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If you are not familiar with the Sultan, he is one of the world’s wealthiest Monarchs, having ruled the tiny state of Brunei for over 50 years. But what makes the Sultan so impressive to you and I, is that he is known to have one of the most amazing car collections. The true number of custom Ferraris he has had made may never be known, but there is some information that we do know.
Back in the 1990’s the Ferrari 456 was born, and the world recognised this as one of the most beautiful Ferraris every made. The Sultan too fell in love with the shape, and although he owned a few, he always found the car limiting. So, he commissioned Ferrari to make 21 special models of the 456 consisting of 7 four door saloons, 7 five door estates, and 7 two door convertibles. Something for every occasion. A visionary, by commissioning a Ferrari estate 17 years before the Ferrari FF.
But it didn’t stop there. He wanted his own version of the Testarossa, so he had the body redesigned to his liking. Spider? No problem, Sir. At the bottom of the article we have added a video of his Ferrari 550 Spider, except Ferrari didn’t officially make a Spider. Note the roof mechanism is the same as the 2008 Ferrari California, a full 12 years before the launch of the California!
It highlights just how important these one-off designs are for manufacturers, as they drive innovation. Or in the case of Rolls Royce, the Sultan’s orders were what kept them in business. No really, they would have gone bankrupt if it was not for his multiple bespoke orders.
Friday Drool – Sultan of Brunei’s Ferrari F40
However, for some cars he only needed to change one thing. A car like the Ferrari F40 was perfect back in 1987 when it was launched, and is still perfect today. It didn’t need to look any different, but the Ferrari F40 was only made in LHD. In Brunei they of course drive on the “correct” side of the road, so for the Sultan they made him a RHD version. Well seven actually. This makes it possibly the rarest of all Ferrari F40s ever made.
As you can imagine these cars do not come up for sale very often, and although he purchased seven, he still has five in his possession. That makes this one of two ever made available. A rare beast indeed.
This car has come up for sale at Talacrest, who if you are not familiar with, they have sold over $1 billion worth of Ferrari. They have bought and sold some of the rarest and most expensive Ferraris. Not once, but over and over.
1 of 7 RHD F40 models made exclusively for the Sultan of Brunei by Pininfarina at enormous expense.
Ferrari’s F40 is the definitive supercar and has a formidable reputation alongside the 250 GTO as possibly the best road Ferrari built to date. With the F40 Pininfarina produced an era defining creation, one that even today is instantly recognisable by old and young enthusiasts alike.
The 2936cc motor produces approximately 500bhp at 7000rpm with the help of two water-cooled IHI turbochargers running 1.1bar of boost – at 1202kg the F40 still has a phenomenal power-to-weight ratio, resulting in a top speed of 201mph flat out making it the first production car to surpass this mystical boundary. The F40 was a landmark not just on account of its crushing performance and stunning looks, but it was fittingly the last ever car presented by Enzo Ferrari, this taking place at Maranello in June 1987, 14 months before the great man’s death.
From 1991 onwards, cars were fitted with catalytic convertors to meet ever tightening legislation and at this time adjustable suspension became an option. Production was discontinued in 1992 after 1311 examples had been completed in five years (600 or so being bound for the USA and being noticeably different to their lighter and faster European cousins).
This example offered for sale, chassis 91283, is one of the original ultra-rare cars built by Pininfarina for the Sultan of Brunei in RHD. Of the RHD cars just 2 are believed to currently be in public circulation and both have been sold by Talacrest. This car is presented in concours condition having covered just 10,257 kms. A large file accompanies the car detailing a thorough recent restoration totalling over $160,000 by a well know marque specialist justifying the cars exceptional condition and detailing all work carried out including the replacement of the fuel cells at that time.
Interesting and unique features of this car include electric windows and the seating set up for a taller driver with F40LM seats and a unique headlining (for extra head room).
Talacrest bought this car direct from Brunei and has passed it on to new custodians twice and we can confirm #91283 has been maintained with no expense spared.
Tonight’s lottery is £80m. John, you might just get a call from me on Saturday morning!
Images Copyright of Talacrest