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Get To Know The Ferrari F40: The Hardcore Variant

Yeah it's still perfect.

For three decades the Ferrari F40 has been the benchmark of the Prancing Horse. After 29 years this is no small feat. The F40 was the swansong of company founder Enzo Ferrari and to this day is considered one of the most hardcore and best-driving vehicles around. But really, most people know this already. You’ve seen it at car shows, watched countless YouTube videos, and driven a digital version. But what about the racing variants and special editions?

Fun fact: The F40 did battle with the McLaren F1 GTR on the track, a race many of us to this day would kill to see. One problem is most people can't tell the difference between the various racing versions of the F40. We’re here to fix that. The Ferrari F40 was never intended for motorsport competition. Daniel Marin, managing director of French Ferrari importer Charles Pozzi SA, had other intentions. Taking the initiative, Marin coaxed Ferrari to authorize Michelotto, the famed Padova-based Ferrari service center responsible for the 308 GTB Group 4 and the brands foray into Group B, to build a series of F40-based cars adhering to IMSA regulation.

The result is the F40LM—LM for “Le Mans"—a hardcore racing variant built for Ferrari’s most favored clientele. Michelotto birthed a monster. The F40 LM’s 2.9-liter twin-turbo V8 produced upwards of 850 horsepower. There was a reinforced chassis, a racing interior, up-rated brakes, a racing transmission, and a reworked suspension with wider wheels. Only 19 F40 LMs left the factory and many F40 owners have sought fit to replicate the aesthetics with aftermarket modifications. A barrage of functional cosmetic differences separates the F40 LM from standard models. The standard F40’s pop-up headlights are replaced with larger single units; also, the mirrors are relocated to the window rather than mounted on the hood.

A third air vent also features on the side skirt just before the rear wheel, while a cabin adjustable larger rear wing and additional ventilation is added to the car's front hood.

Most recently Bonhams sold a genuine F40LM at auction for $2.2 million in August of 2014. The F40LM would spawn further evolutions of the F40 platform; look out for that story tomorrow.

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