Lot 630A: 1978 Ferrari 400i GT Coupe
"The 400 Automatic was the flagship of the line. Its refinement and mature development paved the way for future four-seater Ferraris that would compete with the finest sedans in the world." - Stanley Nowak, Ferrari, 40 Years on the Road.
Launched at the 1976 Paris Salon, the 400GT had acquired a 4.8-liter version of Ferrari's four-ca, V12 engine but otherwise differed from its 365GT/4 2+2 predecessor only in detail. The 400GT re-affirmed Ferrari's determination to compete with the world's finest luxury saloons and was intended to attract the type of mature yet discerning customer who previously might have opted for Bentley or Mercedes-Benz.
This latter requirement made the option of automatic transmission a necessity. The unit chosen - General Motors' three-speed Hydramatic - was widely regarded as the world's best, having been used by Cadillac and subsequently by Rolls-Royce and Jaguar among others.
Ferrari's splendidly equipped 2+2 featured self-leveling independent rear suspension, power-assisted steering, electric windows, and optional air conditioning. Sadly, even after it received fuel injection, the 400GT - now the 400i GT - remained effectively a Europe-only model because of the expense involved in crash-testing two cars for US safety assessment. By the time production of the final '412' version ceased in 1989, Ferrari's finest 2+2 had been in production for a remarkable 17 years, though its exclusivity meant that there were seldom more than 200 sold in any one year.
One of the few examples of its type built with the five-speed manual gearbox, this 400i GT served as a Ferrari dealer's personal car from l978 until 1996 and comes with all relevant service records, handbooks, etc. The car is finished in the tasteful color scheme of blue chiaro metallic with tan leather interior.
Collectors' Motor Cars|
Bonhams & Butterfields, Larz Anderson Auto Museum, Brookline
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