The buzz at the auction was that this car was unusual and desirable in being completely ready to run with the F1 Clienti. The buyer bought it for that purpose
Ferrari entered 1990 with a dream driver lineup. Nigel Mansell was in his second season with the Scuderia and Alain Prost was making his debut with the Maranello team. Ferrari would have its best season in years. Steve Nichols joined Ferrari from McLaren in 1989 and thus inherited a John Barnard-designed car for the second time in his career.
His 1987 McLaren MP4/3 had been a logical development of Barnard’s last car for that team, and Nichols decided not to make any drastic changes to the Ferrari 640 concept. A larger and more robust fuel tank was utilized, the bodywork was revised, and huge advances were made with both the sequential gear change and engine development. Ferrari’s V12 engine was acknowledged to be one of the most powerful powerplants by the middle of the season. The Ferrari 641 was a superb-
handling racing car, which Alain Prost described as being “the best car on the grid.”
In 1990, chassis 121 had two 3rd place finishes-one being in the season’s final round in Australia-two 2nd place finishes, and a dominant victory in the hands of Prost in 1990. This car has since spent some time in both the United States and in Japan in important private collections. It was recently returned to the factory’s expert F1 Clienti department in 2008 for a no-expense-spared overhaul at a cost of nearly $150,000. The work included fitment of a brand new injection system, a new set of gears for the sequential box, overhaul of the braking system, and dyno testing of the engine.
No fewer than 360 hours were spent in overhauling this important Ferrari racing car, and it was subsequently shaken down at Fiorano in April 2008 by the Ferrari test drivers, where it performed impeccably. Ferrari F1 Clienti would welcome this car at any of its events during the 2009 season and even at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix in 2010.