The pinnacle of a legend.
The Ferrari F40 was one of the greatest cars to ever roll off of the factory line in Maranello, Italy. It broke the 200-mph barrier and was the pinnacle of automotive performance during its time. The lightweight, twin-turbocharged monster was never intended to be raced, but a few individuals, namely Daniel Marin of Charles Pozzi SA, were able to convince Ferrari to allow Italian automotive design, racing, and development house, Michelotto, to create a limited run of racers. What they created came to be known as the Ferrari F40 LM.
The Ferrari F40 LM (‘LM’ meaning ‘Le Mans’) was limited to just 19 total units and chassis No. 97904 is going up on the auction block on Thursday, August 13th, 2015 at RM Sotheby’s in Monterey. The car, according to Michelotto, is the 18th of 19 models produced and one of only two examples that were updated with a pushrod and rocker-arm suspension.
The Ferrari F40 LM is the stuff of legend. The F40 LM was an F40 taken to the extreme, with its chassis being reinforced, more aggressive aerodynamics being added, a larger front and rear wing spoiler, potent brakes, and hardcore suspension with wider wheels and tires. The interior was completely stripped for the sake of weight and given an innovative digital dashboard. Even the flip-up headlights were replaced with fixed lights and Lexan covers to keep weight to a minimum. In the end, the Ferrari F40 LM tipped the scales at just 2,314 lbs.
That dedication to reducing weight would’ve made for an incredibly fast racer with the factory 2.9-liter V-8 F40 engine, but the F40 LM was no ordinary car. Michelotto pushed the engine – newly designated as the F120 B – to the next level of performance. The displacement was kept the same but new Behr intercoolers, camshafts, a Weber Marelli electronic-fuel injection system, and more goodies were added. The dual IHI turbochargers were both unleased to create 2.6 BAR (37.7 PSI) with an 8.0:1 compression ratio. The result was a quoted 720 horsepower at 7,500 RPM but 760 bhp could be created with the removal of the air restrictors.
Chassis No. 97904 never reached the race track after it was built in July of 1993 and is thus one of the finest, most original examples of the F40 LM. After being sold by Maranello Motors in 1994 to John Bisanti of Rhode Island, it was purchased by The Pinnacle Portfolio in 2003. Shortly before, the 2.9-liter V-8 engine was sent to Michelotto for a full service with records. Ferrari of Central Florida also fully serviced the car in July of 2013.
This well-maintained, and virtually original Ferrari F40 LM Chassis No. 97904 will be auctioned Thursday, August 13th, 2015 at RM Sotheby’s in Monterey with prices expected to reach $2,000,000 to $2,500,000.
Ferrari F40 LM Chassis 97904 Gallery
Photography: Patrick Ernzen