First F40 Experience

Discussion in '288GTO/F40/F50/Enzo/LaFerrari' started by trbar, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. trbar

    trbar Rookie

    Aug 19, 2009
    After lurking on the F-Chat site for quite some time, I thought I would post this story. I believe some of you may find it rather interesting. It is one of my most cherished car related experiences.

    While I was in college, the father of one of my childhood friends, purchased a new F40 (Red over Black). My friend was living in a different part of the state at the time, so his father asked another close friend and I, to come by his house for the delivery. Obviously, we jumped at the chance.

    The car was scheduled to be delivered in the early afternoon via enclosed trailer. Separately, the mechanic from the dealership flew into town to handle the delivery process. My friend and I picked up the mechanic from the airport, bought lunch at Togo’s and arrived during the lunch hour.

    The delivery time came and went. No car, no phone calls. After about an hour we resorted to pacing around the front yard. Eventually, we heard a large truck down on the main residential street. The driver had been unable to locate the entrance to the private driveway. My friend and I jogged down to the main road and guided the truck to the house.

    The semi parked, the mechanic opened the doors to the trailer, and holy cow there was the car. The unloading process took what seemed like an eternity. The mechanic guided us around and through the car, explaining technical details and service requirements. He then started the engine and let it idle while we finished the walk around. The sound from the motor at idle was simply a teaser of the things to come. The engine compartment and interior were amazing. Photographs had simply been unable to capture the level of craftsmanship that went into producing this vehicle.

    With the walk around complete and the paperwork signed, the mechanic indicated it was time for an initial drive. He offered to personally pilot the car for a few miles and then switch seats with the owner. For some reason my friend’s father offered me the first ride. I repeatedly protested, but he absolutely insisted.

    I eventually accepted his offer and buckled myself into the car. The mechanic left the driveway and we started down the back roads to a two lane highway (it is a well know stretch of road that connects two suburbs within the valley). He kept the RPMs fairly low and made a couple of quick explorations into boost. Over the engine noise the mechanic asked me to guide him to the local Ferrari dealership that was located about eight miles away.

    We arrived at the dealership at about two in the afternoon. It was a beautiful day and the dealership was crowded with people. I immediately came to understand that being associated with an F40 provides instant hero status. We were literally bombarded with questions.

    A gentleman, who I recognized as the COO of a major technology company, pulled me aside. I explained the situation and identified myself as a friend of the owner. He then began to tell me about his personal experiences as an F40 owner. I think he was just happy to speak with someone who had first hand experience in the car. I still remember how excited he was as he described his first run down Hwy. 1. We talked for a good twenty minuets before the mechanic rejoined us.

    We eventually made our way back to the car and started the trip to the owner’s home. The car was now warmed up and the mechanic put it through its paces. He accelerated well into boost, ran through the gears, and demonstrated the braking potential. Truly amazing.

    By this time, I was seriously concerned about the owner’s state of mind. He had been gracious enough to offer me the first drive and we had been away from the house for a solid forty-five minutes. I knew he assumed that his brand new car was either in a ditch or wrapped around a tree. The mechanic interpreted my concern for the owner as fear for my life. To this day, he still enjoys telling people about how he scarred the s**t out of me on that fine afternoon.

    We returned back home and as I suspected the car’s owner had been seriously concerned about our safety as well as the state of his car. He assumed something tragic had happened and that he was going to be responsible for notifying my parents. Much to my disbelief, the owner then told my friend to get in and take the next ride. Given, how long the owner waited for the first test ride to end, I was amazed by this demonstration of kindness. By the time the car was safely cloistered in the garage, everyone had an opportunity to experience the F40.

    Over the last two decades, I have experienced many exotic cars, but the F40 delivery still stands as my most cherished automobile related memory.
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  3. Bill S

    Bill S Formula 3

    Oct 2, 2004
    Great story! Thanks for sharing.
  4. F430GB

    F430GB F1 Veteran

    May 5, 2008
    Reno, NV
    Full Name:
    Gil Folk
    +1!!!! Sounds AMAZING!!! Thank you VERY much for posting. :)


    SSNISTR F1 Veteran

    Feb 13, 2004
    Great story!
  6. 410SA

    410SA F1 Veteran

    Nov 2, 2003
    West Coast
    Full Name:
    Nice story, but factory fresh F40's all had red seats. Perhaps time has dimmed that memory :)
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  8. NWaterfall

    NWaterfall Formula Junior

    Aug 2, 2009
    The Track
    Full Name:
    Awesome story! Thanks for sharing!
  9. trbar

    trbar Rookie

    Aug 19, 2009
    Seats were indeed red. But what really stands out in my memory are the textures and colors for the remainder of the interior. Never before had I experienced a factory built car that was so purpose built and raw. The other very notable feature was the rather long shift lever. I still find it difficult to put the feeling of that gearbox into words.
  10. ryankjb

    ryankjb Formula Junior

    Nov 19, 2006
    Full Name:
    Great story! Thanks.
  11. b27

    b27 F1 World Champ

    Oct 11, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    Full Name:
    Thanks for sharing, I honestly thought while reading that, that you were going to end with the line "and I woke up". :)

    I'm one of many who one day dream of owning an F40. That and the 288GTO are often thought of the best Ferraris ever built. Some agree some don't. I'm a believer when it comes to those 2 fantastic cars.
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  13. YellowS2KVTEC

    YellowS2KVTEC Formula Junior

    Apr 12, 2009
    Colorado Springs
    Exellent story, sounds like a great memory. One that you will always remember. I always love hearing these first hand experiences (expecially the first time) with some of the greatest cars ever built. F40, my favorite.
  14. RufMD

    RufMD F1 Rookie

    Jan 31, 2004
    Full Name:
    great story...experiencing boost in an F40 for the first time has a way of becoming an indelible memory
  15. BigWilly

    BigWilly Formula Junior

    Jun 15, 2009
    I can't wait for that day.
  16. DM18

    DM18 F1 Rookie

    Apr 29, 2005
    Hong Kong
    And addictive. That is why I have purchased an F40, 288 GTO and 930 Turbo SE...
  17. fingolfin

    fingolfin Formula 3

    Apr 23, 2007
    I'm glad you got to experience that, glad you truly appreciated the experience, and also glad you wrote this account.

    It is my favorite car in the world, and I absolutely can't wait until I join the club of those who know the savagery first-hand.

  18. 348lmgt

    348lmgt Rookie

    Sep 13, 2006
    Glad to hear an honest account of driving one of the true street/track cars ever made. It has it faults but there are few non-pros that would know about them. After 10 years of back roads and concours use, I decided to unleash the beast at the FCA Nationals at Road America. As you enter the track from the country road, people stop what they're doing and just stare in awe. The F40 is a very quiet car in first gear. Enter the Paddocks and the 333 and Enzo drivers stop and look.

    I had just completed the 30k work , so the only extra work was Brembo medium race pads, 100 Octane fuel and clutch, brake and other fluid lines checked. Michelin Sports help.

    Having imprinted the track in my brain after endless hours of DVD play, I found that the sponsors had placed a bus stop in the last straight to slow folks down. Ha! My coach indicated 186mph before braking at the end of the straight. The 20 year old beauty stayed with the big boys everywhere except bustop(paddle shift v. gated shifter). The F40 does not like to downshift from 4th to 2nd even with slow tempo clutching. I could go on but I'll leave a description of the experience to the driver. The interesting thing to me was that she went all out on a good track much smoother than the country road. It requires that you keep the turbos always spooling which is impossible on the open road.

    I think I have an idea why you might have thought the car was red/black. You punched the car off the line, exceeded 4500rpm and saw your life flash before your eyes. A professional upholsterer can get that dark stain out of the seats! She is not to be triffled with on public streets. Have fun and stay safe!!

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