1991 Ferrari F40 Fails To Sell At Auction
The Ferrari F40 is one of the most desirable Ferrari models in history. Only 1,311 models were built, and at the time of its release in 1987, it represented cutting-edge technology and performance capabilities that made it the fastest production car in the world. That’s the kind of appeal the F40 has to old and new collectors alike. Anytime one of these bad boys hits the market, collectors trip over themselves for the chance to own one. With that in mind, it came as a bit of a shock to my senses when I found out that a 1991 Ferrari F40 failed to find a new owner at a recent auction held by H&H on October 14, 2015.
Let that simmer for a little bit because it is surprising, to say the least. According to the auction house, that particular F40 with chassis number 091573 had an estimated value of £750,000 to £800,000, which would be about $1.162 to $1.24 million based on current exchange rates. That price point would be in line with some of the other F40s that recently sold in other auctions.
In August 2015, a one-owner, Euro-spec F40 sold for £791,000 ($1.224 million) and a little earlier than that, a similar, one-owner F40 fetched £856,000 ($1.33 million). Given these prices, it would seem like the F40 that was being auctioned at H&H would fetch a similar price and maybe even more considering that it’s the only F40 in the world whose chairs Ferrari wrapped in leather on account of its owner, F.J. Connolly Esq., the leather provider of choice in Maranello at that time.
Sadly, none of the unique traits of this particular F40 were enough for somebody to meet the reserve price. So, if anybody’s still in the market for a completely one-off Ferrari F40, there’s one sitting in H&H’s garage that’s waiting to be scooped up. All you need is around £800,000 ($1.24 million) and you could find yourself owning what might be one of the most exclusive F40s in the world.
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Why it matters
I’ve always thought that the Ferrari F40 was one of those cars that had a “name your price” power, the kind that could compel Interested buyers to open their checkbooks and write a blank check to the seller. But apparently, even the F40 has a price that people aren’t willing to meet.
I don’t have any specific reasons on why this particular F40 wasn’t sold at the H&H auction. As rare as the F40 already is, this one can make an argument for being in a class of its own since it features a Ferrari-approved bespoke modification. It also has a decorated ownership in the name of F.J. Connolly Esq., who in addition to being the aforementioned leather provider of choice in Maranello, was also a hugely influential figure in the Italian leather scene back in the day. Put these pieces together and it wouldn’t have surprised me if the F40 easily breached $1.4 million.
But, it didn’t happen, so I’m wondering why that’s so. The only logical theory I have can be found on H&H’s website page for the F40. In it, you’ll see a pretty comprehensive service history that indicates that the car already has close to 20,000 miles on its odometer. It was also the recipient of a recent chassis refurbishment, specifically the hydraulic lifting suspension accumulators, as well as the addition of four new dampers and fresh cam cover gaskets. So yeah, this car has been around the block quite a few times already, far different from the previous two examples of the F40 that fetched as much as $1.33 million this year. Those models were considered in mint condition. This one isn’t.
That could very well be the biggest reason why this particular F40 wasn’t sold at the H&H Auction. I still think someone’s eventually going to buy it because it’s still an F40, but at what price is what I’m curious to know. Hopefully a buyer steps up sooner than later, because the Ferrari F40 is still one of the crown jewel cars of any self-respecting auto connoisseur.
Read more about the Ferrari F40 here.
Source: Classic Auctions