Well, this one was hard to ignore today. Keith Richards Ferrari 400i is brought up for sale at the Sotheby's auction on the 9th of September. All details can be found here:
I was unaware Keith had one too. And so did Bill Wyman. Quite a story to read in the supporting auction information. Mick Jagger's 400 is a known one and when checking my blog stats the particular blog about his 400 has by now already attracted 118 hits.
Also by now a few more online articles showed up:
Curious to see for how much it will go. Apart from the known owner the mileage is unique and in combination with the manual gearbox it would easily hit the 6 figure mark in my opinion. From the first article mentioned above you can see already quite a bit of negative remarks about the 400 itself. Which is not unusual but I sense lately a higher appeal and interest for this car. I appreciate it's not everyone's taste and it's definately not the stereotype Ferrari. The understated and elegant design in combination with the luxury interior and the classic V12 under the hood makes it a special GT. Therefore I consider it a car for the connaisseur. (see also my blog:
The good news is; there are currently a lot of them for sale on the market and still many under the 6 figure mark as well. They are out there, go fetch.
Copying the auction information for the records:
Offered from the collection of Keith Richards
Single ownership from new
Extraordinary preservation and originality with only 3,267 km showing
A five-speed example from new
Application for certification submitted to Ferrari Classiche
A Ferrari 400i offered from its original owner is a particularly rare and exceptionally desirable occurrence, even more so when the car remains in stunningly original condition after having only been driven 3,627 km from the day it was built, nearly 35 years ago! Add to that the intrigue of celebrity provenance and one is left with a truly unrepeatable opportunity. Such is the attraction of this breathtaking 400i, which we have the pleasure of offering directly from the collection of Mr Keith Richards, legendary guitarist, singer, songwriter and founding member of the Rolling Stones.
The car was picked up from the factory directly in 1983 by the tour manager at the time, Alan Dunn, with seven other Ferraris purchased for use by the band and its associates, after the successful European tour supporting the album Tattoo You. Three 400s were acquired for Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman and Keith Richards, but Richards’ was the only example ordered as a five-speed – a striking example finished in black with a blue interior. Mr Dunn drove the car directly to Paris, where it remained for some time, and was ultimately used by Mr Richards for commuting while recording the album Dirty Work. Serviced by the official dealer Charles Pozzi, the car was later transported to the UK and always serviced regularly and properly stored, awaiting its periodic use by Richards when he was in England. In time, the car was modified slightly with the repositioning of the trunk release switch, but otherwise remained entirely original.
At the time of cataloguing, with only 3,627 km showing, an RM specialist unequivocally referred to it as the cleanest, most stunningly original 400i he had ever seen, with all the right indicators in place – from the engine bay to the exterior and interior, the car clearly exhibits superior condition throughout, as delivered by the factory, and has never warranted restoration, presenting as beautifully as it did on the days it was driven, undoubtedly at great speed, through the streets of Paris. It is accompanied by its original books, including the warranty card, on which the original owner’s name and Jamaican address are clearly printed.
Aside from its fascinating history, a Ferrari 400i remains the quintessential grand touring car of the marque – a properly potent V-12 mounted in front, mated to a five-speed gearbox, a clean and beautifully apportioned Pininfarina design and the convenience of 2+2 seating. It is a car that looks as breathtaking on the motorway as it feels pulling through its gears. The fact that Mr Keith Richards is presenting it at auction in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity renders this as a truly exceptional chance to drive and enjoy not only a time capsule example of rock history, but also the story of Italy’s most important sports car brand.