Ferrari F40 returned to owner 24 years after $2.5 million supercar was stolen

The luxury vehicle was parked outside a hotel in Italy when it disappeared

A Ferrari F40, like the one pictured, has been returned to its owner after it was stolen 24 years ago. Photo: Alamy
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A Ferrari worth $2.5 million that was stolen outside a hotel in Italy has been returned to its owner after nearly 24 years.

The F40 is one of only 1,311 produced and the model was the last personally commissioned and approved by the Italian car maker’s legendary founder Enzo Ferrari.

The Ferrari was tracked down by Christopher Marinello, a London-based American lawyer who specialises in reuniting owners with stolen high value goods, including looted Nazi art and luxury watches.

He is taking up an offer by the grateful owner to take the 201mph supercar for a celebratory spin. He posted on social media: “My job doesn't suck, sometimes”.

Earlier this week, it emerged a Ferrari belonging to former Formula One driver Gerhard Berger was recovered by police in the UK, 28 years after it was stolen while he was competing at the San Marino Grand Prix.

The F40 model was built from 1987 to 1992 and was named in honour of the company’s 40th anniversary. At the time the fastest road car, it was capable of 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds, but compared to modern supercars it is relatively basic.

According to the official Ferrari magazine, the F40 does not have power steering, ABS brakes or even electric windows and “had a very singular mission: to thrill”. But despite the car's age it “still feels sensational” to drive.

Mr Marinello, the chief executive and founder of Art Recovery International, said he found the F40 using “exactly the same method as recovering a watch or a painting” and described the car as a “genuine work of art”.

“It could be years before they surface again and in this case with the car it was 24 years, which is incredible,” he told The National.

He explained a confidentiality agreement with the insurance company he was working for prevents him revealing details of the owner.

But he shared the theft statement submitted, which reveals the car comes in Ferrari’s famed Rosso Corsa red and was stolen on April 16 2000, from the Villasanta, an area adjacent to the Monza Formula One racing track.

Mr Marinello, an art student-turned-lawyer, worked as a litigator in New York on art-related disputes before founding Art Recovery International and moving to London.

He operates from an office with a bulletproof door.

Meanwhile, Austrian 10-time Grand Prix winner Berger is set to be reunited with his £350,000 F512M Testarossa.

London's Metropolitan Police said officers received a report from Ferrari in January this year after they carried out checks on a car being bought by a US buyer through a UK broker last year.

Updated: April 16, 2024, 1:06 PM