Lot 315: 1979 Ferrari 400i GT Cabriolet
Launched at the 1976 Paris Salon, the 400GT had acquired a 4.8-litre version of Ferrari’s four-cam 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 sports saloons and was intended to attract the type of mature yet discerning customer who previously might have opted for a 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-levelling 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. Although the 400 series was only manufactured in saloon form, a handful was subsequently converted to cabriolet specification by their owners. In this case the transformation and rebuild was undertaken by Dino Services in London in 1988, while conversion from fuel injection to a sextet of Weber carburettors is another worthwhile modification made. Recent work, carried out by Frenchay Garage, Bristol, has included the fitting of a new mohair hood/lining and re-trimming the dashboard in black leather. Right-hand drive chassis number ‘26707’ has the customary automatic gearbox and boasts a full stainless-steel exhaust system. The car is accompanied by assorted service invoices, current MoT, Swansea V5 registration document and history file containing MoTs dating from 1996 that support the mileage total of 45,612.
Bonhams, International Historic Motorsport Show -Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||£10925|
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