THE iconic Ferrari F40 was only ever ‘officially’ built in one colour. You guessed it, it’s racing red or Rosso Corsa if you’re so inclined. So what is a black, or Nero, 1991 Ferrari F40 doing at a United States Marshals Service Auction held by Apple Auctioneering in California?
Much of it can be explained by the fact that its owner Richard Scott is in serious legal trouble. The Californian businessman is currently serving a six-year sentence in federal prison for defrauding the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and has been ordered to pay restitution of more than $12 million dollars, much of it coming from seized assets such as this rather lovely-looking black F40 – a car which has quite a history itself.
It left Maranello in ’91 in its original Rosso Corsa hue, which lasted until 2011 when a mechanic crashed the car while on a test drive. The Italian icon suffered significant cosmetic and mechanical damage, at which point the owner at the time decided to move it on.
The crew from the American motoring documentary drama show Gas Monkey Garage stepped in and purchased the car and took on the daunting task of rebuilding the 80s supercar hero. During the process they sprayed the car black and retrimmed the interior in a similarly evil dark fabric rather than its original red.
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The twin turbochargers and exhaust system on the F40’s 2.9-litre V8 were also damaged in the accident so they were replaced with newer items which, with some careful tuning, saw power rise from the car’s original 356kW in U.S. spec to around 410kW. That’s in a car that already had a reputation for spiky handling. Spiky enough for it to have crashed once already.
The Gas Monkey crew eventually auctioned the car and after a couple of owners it found its way into Richard Scott’s extensive car collection, which includes Ferrari's F430 and California, Mercedes-AMG S65, Mustang Shelby Super Snake, three classic Corvettes, a ’66 Shelby Mustang GT350, Plymouth Roadrunner, plus a few others – all of which are also part of the U.S. States Marshals Service Auction.
But the headline act has to be the Ferrari F40 – the twin-turbo eighties poster car that was the last model from Maranello to be signed off by Enzo Ferrari himself, the first production car in the world to reach 200mph and well, it’s just cool.
Despite having paint so thin you could see the body’s carbonfibre weave through it and no doorhandles, original, low-mile examples have sold for USD$1.7m recently. The bidding for Scott’s car sits at a piffling USD$503,000 at the time of writing with three days left in the auction.