We are delighted to share with you a recent visitor to the Auto Curators Studio in Hampshire. Supercar Legend, the Ferrari F40, meets Kamikaze Collection coatings, for whom we have recently becoming an authorised application centre.
The Ferrari F40 is one of the greatest vehicles to come out of the 1980’s. Launched in 1987 as a celebration of Ferrari’s 40th anniversary, it took just 2 years for it to go from it being an idea to a fully developed car.
The F40 borrows it’s technology heavily from the Ferrari F1 motor sport programme, and it\’s shape uses aeronautical influences to it’s benefit. At it’s core is an exceptionally strong and rigid tubular steel chassis that forms the passenger cabin, together with front and rear sections onto which suspension and drive train are mounted. Over this framework, the body panels are made of very light but super strong Kevlar, and this can be seen on the unpainted insides of the panels. All of this helped the Ferrari F40 achieve a kerb weight of just 1104kg. It’s nearest contemporary was the Porsche 959, which weighed 1458kg.
The engine is an all alloy, 2936cc V8, fitted with 2 watercooled IHI turbos and sophisticated sequential fuel injection, using twin injectors per cylinder technology, and other features found in F1 engines of that time. The result is an explosive 478bhp at 7000rpm.
The body shape was designed for maximum aerodynamic efficiency. This included the use of NACA ducts down the doors and into the rear clam, to feed the turbo intercoolers with cool, fresh air. These ducts came from aerospace development (NACA stands for National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, which later became NASA), and were designed to suck in the maximum amount of air without causing drag that would usually occur.
The paint on an F40, from factory, was exceptionally thin. Officially it was to save weight, with just 2 litres of red paint being used for the entire vehicle. This means that the weave of the Kevlar could be seen through the paint. Unfortunately for many UK delivered cars (of which there were only 60 officially sold here new, from a total worldwide production run of 1350), the visible weave was considered to be a bad thing, and so were resprayed prior to first delivery so as to smooth out the finish. As a result, original cars that still proudly sport their thin paint are even more sought after. When brand new, list price on an F40 was £163,000. To buy that same car now would cost more than £1 million.
And so onto ‘our’ example. This car was originally supplied to Switzerland, and is a lovely low mileage example from 1991. Before our client’s tenure with it, the body had been repainted, and in doing so, most of the visible weave had been lost. The brief was to improve the finish as far as possible, our client not having had a car detailed before (let alone Curated!), and so was a big leap of faith to bring us the car and just asking us to do what we could.
Rolling it off the trailer, the car initially looked great, but upon closer inspection, it was clear a lot of work was necessary. As is common with cars like this that spend a lot of time in garage being dusted off, the paint surface was flat and covered with a lot of fine scratches. But below those were a lot of other deeper, random marks, together with sanding marks left over from the respray.
After correcting the paintwork, our client wanted the best protection possible for the car. So to achieve this we decided on a two stage approach. Firstly the nose of the car would be covered in self healing Llumar paint protection film (PPF). The PPF is pre-cut before fitting to the car, providing an almost invisible barrier against stone chips, and other minor impacts on the most vulnerable area of the car.
Secondly, we spoke to our client about the new ceramic coating range we have recently become authorised applicators for, the Kamikaze Collection. More specifically, the application of two coatings, Miyabi Coat, and available to professionals only, ISM Pro.
The many intricate areas of bodywork, combined with paint that was showing very inconsistent thickness readings, meant that paint correction was very time consuming. Great care and thought needed to be exercised at every step, with tools like our Rupes iBrid Nano proving to be invaluable.
Another aspect of the car that was much in need of some improvement, yet provided another set of challenges, was the Lexan windows. The polycarbonate material is frequently used in motorsport to replace glass windows, and therefore make a significant weight saving. But the problem is that it is easy to scratch, and can quite quickly become hazed and \’milky\’ looking. We carefully polished the rear engine cover, and passenger side windows to make what improvements we could.
With the polishing all done, the car was carefully cleansed to remove any dust and polishing oils, ready to receive the PPF first, then the amazing hand made Kamikaze Collection coatings from Japan.
The application of the products must follow a very specific routine, which is neither quick or easy. However, the results are quite breathtaking, and in the hours that followed following application of the final coating layer of ISM Pro (3 in total), the car seemed to look glossier by the minute. Kamikaze Collection coatings carry a significant premium over our regularly applied coating, due to material cost and application time, but for such a very special vehicle, it more than justified the extra cost.
Final touches included tidying the many hard to reach areas under the front clam, and spending time ensuring the engine bay was clean and dressed, using the Auto Curators Tyre & Trim Shield, along with the tyres too.
We enjoyed taking a handful of images in the Studio, prior to our client collecting his car in glorious sunshine outside where he could enjoy the full effects of our work and the amazing Kamikaze Collection coatings.
To look after his beautiful Ferrari, we were only too pleased to put together a package of our aftercare products, which can be found by clicking here.