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Lot 391: Ferrari 400 Cabriolet

The Beaulieu Sale, Bonhams (7 September 2013)

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 reaffirmed 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. Flagship of the Maranello range, Ferrari's splendidly equipped '2+2' featured self-levelling independent rear suspension, power-assisted steering, electric windows and optional air conditioning. Being a Ferrari, the 400GT was as fast as it was luxurious, boasting a top speed of around 150mph. Sadly, the car's biggest potential market - the USA - remained effectively closed to it because of stringent safety and emissions legislation. 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 few, such as this example, were subsequently converted to cabriolet specification. In this case the transformation was carried out in period by PL Fahrzeugbau of Koblenz, Germany, a company that also transformed the Ferrari 308 and 512 models into convertibles. A right-hand drive model equipped with automatic transmission, chassis number '26743' is finished in dark blue with magnolia leather interior. Recently forming part of an exclusive Italian private collection, the car is offered with Luxembourg registration documents.

Lot Details
Auction The Beaulieu Sale
Bonhams, Hampshire, UK
Lot Number391
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating2
Registration number
Chassis numberF101CL26743
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors