Ferrari 400i

Ferrari 412i
Ferrari 412i

Total Production: 576
In 1973, the Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2 replaced the curvaceous 365 GTC/4. The new Ferrari was a luxurious four-seater that signaled a new stylistic direction for the Pininfarina design house. It made its public debut at Paris in 1972 and utilized the basic mechanicals of the 365 GTB/4 'Daytona' Berlinetta. It was clothed in a crisply tailored Pininfarina-designed body that remained virtually unchanged through the evolutionary 400 and 400i (fuel injected) models of 1976 through 1984, culminating in the 5.0-litre 412 from 1985 to 1989. Its 17-year lifespan made it the longest-running Ferrari series. The 412 was the last front-engine Ferrari until the arrival of the 456 in 1992.

In typical Ferrari fashion, the model designation denoted the swept volume of each of its 12 cylinders. The 412 displaced 4,943cc and produced 340 horsepower. Either five-speed manual or GM-sourced Turbo-Hydramatic 400 automatic gearboxes were available. The 400GT had been the first Ferrari to offer an automatic transmission as an option, a decision vindicated by the fact that more than two-thirds of customers took up the option. ABS was available for the first time in a Ferrari. Zero-to-sixty mph was accomplished in under 7.0 seconds and had a top speed exceeding the magical 150-mph mark.

The Ferrari 412i is the ultimate version of the 400-series four-seat Grand Touring cars and remains highly respected for its performance, luxury, and ease of operation. A total of 576 examples of the 412 model were produced during the production run, in the chassis number range 56275 to 82153. It would be another three years before a 2+2 model reappeared in the Ferrari range catalog, with the 456 GT, and nearly seven years before automatic transmission would once again become available on a Ferrari.
By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2018

Ferrari 412 Prototipo

Total Production: 1

Ferrari 400i
Ferrari 400i
Ferrari 400i
Ferrari 400i
Ferrari 400i
The 400 was Ferrari's first machine to stray from the company's racing roots. Sure, it had sharp Pininfarina styling and a thirsty V12. But the 400 also had four seats and, most significantly, an available automatic transmission.

Today, with the vast majority of cars sold being supplied with automatics, that little detail seems unimportant. Ferrari, though, was one of the most successful race car builders of all time. Its street cars exuded track-refined engineering, and they were all devastatingly fast and steadfastly hardwired to the human in the driver's seat. An automatic transmission signaled a disruption in that philosophy of car building. A transmission that shifts for you, especially when three other people are in the car, creates a great distance between mankind and machine.

At least the logic behind Ferrari's decision to introduce its auto was clear: Americans loved automatic transmissions. Ferrari saw a market they were missing in the GT world and decided to go ahead and create a Gran Turismo that was more about gulping down the miles in high fashion than submersing the driver in total mechanical involvement.

The automatic used in these cars was a GM Turbo-Hydramatic. If that sounds familiar, it's because the same tranny was used in familiar greats by Jaguar, Cadillac, and Rolls-Royce. What do those three companies have in common with Ferrari? Nothing. Price, maybe, but surely no driving characteristics were ever shared between the brands. This meant that the auto was mismatched to the 400's V12. It was a great, smooth transmission, but it was lazy and luxurious, not quick and concise.

For the enthusiasts, a proper gearshift was still available. It was a 5-speed, and it allowed the pilot to harness the V12 with finesse. But the success of the auto proved something about Ferrari's wealthy clientele, many of whom were clearly more concerned with their image than with a Ferrari's phenomenal road manners.

The 400's engine, at least, was thoroughly Ferrari. It was based on the Daytona's excellent powerhouse, and made about 340hp out of 4.4 liters when first used in the car. It had twin overhead cams, and, beginning in 1979, fuel injection. The 'i' in 400i stood for injection, a feature that replaced the original 400's carburetors and followed through to the updated 412 model that carried much of the original 400's styling and character up until 1989.

Crisply styled by Pininfarina, the 400 looked the part of a proper Gran Turismo. It was comfortable, fast, and could handle four people with effortless ease. Was it really a Ferrari, though? Regardless of the controversy behind it, the 400 was a good car that added another type of vehicle to Ferrari's repertoire.

The influences of the 400 can be seen in some modern Ferraris, notably the 456 and 612, both of which have sold successfully in the United States. Ferrari used the 400 to show that it could build more than temperamental, racy machines for driving die-hards. It proved that the storied company could also make a brilliant GT.

Sources Used:

Wilson, Quentin. The Ultimate Classic Car Book. First. London: Dorling Kindersley Limited, 1995.

By Evan Acuña

Ferrari 400 Superamerica

Total Production: 12

Total Production: 25
The 400 Superamerica was produced between 1959 and 1962 with 25 examples produced. They had varying bodywork styles by Pininfarina and Scaglietti and all rested on a short wheelbase. The first example was put on display at the Torino Motor Show in 1959. The 400 was replaced by the 410.

The 400 Superamerica was Ferrari's first road model to not be named by the volume of a single cylinder. The 400 designation referred to the total engine capacity. The 400 Superamerica (SA) were luxurious machines and one of the most exclusive road-going cars of its era. They commanded a very high price which helped ensure their exclusivity.

Powering the 400 SA was a version of the Colombo short-block V12 engine. The engine had an enlarged four-liter capacity and coupe produce 340 horsepower.
By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2010

Model Production *

* Please note, dates are approximate

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