Rare 5-Speed: 1980 Ferrari 412

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This 1980 Ferrari 412 features a rare combination of 2+2 seating with a V12 engine up front and paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox. The series of 2+2 grand tourers began with the 365 GT4, followed by the 400, 400i, and then finally, the 412. These were powerful coupes that were by and large the same car over the extent of the production run, with small mechanical and cosmetic improvements made with each generation. These were never officially sold in the United States, owing to the company’s position that changing environmental regulations and the new national speed limit made its eight-cylinder models sufficient for American roads. Find the 412 here on eBay with bids to $15,100 and the reserve unmet.

As I mentioned the other day with the gorgeous Maserati Ghilbi we featured, I’m a big fan of the Italian GTs that emerged in the 70s and 80s. These really seemed to be designed as executive transport given the upright styling and room for four. Many of them were sold with automatic transmissions, further cementing the model’s positioning as a grand tourer. However, like every car with a manual option, there’s always a handful of enthusiasts who love the idea of three pedals in a vehicle that doesn’t necessarily lend itself to an image of do-it-yourself shifting. The 412 isn’t like a Berlinetta Boxer or an F40, where the presence of an automatic transmission would be grounds for punishment; like the 928, a slushbox in a 412 wouldn’t get much of a reaction.

This car is clearly in driver condition, which always raises a quandary when dealing with exotic vehicles: is this a good thing, indicating the car was driven, accumulating battle scars that reflect a lifestyle of actual road-going use rather than static display? Or is it a sign of neglect, especially since this was never considered a “valuable” Ferrari that would otherwise be cherished and over-serviced, if only because of its potential as an investment token? The seller doesn’t answer this question but does convey that it has received some mechanical attention over the past few years, which will hopefully offset some of the tired cosmetics we see here. He does confirm there is some “shrinkage” on the top of the leather-covered dash.

Maintenance-wise, this 412 benefits from the following recent services: new fuel pumps; new stainless steel exhaust; battery; and replacement hood struts. That’s not a robust list of servicing for a vintage exotic like this and is perhaps the biggest “miss” of the whole listing. To get maximum value for any Ferrari, you tend to need to show an exploded view of recent maintenance, even if it’s just routine fluid system changes. The seller’s car may have low miles but on a car like this, that doesn’t mean much as it relates to consistent mechanical servicing. I’m sure it’s a ways off from meeting its reserve, but it’s still a seriously cool (and rarely seen) example of a V12 Ferrari.

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Comments

  1. angliagt angliagtMember

    Car’s in Southern California,but the seller (dealer)
    is in Oregon.

    Like 1
  2. DelBoy

    I drive a manual Ford Transit van for a living. I row through the six speed gearbox like a pro as it’s the perfect accessory for slowing and timing my exits to traffic lights, junctions and roundabouts without having to stop. It also freaks out the tailgaters that I slow down without showing my brake lights. It’s hard work but a must have for serious drivers. Any manual gearbox is a joy to drive. This car must be a hoot; but outa my budget by a huge margin.

    Like 12
    • scott m

      I love doing this with my sport shift Miata- revving out (or not 🤗) my shift, and using engine braking… Requires a lot more focus, and makes it a lot more fun, while at the same time keeping things well out of the wild side

      Like 0
    • angliagt angliagtMember

      Is your van Yellow,by any chance?

      Like 2
  3. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    Drove a 400 auto Turbo 400 GM trans. Nice family car. Now with the stick must be a hoot to drive. And since its not arrest me red 😂 it blends in with normal cars. Except for the sound!! I would love to drive this from NY to Florida. Very comfortable seats. But with all Ferraris maintenance very high. Good luck with the next owner..🐻🇺🇸

    Like 3
    • RallyeMember

      I have a customer/friend that’s been looking at 400s and 412s for a couple of years. He was telling me that the reliability of the GM 3speed would justify it.
      “Do you want a 4 cam 12 to sound like Mozart when I go through the gears in your car or be closer to the sound of an old Buick Dynaflo?”
      He called last night and told me he signed a contract for a 456GT 6 speed. OK!

      The last “hoot to drive” I drove was a Bentley GT 12cyl turbo. I didn’t go over 170 but I think it would’ve done the reported 196.

      Like 2
      • Colin Smeltzer

        He will be MUCH happier with the 456. It’s a GREAT car.

        Like 1
  4. Grant

    A headache in the making. Foolish buy for anyone except the very very rich. That is who will end up with this. Someone with more money than they need who has a vast collection and thinks he needs this to add variety. Of course, better him then some poor slob who thinks he can get a Ferrari on the cheap and will later pay for it dearly.

    Like 7
    • HoA Howard AMember

      To put into perspective, how silly this all is, I was watching the car auction and some guys Ferrari collection was up for sale. Mostly all red ones, all in the multi-million dollar range, I couldn’t tell one from the last, but then, a yellow one came down the pike, same model as the red ones, barely cracked a paltry $300 grand. Really? Got to be red, eh? I don’t think many folks go into it thinking they will get a “cheap” Ferrari, money clearly is not the issue. I think the fact that it may spend more time with “Tony” than on the road, may be a bit unsettling, but, while this is being repaired, they can easily drive one of their other many similar cars, no biggie. I can hear it now, “So, hows the Ferrari coming along,,,Tony?” “Well, almost done”, as they are talking to their construction contractor on the other line about the new addition you are helping fund. America! What’s not to like? No wonder immigrants are lined up in the cold waiting for a chance to get in, and the endless riches they heard about,,,”Yes, but Consuelo, they all drive Ferraris in America”,,

      Like 10
      • Grant

        You are right Howard, all a myth. At least, it is now. It all went away around the mid 70s and has headed down hill since there. I keep thinking that we must be at the bottom, but it just keeps getting deeper and darker.

        Like 8
    • Colin Smeltzer

      IF, you have decent mechanical skills, good tools, and enjoy having your skills tested, this could be a cheap entry to the “Ferrari ” life.
      These are not overly complicated, parts can be spendy, but driven right they dont break a lot. Used right and maintained with live, it will give you good service.

      Like 3
  5. drew

    The ebay ad notes that this is a 1986. The first year of 412’s was 1985, following the 400. Really love the design of these.

    Like 3
    • SubGothius

      Agreed, always loved Leonardo Fioravanti’s design work here at Pininfarina: sharp and sleek yet understatedly handsome, more akin to a rakish designer suit, rather than ostentatious sports/leisure wear like their more sporting models. If I could afford to own and maintain any Ferrari, it would probably be one of these, in a low-key color like this. Seriously.

      Like 4
    • jo6pac

      Yes love them and there’s company in Southern Calif. that turns them into convertible,very smart looking.

      Like 2
  6. larry

    Easy to understand why Leno refuses to own a Ferrari.

    Like 2
  7. Howie

    Nice, i hope it sells. The seller also has a 80 Aston Martin Lagonda listed with very poor photos.

    Like 3
  8. douglas hunt

    I always loved these, the 4 small headlights when up does it for me……and with the 5 speed it’s even better, of course beyond my means but hey, one can dream….it is one of the few I like that does not have the “gated” shifter, but still appeals to me ….

    Like 1
  9. Bill Lucas

    That’s not a 412. It’s a400i. I’ve had 2 of them 1979 a 1984.

    Like 1
    • SubGothius

      Correct, the 400i was updated to become the 412 as of 1985, until production ended in 1989.

      Like 0
  10. SubGothius

    …ah, but then again, the eBay ad includes a Seller’s Note stating, “This car is a 1986 412 I.” rather than a 1980 as listed.

    The photos confirm it is indeed a 412, most notably going by the slightly higher rear decklid, which can’t readily be retrofitted to earlier models. Note how the rear edge of the decklid ends about an inch higher than the bodyside crease running below the window beltline, whereas in earlier models the decklid and crease converge to a point.

    Like 0
    • SubGothius

      As for why this was listed as a 1980 rather than the actual 1985 model/production year, it’s simple:

      eBay requires entering a valid VIN for model years that provided them in a standard verifiable format, and these cars were never officially imported to the US and thus never got assigned VINs that satisfy the US standard.

      That standard was adopted for model year 1981, so 1980 is the last model year you can select on eBay that will accept entry of any arbitrary string as the “VIN”.

      Like 2
      • drew

        Thanks for this clarification. I commented earlier about the year discrepancy, I was hoping maybe the BF author would have taken note of this.

        Like 0
  11. PRA4SNW

    Made it to $30,500, Reserve Not Met.

    Like 0

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