Ferrari’s most successful racing F40 LM sells for $5.4m

This 1987 F40 LM is Ferrari's most successful racing model. Upgraded to both LM and GTE specification, the desirable Italian icon has sold for $5.4m during Rétromobile 2019

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An extremely rare pre-production 1987 Ferrari F40 LM lead an assortment of Italian marque admissions during RM Sotheby’s Rétromobile Paris 2019 auction on February 6, selling for an eye-watering $4,842,000 ($5.4million/£4.2million).

A prototype built to full LM specs on a stripped used Ferrari road car frame, chassis no.74045 was originally employed as a test vehicle for the F40’s development before being converted to racing specification by Michelotto in 1992.

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Affording the Ferrari more aggressive bodywork and new French Blue paintwork, extreme front and rear wings were installed alongside larger disc brakes and calipers, revised suspension, a race-spec gearbox and a stripped-out interior boasting a then-futuristic digital dashboard. Completed on May 19, 1992, despite wearing Michelotto #13, this F40 is not considered by historians to be one of the original 18 produced.

The LM-spec F40 was acquired by professional racing driver Michel Ferté in 1994, who campaigned the Ferrari for two seasons in the BPR Global GT Series. Together with Oliver Thévenin and Carlos Palau, Ferté took the F40 to second place during the 1995 24 Hour of Le Mans in the GT category – good enough for 12th overall.

The Ferrari was further upgraded to GTE specification for 1996 with a wider rear wing, picking up a podium at Nogaro in its penultimate race before retirement from active competition. After its racing days came to a close, the modified F40 has changed hands several times, first selling at auction in May 2000 for $440,000.

Bought by German engineer Dr. Ulrich Schumacher – former CEO of the Zumtobel Group ­– in 2008, the Ferrari made numerous appearances during Modena Motorsport trackdays on the Nürburgring.

Now sold through RM Sotheby’s Paris sale as the most successful F40 LM in racing history, wearing its Le Mans livery with Pilot sponsorship logos applied, the modified F40 carried an auction estimate of €4.5 million - €5.5 million ($5.1m - $6.2m, £4.1m - £5m).

Although collector car gossip proposed that this Ferrari F40 could breach its top estimate, we feel justice has been done. Amazing car, jaw-dropping final price.

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