for a Rembrandt or a Monet. If you want one and have the dosh, then you know what you are looking at and what the individual history is. I'd be surprised if there are many (any) rough ones out there - I bet even the TaxTheRich GT was looked after very well, despite the ragging and final possible combustion (was it theirs?).

As to only being LHD and Rosso Corsa leaving the factory. Well partly true, they did actually leave the factory like that but at least seven (some say 10) went straight to Pininfarina where Paolo Garella oversaw conversion to RHD using the 328 steering rack and application of different paint jobs for His Majesty Hassanal Bolkiah - The Sultan of Brunei (or more likely his bother is Royal Highness, Muda Haji Jefri Bolkiah)





Those that believe he bought 10 right-hook F40's say they were numbered:

80756 Dark Green
78426 Giallo Modena ( http://talacrest.com/Ferraris-Sold/Ferrari-F40-RHD... ) Also thought to be tuned to 650 bhp
94759 Red
85074 Anthracite
91238 Black
92235 Red
87455 White
89431 Black
90680 Silver
91283 Gun metal grey

One of the black ones, a F40 LM got black leather interior, air conditioning and 'leccy windows - sacrilege. The gun metal one got a full Testarossa interior but was converted back to Rosso Cora and standard interior with 'LM' seats by DK Engineering here in the UK:





Then there's the Gas Monkey one......


CaptainRAVE

261 posts

36 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
An absolute childhood favorite and now classic that has aged reasonably well (minus the rear) and seems to cost a fortune to run. Drove behind one for a while and the fumes coming out blew me away - sounded brilliant though, as do all Ferraris. Engines have come a long way though.

sdiggle

11 posts

14 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Thanks, you've just saved me from buying a dud through Exchange & Mart!

big_rob_sydney

1,967 posts

118 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Cookie, thanks for sharing that. The car is special enough as it is, but these RHD versions are just next level.

DrSteveBrule

1,386 posts

55 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Doh! I bought an F40 only yesterday; why oh why didn't I wait 24 hours for this guide?

There's not even a mention of the rare 4 door version with a Ford Orion front end, back end and middle section that my one boasts.

Joking aside, there's not a lot I wouldn't do to own one or even simply be a passenger in one. I'll take the Sultan's grey RHD one please.