1990 Ferrari F40 LM Competition Berlinetta

If you want to have the meanest, baddest, highest-horsepower stallion allowed in the Ferrari Historic paddock, here it is

The F40 was a simple machine that, like the greatest Ferraris of the past, relied upon its engine for its performance. Suspension and layout were conventional, and there were no serious attempts to employ cutting-edge technology. The F40 was good, sound, basic design, with a superb twin-turbocharged engine, aerodynamics heavily weighted toward downforce and stability, and generous use of lightweight composite materials. There was no ABS, no traction control, no electro-hydraulic paddle shifting, and no stability control. With a 201 mph top speed and 0 to 60 mph in less than four seconds, no one was disappointed with the F40. Ferrari proposed only a limited run of 400 or so F40s, but the model’s reception was overwhelming, even at over $250,000 apiece, and the run kept growing until 1,315 were built by the time production ended in 1991.

Competition was not in Ferrari’s original plan for the F40, but Daniel Marin, managing director of French Ferrari importer Charles Pozzi SA, took the initiative and authorized Michelotto, the famed Padova Ferrari service center, to construct a series of F40 LMs for racing under IMSA rules in the U.S. Just 19 were built, although only the first two, destined for Pozzi, were actually raced to any significant extent.

Do not confuse this F40 LM with a “plain vanilla” customer version. Chassis 79891 is the second of the two Pozzi F40 LMs. Records show it was completed by Michelotto on January 16, 1990. Although it was raced in North America that season by Pozzi under the Ferrari-France banner along with its sister, chassis 79890, it remained under Ferrari’s ownership and wasn’t formally delivered to Pozzi until January 1991. As a factory-backed development car, it benefits from a series of enhancements and upgrades, including titanium connecting rods and 9:1 compression pistons, giving its twin-turbocharged, intercooled engine a breathtaking 850 horsepower at 7,500 rpm. That translates to a top speed of 228 mph.

Ferrari F40 LM 79891 was retained by Ch. Pozzi SA until its present owner was able to acquire it in 2003. Throughout its life, 79891 has been carefully and consistently maintained in as-raced condition. It retains its original F120B engine (number 02), was certified authentic by Ferrari Classiche in March 2007, and has its FIA identity papers. It is eligible for, and competitive in, a variety of historic and Ferrari events, and its status as one of the original run of factory-built Ferrari F40 LMs means it is one of very few of these exciting automobiles that will ever be eligible for Ferrari Classiche certification and, as of the 2009 race season, participation in the Ferrari-Maserati Challenge series, where it should shine.

Thor Thorson

Thor Thorson - SCM Contributing Editor

Thor grew up in northern Iowa. His father bought a red Jag XK 150 in the late 1950s, and that was all it took; he has been in love with sports cars , racing cars and the associated adrenaline rush ever since. He has vintage raced for more than 20 years, the bulk of them spent behind the wheel of a blue Elva 7. When he’s not racing, he is president of Vintage Racing Motors Inc., a collector-car dealer and vintage-racing support company based in Redmond, WA. His knowledge runs the full spectrum of vintage racing, and he has put that expertise to good use for SCM since 2003.

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