Ferraris are expensive. The most expensive cars in the world are Ferraris. They are also the most coveted cars at high-dollar auctions, by quite a margin, followed by Mercedes-Benz, Bentley, Bugatti, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar and Porsche. A 250 GTO sold close to $40m (Dh147m), like a Van Gogh or Gauguin. This year a Ferrari 335S went for $35m. Last year a 290 Mille Miglia car for $28m. In all of 2015 the top five most expensive cars sold at auctions were all Ferraris, and another one made up six Modena artworks in the top 10, with only one each from Aston Martin, McLaren, Jaguar and Porsche for company.
There’s no competition, the top of the car world is red. So, if you want to buy a Ferrari that doesn’t require A Wheatfield with Cypresses in part-ex, then you have to look at the other end of the colour palette.
See, most of the 1,800 or so Ferrari 400s built between 1976 and 1985 aren’t even red! And that’s where we look. Because you can buy one for Camry SE+ money, seriously, there are 400s going from Dh90,000, which is about $25,000.
Granted, a nice one will cost you double that but still, that’s a Ferrari for… Camry money plus another Camry. Why would you want two Camrys?
Even though it was part of a wider line of Ferrari 2+2s that were produced from 1972 to the 1989 412 model, we focus on the 400 because it is the more plentiful model and first came offered in 1976 with a usable GM-sourced three-speed automatic. Just imagine the enthusiasts’ backlash at the first-ever automatic Ferrari back then…
The 400 also represented a major shift into modernity for Maranello as the car additionally ditched the iconic Borrani knock-off wire wheels. Later models didn’t even have carburetors for Madonna’s sake, and the 4.8-litre V12 made a bit over 300 horsepower with Bosch fuel injection, hence it is often called the 400i, too. If you get one of the rarer carb models, well, there’s six of the Webers on there so tuning that V12 must be fun…
Otherwise, the complex mechanical fuel injection systems can be a chore to service and the twin-cam engine with chain drive is a delicate thing, so getting cosy to a good mechanic is advisable pre-purchase. Because while this undervalued and underappreciated Ferrari might be Camry money to buy, it’s still Ferrari money to own.