|2008 Ferrari F430 GTC racer
|Original List Price:
|Tune Up Cost:
|Chassis Number Location:
|On the floor at the passenger’s seat
|Engine Number Location:
|In the V of the engine towards the rear on the right.
|Ferrari Club of America
|2011 Porsche 997 GT3 R Hybrid, 2007–14 Jaguar X150 XKR, 2005 Aston Martin V8 Vantage, 2009–14 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4
This car, Lot 154, sold for $489,737, including buyer’s premium, at RM Sotheby’s auction in Paris, FRA, on February 8, 2017.
Sitting at the pinnacle of Ferrari values — and pretty much at the top of all collector car values — are old Ferrari race cars.
In the Ferrari World, many think 275 GTB/C Berlinetta Speciale chassis 06885 may be the top dog of all cars. Outside the Ferrari world, many think a rare Mercedes may top the list. Whatever it is, it will likely be a race car.
It’s often hard to recognize history when you’re looking at it. Big events like the Kennedy assassination are a given, but who would have thought our kids would never see a roll of film? When was the last time you saw a typewriter or a VCR? What would we do differently if we could see the future?
This F430 GTC presents such a dilemma. Today, we might just blow it off as last year’s race car — but the right last year’s race car can be Harvard tuition in the future.
How important is this car? A win at the 24 Hours of Spa and a 2nd at Le Mans put it in rare company. Many other good finishes back up the win. There’s no doubt the car has credibility, but is it the 250 GTO of the future?
The race version of the F430
The 430 GTC is the competition version of the Ferrari F430. The F430 was Ferrari’s replacement for the 360 Modena. As the newest addition to Ferrari’s wildly successful V8 series, the F430 had big shoes to fill — a job that it did very well.
Styling for the F430 was entrusted to Pininfarina, with oversight from design guru Frank Stephenson, who had recently been recruited as Director of Design for Ferrari and Maserati.
Americans like to claim Stephenson as one of their own, but he was born in Casablanca, and his links to America are limited to citizenship passed down from his American father and three years studying at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.
Stephenson’s appointment coincided with Ferrari’s migration away from Pininfarina, which was faltering financially and soon to be bought out by an Indian conglomerate. That mission was recently accomplished when the F12 was discontinued, leaving Ferrari without a Pininfarina-designed model for the first time since their earliest days.
Built for fast racing
The F430’s twin-air-inlet nose was borrowed from Ferrari’s shark-nose 156 F1 car, a feature that was also seen on Bertone’s one-off 250 SWB.
The taillights and rear design follow the theme of the Ferrari Enzo. Particular attention was paid to the F430’s aerodynamics, as a racing version would certainly be built. A large rear wing and smaller wheels easily differentiate the GTC from a standard F430.
The F430’s engine was an entirely new component based on past Ferrari V8 architecture. It features a flat-plane crankshaft, four valves per cylinder and chain-driven camshafts rather than rubber belts.
The switch to chain drive significantly reduces the F430’s maintenance cost compared with previous V8 models.
The F430 engine is a little over 4.3 liters and produces around 490 hp. The F430 GTC races in the 3.8–4.0 liter class, so the GTC engine is built in a 4-liter configuration. The GTC engine features different pistons, rods, crankshaft and heads. They also have a mandated air-intake restrictor, which strangles the horsepower down to 445 hp.
Design magic counters the lost horsepower with significantly improved torque. The huge torque combined with the lower weight of the GTC chassis makes the GTC what SCM scribe Thor Thorson would call weapons-grade machinery.
Ferrari’s Corse Clienti department developed the F430 GTC with input from Ferrari’s GT racing partner, Michelotto. The F430 GTCs were designed for the GT2 class of the American Le Mans and FIA GT2 Championship.
F430 GTCs start as a standard F430 body shell that is custom built to exploit any unfair advantage that can be found in the homologation rulebook. Besides the engine modification, the weight is shaved to the legal minimum, the suspension and brakes are optimized, and the gearbox is changed to a sequential-shifting Hewland unit.
The F430 GTC was so good that they won FIA GT and ALMS class championships. Important class wins include the 2008 and 2009 24 hours of Le Mans, the 2008 and 2009 Petit Le Mans, and the 2007, 2009, and 2010 Sebring 12-hour races.
Race provenance — and victories
BMS Scuderia Italia SpA campaigned our subject car. BMS was founded by Italian industrialist — think train rails — Giuseppe Lucchini. Lucchini has deep roots in serious racing, including backing the Dallera Formula One effort. BMS has good friends at Ferrari from having raced a Ferrari-powered F1 car, a 333 SP, a Competition 550 Maranello, a 360 GTC and this F430 GTC. They are a highly respected and successful team with many championships.
Chassis 2616’s claim to fame comes from a 2008 class win at the 2008 24 Hours of Spa, a particularly grueling race through the Belgium countryside. A 2nd in class at Le Mans, other impressive results, and a BMS history makes this car one of the most collectible of the F430 GTCs.
Is the F430 GTC the next 250 GTO?
Valuing a race car is not an easy job. A complex stew of race results of the model, race results of the particular car, the former stable of the car, the former drivers of the car, the condition of the car — and even the sales venue — all figure in determining value.
RM Sotheby’s estimated chassis 2616 would sell in the roughly $320,000–$425,000 range, and they weren’t off by much. In comparison, a Sebring- and Petit Le Mans-winning F430 GTC that also got a 3rd in class at Le Mans is on the market in the U.S. in the high $500,000s.
Will the F430 GTC be the next GTO? Some modern race cars will certainly become quite valuable, but I wouldn’t bet big on a GTC.
Most of the big-dollar race cars are dual-purpose GT cars. The owners can take them on tours or drive them around the block. Like a retired Formula One car, no one’s taking a F430 GTC on the Colorado Grand. Limited use equals limited value, so unless a former driver turns out to be the next Stirling Moss, the seller got a good price. ♦
(Introductory description courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.)