After 2 hours with my new F40

Discussion in '288GTO/F40/F50/Enzo/LaFerrari' started by Steve, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. Steve

    Steve Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Full Name:
    Steve Jenkins
    The F40 was delivered by Concours Transport at 6:00PM (I can HIGHLY recommend them - these guys are pros and real car enthusiasts). Drove the car till 8 (when it was too dark to see well).

    Let me preface this post by saying that I am not a Ferrari newbie. This is the 6th Ferrari I've owned since 1996, and I've only sold one of my previous models. I've driven most of my cars on the track, and I consider myself a rather good driver. However, this car is SO unlike any car I've ever driven, and I am still very very uncomfortable driving it. It's gonna take a lot more seat time before I settle into it.

    The following are the top 10 things I know so far about my F40.

    1. An F40 is fast. No - I mean REALLY fast.

    2. The brakes suck SOOOOO hard. They will be the first things to replace.

    3. Rear view mirror? Useless. Between the black cross bar and the Plexiglas slats, it's like looking at a Monet in your mirror. Very disconcerting for someone like me who constantly likes to check his six for Smokey. I guess "whatsa behind me issa not important!"

    4. I thought I knew what it was like to drive a Ferrari around town and get noticed. This is a whole new planet, however. Grown men hanging out their truck windows screaming "F*&# YEEEEEEEAH!" People pull U-turns to follow you. I live in a very quiet neighborhood on a dead-end street, and the mere act of unloading the car from the truck caused a crowd of 10+ to stop, park their cars, and watch. Honks, waves, lights flashing - it's like I'm a rock star. I'm not sure if I like it, but I suspect I will get used to it. Complete strangers approach me to talk about it at the gas station (which also happened with my other cars, but it leads me into the next one nicely).

    5. Speaking of gas stations, is the tank REALLY that small? 10 gallons filled it up, and it was close to empty when I started.

    6. Unlike my other Ferraris, this one IS a chick magnet. Weird.

    7. It likes to be driven smoothly, not overly aggressively. This is probably due to me not knowing how to shift properly with the boost, as I keep over boosting the darn thing. I'll figure it out soon...

    8. Did I mention it's fast? I swung out to pass some guy on a back road single yellow line, and I was past him before I could think. I started to feel very "behind the car" which is not a good feeling. I went to brakes, and... did I mention the brakes suck?

    9. It makes WICKED cool noises. Whoosh, shsssss, bang, vroom - all unlike any Ferrari I've experienced. However, it's still too quiet. Even though the stock cats were replaced with Tubi cats, they gotta go....

    10. This is way more car than I am currently able to handle - which is a humbling surprise for me because I consider myself rather adept at driving performance cars. I will be very cautious as I learn how to drive this beast over the next few months. I'm thinking a road trip from Seattle to Laguna Seca would help out a lot. Maybe drive it to Indy? Who's with me?!!!!!
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  3. allanlambo

    allanlambo F1 Rookie

    Jun 9, 2002
    Full Name:
    Your car is awesome! I love it. But according to the Ferrari guys here they wont be impressed with the car being fast, or that it gets alot of attention. According to them, thats not what Ferraris are all about.

    According to me... it is!

    Awesome car! Post pics.
  4. JSinNOLA

    JSinNOLA F1 World Champ
    Sponsor Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 18, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Full Name:
    Sounds like an absolute blast!

    Since the rearview is such a pain you can grab some of those small blind spot mirrors to add to your sideviews for about $15.

    As for being inconspicuous, I guess those days are over!

  5. 96impalaSS

    96impalaSS F1 Rookie

    Dec 8, 2003
    Full Name:
    Im incredibly jealous. I will probally never get to have your experience. :(
  6. ghost

    ghost F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 10, 2003
    Great post Steve. Don't know about #6, though. They're all chick magnets...admittedly, some more than others. :D You've probably got one of the more potent Ferrari aphrodisiacs.
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  8. F40 is a real nice machine been my favorite for years. Whats wrong with the brakes. ? I hear the Brembos on the F40 are really nice.
  9. F129b

    F129b Formula Junior

    Feb 6, 2004
    oc, calif.
    Full Name:
    Yes, it DOES make wicked cool noises. I have spent alot of co-piloti time in a friend's F40 down here in Cali. I had the same feelings you describe when I drove it, particularly how it seems VERY difficult to drive smoothly (razor thin clutch) and how humbling it can make one who normally feels very "at home" in exotics.
    What an absolute delight for the ears though. A violent symphony!

    My friend's car had no cats running into a TUBI and it was AWESOME.

    Enjoy Steve! Well done.
  10. LAfun2

    LAfun2 F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:

    Congrats on the car!

    However I am more impressed with the house the TR is parked in front of! That is a Palace! My year I spent in WA, I never SAW anything like that!!!
  11. FrostCS

    FrostCS Karting

    Mar 3, 2004
    Full Name:
    In responce to a few of your concerns, I beleive the fuel tank was 120 liters, (around 26 gallons) 10 gallon's doesn't sound right, you sure it was empty, and sure you filled it? Perhaps the fuel gauge, is not working properly on one end.
    As for driving smoothly, the car pretty much has well matched turbos and gearing, so it's either treat your right foot like your life, or try to keep the load off the turbo's by driving like your 80 years old. :) A light foot will take you a long way. Remember, the real acceleration is always just a downshift away.
    Lastly, of course the noise. The turbo's themselves muffle the vibrations and pulses from the exhaust (basically the noise). If your state won't notice, removing cats and mufflers will be your best source of noise, yet will remain fairly quiet when you aren't pounding on the throttle. Turbo's are great aren't they? I think Jeremy Clarkson summed it up pretty nicely in his test drive of the Noble M12 (another rear engined twin turbo sportscar), "It's like having Darth Vader in the boot".
    Take care and don't run with scissors,
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  13. scuderia47

    scuderia47 Karting

    Nov 5, 2003
    Full Name:
    the F40 is my favoriate car, i just love how raw and unhindered it is, unlike something like the enzo. its definately a car that you will get noticed in and take care driving so envious right now

    oh yea, and make sure that you drive it a lot and enjoy it when you have it, unlike that F40 LM thats for sale with 60 miles...
  14. tbakowsky

    tbakowsky F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Consultant

    Sep 18, 2002
    The Cold North
    Full Name:


    Congrats on your purchase and enjoy it!! man I wish I was in your shoes to be able to afford such an awsome car. To bad they anit street legal here in Canada for another couple of years,
  15. KNanthrup

    KNanthrup Karting

    Jan 14, 2004
    Issaquah, WA
    Full Name:
    Congrats Steve,

    You must be bery happy and thrilled to have an F40 now. It's one of my dream cars yet to come. I hope to see you out driving sometime... I've yet to see an F40 on the road here, only an F50 being put into Park Place LTD's showroom while the guy was having his house remodeled.

    I'm out here on Tiger Mountain, I think I have an idea of the area you live although I won't mention for privacy reasons. If you're by my way give a holler, I'd love to see her :]

    Any plans to take her out to some local tracks like PIR? Also, post some pics of her! An F40 is never an old face!
  16. Sfumato

    Sfumato F1 Veteran

    Nov 1, 2003
    Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, Anglesey, Wales
    Full Name:
    Angus Podgorney
    F40 is purest, rawest, and most amazing non-12 Ferrari ever. Really still knocks me out, where F50, Enzo are just nice cars. Lots of brake upgrades out there, tires too. I always wanted to put 5valve heads on a 3.6 and stuff it back there, but I need to scare myself $hitty with a stock one first. And I'd have to go non-red, 'cuz I'd be arrested in a red one :p
    Enjoy it. Pics when you get 'em
  17. EVartanian

    EVartanian Formula 3

    Mar 19, 2002
    Sunny SoCal
    Full Name:
    Congrats! and great post...put a smile on my face just to read it. :)
  18. Willis360

    Willis360 F1 Rookie

    Aug 4, 2001
    Redmond, WA
    Full Name:
    Willis H

    It's great to have you on this site! Congrats on the new purchase!

    You really need to come out and drive with us club regulars sometimes.

  19. ferrari_kid

    ferrari_kid Formula Junior

    Jul 5, 2003
    just reading your review put a smile on my face. that's an awesome car to own. great purchase.
  20. zsnnf

    zsnnf Formula 3

    Sep 11, 2003


    #1 Yep. Cruise down the interstate in 4th gear at 70mph. Push the pedal on the right 3/4 to the floor. Hang on. When your hear the whrrrrrr , look down at the speedo, should be about 150........ Enjoy

    #2 The LM brakes will put you into the windshield

    #3 The side mirors work fine. Adjust them out so you can't see the sides of the car. BEWARE of people following you in your blind spot on the right!!

    #4 Interesting. I drove mine from Washington to So Cal. and everyone in Washington wanted a piece of it. Girls posed by it and had their pictures taken when we stopped for gas. Oregon was kinda dead. One guy thought it was a Pantera. Every adolesent boy will hang out of the car they are in to tell you "You rock!" One guy yelled across his girlfriend to tell me he loved me.....

    #5 It will show about empty when it is down 10 gallons. It holds 32. When the light on the gauge comes on you have 5 gallons left.

    #6 I pulled up to a stop sign here in Newport and a 20 something Girl in a BMW's tongue fell out. Really. Cracked me up.

    #7 As soon as you hear the turbos, 4500, shift.

    #8 Not sure about getting behind. At least you have the 18" wheels so you can upgrade to the LM's. The stock brakes shouldn't be that bad. If the pedal is not firm, You might try and bleed them.

    #9 I would think Tubis with Cats should be just about right.....

    #10 Laguna sound like fun. You REALLY need a track with lots of run off... When the boost comes on in a corner, start driving!!!!

  21. Schatten

    Schatten F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 3, 2001
    Austin, TX
    Full Name:
    I have to say the same. Thanks mucho for your personal impressions. Those are the kind that I like to hear!
  22. zsnnf

    zsnnf Formula 3

    Sep 11, 2003
    Have you ever looked into what it would take to do this? Will the trans bolt up to the block, etc?

  23. Sfumato

    Sfumato F1 Veteran

    Nov 1, 2003
    Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, Anglesey, Wales
    Full Name:
    Angus Podgorney
    Michelotto has the bits, Rick, based on the info I have. Keep orig motor and build a play motor? Naaaaah :D
  24. jordan747_400

    jordan747_400 F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 9, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    Im with you!!! Just give me some dates. I will cover gas :)
  25. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 28, 2003
    Rocky Mountains
    Full Name:
  26. prohydro

    prohydro Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2001
    Redmond, WA
    Full Name:
    Cool Steve! Look forward to seeing the F40 on the road around here this summer. When we get a few nice days in a row, bring it up to the Redhook Brewery and I'll buy you lunch there. I've always wanted to look under the bonnet of an F40.
  27. Motob

    Motob Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed Professional Ferrari Technician

    Nov 11, 2003
    Berkeley, CA
    Full Name:
    Brian Brown
    The brakes on F40's are very, very good, once you get them up to temperature. If it still has stock pads, it will take a lot of pedal pressure to stop the car for the first few stops. Once the brakes are warm, get it up to 100mph or so and then stand on the brakes, I think that you will be impressed with the braking power. The stock pads also tend to squeal under light brake application.
    I have had good luck using Porterfield replacement pads, for street use I would recommend the R4-S compound, they stop much better cold and don't squeal as much as stock. I am sure other people on this forum have other good alternative suggestions (Ferodo, etc).

    F40's are a blast, you feel like you are driving a giant slot car.
    Have fun!

    Brian Brown
    Patrick Ottis Company
    Berkeley, CA
  28. Wolfgang

    Wolfgang F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 8, 2003
    Heidelberg, Germany
    Full Name:

    Congratulation & a wonderful post!
    After a long while this is (to me) the first post which makes me smile. I wish I could read more of this post.

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