These photos of Amir Rosenbaum’s Ferrari F40 are perhaps the perfect way to introduce one of the world’s biggest petrol heads, Naveed Yousufzai (IG: @eatwithnaveed). Naveed is a fantastically talented photographer and storyteller, well known for his work with Speedhunters and Petrolicious. It’s an understatement to say Legendary Car Canvases is thrilled to be working with Naveed! It took Naveed over a year to chase down this very special Ferrari F40 and we’re excited to share this story through Naveed’s words.
Amir Rosenbaum isn’t just another rich guy who happens to own a cool car; he’s a true enthusiast who took a gamble on a car and made it his own in every sense. An obsession with a 5.2-mile course, 20 turns, 1,200-foot hillclimb in Virginia City led Amir to make multiple attempts on the record in a Ferrari Testarossa and later a 512TR.
After close to 10 years of unsuccessful attempts, Amir stumbled across a classified ad for a 1992 Ferrari F40 at a ridiculously low price. Surely, there had to be a catch, but that wasn’t enough to turn him away from giving the guy a call. At this point, Amir knew he couldn’t afford the car, even if it was listed at a “steal” price. So what did Amir do? He went out on a limb and took a gamble on the car by pulling out a loan equivalent to purchasing a house. After the car arrived in Amir’s possession, the journey to build it into a hillclimb special began.
The first modifications we made were within a couple of weeks of owning the car: the brakes, wheels, tires, coilovers, and countless other parts were swapped out. All modifications were oriented toward setting the Virginia City Hillclimb record. And finally in 2002, after constantly falling a couple of seconds behind a RUF CTR2 that seemed to become his arch nemesis, Amir and his team brought home the trophy with an astonishing 3:10 time, beating the CTR2 by two seconds with a record that still stands today.
The next chapter of this F40’s life became an unexpected romance with a land speed record. Over the course of the next three years, the F40 received a full overhaul. Safety features like building the roll cage, adding window straps and roof wickers, and even applying a parachute were all modifications made for the F40 to comply with SCTA-BNI rules and regulations. Finally, in 2006, Amir and his team made it to Bonneville. The targeted top speed was 225mph (362km/h), and though that may sound like a breeze for an F40, it was everything but.
“The car was so wrong for land speed racing on salt. Everything about it. It was too short of a wheel base, too wide of a car, with too big of a wing and far too much downforce. I was absolutely terrified trying to keep the car from coming around, because that’s all it wanted to do. It just did not want to keep straight.”
There are so many stories that can be told about Amir’s ownership of the F40. These two are perhaps the most significant in the eyes of the public, but ownership of the car is far more deep-rooted with Amir. It’s been a forever ordeal from the day he took possession of the keys, enjoying it through everything from Buttonwillow track days, to taking the car on road trips and car shows. Far too often we see owners hiding these sought after poster cars in their fleet of collectables, hardly seeing any sort of real exercise. Amir has provided a shining example of how to own, drive and customize a legendary vehicle. We’re honored to be able to share these incredible canvas car posters with you all. Legendary Car Canvases — behind every image is a story.