Lot 180 - 1978 Ferrari 400GT
|Odometer reading||44,558 miles|
|Estimate||£25,000 - £32,000|
|Result||Sold - £25,760|
Launched at the 1976 Paris Salon, the 400GT had acquired a 4.8-litre version of Ferrari's four-cam, V12 engine but otherwise differed from its 365GT/4 2+2 predecessor only in detail. The 400GT reaffirmed Ferrari's determination to compete with the world's finest luxury sports saloons and was intended to attract the type of mature yet discerning customer who previously might have opted for a Bentley or Mercedes-Benz. This latter requirement made the option of automatic transmission a necessity. The unit chosen was a General Motors' three-speed Hydramatic gearbox, widely regarded as the world's best, having been used by Cadillac and subsequently by Rolls-Royce and Jaguar among others. Flagship of the Maranello range, Ferrari's splendidly equipped '2+2' featured self-levelling independent rear suspension, power-assisted steering, electric windows and optional air-conditioning. Being a Ferrari, the 400GT was as fast as it was luxurious, boasting a top speed of around 150mph. Sadly, the car's biggest potential market, the USA, remained effectively closed to it because of stringent safety and emissions legislation. Even after it received fuel injection, the 400GT remained effectively a Europe-only model because of the expense involved in crash-testing two cars for US safety assessment. By the time production of the final 412 version ceased in 1989, Ferrari's finest 2+2 had been in production for a remarkable 17 years, though its exclusivity meant that there were seldom more than 200 sold in any one year.
This righthand drive Ferrari 400GT, one of 137 cars supplied new in the UK, is fitted with the General Motors automatic gearbox and has only covered 44,500 miles from new. Supplied new by Lancaster Garage in Colchester to Mr. D. Wicks who kept the car for the first six years until 1984. It then passed through the ownership of several people before being purchased by Martin Hewgill in December 1992. The last MoT test in his ownership was in July 1997 with a recorded mileage of 43,928. Shortly after this, he took the car off the road with the intention to carry out some restoration work, starting with the rear axle. The vendor purchased this 400GT in 2015 and the car was delivered to a Ferrari specialist, QV London, still with the rear axle removed. After fitting new wheel bearings the rear suspension was reassembled and refitted. Over the next two months QV replaced the fuel pumps, spark plugs, ignition points, battery, engine oil, differential oil and stripped down and rebuilt the six, twin choke Webber carburettors. An MoT test certificate was issued with the mileage of 44,473, the car then went back into storage. The car returned to QV in January this year where it was fully checked through and MoT tested, passing with no advisories. This is supplied with the V5 registration document still registered to Mr. Hewgill, the MoT test certificate which expires on the 29th January 2018, a file of old MoT test certificates and invoices, a Maranello copy handbook, Ferrari 400 automatic sales brochure, a couple of period magazines featuring Ferrari and parts books for the mechanical parts, automatic gearbox parts and body parts. This is a rare, righthand drive, desirable carburettor model of the Ferrari flagship of its time.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.