The annual three-day Silverstone Classic is claimed to be the world's biggest classic motor racing festival. Held at the Silverstone F1 circuit in mid-July, the central focus of the massive festival is the historic racing which features the cream of motor racing drivers and cars from every era of motor sport.
Whenever there's a significant automotive anniversary, such as the 50th anniversary of the E-type Jaguar, there's also a mass gathering of vehicles.
This year the festival is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Ferrari F40 - already more than 50 of the original 1315 F40s produced have RSVP'd for the event, guaranteeing a world record (and beating the previous record of 40 F40s seen at the Silverstone Classic in 2007).
Introduced in 1987 to honor Ferrari's 40th anniversary, the mid-engined F40 was the last car commissioned by Il Commendatore - Enzo Ferrari. It was both the fastest car in the world and a tribute to the great man, and is still thought by many to be the greatest supercar of all-time. It was built before advanced engine management systems refined the supercar engine, and the F40 has one of those pre-politically-correct primal snarls.
With carbon fiber and Kevlar panels sculpted by Pininfarina, plus a 478 bhp twin-turbo V8 playing a symphony through the exhaust pipes, the F40 was the dream car at a time when the commercial world was committing financial excess on an unprecedented level.
When new, the F40's original price tag was close to GBP300,000, but the waiting list was so long that people began buying and selling their spot on the list, with more than a million pounds changing hands on several occasions. Just getting one was proof of considerable influence and foresight.
Being so heavily oversubscribed, with a limited run, the F40 was destined for gold chip investment status and when rare examples of the coveted breed are presented at auction these days, they fetch more than they did new.
A fortnight ago a pristine 1991 F40 Berlinetta sold at auction for US$781,000 - it was purchased new by famous industry executive Lee lacocca and hence had a significant provenance, and though it had three owners from new, it still had less than 300 miles on the odometer. So it was an extra rare one, but prices are generally in the range of GBP300,000 and upwards.
So with 50+ of the supercars on track at the same time, the sound will no doubt be worth capturing, let alone the spectacle of GBP15 million worth of F40.
The Ferrari Owners' Club of Great Britain is organizing the parade, which will be held on Sunday July 22, 2012.
If the F40 is not your favorite set of wheels, there are several other celebrations planned for this year's festival, including the 50th birthday celebrations for the AC Cobra, Lotus Elan and MGB plus the UK's first BMW Z-Fest to mark 60 years of the BMW Car Club GB. If you're a motoring enthusiast and will be in the U.K. in July, you'll almost certainly find something special at the festival.
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