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Ordered by Maranello Concessionaires managing director Mr Sean Bealey -order number 3490- on 2nd February 1983 for April production. The car went into production on 17th May and was completed 14 days later 1st June. Finished in Rosso Cherry 95.3.9301 with crema VM 3997 hide and red carpets with a nero VM8500 dashboard. Invoiced by the factory on 3rd June 1983 for delivery to Maranello Concessionaires by truck one of just 26 manual series two cars officially imported, of which just 11 remain taxed or SORN’d with this one being the only red example. First registered *** *** on 17th June 1983 to a then 37-year-old company director Mr F N of Hampshire by Maranello Sales. The then list price being £41,498.70 plus delivery, number plates and road tax.
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**SUBJECT FOR A FUTURE CLASSIC AND SPORTSCAR MAGAZINE FEATURE***
The car is complete with the factory original service book, handbooks, and wallet. There are a bundle of past invoices and MOT certificates. This last model 400 benefits in Ferrari’s words as follows; "The engine received revised profile camshafts and new exhaust manifolds, which upped the power output by about 5 bhp, and the hydraulic self-levelling rear suspension changed to a gas filled system, coupled to new metric rim wheels with lower profile tyres. Internally there were revisions to the upholstery stitching pattern, door panel design, and centre console layout. Outside the door mirrors became more elegant with small enamel Ferrari shields on their casings, the width of the radiator grille was reduced to expose the driving lights, which became rectangular instead of square, the radiator exhaust air louvre in the bonnet became body colour, and high intensity fog lights were set into the rear bumper.”
History: The 400 Automatic i succeeded the 400 Automatic in November 1979, the “i” suffix in the model name standing for “injection”, as a fuel injection system replaced the two banks of three side draught Weber carburettors. The fuel injection system used was Bosch K-Jetronic, and concurrently a single distributor mounted at the right rear of the engine, with a Dinoplex electronic ignition system, replaced the earlier twin distributor layout. The adoption of fuel injection was to satisfy ever more stringent worldwide emission legislation, and it dropped the claimed power output to 310bhp. The engine was a V12 unit with a bore and stroke of 81mm x 78mm giving a total capacity of 4823cc, with factory type reference number F 101 D 070, coupled to a Borg Warner 3 speed automatic gearbox. This transmitted power through a propeller shaft to a limited slip differential, and from there via half shafts to the independently suspended rear wheels with hydraulic self levelling units.
The 400 Automatic i was initially visually identical to its predecessor both internally and externally apart from the addition of an “i” to the tail badge, although the tubular steel chassis type reference number became F 101 DL 170. In late 1982 some mechanical and cosmetic changes took place to the model. The engine received revised profile camshafts and new exhaust manifolds, which upped the power output by about 5 bhp, and the hydraulic self levelling rear suspension changed to a gas filled system, coupled to new metric rim wheels with lower profile tyres. Internally there were revisions to the upholstery stitching pattern, door panel design, and centre console layout. Outside the door mirrors became more elegant with small enamel Ferrari shields on their casings, the width of the radiator grille was reduced to expose the driving lights, which became rectangular instead of square, the radiator exhaust air louvre in the bonnet became body colour, and high intensity fog lights were set into the rear bumper.
As with the previous models in the 400 series, the fully trimmed bodies were delivered by Pininfarina to Ferrari to fit the mechanical components. Right or left hand drive steering, with power assistance as standard, was available, but as with the other twelve cylinder models of the period, no USA market version was available. The model remained in production until 1985, during which time 883 examples were constructed in the chassis number range 27987 to 55523.
Taken from Ferraris' own website
For some years, particularly through his 2+2's, Ferrari moved steadily towards acceptance as a manufacturer working at the luxury end of the motor trade. This was done without losing sight of the fact that any road-going Ferrari was first and foremost a high-performance car. Creature comfort, important as it was, would always be a secondary requirement, though with the introduction of such items as power steering, air conditioning etc, the enthusiasts of "hair shirt" mentality might already have reached an opposite conclusion. If so, with the introduction of the 400GT at the Paris show in 1976, they were in for a further shock. Their ultimate heresy - an automatic transmission - was part of the new car's specification. To soften the blow, a manual 5-speed box could be ordered if the customer so wished. The idea of a Ferrari with an automatic transmission is said to have originated in a practical sense with C.A. Vandagriff, a Ferrari dealer in California who, in 1971, had a 365GT2+2 fitted with a General Motors Type 400 3-speed turbo hydramatic automatic. After running the car for several months, he shipped it complete to Modena along with a lengthy report on its performance. Although there were still some problems to be solved, Maranello were obviously sufficiently impressed to take the project on board and bring it to a commercial fruition.
Automatic transmission apart, the 400GT was outwardly very little changed from its predecessor. At the front a discrete spoiler was added, a rear-view mirror with interior adjustment was fitted to the driver's door, the number of tail lights was decreased from 6 to 4 and the cast light-alloy Cromodora wheels secured by 5 bolts in place of the Rudge-type hub.
On the part of Pininfarina, the most important changes were to the interior, which as a result became even more accommodating and luxurious. The dashboard console and the redesigned door panels were covered in leather.
The seats were changed to give added comfort and those at the front a new mounting which slid them forward when their backs were tilted forward. These greatly assisted entry to and exit from the rear compartment. A second air conditioner, for the rear of the car, was available as an option, and a quadraphonic sound system was installed.
In mid-1979 fuel injection using the Bosch K Jetronic system was introduced with the idea of improved cold starting, quieter running and a cleaner exhaust.
In the autumn of 1982 further changes were introduced. Some of these were purely cosmetic. Others affected the engine in the shape of modified camshafts and new exhaust manifolds. Power was given as 315 BHP(up 5BHP)and torque went up to 303ibs/ft at 4200 rpm .The suspension mountings were softened at the front and at the rear the self levelling system was revised so that the struts were linked to a separate fluid source and pump. The amount of fluid required was controlled by a sensor valve which assessed the attitude of the car.
Taken from the Complete Ferrari by Godfrey Eaton
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