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Ferrari 400: buying guide and review

Ferrari 400: buying guide and review Classic and Performance Car
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The classic Ferrari market might have gone a little mad in the last few years, but not all have moved out of reach. The 400 is one such model, offering classy Pininfarina styling, a wonderful V12 engine and of course that all important prancing horse on the bonnet – all for less than £45,000. 
 
As is often the way with these larger GT Ferraris, the 400 was actually a good seller for the company throughout its long life, but it has struggled to make the transition to highly sought after classic. Cars like the Mondial and 456 also suffer the same problem to an extent, with the more sexy two-seaters attracting the most attention. 
 
Perhaps something that puts of a lot of drivers today is the fact that the 400 was the company’s first ever automatic offering. While this made it a big hit in the USA, it also means that there are much fewer manual cars on the market today. It’s styling is also elegant, but really rather understated, failing to attract attention like the more sporty models. 
 
When it came along in 1976, most saw the Ferrari 400 as a mild update of the previous 365 GT/4 2+2, but an increase in engine capacity to 4.8-litres boosted performance significantly. True, the overall shape remained the same, but there were actually a number minor visual changes that changed the overall look. This included a new lip on the front bumper, the revised rear light clusters (two larger pairs rather than the triple units on the 365), new five-stud alloy wheels and a large single door mirror. 
 
Which one to buy? 
 
There were 502 original carburetted 400 models built, while 1305 examples of the fuel injected 400i rolled off the production line. In theory, you can choose between automatic and manual, but the reality is that the automatic cars significantly outnumber the manual cars. 
 
Seeking a manual is not impossible, but the cars do carry a premium, and you will have a much better choice if you opt for the automatic. There’s no way around it, the three-speed GM Turbo Hydra-Matic gearbox does sapp a lot of life out of the 400. That doesn’t mean that auton isn’t still enjoyable, but it’s just in a very different way.   
 
While the 400’s six Weber carbs were highly effective, Ferrari switched to the much more efficient Bosch K-jetronic fuel injection for 1979’s 400i. Although power output dropped (and the edge was taken off the car’s magnificent engine note) performance was officially unchanged. 
 
Performance and specs 
 
Ferrari 400GT
Engine 4823cc, four-cam V12
Power 335bhp @ 6500prm
Torque 311lb ft @4600rpm
Top speed 152mph (manual)
0-60mph 7.0secs
Fuel consumption 16mpg
Gearbox Five-speed manual/three-speed automatic
 
Dimensions and weight
 
Wheelbase 2692mm
Length 4801mm
Width 1798mm
Height 1321mm
Kerb weight 1884kg
 
Common problems
 
• A poorly maintained, or worn out engine can point towards some eye-watering bills in the future, so this is where you should spend some time assessing any potential purchase. 
 
• The good news is that the four-cam V12 fitted to the 400 is actually largely reliable, if in good health. A rattling chain could spell imminent disaster though, if it snaps the engine will most likely be written off. That’s reason enough to make sure you listen to the engine carefully from start up right through to being warmed through, but you should also listen out for any other untoward mechanical noises.
 
• Make all the usual checks, looking for potential head gasket problems (water mixing with oil) as well as keeping an eye on the exhaust for excessive smoke from the exhaust signalling internal wear. 
 
• Setting up the six Weber carburettors is a specialist job, but once done, they generally give very little trouble. 
 
• Later cars wearing metric-sized wheels can make finding tyres difficult, however availability has improved in recent years. 
 
• Exhausts are surprisingly expensive, so an aftermarket stainless steel exhaust, or recent genuine Ferrari system, is a definite bonus when looking at a 400. 
 
• Like all Ferraris of this era, rust can strike pretty much anywhere. Start by looking at the front and rear screen surrounds, which are extremely prone to rust. 
 
• Most of the body panels are prone to rust, which means that most cars will have seen some restoration by now, and many will require further work. Some spares are impossible to find, while others are hugely expensive. 
 
• Carefully inspect the door bottoms, rear wing panels and boot floor for corrosion. Chassis outriggers will potentially need to be looked at. Due to the fact that values have always been low, watch out for poor quality repairs that could complicate any future resoration. 
 
• Thanks to its humble origins, the automatic gearbox rarely gives any trouble. If the car doesn’t smoothly or consistently change up through the gears, the problem may simply be a perished vacuum hose. 
 
• Cars with the five-speed manual ‘box are also generally reliable, although the synchromesh on second can become damaged if the ‘box is rushed when it is cold. This is a quirk of ‘box, and proof that the previous owner knows how to use the it is always good.
 
• Clutch life is fairly limited, and replacement will cost a similar amount to any other Ferrari. Check for any slipping or proof of a recent change for peace of mind. 
 
Model history 
 
1973: Ferrari 365 GT/4 2+2 launched, based on the same underpinnings as the elegant but short-lived 365 GTC/4. 
1976: Ferrari 400GT supersedes the 365 GT/4 2+2, bringing a larger 4.8-litre V12 engine, and the option of an automatic gearbox introduces the 400 Automatic. 
1979: The introduction of Bosch fuel injection sees the 400 become the 400i, and the 400 Automatic become the 400i Automatic. 
1982: Interior receives a minor update, while fog lights and new Michelin TRX tyres complete the external changes. Power increased by 5bhp. 
1985: Ferrari 400i replaced by the 412 
 
Owners clubs, forums and websites 
 
• www.ferrariownersclub.co.uk - UK owners’ club 
• www.clubscuderia.co.uk - International forum for all Ferrari matters 
• www.eurospares.co.uk - Parts and service item specialists 
 
Summary and prices 
 
As with all Ferraris, the 400 and 400i have both moved up in value during the last few years, but not as far as you might think. While repair costs are just as high as the 400’s more expensive siblings, a 400 could cost anywhere from £12,000 for a car requiring a full restoration, to around £45,000 for one of the nicest examples. 
 
Most cars fit into these price brackets, with right-hand drive models the most valuable in the UK, especially in extremely rare manual form. It’s easy to be tempted by a shiny looking example, but it pays to find a car with good history.
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Last updated: 1st Jul 2016
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Ferrari 400 cars for sale

3 Search results
Ferrari 400
84950 184000 GBP
  • Ferrari 400

    $184,000(£143,740.80) $184,000(£143,740.80)

    1979 FERRARI 400 I Condition: Perfect conditions No work to do. Ready for any test Private collection. Car in Italy. For information contact us. 75,000 km 1979 Color: bronze Petrol 184,000,00 USD + FREE SHIPPING! NEGOTIABLE PRICE

    • Year: 1979
    • Engine size: 4.8
    For sale
    Vincente D'Orlando
  • Ferrari 400

    €95,000(£82,973) €95,000(£82,973)

    Caractéristiques Année du Modèle : 1983 1ère mise circulation : 15/09/1983 N° Châssis : 45003 Couleur extérieure : Bleue Couleur intérieure : Cuir bleu Kilométrage : 62 550 Km CV DIN : 310cv CV fiscaux : 28 CV Cylindrée : 4823 cm3 Boîte de vitesses : Automatique, 3 rapports Carnet : Oui Origine du modèle : Allemagne Historique Dans la lignée des fabuleuses Ferrari à moteur V12 avant, cette 400i est un futur collector en puissance. Notre exemplaire fût délivré le 15 Septembre 1983 par le distributeur Auto Becker à Düsseldorf et affiche aujourd’hui seulement 62 550 km au compteur. Nous disposons de son carnet d’entretien, de ses manuels d’origine ainsi que la copie de la première carte grise. Entretien Nous avons des factures qui prouvent que la voiture a été régulièrement entretenue de 2007 à 2011. La voiture vient d’être révisé dans notre atelier avec notamment un changement des amortisseurs, des silentblocs, des bougies, des rotules de direction, des 4 pneus Michelin et une vidange moteur / boîte. De plus l’intérieur du véhicule en cuir a été refait à neuf. Garantie du véhicule Le véhicule sera vendu révisé et garanti 3 mois ou 5000kms Prix 95 000 € Lien de l’annonce http://www.jeanlainvintage.com/vehicule/11917-ferrari-400i-automatic/ Nous trouver et nous contacter Jean Lain Vintage – Showroom / 04 79 88 66 36 – Jérôme Millias 07 60 14 73 07 11 Rue de la Dent du Chat 73 420 Voglans Jean Lain Vintage – Atelier de restauration et d’entretien / 04 50 84 21 80 9 Rue de la Californie 74 100 Ville-la-Grand info@jeanlainvintage.com http://jeanlainvintage.com/ Nos horaires Du Lundi au vendredi, de 8h00 à 12h00 et de 14h00 à 19h00 Samedi et dimanche sur rendez-vous uniquement ****************************************************************************** Specifications Year of manufacture: 15/09/1983 Chassis number: 45003 Exterior color: Blue Interior color: Blue leather Mileage: 62 550 Km HP: 310cv Engine displacement: 4823 cm3 Gearbox: Automatic Service book: yes Delivery country: Germany History Like its predecessors V12 Ferrari, this 400i automatic is a future collector. Our copy, issued on September 15, 1983 was delivered new in Germany by Auto Becker at Dusseldorf and has now 62 550 km. Last maintenance has been done in our workshop and leather inside has been fully restored like the original one. We have manuals and service book of the car. Warranty The vehicle will be sold revised and guaranteed 3 months or 5000 Km Price 95 000 € Ad link http://www.jeanlainvintage.com/vehicule/11917-ferrari-400i-automatic/ Find us and contact us Jean Lain Vintage – Showroom / +334 79 88 66 36 – Jérôme Millias +337 60 14 73 07 11 Rue de la Dent du Chat 73 420 Voglans France Jean Lain Vintage – Workshop and restoration / +334 50 84 21 80 9 Rue de la Californie 74 100 Ville-la-Grand France info@jeanlainvintage.com http://jeanlainvintage.com/ Opening hours From Monday to Friday, 8am to 12am and 2pm to 7pm Saturday and Sunday on appointment only

    • Year: 1983
    • Mileage: 62550 mi
    For sale
  • Ferrari 400i Automatic Coupe 1979

    €84,950(£74,195.33) €84,950(£74,195.33)

    Ferrari 400 i Automatic Coupe 1979 in very good condition This beautiful Ferrari 400 i Automatic was delivered in Zurich, Switzerland. Till 2011 the car had only 1 owner. This coupe was designed by Pininfarina and provided with a silver metallic paint, original Ferrar wheels and a marvellous black leather interior. The dashboard has woodparts and several chrome details. The original V12 engine is fully revised, nevertheless there is still minor oil leak. Documentation and photos of the revision are present. The original Ferrari booklets are stamped and available. The Ferrari has a very high comfort and this will be increased by the automatic gearbox. The Ferrar 400i Automatic guarantees a lot of driving fun. Car has Holland title and Holland mot/tuv. Easy to register in every EU country. You do not need to pay any import taxes. We can help with transport.

    • Year: 1979
    For sale
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