1987 Ferrari F40 - Photo by Brokenvegetable
Few street cars have as many NACA ducts as the F40, and it’s unlikely they need them as much as this ultimate Ferrari. Developed by the precursor to NASA to be a way to draw air in without disturbing airflow around the vehicle, they’re common on aircraft but few ground vehicles reach high enough velocities to need them. With a top speed within spitting distance of 200 mph, the ducts are a great for cooling the intake charge using the F40’s dual intercoolers. For the 40th anniversary of the founding of his company, and sensing that he might not be around for too much longer, Enzo Ferrari instructed his scuderia to build the ultimate Ferrari, even more extreme than the stillborn 288 GTO Evoluzione developed for Group B rally racing on tarmac. The F40 utilized much of the Evoluzione’s structure and its twin-turbocharged engine, but everything was further refined in order to do Enzo proud. The structure is tubular steel with some carbon fiber elements, and the body is a cocktail of advanced composite materials like Nomex, Kevlar, and carbon fiber. With extremely efficient aerodynamics and incredible specific output (the engine produces 478 horsepower from just 3 liters), to call the F40 “fast” is to understate the situation—the Ferrari hits 60 mph in well under four seconds, and 100 mph just a tenth over eight seconds. As an anniversary edition and the last car created before Enzo Ferrari passed away, the F40 was destined to be valuable, but it also debuted during the “Ferrari bubble” of the late 1980s, and speculators paid well over the $470,000 dealer price when new to own the ultimate Ferrari. While prices have calmed down slightly since then, you’ll likely need a sizeable couch to contain enough loose change to purchase an F40.