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  Ferrari F40 LM

  Article Image gallery (33) Chassis (2) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1989 - 1994
Numbers built:19
Designed by:Pininfarina
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:November 16, 2009
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAfter almost a decade of relatively poor results in Formula 1, Ferrari decided to put all their efforts on retaining their edge in the pinnacle of motorsport from 1974 onwards. Although this led to the much desired victories and championships, it also was the end of the line for Ferrari's highly successful prototype and GT racers that had reigned surpreme in the 1950s and 1960s. For the manufacturer's many privateers this meant they had to either retire from racing or switch to another manufacturer. For these enthusiasts Michelotto, a small motorsport firm from Padova, Italy, provided the answer. With some back-door support from the factory, they converted two generations of Ferrari's GT road cars in full blown racers.

Initially these Michelotto racers proved very competitive, but the ill-fated 512 BB LM revealed that Ferrari's high-end road cars were no longer suitable for track use. There were too many compromises made for comfort and safety reasons, which did not show on the road, but very much so on the track. By the turn of the decade Ferrari had won four constructor's and three driver's World Championships and was set to continue the successes in the 1980s with a newly developed Turbocharged V6 engine. Tempted by the popularity of the Group B rally class, work was started by the factory on a potential contender. Visually similar to the 308 GTB road car, the 288 GTO that was first shown in 1984 was quite a different beast.

To homologate the aptly named 288 GTO for racing at least 200 examples were required to be produced. Underlining Ferrari's popularity and the GTO's appeal, all production cars were sold even before production started. The 288 GTO offered Michelotto a far better base for a competition car and work was started to develop the mid-engined supercar into a racing car. The first of these 'Evolution' models was ready in 1985 and featured a rounder, more aerodynamic body. Under the restyled panels an even more powerful version of the twin-Turbocharged V8 was fitted. Sadly, Group B racing was abandoned shortly after for being too dangerous. Six Evolutions were eventually constructed, but they never turned a wheel in anger.

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  Article Image gallery (33) Chassis (2) Specifications