For its 40th anniversary, Ferrari produced the cleverly named F40 in 1987. Eagle-eyed Ferrari aficionados have no doubt noted a resemblance to the 288 GTO. This is because it's based on a race-prepped Ferrari 288 that never really got to race. When the big 4-0 came around, it was easy enough to rework the racer into a street-legal special edition. There were supposed to be only 400 of these cars built, but so many people called with cash in hand that the company ended up building and selling over 1000 F40s. In contrast, Ferrari limited the production of the F50 to 359 cars. This was during the go-go '80s, remember, so Ferrari speculators paid up to three times the sticker price for an F40. No wonder Ferrari made so many.
Surprisingly, the storied F40 had a 3-liter V8 engine, rather than a V12. Though the twin-turbo engine was smaller than you might expect, this was the first production car to break the 200-mph barrier, with a top speed of 202 mph.
The car used Ferrari's Formula 1 composite material for the chassis, a lightweight carbon-fiber/Kevlar/Nomex weave. While the low nose and large intakes are classic supercar elements, the massive, squared-off rear wing really sets the F40 apart, though a similar wing was seen on the 288 (not to mention the Plymouth Superbird). Ferrari tested the F40 in the wind tunnel to assure stability at its then-record-breaking speeds.
The interior of the F40 is not for the faint of heart. There is no heavy sound-deadening material, so you hear every rev of the engine -- and every pebble plinking on the paint. There was no glove box, no radio, no leather trim, no carpets, no door panels, and the door handle was basically a wire covered in plastic. The close-fitting, Nomex-covered seats are for hard-core speed sessions, not touring around in padded comfort, and they therefore have four-point harnesses. And you can just forget about power steering.
- Engine: 3-liter twin-turbo V8
- Horsepower: 478 hp
- Torque: 425 lb-ft
- Top speed: 202 mph
- 0-62 mph: 3.9 seconds
- Price: $470,000