This particular 400i

Belonging to a proper enthusiast who genuinely loves his automobiles, this particular 400i is from 198X and it’s the ‘pre-facelift’ unit in the series. The car looks just as unique as it does in the pictures, it is truly easy to mistake it for something else at first glance. Not until you start up the 4.8 liter V12 though, there’s no mistaking it for ANYTHING else than a Ferrari.

The V12 roars into life with proper conviction and does sound like a proper V12 Ferrari heart. It revs fairly well given its age too. The transmission definitely shows its age when engaging forward and reverse ratios. But for the nature of the car, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, the gearbox and engine combo works well.

As the predecessor of the 456, the rear seats can genuinely house 2 adults. I am not going to lie I refuse to get in the back with my 6 ft 2 90kg plus frame. I did ask my 5 foot 6 photographer to do so and he fit in perfectly well. I guess once you’re rolling in a Ferrari, you need to only open your doors to skimpily clad supermodels, so no issue with space there.

The rest of the details around the car is unmistakably Ferrari. The 5 spoke wheels, the round tail lamps and the front pop up headlamps are classic Prancing horse stuff. The leather is in good nick, and the boot lining is simply impeccable. The owner claims that there’s been a lot of work that’s done to the car under the skin, on the chassis and engine, and it shows.

Splitting opinions or not, this is one Ferrari I never believed existed when I first saw one on the pages of a book on the history of Ferrari. I’ve always longed to see one in real life since. I love its left winged take, I love its unorthodox approach to what a Ferrari is, and I love that it’s pretty much unknown to most entry level enthusiasts. For this very reason alone, what you are looking at is a true collector’s item. To view the car or to get more information on it please contact Historic Motoring Ventures at: 0163380779 or email them at: suresh.andrew@gmail.com


​Vehicle Summary
Make: Ferrari
Model: 400i
Year of Make: 1979
Registered in Malaysia: --
Engine Capacity: 4.8 liters
Engine output: 310 bhp
Retail Price: P.O.A
Dealers: Historic Motoring Ventures 

First Ferrari with 2 pedals

Another feature to make its debut in the Prancing horse with the 400 was the Automatic transmission. This was Ferrari’s first automatic, featuring a GM unit with 3 forward speeds. Don’t be quick to dismiss it though, it’s the same gearbox used in the Humvee. Two pedal Ferraris are a staple now but back in the late 70’s it was unheard of. The GT nature of the 400 suited the gearbox though. Truly this car was a departure from every convention Ferrari have had from before.  

Ferrari 400i

In our next instalment of the 7 part Ferrari special on Route Hunters, we will be covering an icon that is quite the oddball in comparison to its fellow stable mates. Not all things that roll out of Maranello gets a unanimously whole hearted reception from the general public. Some can split opinions wider than JCVD’s split between two Volvo trucks. This is the case with this particular car, the Ferrari 400i.

A different type of Ferrari

Debuting in 1972, the Ferrari 400 series was the replacement for the 365GTC/4, which was based on the legendary 365GTB/4 A.K.A the Daytona. It was supposed to be the first proper 4 seat Ferrari, and started off with the 365GT4 2+2 name. Since it was the 70’s, with cars like the iconic Coutach defining the era, sharp edged looks were in and that’s precisely the design direction Pininfarina took for this car. You may hate it, you may love it (like me) but you cannot deny that this looks unlike any Ferrari before it or since. Over the years the car underwent improvements and that was reflected in its name. In 1976 it became the Ferrari 400 and in 1979 was called the 400i, which featured fuel injection. 

Fuel Injection in Ferrari

Almost all of Ferrari’s V12 up until then were fuelled by 6 glorious sounding Webbers. But like all good things, it came to an end with the 1973’s fuel crisis. Car makers were forced to make more fuel efficient cars in order to comply with the US emissions regulations. This meant that in place of the Webbers were now the K-Jetronic fuel injection system from Bosch. It was one of the first Ferrari to employ fuel injection in order to meet emissions.

The consequences was lower horsepower, with the 400i loosing almost 30 bhp to its carburettored predecessor to make 340bhp. There were  some minor modifications to the exhaust headers in the later years but it was not until the 412i of the 1980s did the power figures return to before.