April 15, 2013

So, What Does It Feel Like To Buy A Ferrari F40?



Safe to say, if you have any appreciation for cars at all, chances are the Ferrari F40 is on your list or on your wall or on your desktop.   It is after all the first true supercar,  maybe the best of all, rivaled by the Mclaren F1 but with a bucketful more menace,  a car which inspires both awe and fear.

We've all read articles, books, we've seen video reviews, we've seen them race and crash and shoot flames out their butts, always an awesome sight, we've even read the owner's manual.

There is only one aspect of the F40 which remains seldom explored:  what does it feel like to purchase one, what goes though your mind when you're there, about to cut a check for one of the greatest pieces of automotive art ever?    
For some it might be a cold hearted business or collecting experience but I suspect that for the luckiest of those with the opportunity, it's a highly emotional moment.

A friend of Axis is one such person and his description of that afternoon, as he gazed at the red beast for the first time, is as compelling, exciting and emotional as anything you've read about cars.  I'm very happy he agreed to share his experience.



"What can I say, it had been a dream of mine for years.   As a child, our dockside neighbor on the Cote D'Azur had one when it first came out and seeing it every week end parked next door imprinted strongly.  I felt close to this one in particular, it was the first Ferrari I got a ride in as a kid and I would do whatever I could to touch it and be close to it.   On sunny sundays I would offer to wash  the F40 and our neighbor, with great patience and kindness (imagine a 9 year old washing a car...) would never refuse.


Another F40 was a source of great sadness when, a few years later, the uncle of a dear friend was killed when he lost control of one and ended up against a tree.  There was always this conflict with it,  love and fear,  which only managed to increase the fascination I've had for the F40 since the 80s.

Recently, returning home from Maranello where I had accompanied a friend to see the current Ferrari hyper car,  my "dealer" called proposing a one owner F40 for what seemed like a "good price".    Maybe it was the enthusiasm of the presentation at the factory but I started to salivate as
the seed of the idea it might be the time for me to own one was planted .


After a few more pictures and details by email it turned out that yes, it was a one owner car but it had been tracked frequently and there may be some non original pieces installed on a car where originality is key to maintaing and increase it's value.

But it was too late, the damage was done, that seed was now giant red gorilla pounding around my brain!


Just enough time to return to London, make a few calls to set up the appointment and on saturday morning I'm off to the dealer,  the idea was to just have a look at the car,  just looking....

As I walk in the shop and despite a 250 TdF,  a Daytona Spyder, two Enzo, two 288 GTO, a Miura, a California Spyder LWB and all manner of 250 variants, I can see only her.   I am literally enraptured by the sight, at once so familiar yet capable of sending my heart racing.  Without a doubt, it was love at first sight.

I stride over to look at it up close, to touch it analyzing every square inch for flaws I struggle to find.  It's like a new car, incredible considering it's 23 years old and has 37000 km on the clock.


We move to the office and I spend about an hour looking over every single invoice for work done on the car over the years, the previous owner had kept every single scrap well organized in a large book.  Included was the original bill of sale from May 1990.

Turns out there had been two owners of the car, it was one of the 60 F40 designated for the UK market and it had the same owner for the last 13 years, a British lord who also owned the 250 TdF in the shop, and F50 and a newly acquired 275 GTB,  the reason he traded the F40.

I also find a Ferrari Classiche book with the certification from Maranello that the car is fully original and conforms to the spec it left the factory in.   Everything is looking better and better so it was time to head out for a test drive.


I did not want to drive, I let the dealership owner, someone handy with this kind of car, take me around.  Even now I cannot explain the odd sensation as a passenger of being inside a giant go-kart.  You could sense the precision with which it turned into corners and you can believe the claimed 1100kg weight is real unlike more recent Ferraris where claimed weights must be...adjusted.  And this just ambling along, without exploring the world beyond 3750 rpm...

The F40 seemed very easy to drive, even in traffic, at traffic lights you just need to release the clutch and it will move at idle without a single jolt.  Then as you start to push, you begin to understand what an F40 is, a savage, brutal, wicked car!   It was chilly that day and the 335 rears lost traction easily even in third gear but as they did the car's reactions were balanced and controllable, a testament to a fundamentally good chassis and design.


Even as the realization of the brutality with which this car dispensed its power made me nervous,  the certainty I wanted it continued to grow.  I sat in silence for the next twenty minutes, thinking.

When we pulled back into the dealer's shop I asked if I could be alone with the car for a little while.  Inside I was already 100% convinced but I wanted to enjoy that moment.  I thought about all the times our paths had crossed before:  happy, carefree times from my childhood and difficult times when I had been close to a friend in unhappier circumstances.  Amazing how intensely this one car brought so many memories and emotions, fear I would not be up to the challenge and palpitations every time I looked at its lines.

I think this dichotomy is intrinsic in the F40, it reminds me of the fascination of the Nürburgring, love and fear in the same breath.

I hope to treat her with the same respect I have given the Green Hell all these years and  in the mean time I still cannot believe this dream has come true.

yes, pop up lights...the 80s 





























33 comments:

  1. Oh how nice it would be to be born rich...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. Agreed! My dream car since I was a kid.

      Delete
  3. you passed on a 288???

    ReplyDelete
  4. Rich guy problems. I wonder if you realize how much of a prick you sound like in this article?
    My dockside neighbors on the Cote D'Azur, really?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's your problem with honesty? If he was apologetic for being wealthy, would that make him more of less of a prick? No "rich guy problems" here, just a cool story about a guy buying his dream car. YOU sound like a prick.

      I thought it was particularly well written. The F40 is a masterpiece.

      Delete
    2. If you are incapable of acquiring your own dream car and can't stand it when other people do, then you are on the wrong page. Maybe go read about people acquiring a new vacuum cleaner or whatever it is that won't make you go green with rage.

      Delete
    3. How else would we read an article about an F40 being purchased without it being written by a rich guy?

      Give your head an exam, you are so quick to judge that you fail to see the whole purpose of the article.


      Sincerely,
      -poor guy

      Delete
    4. Poor guy problems. You'd rather him lie and say he has a mortgage and three kids to feed but, hey, I'll go pull a second mortgage for a Ferrari?

      Delete
  5. Wow you people all suck. Its not his fault he was born into wealth. At least he's using the money in a way we can all appreciate and is willing to share his experiences with us. Fuck, get over it. For all you know he went to college and now earns a significant amount of money himself and doesnt touch "family" money at all.

    Treat her well for us, hopefully provide some updates.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unless I missed something at the end, the "experience" was "rode around in the passenger seat while someone else drove." Did he buy the car? Who knows...

      Bad writer! No whiskey!

      Delete
    2. Should have been titled, "So, what is it like to window shop for a Ferrari F40?"

      Delete
    3. If I had the money I would have gone for a 250 or Spyder. BTW, ignore the negative comments, this website is great for 'anti establishment' F1 discussions, keep it up!

      Delete
    4. "I hope to treat her with the same respect I have given the Green Hell all these years and in the mean time I still cannot believe this dream has come true."

      I think this means he bought it.
      So yeah, you missed something at the end.

      Delete
    5. Exactly. At the very least we can live through the experience a bit. Maybe get mobilized and someday realize our own dreams :).

      No harm in having money. At least he's not spending it on blow!

      Delete
  6. Thanks a lot I really enjoyed reading that. I like how honest the writer is, very unpretentious as well.

    Mike

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I will feel the same when I will buy my NSX. I don't care if there are faster / better cars for that money. That's my dream car. Nice story! I like the part when he wanted to stay alone with the F40. I thought he was going to masturbate... lol

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you very much.

    I don't think I will never have money to own an F40 but I feel great when somebody shares experiences like this.

    If you don't appreciate this post please don't come back to axis!

    Ciao

    Luca

    ReplyDelete
  10. Replies
    1. And what do you drive that you consider to not be a hairdresser car?

      Delete
  11. So much hate for a man that is honest and open. Yeah, he is rich, but should he feel bad about it? Do you know how he made his money or how he flaunts it? We are all car enthusiasts here, he just has the money to pursue what most people consider dreams. Stop the hate, there is enough of it in this world.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I don't care how you acquired the wealth to purchase the F40, enjoy the car and enjoy driving it!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for sharing, have fun driving it..

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think if I could buy something like this the first night I'd probably sleep in it. Or at the very least in a sleeping bag in the garage next to it.

    My ultra dream car would have to be an Aston Martin but my realistic dream car is an EVO so I'll at least be able to fulfill that here in the next year or so when I'm promoted at my job.

    I will probably be no less overjoyed than the author of this post though.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I remember feeling the same way when I picked up my S2000. As for the negative comments about the writers wealth/luck/hard work...you should fuck off because if that is what you got out of the article you are NOT a true gear/petrol head.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Very nice article that I can't help but to put a comment ;)
    Reminds me a lot back when I bought my dream car... a Mazda RX-7 FC3S
    A poor man's dream car... but nevertheless it still stirs my emotion^^

    Congratulations man and treat the beast nicely as it should ;)
    As for the haters... Haters will always be haters...

    ReplyDelete
  17. I wasn't going to add anything but I want to tip the scales in the positive direction (for the author's benefit). Remove the money aspect from your perspective and this is one enthusiast writing the check for the car of his dreams. And having conflicting emotions about it. Maybe it's the car of his nightmares too. But remove the money angle and it's a story everyone can appreciate and any car nut can day dream over. My only question was what took you so long?

    I particularly liked the 'moment alone' with the car. As if to say - 'I'll take care of and love you. But please don't make me bleed.'

    Congrats on the purchase! If I had the means I would own an F40 until the day I expired. So go on an enjoy every moment with it.

    ReplyDelete
  18. wow look terrific thanks for sharing awesome post,enjoy driving it.
    Dubai
    offshore

    ReplyDelete
  19. Cash for cars is our business. Junk cars are a nuisance and an
    eyesore. In some cases they can cost you money: if your county wants you
    to keep them registered and insured regardless of if they run or not,
    or fine you for not moving them. Getting cash for junk cars is a perfect
    solution to this problem.



    We buy junk cars including, all years, makes and models in any
    condition. Wrecked cars, junk cars, damaged cars for sale, and even
    crashed cars for sale are of interest to junk car buyers. Yes, we buy
    wrecked cars; and more importantly you junk a car with us, junk car
    removal is included free of charge, provided it is local junk car
    removal. You do not pay us one cent instead we take your junk car for
    cash paid on the spot.



    Lost car title, that is OK to. Getting a new vehicle title can
    sometimes cost more than a Junk Car is worth, but it is ok, lost vehicle
    title is no problem at all. You can still sell your car for cash, junk
    cars with no title is NO PROBLEM!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Cash for cars is our business. Junk cars are a nuisance and an
    eyesore. In some cases they can cost you money: if your county wants you
    to keep them registered and insured regardless of if they run or not,
    or fine you for not moving them. Getting cash for junk cars is a perfect
    solution to this problem.



    We buy junk cars including, all years, makes and models in any
    condition. Wrecked cars, junk cars, damaged cars for sale, and even
    crashed cars for sale are of interest to junk car buyers. Yes, we buy
    wrecked cars; and more importantly you junk a car with us, junk car
    removal is included free of charge, provided it is local junk car
    removal. You do not pay us one cent instead we take your junk car for
    cash paid on the spot.

    ReplyDelete
  21. We buy junk cars including, all years, makes and models in any
    condition. Wrecked cars, junk cars, damaged cars for sale, and even
    crashed cars for sale are of interest to junk car buyers. Yes, we buy
    wrecked cars; and more importantly you junk a car with us, junk car
    removal is included free of charge, provided it is local junk car
    removal. You do not pay us one cent instead we take your junk car for
    cash paid on the spot.



    Lost car title, that is OK to. Getting a new vehicle title can
    sometimes cost more than a Junk Car is worth, but it is ok, lost vehicle
    title is no problem at all. You can still sell your car for cash, junk
    cars with no title is NO PROBLEM!



    We buy your junk car for the highest CASH paid on the spot!
    …Prompt, professional service with Honesty! Sell your Junk Car to us
    today and receive a 2 Nights and three days stay at a Deluxe Hotel in
    over 50 cities across the US.



    With over 25 years’ combined experience and “Five-Star” Rating,
    we make selling your Junk Car for Cash in Orlando, Maitland, Winter
    Park, Lake Marry, Edgewood, Kissimmee, Poinciana, Winter haven, Haine
    City, Lake Wales, Frostproof, Bartow, Davenport, St Cloud, Miami, Ft
    Lauderdale, Hollywood, Davie, Miramar, Pembroock Pines, Homestead, Miami
    Gardens, Miami Springs, Miami Lake, Miami Beach, North Miami Beach,
    Adventura, Hialeah, Sweetwater, Redlands, and the lower Keys Hassle
    Free!

    http://junkcarbuyersorlando.com/aboutus.php

    ReplyDelete
  22. And if we're exotic car enthusiasts, we should be thankful that some are that rich, otherwise, F40's or the like would never exist.

    ReplyDelete

nRelate Posts Only