Ferrari F40

Several months ago, I was asked by a client of mine to take a look at a Ferrari F40 that was up for sale in Miami Florida. I’ve been singing the praises of the F40 for years and have always loved this car. Even though it’s not the usual cars I work on, I still think it represents a particular era of super car that will not be replicated. I remember trying to get a client of mine to buy one when they were priced at about one million dollars just a few years ago, but even though we found the best one at the time, he couldn’t pull the trigger. We have a laugh today whenever I see this client about the one that got away.

This time, my current client managed to get all the money together and put me to task of finding him a good car. The market for these cars is very hard to nail down, but my job was to find the best one I could find at the time, and the one in Florida checked out.

The car was a European Spec car that was living Japan before the selling dealer imported it to the US. The paperwork supported the history, and my inspection showed it was definitely a low mileage car with no prior paintwork or damage. It’s ironic how these cars are celebrated for low mileage when the whole allure to these cars is the way they drive. With no driver’s aids like traction control, or ABS, this car’s power is purely in the hands of the driver. We have gotten so accustomed to driving cars with all these aids, that when it’s time to drive a car without a safety net, it’s a true thrill ride.

The owner purchased the car and sent it to me to take care of the upholstery. The glue behind the fabric of the racing buckets had failed and we decided to reupholster the seats. The correct fabric will be purchased, and we’ll rebuild some of the foam to make the seats brand new again. I was fortunate enough to take the car for a couple of drives before removing the seats (with the owner’s permission!) and I shot a couple of videos to share.

I’ve driven faster cars than this F40, but this one still sits at the top of my list as most memorable for a street car. It’s raw. It’s basic, and it’s uncompromising in demanding more from the driver. Modern cars are more capable, but demand so much less of the driver, and I feel there is something lost in that!

A little side note was we purchased this car in late Spring, and paid what we felt was a fair market value for this car. I try my best to advise my clients on pricing, but at this level of car, we are setting the market. Pricing is based on demand, and how much the next guy is willing to pay. After we bought the car, I watched other F40s come to market, and compared them to the one we just bought. Monterey had 4 examples up for auction, so I personally inspected each one to see how they stacked up to ours. Only one had slightly lower mileage than ours, and was in identical condition. As it crossed the auction block, it sold for nearly 50% more than what we paid! Luckily for me, my client was feeling pretty smart that day!