V12 Super-Coupe for Four! 1980 Ferrari 400i

Pininfarina-styled almost entirely with a straight-edge, Ferrari’s 400 splits the air like a wind chisel. This 1980 Ferrari 400i in Camarillo, California wears its 55,000 miles well, and runs and drives “excellent,” according to the seller. Appealing to enthusiasts with a compassionate, sharing side, this four-seater promises three passengers the opportunity to experience traveling through space in a Ferrari, two more than the company’s mid-engine exotics. Make no mistake, though, the V12 under the bonnet brings the wonderful sounds and capabilities that make cars wearing the Cavallino Rampante logo something special. At least 12 bidders have succumbed to the lure of Ferrari ownership by bidding on this magnificent beast here on eBay. The market value has eclipsed $40,000, failing to meet the seller’s Reserve with three days left in the auction as we go to press.

Ferrari added “i” to the 400 in 1979 when Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection replaced the previous 400’s sextet of carburetors. The 4.8L (294 cid) V12’s 306 HP moves the 2+2 to a top speed of 149 MPH according to Wikipedia. Only 1355 were made, making those remaining even more special. Thanks to Automobile-Catalog for some details.

Gorgeous from every angle, there’s no mistaking the 400i’s visual impact. Not having an engine right behind your head may remove some of the visceral sensation of driving a mid-engine exotic, but here’s a super-tourer you can take on vacation even if you have kids or friends who don’t mind the compact rear accommodations.

While the seller describes this Ferrari as “unmolested,” I would waste no time molesting those supple leather seats, or at least slathering them with leather-care products and affection. Alas you’ve probably spotted the automatic gear shifter seemingly nicked from a Chevrolet Monte Carlo. In fact the 400i does use GM’s sturdy three-speed Turbo Hydramatic 400, a gearbox that’s proven effective at hauling travel trailers as well as a prancing horse or two, but not usually the Ferrari sort. About two-thirds of 400i buyers suffered sufficient brain damage or leg damage to have chosen this pickup truck transmission over the available five-speed stick-shift.

I’d take a ride back there! I favor Ferrari’s light tan leather, but I’ll gladly climb in and pull my knees up for a while vs. not riding in your Ferrari. Not so long ago these cars regularly traded under $25,000, so the second-best time to consider a Ferrari purchase may be today. Generally speaking Ferrari owners should plan to spend $5000 a year to keep their dream machines ready for that weekend cruise, not counting insurance of course. Is this chiseled Ferrari 2+2 calling your name?

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Comments

  1. mike b

    Always an aspirational vehicle for me (auto trans not-withstanding), never to be. It is especially gratifying that I had the same (aftermarket) steering wheel on my CRX. And took decades to spend $5,000 on maintenance.

    Like 3
  2. Luki

    Without a doubt one of the undisputed top two worst cars ever offered by Ferrari.

    The other being the Mondial.

    Like 6
    • Larry

      Spoken like a true person who has never driven either!

      Like 12
      • Howie Mueler

        And has never owned one either.

        Like 10
    • Jack

      With what knowledge are you speaking? Ever drive one? They are not bad at all for what they were designed to be and to do. In 1980 these were very nice vehicles

      Like 5
    • Jack

      With what knowledge are you making your judgement? Ever own one or drive one? There were not bad cars at all for 1980. They did exactly what they were intended to do, provided a V-12 experience for 4 passengers.

      Like 5
    • ChingaTrailer

      I have owned a 1961 250 GTE, a 1964 330 GT, a 1967 330 convertible and a 1975 308 GT 4. Would my opinion count if I chose to share it?

      Like 1
      • philly

        No, not unless you owned a 400i…

        Like 1
    • Jack in RI

      I’m glad to know Luki can classify Ferrari’s. Could you tell us what the best ones are? I’ll make sure this Ferrari never sits in my garage.

      Like 2
    • SubGothius

      Sure, they’ve been relatively unloved by Ferraristi and have long had relatively low resale value accordingly — along with the 308 GT4 until recently — but that doesn’t mean they’re objectively bad cars. Much of this was a matter of styling, the 400 being relatively understated (but IMO still extremely handsome and tastefully sophisticated), and the Mondial having somewhat awkward proportions (a typical challenge for any mid-engined 2+2), but also a matter of simple snobbery as the “riff raff” could afford to buy these undervalued models on the resale market (if not always afford to maintain them properly).

      For the longest time, they also turned up their noses at the mid-engine models, as a “real” Ferrari had to have a V12 engine in front — which ironically would make this more of a “real” Ferrari than the 308/328 series. That’s a major reason il Commendatore created the Dino submarque, for smaller-/mid-engined cars that Ferrari traditionalists might scoff at. Of course, ultimately the Dino marque got folded back into Ferrari proper, and the 308 GT4 evolved into the 308/328 series that soon earned their place among the most famed and beloved Ferrari models ever.

      Like 2
      • Howie Mueler

        And the Mondial was also the only mid-engine, 4 seater, factory production car convertible in the world.

        Like 1
  3. Steveo

    So little love for the auto trans. This is not a canyon carver and the motor has plenty of oompf to get you around. It doesn’t take all that much time with a standard trans in heavy traffic to be thankful for an alternative, does it?

    Like 7
  4. BODUKE

    There is nothing wrong with this being an automatic. The turbo 400 was a strong enough trans.

    Like 5
  5. DETROIT LAND YACHT

    For most peoples budgets…the 400 and the Mondial are the best shot you have at being able to say you own a Ferrari. Consider an LS swap if you get a good price. Consider an EV swap if you get it for a real good price.(under 30k)

  6. Rob

    In 1980 I worked at a Shell station in Fort Wayne IN. I was 17 years old. There was an ice storm and no one was on the road. Suddenly, a Ferrari of all things pulled into the station, and a man who barely spoke English emerged.

    He explained that he had come from Italy and in doing so had shipped his car too and that the car had suddenly lost oil pressure. I put his car on the lift and noticed that a banjo bolt for a return oil line had come loose, probably from hitting an ice clod.

    I attempted to add oil but he didn’t trust “American Shell Oil” and wanted to wait until morning when he could get “his oil.” I told him his car would be safe inside, and he could reclaim it either in the morning or when the ice melted, whatever he wanted to do.

    He went away and my mind RACED! I desperately wanted to take the car out and absolutely hammer it! I thought about this for a long time, but there was literally at least 1/2″ of ice on the road and the consequences of wrecking his car would be profound. Moreover, I thought, I wouldn’t really be able to enjoy it as the ice would prevent me from hammering it anyway.

    Sadly, I locked up, took one last look at his sweet, sweet, Ferrari, and went home.

    Like 5
  7. Solosolo Member

    The people that say the 400 and the Mondial are the two worst cars ever built by Ferrari are usually spoken by people that can’t afford ANY Ferrari. I have had a Mondial hard top and a convertible and both were fine cars, and at C and C, Motor Shows etc. they would get more attention than most of the other Ferrari’s on show due to their rarity.

    Like 6
    • Luki

      So in other words you can’t afford a real Ferrari if you owned those.
      Rarity does not equate to value or quality.

      • Jack

        What’s your point? If a guy wanted to buy a Ferrari in 1980 but had a family this was his good option. That was the purpose of the vehicle. It has nothing to do as to whether you could or couldn’t afford a different Ferrari.

        Like 4
      • Solosolo Member

        I also owned a 308 and a 328 so affordability didn’t come into it. I agree that rarity doesn’t equate to value or quality, however, that’s not necessarily the reason people buy a Ferrari. Ferrari’s are a passion purchase.

        Like 2
    • Howie Mueler

      So true, i had a 92 Mondial T, and did many car shows!! And did many all Ferrari shows at the Petersen Museum.

      Like 3
  8. Howie Mueler

    The seller should take the $40k and be happy. The listing says blue in color that is why he added the silver note at the bottom.

    Like 4
  9. t-bone BOB

    Item location:
    Camarillo, California

  10. Araknid78

    Ended:May 08, 2021 , 8:54PM
    Current bid:US $47,100.00[ 39 bids ]

    Reserve not met

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