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History of the 1976-1989 Ferrari 400 / 412
Building off of the 365 GT/4 2+2, Ferrari introduced the 400 GT in 1976 at the Paris Auto Show. The car was an evolutionary advancement from its predecessor, with a bigger, 4.8-liter V-12 engine that produced 20 more horsepower, now up to 340. The car retained the 365 GT/4’s Pininfarina-styled angular notchback coupe body, now with four taillights instead of six. Perhaps most noteworthy was that GM’s Turbo-Hydramatic transmission became optional equipment, which outraged purists and the press alike.
The car was spacious, luxurious, and a capable performer in the GT class. Just over 500 examples were built until 1979 (with approximately two-thirds equipped with automatic transmission). In 1979 the 400 became the 400i when the 4.8-liter motor received Bosch fuel injection in order to satisfy increasingly tight emissions requirements throughout the world. This iteration was produced until 1985, with 1,300 units leaving the factory (again, roughly two-thirds paired with auto trans). In 1985 Ferrari added a small 120-cc bump in engine displacement, and this final 4.9 liter variant was called the 412. This car could be recognized by it’s body-colored bumpers, different wheels, and an even more luxurious interior than the well-appointed 400i.
Those considering purchase of one of these cars should be aware that Ferrari never officially imported them into the U.S., and therefore all examples on our shores were brought into compliance individually in the United States. This work was properly executed on most cars, though in some cases it was not. To be safe, a careful examination of EPA/DOT compliance records and service history is highly recommended. Rust and electrical issues are potential problem areas as well, but these pain points typically only appear on neglected cars. With all of this in mind, the Ferrari 400 and 412 series cars provide a driving experience that is more aristocratic and measurably different than their more sports-oriented stablemates, yet is every bit as satisfying and entertaining for their enthusiastic ownership community.
1981 Ferrari 400i Info
2dr 2+2 Coupe
12-cyl. 4823cc/310hp Bosch FI
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