Rebuilding A Ferrari F40 LM Is An Exercise In Artistry
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.