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Genuine Grand Tourer: 1984 Ferrari 400i

Some enthusiasts find the prospect of slipping behind the wheel of a Ferrari intimidating. Earlier models outfitted with carburetors can be cantankerous, while some manual transmissions can be less than smooth. However, this 1984 400i breaks those rules. Its fuel-injected engine should be more civilized, and the original owner’s decision to equip it with the optional automatic transmission means it should serve as a relaxed Grand Tourer. The Ferrari needs a new home, with the seller listing it here on eBay in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Bidding has raced to $26,100, although that figure remains short of the reserve.

The seller indicates they purchased this Ferrari around five years ago but that it had previously been part of the same family since it rolled out of the company’s factory in Maranello, Italy. It is a stereotypical Ferrari wearing dazzling Rosso Corsa paint. The exterior presentation is impressive for an unrestored vehicle of this type and age. The paint shines beautifully, with no apparent significant flaws or defects. The same is true of the panels, and I can’t spot any evidence of rust. With the vehicle spending its life in a climate-controlled garage, I wouldn’t expect any issues on that front. The distinctive aluminum alloy wheels are free from stains or other problems, and the glass looks faultless.

With so many Ferrari models featuring a mid-engine drivetrain combination, this car’s front engine is a refreshing change. The great Enzo Ferrari unashamedly preferred a V12 under the hood, and that’s what we find here. The company introduced the 400i in 1979 as an evolution of the 400. The new model substituted the legendary cluster of Weber carburetors in favor of a Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection system. The upgrade made the 400i more civilized than its predecessor and removed the need for a complicated tune-up process that was common with the Weber setup. That wonderful 4.8-liter V12 should produce 310hp, and this is the point where this classic stands apart from the pack for those seeking an Italian classic offering a relaxed driving experience. Many owners ordered their 400i with a five-speed manual transmission, but most selected the optional three-speed automatic. That is the case with our feature car, and that combination should allow it to cover the ¼ mile in 15.8 seconds. That is more than a second slower than the manual-equipped version, but it remains respectable for a Grand Tourer tipping the scales at 4,180lbs. One key consideration when assessing the viability of an exotic like a Ferrari is to ensure it has a history of appropriate maintenance. That appears to be the case because the vehicle has only clocked around 500 miles since its last service and 300 on its new tires. It runs and drives well, and the embedded video within the listing reveals a V12 that sounds sweet and clean. My only concern is a contradiction within the listing regarding the odometer reading. The item Specific section shows a figure of 152,347 miles, but the odometer photo indicates 15,354 miles. I hope the odometer is the more accurate figure because if this classic has more than 150,000 miles on the clock, the buyer may soon face significant maintenance costs.

The 400i was not the first 2+2 variant released by the company, but its styling made it one of the crispest and most elegant. This model also featured the most comfortable and accommodating interior to date, making it a genuine Grand Tourer. The seller describes its interior as flawless, but a couple of minor faults require attention. They are little more than a couple of missing control knobs, and finding replacements shouldn’t prove difficult or expensive. The Tan leather upholstery looks excellent for its age. It appears soft and supple, with no appreciable wear or other problems. The same is true of the remaining upholstered surfaces and the leather-wrapped Momo wheel. The original radio has made way for a CD player, but there are no other aftermarket additions. Creature comforts include power windows and air conditioning. Ferraris aren’t renowned for their ventilation, so that second feature would be welcome on hot days.

I appreciate that the 400i won’t appeal to some Ferrari purists, but there will be many who will see it as the perfect compromise between the charisma of a genuine Italian sports car and a Grand Tourer. This car isn’t perfect, but it is a tidy driver with no apparent needs. I would expect the bidding to easily top $30,000 before the auction ends, and the action to date suggests $40,000 could be within reach. Would you like to park this classic in your garage, or does the thought of an automatic Ferrari feel somehow wrong?

Comments

  1. Oldog4tz Oldog4tz Member

    Unless this is a resale red paint job, this would actually be a rare color for the 400 series. Most were British saloon style muted metallics.

    Like 2
  2. Euromoto Member

    I would daily this in a heartbeat.

    Like 9
  3. Kevin

    These aren’t horrible they are just boring.

    Like 1
  4. Idiot Boy

    An underappreciated God among cars. Timelessly beautiful and a standard bearer in the Sex on Wheels category. One of the most covetable Ferraris to my thinking, but go ahead let the values flounder until I can save enough play money to add 2 or 3 more garage spaces…

    Like 5
  5. Mitch

    Cool! A true Ferrari but who needs to listen to a radio when
    in the front plays a harmonic 12 cylinder orchestra?

    This cars are not so complicate as some assume except
    those who are sized to primitive center-camshaft pushrod
    engines. Anyway,
    It’s rear hydropneumatic levelling system looks working
    but i can detect some worn knobs and levers.

    This example with ~170’000 KM proof that Ferrari’s are
    quality cars because i have seen much worse examples
    with less mileage. I take this.

    Like 3
  6. Mitch

    Who needs a new radio when there is the sound of a harmonic
    playing 12 cylinder orchestra in front?

    From the condition of the knobs and levers i tend it runned
    about ~170’000 KM but has been very good treated. Difficult
    to judge with such overexposed pictures.
    That proofs that Ferrari’s are quality cars. Because i have seen
    some of this model in much worse condition and the sellers
    always claimed a lower milage then seen on this here. The
    rear hydropneumatic self-leveling suspension seems working.

    I take it.

    Like 1
  7. Claudio

    If i were to want this look , i would go for the detomaso delongchamp
    Cleveland engine lets me sleep at night

    Like 2
  8. Big C

    “Everyday driver.” LOL. Maybe if your best friends were a mechanic and a tow truck driver.

    Like 3
    • Joe Elliott

      I used to have a neighbor (~10 yr ago) who used one of these as a daily driver. Just like any other car, except it uses a lot of fuel and parts are very expensive (except of course the Bosch FI bits, which my neighbor got a kick out of pointing out were common to lots of PRV V6 cars [it runs on a pair of 6-cyl K-Jet systems], and readily available at local auto parts stores).

      But I’m sure you wouldn’t make a comment like that publicly if you hadn’t had a firsthand negative experience with well-maintained example of this specific model, so allow me to apologize in advance.

      Like 1
      • Rallye Member

        BMW 750il 12 cylinder was the same cis/ K jet injection. 6 x 2

      • Joe Elliott

        I’m pretty sure that was a pair of Motronic EFI systems, not K-Jet, on the BMW M70 engine in the 750.

      • Rallye Member

        I knew I had some photos of it but none from the top. AArrggg!
        15 years ago, it was.
        Here’s one of the pix that I took in case I ever had to adjust the steering box on one again. Turning the jam nut on top from below.
        My memory isn’t great…skull fracture and too many concussions. You may be right on the injection. It was definitely 2 x 6.

  9. tompdx Member

    I saw these 400/400is driving around LA in the early ’80s. That’s when I first started thinking I could own one someday. Back then they could be had for about $14k. If only ….

    It would be 35 years later before I bought my first Ferrari – a 348 with a much less intimidating V8. Wonderful driver’s cars!

    Like 1
  10. Oddimotive Cason Oddimotive Cason Member

    This would be more rewarding to drive than the similarly-styled Bitter SC, but perhaps a bit less reliable.

    Like 1
  11. Howie

    It looks great, but a automatic, very high miles, and lets hope those are not the TRX wheels.

    Like 2
  12. Rallye Member

    It is a proper front engine RWD 12cyl! I have a customer friend that’s been watching these for the last few years.
    I have him convinced we don’t want the version that’s stifled with a 3 speed automatic.
    I think he’d have one by now but the Bentley GT (twin turbo 12 cyl) that I chauffeured him to a garage party weekend before last in didn’t speed the F car addition into his collection. I don’t have a problem with the Bentley paddle shift automatic, it’s a bunch more than 3 speeds.

    I don’t have a problem with fuel injection but there’s a bunch of us still alive that don’t have a big problem with Webers either.

  13. Richard Martin

    I think you can be fairly confident that the mileage on the odo is the correct figure. No car that has done in excess of 150ks has as little wear as this has. The history report and the ‘low mileage claim in the add would tend to confirm this.
    I am trying to find all the missing knobs that others are talking about but all I can find is the missing AC temperature knob – hardly a big deal.
    Really beautiful car.

    Like 1
    • tompdx Member

      Exactly. Plus, it’s a Ferrari … no one drives these!

  14. ronald g stephenson

    Wow! The tire kickers are out today! This was one of the last attempts at a classic road car, and is overlooked by most Ferrari fans, but is an absolute bargain for those of us who always wanted a twelve cylinder Ferrari to have in our garage. Never mind if you don’t have an Italian mechanic named Mario. It can sit in driveway or in the garage with the doors opened. My friends with the E-type Jaguars are happy with what they have; a pretty face, but a Ferrari is above and beyond anything else out there.

  15. douglas hunt

    l always liked the styling of these, the pop up four small headlights do it for me, but I would rather have a 5speed but hey, out of my $$$$ range anyways. I could see running around in this instead of a boring modern car any day if the funds were there.

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