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1990 Ferrari F40 GT

RM Sotheby's

1990 Ferrari F40 GT
RM Sotheby's
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SH ID

23-1121035

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FEATURED BY SPEEDHOLICS

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In Stock

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United Kingdom

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Description

Engine number 22707

 

Gearbox number 126

 

Documents UK V5

 

One of 21 F40 examples to race in a national or international GT championship in period

 

One of only nine examples built to CSAI-GT specifications

 

Originally owned and raced by Pierre Alexander Popoff, designer of the Mugello circuit and a close friend of Enzo Ferrari

 

Achieved two overall wins among nine podium finishes across three seasons of period racing use

 

Documented with Ferrari Classiche Red Book certifying matching-numbers chassis, engine, and transaxle

 

Beautifully restored to period racing livery and mechanical specifications

 

Accompanied by a set of Schedoni fitted luggage

 

Fastidiously maintained by a small handful of British owners since 1998

 

Striking example of the ultimate GT-racing F40

It is arguable that no manufacturer has so consistently and successfully transformed its roadgoing models into competition cars as Ferrari. So when Maranello introduced its 40th-anniversary F40 model in July 1987, speculation immediately emerged regarding the car’s potential on the track. With a race-developed twin-turbo V-8, aerodynamically perfected carbon-fiber coachwork, and a spartan interior that substantially minimized weight, it was difficult to imagine the F40 being more appropriate for any other purpose. Ferrari wasted little time in addressing this interest, contracting the specialist tuner Giuliano Michelotto to modify the model into the F40 LM and Competizione iterations, which won a host of races while attempting to conquer IMSA competition and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. These highly developed variants only further spurred customer interest, and Ferrari executives then began to conceive a less drastic version of the racecar that could be campaigned by privateer clients in the forthcoming Italian GT Championship. The resulting F40 GT was built in a modest quantity of nine examples, and they remain prized today as a unique club-racer iteration of one of the brand’s most significant flagship models. This beautifully presented F40 GT claims important ownership provenance and a successful three-year career in period Italian racing, as well as a more recent life of fastidious upkeep by a short chain of doting owners, including certification by Ferrari Classiche. Chassis number 85690 was purchased new by Pierre Alexander Popoff, a close friend of Enzo Ferrari who was also responsible for designing the Mugello racing circuit. This prominent member of the Ferrari Club Italia desired to race an F40 in the Italian GT Championship, and to this end he took delivery of the car at the Maranello factory in July 1990. The F40 GT was initially prepared for racing by Adriano Nicodemi, although that responsibility soon passed to the highly respected Michelotto, who built it to CSAI-GT specifications and whose resume included preparing the Lancia Stratos rally cars and the Ferrari 308 IMSA racers. Officially entered by the Ferrari Club Italia, 85690 participated in seven events during the course of the 1992 Italian Gran Criterium Super Car GT series, with Popoff assuming driving duties. Regulations prevented such cars from being too extensively modified, so the participating F40 GT examples were run in mostly stock configuration for the first couple races before a rule adjustment allowed the mounting of slick racing tires. The benefits of this change were immediately evident in 85690’s improved results moving forward, including a third-place finish at Misano in July 1992. Following the season’s conclusion, Popoff ran the car in the annual Bologna Motor Show Cup held in concert with the renowned auto exhibition. For 1993 the name of the Italian GT series was changed to the Campionatto Italiano Supercar GT, and the newly updated CSAI-GT rules allowed F40 GT examples to be fitted with Competizione-specification front and rear suspensions, larger Brembo disc brakes, and 17-inch OZ magnesium wheels. Michelotto’s experience in tuning F40 engines had begun to really pay dividends, with some cars developing as much as 550 horsepower during periods of limited boost. Popoff participated in eight events that year, and his F40 GT finished as high as third at Mugello in October 1993. Results at the following year’s Supercars GT Italia series were even more impressive, as the further-developed racecar captured seven podium finishes, including overall victories at Binetto and Misano. This would prove to be the height of 85690’s racing career, as the car was retired following the 1994 season. In total the F40 GT achieved nine podium finishes during 27 races over the course of three seasons, including two outright victories, two second overall finishes, and five third-place finishes. Around this time, the F40 GT was featured in Sergio Cassano’s definitive book on the racing F40s, F40 Da Corsa. It was also later depicted in Ferrari expert Keith Bluemel’s book Ferrari F40. Soon returned to road-car specifications, the F40 was sold in November 1996 to Silvia Servi of Pavia, Trovo, Italy, and she retained possession for roughly two years before the car was acquired by British collector Andrew Duncan in August 1998. Imported to England, the Ferrari was maintained by the marque dealer Graypaul, and later by specialist Bob Houghton, as demonstrated by invoices on file. In July 2008 the F40 was certified to be a matching-numbers example with the issuance of a Ferrari Classiche Red Book, which clarified the continued presence of the original chassis, engine, and transaxle. After passing through one more collection, the F40 GT was acquired by Chris Wilson, a well-known gentleman racer with a Goodwood TT victory to his name. A passionate car enthusiast, Wilson enlisted the aid of Andrea Popoff, son of the original owner, to assist with returning the car as closely as possible to its early 1990s racing configuration. While this included replicating the original race livery, and re-installing the period Brembo competition brakes, racing exhaust system, and the rare 17-inch magnesium wheels, the owner chose to keep the road-specification suspension to provide a more forgiving ride quality. In early 2018 the Ferrari passed to the consignor, the car’s fourth British owner, and sixth owner overall, cementing a short, well-documented chain of ownership. Remarkably, during cataloguing it was discovered that this F40 GT retains its original numbered diffuser, doors, rear wing, and rear clam, whilst the front clam was discovered to be lighter than standard. According to Keith Bluemel’s model-specific book, this Ferrari is one of 21 F40 examples to race in a national or international GT championship in period, and one of just nine built to CSAI-GT specifications. As such, this unusual Maranello racecar claims a rarity and competition legitimacy that only seldom characterizes an F40. It is desirably documented with ACI registration papers, a copy of the filled-out delivery page from the service/warranty booklet, service and restoration invoices, and the highly coveted Ferrari Classiche Red Book. Originally owned and raced by Mugello designer Pierre Alexander Popoff, a close friend of Il Commendatore, himself, this fierce F40 redefines the benchmark for a competition-prepared Maranello supercar.
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