For the 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon, Japanese tuning house Liberty Walk is going big. The body kit rogues typically known for ultra-wide bolt-on overfenders are entering a freaking Ferrari F40 in the overfender arena. Yes, this is the sort of thing that Ferrari sends cease and desist orders over, but I’m alright with the Liberty Walk treatment on the F40. Let me explain.
First, when you buy a car that doesn’t have an end user license agreement, you buy the whole car. It’s yours to drive, maintain, modify, improve, ruin, what have you. Sure, people’s tastes might have different interpretations of ruination or improvement, but taste is subjective. If the owner of this F40 wants their car to be wider, so shall it be.
Next, the F40 is valuable, which makes a huge difference. Sure, if someone wished to revert this F40 to stock, they’d have to patch some holes and whatnot, but the value of the car makes it worth it. It’s not like Liberty Walk is riveting overfenders to an Austin Ambassador or something incredibly rare that doesn’t have a deep bench of people lining up to restore. There will always be a market for patched-up F40s.
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Finally, it’s not like F40s are going extinct. Sure, Ferrari only made a little more than 1,300 of them, but that’s a massive number compared to the 400 Enzos, 349 F50s, and 710 LaFerraris made. What’s more, F40s are designed to be cosseted in climate-controlled garages and taken out on special occasions. This isn’t a car that’s typically subject to attrition.
Right, so that’s a defense of the concept, what about the execution? Well, it’s a bit of a mixed bag from my perspective. Let’s start with the most controversial bits, the bolt-on rear overfenders, which I reckon are the most successful part of the car. Box flares were big in the ‘80s, and they really suit a wedge-shaped silhouette from that time. These overfenders also seem to follow the body lines fairly well. The leading edge is fairly harmonious with the door shut line, the trailing edge is fitted tightly to the extractor vents, and the signature black trim line is accounted for. I’d call that a job well done.
Moving around to the front, things get weirder. On the one hand, the deletion of the pop-up headlights is a bit disappointing. Sure, they act as massive air brakes at night, but they’re so era-specific and charming that it’s hard to imagine why someone wouldn’t want them. Oh, and the NACA duct on the nose seems a bit out of place. On the other hand, Liberty Walk has chosen to mold a complete front clip, which reduces the amount of factory bodywork being drilled into. In that context, it’s well-executed.
Of course, I’m not one to fault Liberty Walk’s installation of its kits. Too often you see ill-fitted overfenders on show cars these days, but Liberty Walk concentrates on working the edges of the parts to make them fit right. It’s the sort of detail work that separates the pros from the amateurs.
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While the Liberty Walk F40 will have more than its share of haters, it’s proof of someone doing something fun with their F40, which is admirable. After all, what are fast cars if not fun? Expect to see a whole lot more of it next year when it makes its public debut at Tokyo Auto Salon.
Photo credits: Liberty Walk
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