Monday 29 December 2014

Ferrari 400i Automatic T-Shirt

I couldn't believe it when I first saw it. It was posted by someone on Fchat who purchased it. A genuine official 400 Automatic T-Shirt issued by Ferrari. One of the most ignored Ferrari models.

At the time it was not exactly clear to me where it was purchased. But eventually I found out and ordered it online via It took a couple of weeks before it arrived but finally it's here.



Thursday 25 December 2014

Ferrari 400 design - Pininfarina - Leonardo Fioravanti - Paolo Martin - Fiat 130 Coupe - Lancia Florida - C Pillar

Today I'm going to make an another attempt to write up a decent blog. This time it will be about the design of this car. I realize this is a matter of personal taste. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say. Last time I wrote about the automatic gearbox used in the 400, which is only part of the reason why this model is being disliked. If you haven't read it, it's located here:

Judging by all the remarks on the internet regarding the design of the 400 it is by far the most contributing factor of being impopular. Then again, this makes up only a very small portion of the entire audience. But admittedly it appears to be somewhat representative in general. I guess the bottom line is you either like this model or you don't. Last year my 400 showed up in a Dutch TV car program:

Part of the filming was to interview people on the street and let them comment on the car and to guess the brand of the car. For this they shielded of the logo's. The outcome was hardly anyone recognized it as a Ferrari (including an Italian tourist) and hardly anyone liked it either. As I was on the set I witnessed it myself, in fact a lot more people were interviewed then actually shown on TV. This underpins the fact it's a unknown model but equally disliked too. So be it.

Sticking to the internet commentors, I do have read also a few remarks stating that some used to dislike this model when they were younger but by now they do tend to like them more and more. As they say, the car has aged well. I consider that a huge compliment towards the designer.

If you have been following this blog or if you are a bit into the 400 you are likely aware of the Fiat 130 Coupe and their similarities. Both are creations of the designhouse Pininfarina. However both are designed by different stylists. The fiat 130 Coupe was penned by Paolo Martin while the 365 GT4 2+2 was a result of Leonardo Fioravanti. I suspect there must have been some kind of  collaboration between the two of them or at least Paolo must have influenced Leonardo.

Without a doubt the 130 Coupe creation did set the scene for the seventies and even early eighties. The following article snippet quite well expands on this:

"A year after its introduction, the Coupé won the Style Auto award, presented by a jury of international car stylists. It defined all its big car design commissions for more than a decade to come. Arguably, all of them failed to recapture the purity of the original.
The Rolls-Royce Camargue that emerged a few years later was derived from the 130, yet the architecture had been corrupted, as the shape descended into ostentatious caricature. At the other end of the scale, the 1975 Peugeot 604 emerged as a cheap, bland, four-door mass production interpretation. Not even the Ferrari 365GT4 2+2 of 1972 managed to outpoint the Fiat among the style critics, even if it outlived its inspiration by many years. Perhaps only the 1976 Lancia Gamma Coupé, replacement for the 130 Coupé in the Fiat empire, successfully reinterpreted the spirit of the 130 Coupé and made the style its own. Pininfarina was so pleased with the car that it tried to persuade Fiat to expand the 130 range with a pair of one-offs based on the production coupé. The 1974 Opera was merely a four-door version of the coup and would have been a natural successor to factory-bodied 130 saloons."

Sergio Pininfarina once mentioned he considered the 130 Coupe one of his finest creations. Something that was repeated in many articles, ie: "The Fiat 130 coupé was a design of timeless classic elegance and perhaps Pininfarina's best of the 1970s". Or: "Also from Italy comes another superb Pininfarina design – a 1974 Fiat 130 Coupe, universally regarded as a triumph in elegant, uncluttered design".

                                                                         Sergio Pininfarina

With all these high appraising comments for the 130 you would expect the 365/400/412 at least pick up some postive vibes due to the similar style influences. The contrary is true, in fact I suspect the majority of the people does not fancy the 130 Coupe either. The straight lines and the boxy appearance seems not be very appealing to the public in general. As mentioned earlier, this became however very much the seventies style and copied by many others. Some practical known popular examples to remind everyone; Ford Escort Mk3, Ford Granada Mk2, Volvo 700 series and I'm pretty sure you can think up a few more.

But how about the Lotus Esprit S1, that does look pretty much like straight lines to me. This is however a very much liked car - I expect that's a result of it's famous appearance in the James Bond movies.

It's a typical Giorgio Giugiaro design which he applied on many more models but often slightly less sharp. Think VW Golf MK1, VW Scirocco MK1, Maserati Quattroporte Mk3 or Lancia Delta MK1 to name a few.

 To pick another time period exotic as an example, the Aston Martin Lagonda.

An extreme interpretation of the classic 1970s "folded paper" style. Again a very unliked model indeed. 

The 400 design was at least for one exotic sports car maker an inspiration which resulted in a shameless copy, the Bitter SC. This was done by the Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti:

And I even suspect it might have influenced the Japanese designers who did the Honda Prelude Mk2 and Mk3

Another remarkable comparison I recently discovered is the Citroen BX. A car designed by Marcello Gandini. Especially the front hood reminded me of the 400 with the same angular cut.

This also partly reminded me of his creation the Lamborghini Jamara - introduced in 1970. Perhaps a bit far fetched but I recognize some styling elements. Then again, with so many car models produced I think most cars does have comparable style elements one way or another.

Note the typical trapezium style was already started by Pininfarina in the sixties and applied to the Peugeot 404 and the Fiat 1800 for example.

The above was more about the used straight lines and somewhat boxy designs used in this particular era. To come back to the 130 design, have a look at these early Fiat 130 Coupe scetch drawings by Paolo Martin.

That could almost have been a prototype scetch for the 400. I wonder if Leonardo have reused these sketches? It is remarkable how little information can be found back regarding this design and it's designer. I could not find a single picture of Leonardo in combination with the 365/400/412. The only one I could find which was close in relation is the Ferrari Pinin. On the FChat forum I found two magazine articles about Leonardo which were posted in a thread - but with minimal reference to the 365/400/412 - see source section at the bottom of this blog if you are interested.

Clearly Leonardo's other Ferrari designs got more attention and were highly appreciated. I guess this has to do more with the fact the 400 was not a sports car and as such less valued or considered less interesting. I think this point counts strong since Ferrari is mostly known for it's racing and sport cars. Going back further in history, the Ferrari 250 GTE - the first true 2+2 production road car, had been undergoing the same trouble in the past as the current 400 status, ie often neglected and not appreciated or simply reused for replicas. The current situation for the 250 GTE is completely different, they are back on track again.

Regardless the design, the 400 has been the longest run model in Ferrari history and it was sold in fairly high numbers considering the tough economic climate. Take in account as well it was never sold in the USA. Would this have happened if the design was really disliked or if it was not succesfull?

The discreet and understated design is something typical Italian and potentially contributed to have attracted buyers who where not in need of a flashy outward but inside could enjoy the luxury and the performance of a true thoroughbred.

The typical line from the C pillar towards the tail in combination with the crease is a true Pininfarina style element and therefore pure classic. It was applied on various models, for instance this beautiful Lancia Flaminia Coupe.

If you like these looks you might find the following page interesting as it shows some nice examples related to the 130 or 400 if you like: 

It's origin started however on the Lancia Florida launced in 1956. See below the explanation from the master at the Florida II Coupe 1957.

The picture is a snapshot from this Lancia historical movie. A must see in my opinion. You can see Battista "Pinin" Farina himself explaining the background regarding this shape. You will be surprised to hear it was not a style matter but a practical matter.

The Florida was a design milestone, with stylistic elements which have for many years influenced the world-wide production, it was the personal car of the Founder: "I recall that car-maker from Detroit, Olds, who used to live and sleep in his car. And I live in my Florida". Pinin Farina.

To further continue on the C pillar line you can see here an interesting modern comparisson between a Lancia Kappa Coupe and the Ferrari 400.

To round up this boxy blog and to put things in perspective, the 400 design is simply a typical 70 era style product with classic Pininfarina elements. As such it's less controversial as people tend to say. It is true though in comparisson with the other well curved Ferrari models by Pininfarina. You need to view the car on it's own. Furthermore it is a road car, or GT if you like and not a flashy sports car. Just like the 130 it can be considered a timeless piece which indeed has aged very nicely.  It's a classic for the connaisseur.


Wednesday 24 December 2014

Ferrari GT collection by Mondadori : Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2 1:43 scale model

I had spotted this scale model on Ebay already for a while. Although I'm not a scale model collector I made up my mind and bought one. Part of the decission taking was to have at least one model to be complete. Furthermore it was in the right color. And it had a nice booklet which had my interest. Oh, and the price was reasonable. By now it reached my home. It's a nice piece and the booklet was nice as well. I don't master the Italian language but it seems it does contain the usual details and specs. It did reveal some unknown pictures to me. So more digging to do.

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Affordable Exotics : Twelve cars you should buy because life is too short to drive a Camry - Ferrari 400

Click here for the entire article:

Ferrari 400 1976 to 1979

We've painted a pretty rosy picture so far, right? You can have it all, the hot car, the house in the country, the kids in college. But the unfortunate flipside to some "affordable" exotics is that the maintenance costs can be absolutely oppressive.

Take, for example, this 1979 Ferrari 400, which was loaned to us by the Markowskis at RPM Restorations in Vergennes, Vermont. The car is currently available for south of our $27,000 threshold, as many of this particular model are. Regardless of its outward appearance, though, if it's a V-12 Ferrari you're interested in, this is the cheapest way to get in the door.

But before you go away thinking, "That's an exotic you can keep," hear us out. The 400 is a special Ferrari. Thinking this Ferrari isn't fun to drive is just plain wrong. There's still a wailing V-12 under the hood, and there's still a Prancing Horse logo just about everywhere you look. Regardless of the body style, the sound emanating from the mufflers is absolutely intoxicating. And unlike traditional two-seat Ferraris, the 400 is usable. It's got a decent sized trunk, and the passenger cabin--even in the back seat--is massive and comfortable for four.

The trouble with this--and all "affordable" Ferraris--is that they're just as expensive to maintain as their much more expensive counterparts. Six Weber carbs are only going to add to the frustration. Steve Markowski notes that a distributor cap for this car runs about $500. There are two brake hoses per wheel, adding up to about $600 in hoses when the time comes to replace them. A manual transmission overhaul is $5,000. God forbid your engine needs serious work. The bill will run well into $40,000.

If you happen to like the '70s-era styling and the 400's raison d'être as much as we do, spend the money, and buy the best low-mileage example you can, preferably from someone who bought it new. But whatever you do, don't discount these cars as unappealing just because they don't fit the Ferrari profile.

Engine:V-12, 320hp
Top speed:149 mph
Price new:(Never sold in U.S.A.)
Typical cost today:$25,000
Number produced:501
Ease of maintenance:*
Annual maintenance cost:$$$$$
Potential maintenance cost:$$$$$
Fun value:***
Investment value:$$
(Ratings are out of 5)

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Ferrari 400i Dean Martin - Gooding & Company

I was a bit browsing around and stumbled upon this 400i,8807/1984-Ferrari-400i_photo.aspx

I recognized it due to the color combo and the enlarged air vent on the bonnet. It's the ex Dean Martin 400. See blog:

The website also contained a nice historic overview of auction sales regarding the 400i. Perhaps a nice thing to include on my price valuation blog:

Monday 15 December 2014

Know your Ferraris: The 365s

I just added this article to the online section:

At the Paris Salon of 1972 the C4 gave way to the. 365GT4 2+2. Not all the short life of the C4 was wasted, since the entire engine, transmission and dashboard design were carried over into the 365GT4. The shape of this car should be familiar to anyone with a reasonable knowledge of Ferraris, since it was also used for the later 400 and 412 (making a total life for this design of 17 years, the longest for any Ferrari). The longer wheelbase of this car means it is a proper 2+2 unlike the C4.
The 365GT4 is distinguished from the later cars by the lack of a front chin spoiler and six rear lights instead of four. Many people knock the design for being boring and 'un-Ferrari-like', but in this early form at least it's a very elegant shape and considering the turbulent political and economic times when the car was new, I suspect many owners appreciated the subtle looks.
Ferrari produced 525 of these cars before the 400 took over. Unlike the 400, an automatic version was never officially offered.
Values for these cars have been in the doldrums for many years, with the over-familiarity of the shape not helping matters, but in recent years they have picked up, and are particularly sought after in Italy. The best examples are probably around £40,000 which is something of a bargain in Ferrari V12 terms, although it's important to remember that this is still likely to be many times less than the restoration cost of one.

Saturday 13 December 2014

Ferrari 365/400/412 price valuation index - Onschatbare Klassieker Magazine / OKM

The new "onschatbare klassieker" year book is out. As I have a few older copies it triggered me to compile this overview of the price evaluation for the 400. The one provided by Hagerty is interesting but shows prices in US Dollars. ( The prices overhere in Europe are significant different. Very likely the Euro currency conversion at the time did cause a bit of a price difference.

As you can see, I only have a few years. So if any of you have the OKM edition of the missing years I'm very interested to hear those numbers to update the table. I have no idea how this price index is generated, ie what references are being used. The year 2001 was listed in Dutch Guilders, so I converted it to Euro. In 2001 they only ranked class A, B and C (in fact it was in reverse order as well - meaning Class C was ranked highest). Unfortunately there was no price index for the 365 either untill 2007. Again, no idea why it was missed out.

Interesting to see the fluctation of the 412 and how the 400 moved up. I would say the 2015 index makes most sense in the prices. Meaning the oldest are ranked highest followed by the natural order of models. Also the mentioned prices seems to be "close" on what's currently being offered for sale.

Overall it seems that prices for this car have been fairly steady over the last decade and more. Only in the last year or two there seems to be an upward price indication. Is it a trend or a temporary spike? Time will tell.

Ferrari 365 / 400 / 400i / 412 Price index x 1000 in Euro

Year Class 365 400 400i 412
2001 A NA 25 25 40
  B NA 18 18 27
  C NA 9 9 15
2005 A NA 40 35 40
  B NA 32 28 32
  C NA 25 22 22
  D NA 14 12 15
  E NA 6 5 7
2007 A 85 55 65 75
  B 60 42 47 42
  C 35 25 32 22
  D NA 14 NA 15
  E NA 6 NA 7
2013 A 85 55 65 75
  B 60 42 47 42
  C 35 25 32 22
  D 20 14 16 15
  E 10 6 10 7
2015 A 90 75 65 55
  B 65 52 47 35
  C 40 33 32 25
  D 24 20 16 17
  E 12 7 10 8

Years of production, volumes and specs.

Model produced total manual auto fuel hp engine
365 1972-76 524 524 NA carb. 320 4.4
400 1976-79 502 147 355 carb. 340 4.8
400i 1979-85 1305 422 883 injection 310 4.8
412 1985-89 576 270 306 injection 340 4.9

Model produced total manual auto fuel hp engine
365 1972-76 524 524 NA carb. 320 4.4
  1972 3 3 NA      
  1973 216 216 NA      
  1974 120 120 NA      
  1975 126 126 NA      
  1976 60 60 NA      
400 1976-79 502 147 355 carb. 340 4.8
  1976 33 6 27      
  1977 161 56 105      
  1978 213 58 155      
  1979 95 27 68      
400i 1979-85 1305 422 883 injection 310 4.8
  1979 116 33 83      
  1980 233 79 154      
  1981 241 79 162      
  1982 230 69 161      
  1983 235 82 153      
  1984 239 79 160      
  1985 14 3 11      
412 1985-89 576 270 306 injection 340 4.9

New catalogue price in Dutch Guilders (divide by 2.20 for Euro prices).

Year   365 400 400i 412
1976   119.500      
1977     136.800    
1980       162.500  
1984       235.126  
1987         327.905

And to be complete I made a snapshot of all 365/400/412 currently offered for sale in Europe (excluding UK). This to provide an indication on the amount of cars for sale and their price ranges. I think it's a fair comment to make that most of the offered cars are in between B & C classes.
I only used the website so perhaps a few are missed out. But as said, it's only for indication purposes. The mentioned prices are in Euro and Mileage is in Km's.

Model Price Year Mileage Automatic Manual Country
365 56.969 1973 142.300   x Swiss
  68.000 1976 70.000   x Italie
  69.900 1972 137.000   x Germany
  72.000 1973 81.000   x Italie
  75.000 1976 63.000   x Italie
  75.000 1976 45.000   x Italie
  80.000 1976 54.571   x Italie
  89.500 1974 82.000   x Netherlands
  125.000 1976 33.145   x Germany
400 19.350 1979 NA   x Germany
  22.000 1978 95.000 x   Belgium
  28.000 1978 60.000 x   Italie
  37.176 1978 33.000 x   Finland
  39.000 1978 89.749 x   Belgium
  40.000 1979 105.000 x   Germany
  45.000 1977 85.000   x Germany
  54.000 1978 83.000 x   Germany
  54.900 1979 25.800 x   Germany
  65.000 1978 29.000   x Italie
400i 23.687 1982 120.000 x   Belgium
  24.900 1980 52.000     Italie
  24.990 1983 86.400 x   Germany
  25.000 1980 61.077 x   Hungary
  28.900 1979 98.400 x   France
  29.900 1980 40.700 x   Germany
  32435 1981 87.000   x Swiss
  32.900 1984 73.000 x   Germany
  32.900 1981 95.000 x   France
  37.400 1982 83.000 x   Germany
  37.425 1981 98.000 x   Swiss
  37.900 1981 16.500 x   Germany
  38.700 1980 52.000 x   Italie
  40.500 1981 32.000 x   Italie
  42.900 1980 103.900 x   Germany
  45.000 1981 19.950 x   Germany
  49.900 1979 114.000 x   Italie
  49.900 1981 57.000   x Italie
  52.000 1981 99.000   x Italie
  55.000 1983 47.000   x Italie
412 32.250 1985 NA   x France
  38.000 1986 93.200   x Italie
  39.800 1988 53.007      
  44.500 1988 62.000 x   Sweden
  45.000 1986 63.000 x   Germany
  45.000 1987 56.000   x Italie
  46.000 1986 84.218   x Belgium
  49.000 1988 44.500 x   Germany
  49.382 1988 61.700 x   Sweden
  49.900 1987 126.247   x Germany
  52.500 1986 86.547   x Germany
  59.500 1986 60.000   x Italie
  65.000 1987 46.730 x   Netherlands

Based on this information I roughly translated this into the following brackets:

365 price range: 60.000 - 90.000 = average 75k
400 price range: 25.000 - 55.000 = average 40k
400i price range: 25.000 - 55.000 =  average 40k
412 price range: 30.000 - 60.000 =  average 45k

This seems to be quite right if you want to buy a decent specimen in todays  European market.

The rarest model to catch will be a 400 carburetor manual version. The 400 is as well the last Ferrari model with a V12 and carburetor in the front (my personal preference). Equally interesting, and 2nd rarest, can be a 400 carburetor automatic version because of historical reasons. Drive Enzo's choice, the gentleman's car.

Update: Historic auction sale charter: