When we think of legendary Ferrari models, the Ferrari F40 instantly comes to mind. The now legendary Ferrari F40 is considered to be the “greatest Ferrari ever produced” by Ferrari enthusiasts and the worldwide petrolhead community alike, and that doesn’t surprise me at all. The Ferrari F40 was built to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Ferrari and it was the very last Ferrari that was approved and partly developed by the man himself, Enzo Ferrari before his death in 1988, and that by itself is enough to make the F40 a very special vehicle, well to me anyway.
Ferrari introduced the F40 to the world all the way back in 1987 and at the time it was the fastest, most powerful, and most expensive vehicle the Italian brand offered for sale. When the Ferrari F40 made it’s public debut Ferrari only planned to build a total of 400 examples, but the Ferrari F40 became so popular and demand for this extreme Ferrari was so high, Ferrari ended up building 1,311 F40’s over a five year production period (1987 – 1992). However rare and desirable these 1,311 Ferrari F40’s are today, there is one F40 in particular that is even more rare and it stands out from the rest, want to know more? Please carry on reading this article.
This is it, what you are looking at is the Ferrari F40 “Valeo”. I know what you are thinking, it looks like any other Ferrari F40 doesn’t it? However, it is a one of a kind F40 and it has a few unique features that make this particular example stand out from the rest. What are these unique features? Well as you can see from the pictures featured in this article, the Ferrari F40 “Valeo”features a full black interior instead of the standard bright red interior that can be found on any other F40, but that is not the most interesting part though.
The Ferrari F40 “Valeo” is one of those Ferrari’s that not even the most die hard members of the “Tifosi” knew about, why? Because it featured an automatic transmission, yes you read that correctly. The Ferrari F40 “Valeo” was manufactured especially for Gianni Agnelli, who at the time was the long serving chairman of the Fiat group. Mr Agnelli was the man responsible for brokering highly profitable international deals for the Fiat group but he wasn’t your usual boss, because he was a massive petrolhead and he was known for his love of cars and he wasalso known for ordering special one-off creations, like theworlds only Ferrari Testarossa Spider.
Because Mr Agnelli was such a massive petrolhead, naturally he wanted a Ferrari F40 to add to his large car collection. However, there was one big problem. Mr Agnelli suffered a serious leg injury in a car crash in his younger years, as a result this lingering leg injury made it nearly impossible for Mr Agnelli to drive any vehicle with a conventional manual transmission, however this didn’t change his desire to shift gear himself so as a result it was left to the Ferrari engineers to come up with a solution, and that they did.
Ferrari engineers enlisted the help of transmission manufacturer Valeo, Valeo were well known to the Ferrari engineers as they manufactured the conventional three-pedal manual transmission which featured an automatic mode for Mr Agnelli’s one-off Ferrari Testarossa Spider. However, while working together, the Ferrari and Valeo engineers came up with something rather special, a transmission that is pretty impressive even by today’s standards. Known as an electronic clutch transmission, this impressive piece of kit would automatically engage the clutch whenever the stick shift gear lever was moved from one positionto the next. As a result, the problem was solved and Mr Agnellicould change gears without the hassle of depressing a heavy clutch pedal.
When this unique, one of a kind Ferrari F40 was finally delivered to Mr Agnelli, he was approaching his 70’s and during his period of ownership he had entered his 70’s, therefore he never really got to drive and enjoy this extreme Ferrari. As a result, when this one-off Ferrari F40 was sold to it’s second owner in Turin, Italy, it had only covered a mere 400 miles. Unfortunately, it is unknown when the second owner acquiredthis one-off Ferrari F40 and how much he/she paid for it, but I am pretty sure it didn’t come cheap.
The last time the truly unique Ferrari F40 “Valeo” surfaced was all the way back in 2008, when it crossed the RM Sotheby’s auction block. As you would expect from such a special Ferrari F40, it sold for a fair bit of money, €418,000 ($475,000) to be exact. This is not by any means cheap, but to a certain extent it is quite cheap and therefore a bargain of a lifetime, especially when one takes into account the history behind this specialFerrari F40 and the fact that it is the only automatic Ferrari F40 ever produced.
I can’t help but wonder how much the value of this one-off Ferrari F40 has increased since changing hands in 2008. With low mileage, show winning Ferrari F40’s fetching as much as $1 million these days, I am pretty sure that the F40 “Valeo” could easily fetch around $1.5 million – $2 million if it ever had to cross the auction block again. However, if I was the lucky owner of the F40 “Valeo”, not even $2 million would be enough to convince me to sell this unique F40, because frankly this F40 is priceless and I know I am not the only one that thinks this.