The Ferrari F50 is often remembered as a flop. It was slower than the F40, the car it replaced, and its styling was reviled at the time. The F40’s ultra light weight and absolutely insane twin-turbo V8 was in a whole different league.
The F50 was a supercar, no doubt. It came in at a $500k price point in 1995. It had a monocoque carbon fiber body. It had a 6 speed gated shifter, magnesium wheels and manual roll down wheels.
The F50 just has something going for it which is hard to explain. I saw one a couple years back in Vail and it made my jaw drop. I loved the F50 when I was a kid. I remember scouring the internet for spy photos of the then-secret F50 GT1, which unfortunately never saw the light of day.
A cool piece of trivia about the F50: Ferrari sent most of the first batch of them to the United States in order to beat the deadline for all US-sold cars to have driver side airbags.
The engine that debuted in the 1995 Ferrari F50 was a revised version of the 1990 Ferrari 641. Not the best Ferrari F1 car of all time, but far from the worst. If it hadn’t been for some Brazilian guy, the car would’ve claimed the championship. So ya, the engine had chops. It also sounded absolutely fantastic. Few things in life beat a wailing V12.
Watch this awesome retro MotorWeek review of the Ferrari F50:
Ferrari enlarged the 3.5-liter engine up to 4.7-liters in an attempt to squeeze out more torque and better drivability. The result? A claimed 513 horsepower and 347 ft-lbs of torque.
RM Sotheby’s is auctioning off a Ferrari F50 that once belonged to former boxer Mike Tyson, Iron Mike sold it with about 4,900 miles on it. The 5,737 miles currently on the odometer are still low and the nearly mint condition F50 is expected to fetch between $2.2-$2.4 million USD. Numbered 73 out of 349, the car is one of only 50 built to US spec.
Iron Mike’s Ferrari F50 to hit the block on March 11.