Nel 1987, il Grande Vecchio di Maranello decise che era giunta l’ora di festeggiare un importante traguardo: erano passati quarant’anni dalla prima volta in cui un’auto poté portare il nome Ferrari sulla carrozzeria. Il Drake la voleva pronta prima del suo novantesimo compleanno e così, dopo una travagliata gestazione di sei mesi, i suoi ingegneri gli regalarono la vettura che racchiudeva tutto il know-how tecnologico che avevano accumulato in quarant’anni di corse e di vittorie in tutte le categorie e in tutti i circuiti del mondo.
Il risultato era ovviamente una vettura senza compromessi: motore sovralimentato, telaio con il traliccio di tubi ricoperto da un sandwich di materiali compositi (kevlar e carbonio) totale assenza di orpelli inutili come servo assistenze o sistemi elettronici di alcun tipo, non c’erano nemmeno la radio o i finestrini elettrici… L’unico lusso era la presenza di un condizionatore l’aria, ma più che lusso era una necessità, viste le temperature che raggiungeva l’abitacolo a causa della presenza del motore a pochi centimetri alle spalle del pilota.
La base di partenza fu un prototipo: la GTO Evoluzione, che a sua volta derivava dall’ultima supercar made in Maranello: la 288 GTO, studiata per partecipare alle gare della nuova categoria Gruppo B che però fu abolita troppo presto. Il nome dell’auto si deve al suggerimento di un giornalista amico di Enzo Ferrari, Gino Rancati, “la chiami F forty” disse e il commendatore gradì.
All’inizio era prevista una tiratura limitata a 400 esemplari, e nonostante il prezzo piuttosto alto per l’epoca(circa 350 milioni di lire) si scatenò una corsa all’acquisto alimentata anche dalle speculazioni per l’elevato valore che raggiunse sul mercato. Già dopo un anno un esemplare valeva circa due miliardi di lire, anche perché la lista degli acquirenti era blindata e occorreva attendere circa due anni per averne una nel garage di casa.
Molte sono le leggende metropolitane che circondano la F40: si racconta che qualcuno perse l’amicizia dell’avvocato Agnelli perché prima si fece raccomandare pur di entrare nella lista delle prenotazioni e poi vendette l’auto appena ritirata per una cifra astronomica. Si dice anche che in quel periodo solo i Loyds di Londra assicuravano le F40 con assurdi premi assicurativi per coprirne il valore di mercato; uno dei proprietari affermò che assicurare la F40 gli costava come cambiare una Mercedes l’anno.
Ma la febbre durò solo per i primi due anni, perché alla Ferrari decisero di portare il numero delle vetture previste da 400 a mille, facendo così crollare il valore degli esemplari già venduti. In più a causa di un accordo con l’importatore americano, gli esemplari costruiti furono in totale poco più di mille e trecento. Oggi un esemplare in buone condizioni può valere anche un milione di euro e pare che anche dopo più di trent’ anni esistano esemplari che non hanno percorso un solo chilometro, visto che qualche collezionista ha parcheggiato la sua F40 su un bel tappeto persiano tra i divani nel salone di casa subito dopo averla ritirata.
Pininfarina si esibì in un esercizio di stile formidabile, la F40 era l’evoluzione di venti anni di studi aerodinamici: in principio fu la 308 degli anni settanta, da quella passando attraverso un famoso prototipo chiamato “millechiodi” per via dei rivetti che tenevano i passaruota “gonfiati”, si delinearono le forme della 288 GTO che era di fatto una 308 dopo una sessione intensiva di body building, fianchi esageratamente allargati, frontale reso aggressivo da quattro fari montati sotto un paraurti accennato e un profilo pronunciato sulla coda preso in eredità della 250 GTO. Ma il leitmotiv erano ancora una volta le meravigliose ed enormi prese d’aria che solcavano le fiancate partendo dagli sportelli dalla caratteristica forma “Naca“. La GTO come abbiamo detto venne presa come base di partenza per un prototipo denominato con poca fantasia GTO Evoluzione. La carrozzeria venne modificata così come suggeriva la galleria del vento, senza badare a soluzioni estetiche apprezzabili, il risultato fu un poco aggraziato bolide più simile ad un’auto da corsa che a una stradale. Il frontale basso e tondeggiante appariva piuttosto goffo e la coda troncata di netto sembrava lo sfogo di una stufa, piena di feritoie per lo smaltimento del calore. Sulla coda svettava un alettone poco elegante composto da tre elementi.
Leggi la Seconda parte
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