Collector David Lee honors five generations of modern Ferrari supercars
David Lee has become one of southern California’s most well-known Ferrari collectors. You’d think a vault filled with a customized Dino, a 1964 250 Lusso, and a matching yellow F12 TdF would be impressive enough, but Lee’s collection also includes a stunning lineup of Ferrari’s halo cars that stretches from the LaFerrari all the way back to the Group B-inspired 288 GTO. He recently opened his doors to the Southwest Region of the Ferrari Club of America and I tagged along. What I saw I’ll remember for a long time to come.
Although it never got to compete in the racing series it was designed for, consumers still got to buy the rally-bred Ferrari 288 GTO, which is all that matters to the owners. Its sleek bodywork hints at its 308 origin, but its longitudinally-mounted twin-turbo V-8 and wider stance leave no doubt that this is a true supercar.
The F40 uses a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V-8 to produce 478 horsepower. Considering there’s not much else to the composite body covering a tube chassis, it was a relatively simple solution to making a fast car. The bonkers-looking F40 remains a hallmark of Ferrari’s analog supercars, with a no-frills interior and a lightweight body that flaunts its lack of filler primer. That would just add weight, anyhow.
Dropping an F1-based V-12 into the middle of a road-going car is certainly one way to shake up the sports car world. Ferrari did just that with the F50, as a follow-up to the earlier F40. Its 4.7-liter V-12 produced 512 horsepower and propelled the tart-topped wonder to nearly 200 mph, aided by its road-holding active damping system. Only 349 were built.
With a design that evokes an open-wheel Formula 1 racer, the Enzo was a technological tour de force. Its paddle-shifted F1 six-speed transmission and carbon-fiber bodywork mimicked the open-wheel racers that had delivered Ferrari consecutive driver championships from 2000–05. Despite the technology inherent in its 660-hp V-12 engine and traction control system, the driver has to manually roll his or her window up and down. Priorities.
Among the world’s most outrageous production cars, the LaFerrari has few competitors even today, more than five years after launching. As is Ferrari tradition, it incorporates leading-edge technology, this time by pairing a 789-hp naturally aspirated 6.3-liter V-12 with a 161-hp electric motor. Despite all the added mass of the motor and its 480-volt, 2.3-kilowatt-hour battery, curb weight is under 2800 pounds. Naturally, the hybrid hypercar comes with its own battery tender that’s complete with a prancing cavallino emblem. Don’t have that on your McLaren P1 or Porsche 918, huh?