July 21, 2006

Today In Automotive History

1987 Ferrari unveils F40

Enzo Ferrari, in a ceremony commemorating his company's 40th year, unveiled the Ferrari F40 at the factory in Maranello, Italy. Speaking through an interpreter during the ceremony, the 89-year-old Ferrari announced, "A little more than a year ago, I expressed my wish to the engineers. Build a car to be the best in the world. And now the car is here." Ferrari's engineers had designed the F40 to be the fastest road vehicle ever built. They viewed the Porsche 959 as their major competition, but while the Porsche was equipped with luxury amenities, the F40 was to be all nuts and bolts. Every spoiler on the F40 played a vital role in keeping the car on the ground at speed; every vent was essential to keep the brakes and engine cool. The F40 came with no floor mats, no stereo, no power locks or windows. Its only frill was a vanity window displaying its massive V-8 engine, but this too was a part of the remarkably light composite body, molded of plastic, ceramic, and metal. The result of Ferrari's vision was the ultimate road vehicle for the ambitious driver. While the car had no electronic braking system, it was capable of 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds and could hold a top speed of 201mph, making the F40 the first production sports car to top the 200mph barrier. Like all of Ferrari's great cars, the F40 has enjoyed a successful career in sports car racing around the world.

Posted by Quality Weenie at July 21, 2006 07:00 AM | TrackBack