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Ferrari 365/412

Ferrari 365/412 Published: 11th Mar 2015 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Ferrari 365/412
Ferrari 365/412
Ferrari 365/412
Ferrari 365/412
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Forgotten Ferrari boasting V12 power and great touring abilities for four. Prices appear to be fast rising yet there’s still some bargains around, although it’s horrendously expensive to maintain, repair and restore. That said, there’s a lot to commend this thoroughbred of a 2+2 if you buy right

If there’s one marque that seems to outperform all rivals, it’s Ferrari.

The Italian brand is on the crest of a wave right now, with one record after another tumbling in sale rooms around the world. From its earliest models to much more recent offerings, it would be easy to assume that the Prancing Horse is now firmly out of reach to anyone who doesn’t have ludicrously deep pockets.

However, as with most marques, and especially one as prolific as Ferrari, there are some models which have never really caught buyers’ imaginations, and as a result they’re more accessible to those of more modest means. The 400 – along with its predecessor the 365 GT4 2+2 and its successor the 412i – are among the most affordable of the classic Ferraris. But that term ‘affordable’ is a relative one, because sadly there’s no such thing as a cheap Ferrari, even the forgotten 400…

History

1972 The 365GT 2+2 is launched with a 340bhp 4.4-litre V12 fed by six twin- choke carburettors. There’s a five- speed manual gearbox only (no auto option) and six lights at the back. There are also knock-off alloy wheels and no front spoiler. 365 signify the actual cubic capacity size of the engine’s bore would you believe, which to save you the Carol Vorderman bit equates to 4380cc).

1976 The 400 supersedes the 365GT 2+2 with a 4.8-litre engine, still rated at 340bhp because of tighter emissions controls. The tail lights are larger but there are just four of them, while there’s a front spoiler and bolt-on alloy wheels. There’s also an automatic option; the first time Ferrari has offered one. It’s a GM THM 400 transmission, which many think isn’t good enough for such a thoroughbred – yet 70 per cent of buyers chose this over the manual alternative.

1979 The Weber carbs are replaced by Bosch fuel injection to produce the 400i – it’s the first fuel-injected road car built by Ferrari. Fuel economy is improved in the process, but power drops to 310bhp – although driveability is much improved. It is later upped to 315bhp while other changes include Koni dampers for the self-levelling suspension.

1985 The fitment of a 4943cc V12 heralds the arrival of the 412i which restores power to 340bhp. This final iteration looks much like its predecessor though. There are body-coloured bumpers and clear indicators (previously orange), while this is also the first Italian car to feature anti-lock brakes. For some reason, 412i buyers were less inclined to order an automatic; cars with a manual gearbox accounted for 47 per cent of sales. In total, almost 3000 of this forgotten front-engined V12 were made.

Driving And Press Comments

While many have sneered at the 400 and its ilk for years, when the 365 GT4 2+2 was launched, Autocar’s road tester David Thomas rated the Ferrari above all of its contemporaries. He crowned the Ferrari as his “ultimate motor car” because of its breadth of talents; the 340bhp V12 provided ample performance while it could accommodate four adults and their luggage – plus the handling and braking were exceptional.

Throw in comprehensive equipment levels and a superb standard of finish and you were left with a car that was more than just a bit special.

When the 365 GT4 2+2 morphed into the 400, Autocar spent the first three paragraphs of its review discussing the merits of a two-pedal Ferrari – something which had never previously been offered by the factory. But it was acknowledged that at least Ferrari had settled upon the General Motors THM 400 transmission – as also seen in Jaguar V12s and all Rolls-Royces. Plus it wasn’t as though the idea of an automatic performance car was without precedent; Jaguar didn’t offer a manual- gearbox XJ5.3C while the Porsche 911

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

GENERAL

* One Dutch enthusiast restored his 400i and found parts supply such an issue that he’s put some components back into production. He’s also built up a stock of parts that are available to other 400 owners; see http://www.ferrari400parts. com for more details.

* It’s obviously key that you buy a car which has had plenty of money lavished upon it, so get as complete a history as possible. But evidence of major expenditure – even in the recent past – is no guarantee that you won’t have to spend lots more cash on the car in the near future.

* Ferrari didn’t offer options on these cars, apart from a two-zone air conditioning system on later models. But while equipment levels are standard for each of the derivatives, colour schemes vary and these can make quite a difference to a car’s value. Any car with red paint will be shunned by buyers, who prefer blue, grey or silver finishes.

* Italian electrics are famed for their flakiness, and the 400’s are no different. While most of the various motors and solenoids generally last pretty well, the cabling, connectors and relays can play up. So too can the fusebox, which is no longer available, which is why converting to a proprietary part is usually the best solution. Later cars got more gadgets and gizmos, all of which need to be checked – so don’t overlook items such as electric seats, air conditioning and all instrumentation.

THE FACTS

* Best model 365GT4 2+2

* Worst model 412i

* Budget buy 400

* OK for unleaded? Best to use an additive, especially Millers

* Will it fit your garage? L4800 x W1790mm

* Spares situation New: poor, used: good but costly

* DIY ease? Much of the running gear is easy

* Club support Very good

* Appreciating asset? Yes; values are starting to climb pretty sharply

GOOD BUY OR GOOD-BYE?

The ugly duckling is fast turning into a beautiful swan



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