A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £122,625
Manufactured from 2004 until 2009, the Ferrari F430 was the successor to the very successful 360M and, according to its creators, was at least 70% new compared with the previous model, itself a ground-breaker. Its aluminium structure was more rigid than the 360's, it had a new engine, a new F1 gearbox, a new differential, and a brand-new chassis and, although the styling is obviously reminiscent of the 360M's, in reality, it's pretty much a ground-up design. Largely the work of Pininfarina, although overseen by Ferrari's design chief Frank Stephenson, the F430 still looks fresh today, more crisp-edged than the 360, with a strong hint of Enzo around the surface-erupting tail-lights.
Its all-new 4.3-litre V8 engine, with four valves per cylinder instead of the 360's five, and chain camshaft drive instead of belts, with a consequential reduction in service costs, has a variable-valve-timing system lifted straight from the Enzo's V12, dry-sump lubrication, a very high compression ratio (11.3:1), a variable airflow plenum chamber, and an enormous electronic brain making the decisions in the form of not one, but two, Bosch Motronic ME7 ECUs. At 483bhp, it boasts 21% more power than the 360, exceeding even that of the mighty (and turbocharged) F40, whilst the torque spread is extraordinary for an engine keen to howl beyond 8500rpm. All of these factors contribute to a 0-62mph time of just 3.7 seconds and a maximum speed in excess of 196mph.
The advancements in the 430 continued with the 'Manettino', the steering wheel-mounted selector for stability systems, damping, shift speed, and throttle response. Additionally there's the 'E-diff', whose calibrations this alters, a clever, clutch-controlled active differential that sorts out waywardness, not by inhibiting one rear wheel, but by pouring more torque into the other. Ferrari reckons that it's worth three seconds a lap at the Fiorano test track, and it certainly helps make the F430 a far more forgiving machine than the 360, and a car of supremely subtle and keen responses.
The car presented here is one of circa 100 UK-supplied, right-hand drive examples produced with the desirable manual gearbox. It has only covered 4,500 miles from new and was first delivered to the world famous chef and TV personality, Gordon Ramsey. The car was then sold to a Charles Walker, of shortbread fame, and our vendor is the third proud owner, and has kept the Ferrari in his significant private collection since May 2015. Finished in the stunning combination of Argento with a Nero interior this amazing car has an impeccable service history and, indeed, has just been serviced by marque specialists Meridien, including the important auxiliary belt change.
Presented to auction in truly stunning condition, the time has now come for someone else to enjoy what must surely be one of the finest examples on the market today and, when combined with the remarkably low mileage and undoubted celebrity provenance, this could turn out to be one of your better decisions.