Wednesday 30 May 2018

Auction - Sportscarmarket - Ferrari 400i

This car, Lot 32, sold for $110,830, including buyer’s commission, at Artcurial’s Paris, FRA, auction on April 8, 2018.

Four-passenger Ferraris were often the most expensive model in a Ferrari production series.

The reason is simple: Four-passenger models have more content than 2-passenger models.

They have more metal, more leather and more luxury features. They are designed for everyday use and often are used in that manner. They go to work, they take the kids to school and they get parked wherever there’s space. They usually see higher use than the 2-passenger models and often show more wear. Accordingly, they depreciate faster and are the entry models of the Ferrari world.

Once Enzo Ferrari decided to supplement his race-car business with production models, it didn’t take long to add a family-friendly model to the lineup. A couple of 2+1 and 2+2 versions can be found among the earliest iterations, with a real production model, the 250 GTE, coming to market in 1960.

A long history of popular 2+2 Ferraris
The 250 GTE — the E denoted the use of a 508 E chassis — was introduced to unprecedented acceptance. The GTE allowed access to the Ferrari experience to the client with a family or one who required a larger car. Calling the concept a success would be an understatement, as in an era that produced such important models as the 250 Lusso, 250 California and 250 GTO, nearly 40% of all 250 GT sales were GTE models.

The success of the 250 GTE guaranteed a position for a 4-place model in future Ferrari lineups. A 330 GT 2+2 followed the GTE, which was subsequently replaced by the 365 GT 2+2 — also known as “The Queen Mother” due to its bulk.

In 1972 a new model was introduced that would define 2+2 Ferraris for the next 17 years.

The 365 GT4 2+2 was introduced in 1972. The angular body penned by famed Pininfarina designer Leonardo Fioravanti was a major departure from the compound curves of previous Ferrari models.

The traditional oval opening and egg-crate grille were replaced with a horizontal opening and a slatted grille.

The 365 GT4 2+2’s plush interior, dominated by a large center console, was a pleasant upgrade to the already luxurious interiors of previous 2+2 models.

Power for the 365 GT4 2+2 would come from a 4-cam, carbureted 4.4-liter, 340-hp V12. Like the 365 GT4 2+2 itself, this engine would evolve over the next 17 years, but from the beginning it was a dependable workhorse.

Enter the 400 Series
1972 would see the 365 GT4 2+2 evolve into the 400 GT and 400 GTA. The GTA would be the first production Ferrari offered with an automatic transmission. The models kept the basic cosmetics of the previous examples, but they were powered with a 4.8-liter version of the 365 GT4 2+2 engine. The new engine was still rated at 340 horsepower but was re-engineered to work with an automatic transmission.

The next update was in 1980, when the 400 lost its Weber carburetors to a Bosch fuel-injection system. The new 5-speed model was christened the 400i, while the two-pedal model was called the 400 Automatic i.

The fuel injection made the 400i more emission friendly, but it severely crimped horsepower. Rated at 310 horsepower, the 400i may have lost some of the snap of the 400 GT, but it still maintained respectable performance.

Like the previous evolution, some cosmetic changes accompanied the mechanical upgrades. The seats were redesigned, and the interior trim got new fabrics.

In an attempt to keep up with the latest technology, the 400 GT’s 15-inch wheels and Michelin XWX tires were replaced with 415-mm (16.3 inches) wheels mounted with Michelin TRX tires. The switch may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but the metric wheels and TRXs never caught on and went the way of Sony’s Betamax videotape system.

The final model of the series was the 1985 412. A revised 5-liter (412 cc per cylinder) version of the original 4.4-liter Colombo V12 replaced the 400’s unit. A 5-speed and an automatic transmission were offered. The new car’s 16-inch wheels and conventional performance tires replaced the unloved TRX combination.

The 412 was a nice improvement on a car that was already top shelf.

Automatic or three pedals?
To shift or not to shift is the 400 paradox. The 400 was the first production Ferrari to feature an automatic transmission. There was far less controversy about the move than there is about paddle shifting today.

The 400 was a big car intended for cruising rather than sporty driving. An automatic transmission was a natural fit, but the implementation left room for improvement.

Ferrari chose a GM 3-speed Turbo-Hydramatic for the job. It was a beefy unit designed for engines up to 500 cubic inches. The unit could be found in Cadillacs, light trucks, and even in Rolls-Royces.

The problem was, Cadillacs and Rolls-Royces didn’t go 150 mph. Take off from a stoplight, lift your foot at 35 mph and the transmission shifted to the same gear that was good for the next 115 mph. A stab of the throttle would put you in a lower gear, but let up on the throttle and you were back in third.

The 5-speed option solved the gearing issue — but at a cost. If you bought a 400 for the commute to work, sitting in traffic holding down a clutch probably made you miss the Mercedes.

Our low-miles, slightly needy 400i
Artcurial’s 400i was a 5-speed model. It had only been used for around 13,000 miles and had only one owner from new. It had been retired when the owner moved to a more driver-friendly V12 BMW.

Our subject 400i showed signs of neglect, with a nasty engine compartment and at least one spot in the carpet that looks to have been eaten by insects. It also needed service and a set of expensive tires.

An outlier — but not a crazy one
SCM’s Pocket Price Guide shows the median value for a 400i is $40,500. A scan of SCM’s Platinum Auction Database shows lots of sales, but few breaking $50,000.

Our subject 400i sold for $110,830, which is an outlier — but not crazy. RM Sotheby’s $416,000 sale of a 400i last fall was crazy, but that one-owner, ultra-low-mileage 400i had belonged to Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. Rock-god Ferraris can wreak havoc with car valuations.

A scan of current 400 ads shows several examples offered at similar money to our subject car — or even more. The sellers are optimistic. While a 400 is a front-engine V12 from the end of the Enzo era, $100,000 gets you a choice of many better cars. The seller was the winner on this sale. ♦

(Introductory description courtesy of Artcurial.)

Saturday 26 May 2018

Ferrari 400 1980 Publicity Press Photo

This photo got offered on Ebay as a press photo. It does have known number plate "SAY 400". The photo is stamped 9 oct 1980 TV Times. It's sold by now.

Friday 25 May 2018

Ferrari 400i spare parts catalogue + extra 400i workshop manual for sale

Another missing item purchased and added to my archive; the 400i spare parts catalogue.

I do have the 400i workshop manual double and decided to sell it. It's now available on Ebay:

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Ferrari 412 by Drivin' Ivan

A nice video by an enthusiast. Unfortunately it does not allow to copy the "insert code" so you need to click the link:

Well, on a quick 2nd attempt I managed to fix the code:

25-5-2018: Update, I just noticed now myself when clicking the video it doesn't play since it does not allow the embedded code. So you need to hit the link above to watch it.

Monday 21 May 2018

Sunday 20 May 2018

Autogespot - Ferrari 400

A very nice Dutch spot, taken on the 19th of May. And it's an Original Dutch delivered car as well. According to the road register it's from 22-1-1980. The last owner has it since 2006. The car is not listed in the Dutch Ferrari register:

Saturday 12 May 2018

Niki Lauda washing a Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2

This set of photo's was offered on the spring auction of Automobilia Ladenburg.

No.: 5938 - NIKI LAUDA
mixed lot with 9 pieces, large-format original B/W photos, on it Niki Lauda e.g. at rear of a Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 racing version, Lauda washing a Ferrari 365 GT4 with the license number EE60519, in front of the villa of Enzo Ferrari, dated 1975, and Lauda with Regazzoni in the snow, and with his then partner, 1 photo sitting in his racing cars in the pit-lane, format c. 30.5 x 20 cm, all in good condition
Limit: 280,00 €
And it got sold for a whopping € 650,- (excl. fee).

As can be read in the description, the washing takes place in front of the Villa of Enzo Ferrari. I'm unsure if it's Enzo's 365 GT4 2+2. If so, I would expect the license plate starting with MO. According to Wikipedia EE are temporary plates:

These plates are used for vehicles temporarily circulating in Italy, but have to be exported, "EE" stands for "Escursionisti Esteri" (Foreign Hikers or temporary plates).

Update 13-5-2018: I received some additional information:

The 365 has Italian export plates and is the German model (orange/white front reflectors, Round chrome outside mirror and probably hexagonal wheel centres rather than spinners) so I assumed it was Laudas company car.

Update 22-5-2019: These photo's showed up on a Fchat thread:

And you can read it did got a response from Mr. Massini:

Thank you for posting MY photos.
This was Niki's company car, the second of several he got.
S/N is 17517.
He is washing it in Fiorano, date is September 1973.
Thereafter he received a silvergrey Daytona, and following the 365 GT4 2+2 he got a 365 GT4 BB, red-black, which I then purchased in Austria November 1985.

Marcel Massini 

And the color codes were shared as well:

Argento 2.443.048 with Blu VM 3282.

Marcel Massini

Update 9-5-2020: Via FB these came to my attention and were posted on instagram:

Friday 11 May 2018

For Sale - Ferrari 400i : Totally pristine and original with only 16000 miles

Thought this was an interesting to share given it's state and low mileage. And the advert also mentioned the first owner:

"This incredible example is a 3 owner car with only 27500 kms on the clock which are confirmed by the dated service tickets in the service book.
According to the Warranty card this 400i was delivered new to Rudolf von Daniken,of Balsthal, Switzerland by Autodino AG of Zurich on 8th January 1982 where is remained until 1995 when it was sold to its new owner a collector in Brittnau where it remained for the next 19 years."

And it's very likely it's this one:

If my memory serves me right,  including the premiums, it got sold around 50k Euro at the time. It was considered a high amount back then. I considered it a very good deal. Given the current offering it was certainly a good deal. A real collectors car. 

Just looked up the snapshot I took of the final auction price. And it was close to 42k Euro, without auction fee, so yes, nearly 50k Euro.