Good thing Ferrari made over 1,000 of these

For many, the Ferrari F40 is still representative of Maranello’s finest hour, a 471-horsepower winged monster designed to squash its opposition at every corner while completely disregarding the needs of the driver and passenger.

Ferrari only wanted to make a handful of them to mark its 40th year in the business but the orders poured in and, in the end, over 1,300 cars were made. Looking at this F40 that ended up in a ditch somewhere in Australia that’s a good thing.

The Ferrari F40 isn’t a forgiving car

1987 - 1992 Ferrari F40 High Resolution Exterior
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It’s been over 30 years since Ferrari released the Ferrari F40 and many still fawn over the last car to be signed off by The Drake himself. It is, then, easy to understand why when one of these expensive exotics was filmed perched up against a tree in Queensland, Australia, it instantly became news. The initial reports that flooded in were filled with half-truths and some even claimed that that the car was in the middle of a test drive and was actually crashed by a prospective owner looking to see how it is to push an F40 a tiny bit over the edge. They also claimed that the car was uninsured at the time of the crash, The latter statement was proved to be correct which makes the images you’re seeing here all the more saddening.

The F40 isn't Ferrari's rarest supercar. In fact, when the production ceased in 1992, the F40 stood alone as the most successful product to come out of Maranello since the company's inception in 1947.
1987 - 1992 Ferrari F40 High Resolution Exterior
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At first, Enzo wanted to make just 400 to mark Ferrari’s 40th anniversary with the bulk of them going to Ferrari 288 GTO owners. However, such was the people’s interest in the F40 that even an ultra-restrictive company like Ferrari ultimately budged realizing how many dollar signs were potentially coming its way if it were to keep making F40s.

In the end, 1,315 units were made and all featured the same distinctive carbon fiber/kevlar body and the same 2.9-liter turbocharged V-8 that’s, effectively, a more pedestrian version of the V-8 seen on the 288 GTO Evoluzione.

However, there are other parts of the F40 that come from the world of motorsports which make it a bona fide race car for the road. Designed by Nicola Materazzi with the support of Michelotto’s crew of engineers and craftsmen, the F40 was Materazzi’s take at the ultimate supercar and, as it turned out, it was the alpha to Porsche’s ultra-high-tech omega.

1987 - 1992 Ferrari F40 High Resolution Exterior
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Every detail on the F40 serves a purpose, Materazzi would explain, and everything is there to help the car do its job better. The job, of course, is to obliterate any other road car on the track or the drag strip and, while no magazine was able to push an F40 all the way to its official top speed of 201 mph (which would’ve made it the fastest car in the world in July of 1987), it’s certainly devilishly fast even today.

Weighing in at well under 3,000 pounds, the F40 lacks even the most basic creature comforts.

1987 - 1992 Ferrari F40 High Resolution Exterior
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You get some sort of ventilation but not a radio, nor sound deadening or carpets. You can even see the glue that holds the slabs of carbon fiber together and the wheel lacks an airbag.

There’s also no interior door handle and Ferrari outfitted the F40 with a string that you have to pull to close the door once you’re safely tucked in those gorgeous, red bucket seats.

Strapping in the red bucket seats is exactly what the owner of this ill-fated F40 did last Friday. Apparently, he hadn’t driven the car for five years and decided to take it for a spin before selling it.

On what must’ve been some slightly worn and old rubber, the car skidded off the road and ended up in a ditch after clearing some signposts that were in its path. Luckily, a tree sturdy enough to withstand the hit from a derailed supercar was at the side of the road and that’s where local authorities found the red beauty and its two passengers.

Need Reasons To Weep? Look At This Ferrari F40 That Someone Crashed
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In spite of the fact that the owner was planning to part ways with his multi-million-dollar supercar, he didn’t bother to insure it and this is surely giving him headaches as you read this piece because fixing an F40 isn’t cheap, naturally. It’s already been reported that the car isn’t a write-off but the owner would have to pay for the repairs entirely out of his own pocket which is something that would keep you up at night when you consider that undamaged F40s trade hands for anywhere between $1.4 and $2.4 million. To add insult to injury, Australian news outlets also reported that the local constabulary gave the driver a ticket for "not being in control of the vehicle." They’re not wrong looking at all the mess...

We’ve seen F40s in strife before but, unlike the one that burnt down to a crisp three years ago, this one may be back on the road before you know it. After all, it doesn’t seem to be that badly damaged, especially when you take into account that the F40 that burnt down partially in Monaco earlier this year will go through a full nut-and-bolt restoration. And it makes sense that that would be the case because F40s are ultra-popular cars that trade hands among enthusiasts almost every day, even during the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As such, there’s an interest to keep as many examples on the road as possible and we’re more than glad that’s the case and we’re also glad that those involved in the crash only ended up with a battered ego because, at the end of the day, that’s what matters the most.

Need Reasons To Weep? Look At This Ferrari F40 That Someone Crashed
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As we’ve learned from McLaren, who says that basically any McLaren F1 can be salvaged no matter the trials and tribulations it went through, the cars can be saved if there’s a will and deep enough pockets to back that will but it’s a different story altogether when it comes to the people.

Ferrari F40 specifications
Engine: 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine
Horsepower: 471 horsepower
Torque: 425 pound-feet of torque
0 to 60 mph: 4.5 seconds
Top speed: 201 mph
Weight 2,425 pounds
Michael Fira
Associate Editor and Motorsport Expert - fira@topspeed.com
Mihai Fira started out writing about long-distance racing like the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the years went by, his area of interest grew wider and wider and he ever branched beyond the usual confines of an automotive writer. However, his heart is still close to anything car-related and he's most at home retelling the story of some long-since-forgotten moment from the history of auto racing. He'll also take time to explain why the cars of the '60s and '70s are more fascinating than anything on the road today.  Read More
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