Nicola Materazzi, a Ferrari engineer, approached Enzo Ferrari in 1984 with the idea of using the thriving Group B rally class as a testbed for future Ferrari production cars.
The 288 GTO road car was quickly developed by a small team of engineers, and it was quickly followed by the race-ready 288 GTO Evoluzione.
The car that would become the F40 went from 288 Evoluzione concept to full production model in just 11 months, thanks to a full-scale engineering effort at Ferrari and assistance from Pininfarina.
When the car went on sale for the 1987 model year, Ferrari planned an initial production run of 400 units, up from 272 units for the 288 GTO.
Despite sharing the same battleground as the mighty Porsche 959, the two supercars couldn't be more dissimilar.
In comparison to the 959, the Ferrari was an atom bomb of screaming acceleration, razor-sharp handling, and unrivalled feedback.
As we mentioned in our Ferrari F50 history, many F40s were originally purchased as investments.
A heinous number of F40s were mothballed after landing in the buyer's driveway, escaping only for a brief low-impact cruise every few months, if at all.