The Ultimate Money-No-Object Track Toy

In the late ’80s and early ’90s, the Ferrari F40 adorned the walls of countless teenagers (likely alongside a poster of a scantily-clad celebrity), and three decades on continues to be the lottery-win car for an untold number of enthusiasts.

It’s easy to see why; the pairing of quintessential 1980s supercar design, a high-revving twin-turbocharged V8 and a very raw, engaging driving experience made it a winning choice in any game of Top Trumps.

F40 SH 007

Notable for being the last car signed off by Enzo Ferrari himself, the F40 commemorated 40 years since Ferrari’s establishment. Compared to other special editions with limited production runs, demand was so high for the F40 that a total of 1,315 cars rolled off the production line. With just 11 months to get the car production-ready, much of the work was outsourced, including the bodywork which was carried out by Michelotto Automobili.

F40 SH 029

You’ll have realised by now that the car in these photos is no ‘regular’ F40. Matt Counsell from Porsche specialist Fearnsport looks after the car for its owner, who a few years ago went looking for the ultimate track toy. The requirements? Something visceral and raw that would provide a hugely entertaining and engaging driving experience.

The car in question came up for sale at an American dealer and after purchase was delivered straight to Fearnsport’s workshop at Silverstone Circuit for assessment. Unfortunately, one turn of the key was enough for Matt to know that it needed some work. What followed was a two-year full nut and bolt rebuild, completed in its entirety by Matt himself (while recovering from a heart attack no less!)

F40 SH 003

Did you know that no F40 left the factory as a race car? They all returned to Michelotto as production road cars where the upgrades to LM and later GTE specification took place.

F40 SH 019
F40 SH 026

While there are very few original F40 GTEs, this car has the wider bodywork fitted as a homage to those cars. The GTE was an evolution of the F40 LM, which itself had a host of upgrades over a standard F40. The combination of a wider track, fixed headlight buckets and a revised aerodynamic package with carbon lower splitter, bonnet vent and rear wing gives the car a menacing disposition when parked up. It’s only when you closely examine photos of a standard F40 that you see just how much more extreme this car is.

F40 SH 004

Grip is provided by 295/30 Toyo Proxes R888R tyres mounted on 18×11.5-inch O.Z. Racing centre-lock wheels up front, paired with 335-section rears on the same wheels but 13-inches wide. Behind these sit huge Alcon callipers and 2-piece rotors.

F40 SH 032

The 2.9L twin-turbocharged V8 engine now benefits from some contemporary upgrades, including ball-bearing cartridges in the stock turbos to improve spool, and modern air-to-air intercoolers with a custom water spray system that increases their cooling efficiency. A custom exhaust system that meets UK’s circuit noise regulations was also added, as was MoTeC engine management. All of this amounts to around 590 horsepower on low boost and regular octane fuel, but it’s delivered in a very linear manner. Should the desire for more power arise, Matt says that more boost and race fuel would net over 700 horsepower easily.

This could, however, impact the objective set out by the owner: to have a car that can run reliably all day at a track event, with the only limiting factor being the size of the fuel tank. Matt commented that due to the nature of the power delivery, the car is actually incredibly easy to drive right up to the limit, despite still having non-assisted steering and brakes.

A cross brace to increase torsional rigidity has been added to the engine bay, which also provides a mounting point for the fuel pressure regulator. An electric water pump has also been fitted, meaning only the alternator is belt driven and allows for a cambelt change to be performed in under two hours – something unheard of in a Ferrari!

F40 SH 017

The carbon door swings open with minimal effort, with only a door pull release present. Polycarbonate side windows support the relocated wing mirrors and are fixed in place, with a small slider for fresh air.

F40 SH 012
F40 SH 014

Looking inside, the theme of pure function continues, a digital rear-view mirror the only concession to outright performance.

F40 SH 001
F40 SH 008

Granted, a car of this nature is very far detached from what 99.9% of us could ever hope to own, but if you had the money, wouldn’t you be doing the exact same thing? Values and preservation of original condition cars are one thing, but owning the ultimate iteration of your dream car – that’s a far more impressive accolade.

The fact that someone has a Ferrari F40 as a track car makes me rather happy, because I’d much rather see this turning laps than parked up at a concours event any day.

Chaydon Ford
Instagram: chaycore



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It's not only having the money to buy it but to run it as a track weapon, we're all aware of the running cost of a track toy so scale it up to an F40. Imagine what else (and how much) that guy owns to select an F40 as "toy".
For the question in the end of the article: i would be happy sitting in its presence revving let alone watch it go around a race track; F the collectors and their climate controlled garages.


No other exotics my friend, just a few interesting old race and modified Porsches. As for tracking the F40, Fearnsport's meticulous car preparation and the mods to modernise many systems have kept her completely reliable and costs surprisingly sensible. Bespoke motorsport parts, being 30+ years newer are cheaper and better than oem stuff anyway.


Yes. To every word.


Did you get any info on when and where the owner does track days on this thing so that you can actually get some footage of it in motion on a track??


i've done a drawing of a F40 LM and doing that had a chance to get familiar with all the little details that make it stand out as a race car. There's a lot of those tiny yet tastefull mods that make it what it is.


What's the make and model of the digital rear view mirror?


Was wondering that same thing for my own track toy - make looks to be DC Electronics, not sure of the model CAM03k-180?

Great write up and pictures Chaydon - thank you! Looking forward to the track action footage


DCE Motorsport


A digital rear view mirror? I thought the placement was so that the owner could admire himself while driving.


Excellent car. My money-no-object track car would be a mid-90's CART Indy Car. Anyone of the top teams would do (Green, Forsythe, Ganassi, or Newman Haas). Wouldn't be cheap, but fun as hell!


good choice


Thank you!


Funny how our taste changes over the years,

Grew up with no interest with these cars (exotic) but now I look at this and 90s 911 gt2/gt3 cars and just drool and admire

Maybe I can grow my business to own something like this one day


Got serious Tifosi vibes frome every detail, even the "Enzo way" tacked on digital rearview, while doing what Enzo era cars never could nor would: be reliably useful, user friendly, and user serviceable.

But this will get embarrassed by an equivalently priced Mclaren Solus or Czinger 21C V Max, or of they already have one, a multitude of track specials that are being delivered soon from the 2022 GT3 RS to GMS T.50... also there are more expensive ways to party in the Ferrari circles. "top trumps" (w/e that means) this or any F40 LM isn't topping even a cars and coffee where machines of this caliber show up to show. Even in the 80's this car had to compete with the Diablo VT 6.0/GTR, the tuned Viper GTSR's, etc... And THE MCLAREN F1. Forgot about that masterpiece? There's ppl that use GTR versions of that to play with the top machines of today and get "linner" after, same set of tires. It's because of this that really this F40 has lost it's aura to many of us fortunate enough to see this level on a monthly basis (if you don't and want to - MOVE!), So meh and "it's parked between the Fangio-driven F1 and a signed 2002 Schumacher F12000 so whatever to this underachiever."

What matters here is easy: the owner knew what to do w their F40 and this one is all the better for it.


Always a joy when someone completely misses the point

The c&c specials aren’t in the class, as that’s typically the only drive time they will ever see. A 30 minute outing to Hayfields is a far cry from repeated track days…both in terms of fun, and maximizing value spent.

The same can be said for the forthcoming GT3 RS. No doubt and track weapon, and of course it should run circles around a car that’s tipping 40 years old. Sad however that you’re unlikely to actually see one being used as such, given that they will be snagged by 78 year old retired surgeons who tuck it in their garage while their nephews flex on Instagram about “their” car.

It takes balls (and a sizable account) to buy an F40, even in the marketplace of the past. It takes genuine balls and a penchant for fun to modify it for something as diverse as Street and Track use, and to do it to this level.

A very, very special car. Props to the owner and team involved!


Yes, the new cars would beat the F40 AND the F40 isn't full of electronic nannies where anyone can hop in and take the car to 7/8-10th of the limit with ease. I'd rather row my own gears than click paddles. Just me.

No, no one here forgot about the McLaren F1. That also an 8 figure entry fee. An LM spec car just sold at auction (August 9th) for a record 19.8 million. You need cavernous pockets to track that, and most people will not push it to 10/10ths on the track. Sure, some do, but most don't. All the power to both of them.

Heck, why not just buy last year's championship-winning NHRA Funny Car or Top Fuel machine, pull the engine and put it in a lowered van? Send it to Multimatic and have them Frankenstitch the two together. If they can assemble the GT40 and build winning race cars, then they can do it. Nothing on earth would touch it. Lifetime bragging rights. "Better" than any other car on the planet.

There will always be another car in the wings that will beat the top machines of the day. Electric cars will see to that in the very near future. Does that mean you'd rather have a 2045 Honda Accord because it can out quarter mile Ferraris, Lambos, Porsche and the exotic, multi-million dollar engineering wet dreams of this moment? Probably not.

Certain cars will always stick with you. For a lot of us on this site, that's a Ferrari F40. I would gladly take it over most of the machines you've mentioned. Those are your choice, and older, analogue cars are mine. Give me Yellowbird any day of the week and twice on Sunday over the latest GT3 RS. Green Hell laps clearly show you why. No skill behind the wheel and you're in big trouble. You'd have to be driving the new RS like a complete fool to come anywhere near the same level of danger.

Lastly: The F40 changed the supercar game. Just like any car driven by Fangio. Schumi forever changed F1 when he helped build the 1999-2004 Ferrari dynasty. Ferrari were a joke, and Schumi's work ethic made them pull up their socks. Ferrari brass said they rested on their laurels, thinking no one would catch them, so they slacked. That's when other teams caught up and beat them. So no, the F40, when parked with those cars, is not an underachiever. It's an equal, a legend amongst its peers, who are also legends. They are made that way because of their drivers. The F40 was made that way because it was destined to be from its inception. Big difference.

Just my 2 cents.


why even mention a brand new car that literally got revealed 2 days ago to something that's exceeding 20 years old by a decade


I just want to see the 80's viper and F1 he's talking about


Can’t quite figure from the article, was this an original Michelloto LM with upgraded GTE bits or an F40 that’s been turned into this package over time? Either way is epic


Heavily modified road car. Spec sits somewhere between LM and GTE but actually is neither. Has integrated cage, much wider race suspension, brakes, power output etc of LM with GTE bodywork and wheels. The most important modifications IMO are unseen like the full modernisation of electronics (like sequential injection and knock control), oil and cooling to modern motorsport specs. Much more powerful, safer, runs way cooler and so far, totally reliable. All credit to Matt at FS. I just beat it up, he makes it better every time he touches it.

The telltale sign for spotting a car that was originally a road car is the Pininfarina badges just ahead of the rear wheels. The Michelotto LM's and GTE's don't have this.


Really cool, thanks for the info


If there's a better version of the F40 itself as it is already a great car, then it has to be this LM
It's like the version you never knew you wanted but needed and it's better in every way


I am a long (really looooooong) time lurking of speedhunters and this is the first time I coment!

Because man this car are just amazing! This is possibly the tenth time I've checked the post since it was created, and this F40 is just stuning! every detail is perfect, I even chek on instagram of Fearnsport for more images and info, congrats to the guys who imagine and/or do the work! The fact that it was designed to be performant but reliable, and keep all the 80´s charm while improving practically everything with modern technology without being out of site or obtrusive. But a small detail stood out to me, the water pump is electric, in an F40 with a huge power, which left me with a doubt that I would like to ask the owner of the car (or preparer) that I think has already answered here to several comments and it will not be a person without experience! Its this type of pump is more or less reliable in general than a mechanical one? It's just that a little over a month ago I changed the water pump in my car, which was in good condition, but since I was changing the driven belt I took the opportunity to replace it, and at the time I thought of putting an electric one since the car it is a daily drive with not much power nor capable of more than 7000rpm, but several people told me that the electric pump is less reliable, I simply ask why and they only answer me: because it is! Is one of those things that everyone seems to "know" but no one gives a reason! I only know in really high outputs or really very high RPM the flow its hard to be the same, but if its working on this machine its work in a very big chunk of cars in the world! And at the list acording to internet its not to mutch espensive that the mechanical counterpart. So if the owner can enlighten us a little about the cons of this choice I really apreciate, since I think we all already know the pros...

Once again great project!


PS: sorry for my english


R. I. P Ing. Materazzi, you will always remember, in each one f40, your master piece.


I made a coment (my first BTW) and dont apear? Why? Or they apear and how desapear...waths os wrong with my coment?