Race Retro Classic Car Sale 2017

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1983 Ferrari 400i Convertible

Lot No.: 509

Registration: A637 WEV
Chassis Number: ZFFEB06C000047589
Engine Number: Not Specified
Number of cylinders: 8
CC: 4000
Year of Manufacture: 1983
Sold for (£): Unsold

Launched in 1972, the Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2 was originally fitted with Ferrari's fabulous 4.4 litre V12 with 6 Weber carburettors producing 340bhp mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. In 1976, the 365 was replaced by the 400 Series, powered by an enlarged 310bhp, 4.8 litres, V12 which was now available with the option of a Borg-Warner 3-speed automatic gearbox.  At the same time in 1982, the interior was heavily revised and incorporated electronic switchgear including buttons to open the bonnet, the boot, and the fuel flaps electrically. Just 883 Automatic 400i examples were produced from 1979 to 1985, and according to online sources, 180 were in right-hand drive.

Copy order forms in the history file, show this car was originally ordered through Maranello Concessionaires by H.R. Owen Ltd on 14th December 1983 with an automatic gearbox, Nero paintwork, Beige “Tropicale” leather, and rear air conditioning at a cost of £37,254. Handwritten notes on the copy order form appear to show it was refunded on 20th December 1983 and a handwritten name at the top states “Y. Manoukian”. A letter from the DVLA dated 16th August 2012 to a previous owner, a Mr G. Finley, states that the car was first registered on the DVLA system on the 1st February 2002. Where the car resided between 1983 and 2002, and who converted it to a cabriolet, changed the colour and the interior, remains an intriguing mystery and very much worth further research. Nevertheless, the car has been well maintained since 2002 by Ferrari specialists Nick Cartwright and recently by Slades Garage of Buckinghamshire during our vendor’s tenure, which started on the 2nd July 2014.

The car presents really well today, the red coachwork gleams, the interior sumptuously appointed in black leather is classic eighties and in great order, the Cromodoras look excellent, the hood looks fresh and the engine bay is remarkable. The odometer reading shows a shade under 9,000 miles which is not warranted. Presented to auction with a fresh MOT until January 2018 our vendor, has used the car sparingly since 2014. This is one sexy, head-turning motor car and the fact that Ferrari rejected the possibility of offering a 400 Convertible, smacks of a missed opportunity. 

We conclude that this unique conversion offers a distinct alternative to an equivalent Aston Martin V8 Volanté at a fraction of the price. 

Please note the car is now registered as A637 WEV.