The Private Collection

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1984 Ferrari 400i A 2-Door Coupe, Pininfarina

1984 Ferrari 400i A 2-Door Coupe, Pininfarina

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Part of our private collection

Ferrari unveiled two models at the October 1976 Paris Salon – the 512BB and the 400GT. The 400 was a 2+2 grand tourer largely based on the previous 365GT/4. Call it shocking. Not because of its design which was largely carryover while featuring a new front lip spoiler, a driver’s side rearview mirror with remote control, new taillamps (decreased in number from 6 to 4), and 5 lug nuts rather than a knockoff hub to secure the Cromodora wheels. Shocking, because this was the first Ferrari to offer an automatic transmission – standard! To calm the faithful, a 5-speed manual was offered as an option.

The idea of an automatic transmission reputedly originated with C.A. Vandagriff, a California Ferrari dealer, who in 1971, fitted a 365GT 2+2 with a stout General Motors Turbo-Hydramatic 400 3-speed automatic transmission. After driving it for several months, the car, in its entirety, was shipped to Modena to work out the bugs. Ferrari was sufficiently impressed to take on the project and bring the car to commercial fruition

Once again, Pininfarina was chosen to design the car. Particular attention was given to the interior which became more accommodating and luxurious. The dash, console and door panels were covered in sumptuous leather. The seats were changed to provide added comfort and given a clever new mounting system that enabled them to slide forward when the backrest was tilted forward for better rear seat access. This was the first Ferrari to include a 4-speaker stereo system.

Ferrari clearly read the market correctly. Of the 1,305 400i’s built, 883 included the automatic transmission, like this stunning example finished in Grigio Metallic over a luxurious Crema interior with brown accents. Today, no Ferrari features a third pedal, which makes all the fuss about the 400 when it was introduced, seem superfluous. In its test of the 400, Car & Driver, summed it up nicely, “. . . a Ferrari for the guy who has cooled off enough about Ferraris that he no longer has to have a red one.”

The 400 was never officially offered in the U.S. but many came stateside to be Federalized by licensed importers. This car was sold new on June 11, 1984 through Ferrari of Houston to a client in Mexico City. It was then sold in December 1989 to become part of a significant private collection for over three decades. As of this writing, the odometer shows just over 10,300 miles on this original, unrestored example with factory air conditioning, power windows, and a Blaupunkt AM/FM stereo cassette radio. Most recently, in June 2022, it has benefitted from services totaling in excess of $11,000 from Gran Touring Classics in California. Accompanying the car are ownership manuals, tools, and services invoices.

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Vehicle Highlights

  • The first Ferrari to be offered with a standard automatic transmission.
  • Of 1,305 400i’s produced, one of 883 with automatic transmission.
  • Stunning color combination of Grigio metallic over Crema leather.
  • Documented recent servicing in excess of $11,000.
  • Odometer shows little more than 10,300 original miles.
  • Unrestored original example is an excellent candidate for Preservation Class.

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