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Ferrari's F40 was built to celebrate the firm's 40th anniversary, and in 1988 Autocar got behind the wheel to find out just how good it really was

How easy it is! After all the anticipation, all the trepidation, all the wariness about driving the fastest Ferrari ever built for the road, it turns out to be such an effortlessly stirring experience.

Wariness? Well, the twin-turbo V8 just behind the F40's seats punches out 478bhp at 7000rpm. Its torque is a staggering 425lb ft at 4000rpm and all of this is in a two-seater weighing just a couple of hundred pounds more then a Golf GTI.

The F40 is just so raw, unforgiving, brutal, and brilliantly fast

From the passenger seat, I'd gained a clear idea of what that means in neck-snapping acceleration. It wasn't just the brute force of the propulsion.

Above the snarl of the engine I'd heard the intermittent chirping of the rear race-bred Pirellis as they were pushed, despite their 13-inch width, to the verge of wheelspin all the way through first and second and into third.

And, just before it was my turn to squeeze into the driving bucket and cinch up the racing harness, Ferrari test driver Doriano Borsari happened to mention that Read Autocar's first drive of the F40's most recent successor, LaFerrari.