Featured: Rebuilding A Ferrari F40 LM Is An Exercise In Artistry

Rebuilding A Ferrari F40 LM Is An Exercise In Artistry

Jayson Fong By Jayson Fong
March 16, 2016

Photography by Jayson Fong

In front of me are three Ferrari F40s.

One standard car, one F40 LM, and a stripped apart body at the very back—and that’s the one with my attention. Not many people have the opportunity to see an F40 in this bare form, and resembling a full size, honest-to-goodness, 1:1-scale Tamiya model. But I’ve been invited by Ferrari specialists Mototechnique to watch and help document a F40 overhaul.

For many car enthusiasts, the Ferrari F40 is the pinnacle of poster supercars, and with good cause. But for some, a standard F40 is just not enough. As a result, Ferrari created 19 original F40 LMs for competition. Wider, lighter, and more powerful, it was to be the most intense version of the car you could buy. But for those who couldn’t get their hands on one, privateers also went on to upgrade a number of standard F40s to LM specifications—and the pursuit for more aggressive cars didn’t end there. Today, owners are still at it, which is what brings us here, the creation of the newest LM-spec F40.

Like any restoration, it currently lies in pieces. Stripping the car down is essential to knowing the car inside out, and being as efficient as possible. The result of doing so is a great sight to see: in one corner lies a collection of transmission parts; in another, the front air dam is being trimmed, while the the chassis and body reside a special room. Getting the attention and time they need to be perfect, it’s the details that are being completed here that will make all the difference at the very end.

With most of the internals taken out, there is plenty of bodywork to get on with. With enough of it on at the moment to make out that it is an F40, the side sills are in the process of being widened to blend into the new LM front body parts, the fuel fillers enlarged, and its superstructure rebuilt in lightweight alloy. However, it’s not as easy as cutting bits off and sticking them on again, it’s making them all fit together precisely that is the hard bit.

As I look up from the bare honeycomb carbon fibre weave that is usually hidden by a thin layer of Rosso Corsa paint, I catch a glimpse of the original LM outside the room. It serves as a reminder of what the final car will look like in a few months time and the goal: owning the ultimate F40. Watch this space, Petrolicious readers, we’ll be witnessing an incredible transformation…

Special thanks to Mototechnique for its help in arranging this feature.

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Nuno GonçalvesVictor BarbicaneLukas BaranauskasIan ShuartMariusas Bergzas Recent comment authors
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Nuno Gonçalves
Nuno Gonçalves

This has to be ( along with the Lamborghini Countach ) every man who was born in the 80s dream project. I wish I could even help rebuilding one. Keep up and keep us updated.

Victor Barbicane
Victor Barbicane

Title of the article is a bit misleading.
This is a F40 conversion not a LM rebuild or restoration.
Hardly fitting for an original that could fetch over $2M at auction.

Ian Shuart
Ian Shuart

Please Please Please can we have HiRes versions of these photos for backgrounds! I need it so bad!

Lukas Baranauskas
Lukas Baranauskas
Mariusas Bergzas
Mariusas Bergzas
Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Ugh ! Please Mr Fong … especially when it is a feature and even more especially when it is a feature of this magnitude …. more text please !!! But for the abject lack of text this could of been a first rate article rather than a been there done that [ yes several other sites and magazines have already gone down the restoration of an F40 route .. including at least one other LM restoration ,, most in much more extensive detail than this even approaches ] photo essay lacking in substance I’ll say it again Mr Fong .… Read more »