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400i 412 convertable??

Discussion in '365 GT4 2+2/400/412' started by djblu, Sep 16, 2007.

  1. djblu

    djblu Formula Junior

    Jul 7, 2007
    319
    philthy
    Full Name:
    sean-michael
    Ok here we go. Thinking its time to take the LEAP! My sl500 and xj8 are FUN but want to really start to step up to the plate as far as cars go. I can keep throwing money into the benz but not like it goes up in value and I know I will never get it back out of the car PLUS who does not have an sl these days. So thinking 400i or 412. Any thoughts on what I will be getting into. I know cost is a HUGE factor with these cars. Fixing is that something that is DIY or is it all shop work? Is this a good entry level car? Is there a desired year or model i should be shooting for. I know i got a weird year benz and its mostly fixing breaking items and when its not broken small mods Also what is the average yearly upkeep for a driven car. I have a hard time NOT driving my cars. I Don’t want to go the 308 Magnum PI route. Not that they are now amazing but I see too many of them. Also convertible? I have seen a FEW but what are we looking here as well. Any input would be GREAT! I have found a few dealers on line that look reputable I assume I could always tell them what I am looking for and have them find something. I would Love a car that I can grow old with, Tinker around with and enjoy a nice ride with my wife with her nails DUG in to the dash thru the countryside!
     
  2. Ken

    Ken F1 World Champ

    Oct 19, 2001
    16,078
    Arlington Heights IL
    Full Name:
    Kenneth
    These cars have 12 or muliples of 12 of everything. If/when you need engine work, the cost will be as much or more than the car itself. I imagine a DIY guy could handle it but parts add up fast. Having a solid engine with any Ferrari is important and especially with a 12. That offsets the cheap purchase price somewhat, but people who buy a 412 generally WANT a 412, not necessarily an entry level Ferrari. I'd love one myself!

    Just my $.02, but a Mondial Cabriolet QV or 308 GT4 should be a better entry level Ferrari. You don't have to worry about finding a 5 speed, the Mondials are designed as convertibles (all 412's are modified by someone, for better or worse) and outside of the disadvantage service wise of belts vs. chains, it's likely cheaper to keep in shape in the long haul. The FI is easier to live with than a carb GT4 too.

    Ken
     
  3. djblu

    djblu Formula Junior

    Jul 7, 2007
    319
    philthy
    Full Name:
    sean-michael
    WOW..thanks for the response. Mondial AWESOME CAR. Always liked those... love the convert. There was one for sale around here but i would never go look at it as the guy kept it outside EVERY DAY of the year rain snow sleet or hail.. Very sad. i assume we are talking about the same kind of issues. Expensive to fix when it breaks. Not that i am giving up so quickly on the 400 series... Thanks once again for the input!
     
  4. James in Denver

    James in Denver Formula 3

    May 23, 2006
    1,953
    Centennial Colorado
    Full Name:
    James in Denver
    Starting with a 400i, interesting thought process / choice on a first Ferrari. I thought about that choice too considering I also had an SL500 and really love the old big cruisers. Given your SL500 and XJ8, I can see how you would be interested in the 400/412.

    However, I also had to consider the repair costs and I have heard that they can cost quite a bit to repair if you have something go wrong, plus I really wanted a 5-speed rather than a GM TH400 automatic mated to a Ferrari V12.

    First, on the convertible, I believe (and someone else should confirm) that ALL the 400 series convertibles are chops after-the-fact. Some done by reputible companies, others just chopped. Even the reputiable company ones loose rigidity of the roofs, and sometimes that can be scary. I LOVE the IDEA of a 400 convertible, but not so sure I actually would want one.

    Second, as noted, the maintenance problems and costs are high no matter which Ferrari you own, even if just parts alone. For me, I'm no mechanic, but I decided to try some things myself and hopefully it will go well. The V-12s are just a bit intimidating for me.

    So, that said, I'll say the normal advice I give here. Go drive a 400/412 and see if you like it, its best to get the feel of them before making the decision. I drove a few 308s before deciding on my current car, admittedly not as many as I probably should have, but enough to know that I would not regret the decision.

    If you drive a few, and really like the 400s, I'd personally recommend trying to find a 5 speed. They are rarer and seem to keep thier value more (due to rarity). It will cost you more, but I'd think the Ferrari 5 speed would just feel better than a TH400 auto.

    Just my opinion. I own a 308 rather than a 400/412, but I've always been intrigued by them.

    James in Denver

    EDIT: I forgot, I drove a 400 series back several years ago, and I wasnt greatly impressed mainly because automatic was slow to respond but that could have been the specific car I was driving. Based on your SL500, I re-emphasize driving one.
     
  5. ArtS

    ArtS F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Nov 11, 2003
    5,971
    Central NJ
    djblu,

    If you are buying the car because you love the style and the Ferrari V-12, it's a great car! In fact I'm considering buying one as well. I doubt it will do well as an investment but the long term maintenance will be cheaper than the cost of get a new uxury car every few years. Alex Leventhal has gone this route. You may want to look up posts by aleventhal to get a sense of what ownership is like.

    There is a high probability that any car you buy will require $10 - $15k to get caught up on maintenance (you may luck out but I recommend that budget for it). The 365-400-412 series does not have timing belts as the 308s do but they are relatively complex cars, compared to the 1960s ones anyway, so once you have it sorted, I suspect that you will need to budget $3 - $4k per year if you plan to drive it regularly.

    If you don't mind a slush box, the 400iAs and 412As are a steal at the moment.

    Regards,

    Art S.
     
  6. bundas

    bundas F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 31, 2005
    6,885
    lexington ky usa
    Full Name:
    mitchell barnes
    E-BAY! my big problem. fellas i bought two cut 400i in march. still dealing with two crooks. car one: broker too money and put in his pocket, called FBI. took them one hour to get him. money gone, of course. got car! tune up $5000. goes good, quick enough. good road car. lots of looks, questions. i'm happy. car two: would not start (was told it ran, but bad fuel leak) no fuel leak. well, repaired pc board, yes it has a computer. car ran perfect, well almost. two cyl. have low compression. need head work. one head.$5000 two heads $8000. car is parked! bought a third v12 that week 365gt4 2+2, budget $40000. 20 for motor, yes runs and drives, idle not perfect. so look out!
     
  7. djblu

    djblu Formula Junior

    Jul 7, 2007
    319
    philthy
    Full Name:
    sean-michael
    WOW this is great! Thanks once again. So much to think about. I am not giving up on the 400. Might though on a chopped convert to avoid any issues with that. Somehting I have yet to deal with on my sl but they say will happen. As for getting a good one. I found these guys, Not that that is the car i will buy I like the sound of a manual, http://www.ferraris-online.com/pages/carintro.php?reqcardir=FE-400I-52535 Seems like a good drealer. Dont know what my BUDGET will be (wife) but from the posts i should assume at least double the price to be safe. Once again I cant thank you all enough. As you know a Ferrari is a dream come true. Hope to have that hapen some day soon :)
     
  8. KraigG

    KraigG Formula 3

    May 25, 2006
    1,501
    Willow Springs
    Full Name:
    Kraig
    If you're anywhere near southern California, I have my well cared for and well sorted 81 400i for sale. See more info and pics of it on various threads in this area, as well as in the Ferrari ads section of F Chat.
     
  9. James in Denver

    James in Denver Formula 3

    May 23, 2006
    1,953
    Centennial Colorado
    Full Name:
    James in Denver
    I havent been around the Ferrari world for too long, but Sheenan should be one of the best. Really surprising he's got a "lowly" 400i, he usually deals with the upper end cars.

    Of course, I have no idea about THAT car, but the dealer is very very well know.

    James in Denver
     
  10. blkprlz

    blkprlz Formula 3

    Mar 24, 2007
    2,158
    Tampa bay
    Full Name:
    Bruce
    Where?? What size?
     
  11. ArtS

    ArtS F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Nov 11, 2003
    5,971
    Central NJ
    djblu,

    KraigG's car seems to be very well sorted, it would be a good choice if you don't mind red.

    Regards,

    Art S.
     
  12. aleventhal

    aleventhal Formula Junior

    Jan 11, 2005
    653
    Millbrook, NY
    Full Name:
    Alexander Leventhal
    As Art pointed out, I drive my 400i as a daily. Rain, sleet, snow, in and out of NYC, etc. I bought a car that was represented as end of the world perfect, totally sorted, etc. It turns out it IS totally sorted, and that everything works BUT it does burn oil (not disclosed at purchase). I have confirmed that the oil burning is valve guides (compression and leakdown are perfect, but 4 holes burn oil (plugs have residue, that bank smokes)) and I have decided to live with it (oil is cheap) for now as it runs fine. Other than gas, oil, tires, etc. the car has cost me less than $500 in maintenance in the 2 years I have been driving it. If you buy one sorted, or sort it, the cars are tough and will be reliable. The PC / fuse / relay board is problematic, but one afternoon of rewiring to eliminate the factory terminals / connectors will solve all related problems. Other than that, I replaced a heater valve that seized (cross references to a 70s dodge pick up) and a low pressure return line on the self levelling rear suspension ($0.50 peice of hose). I don't think you can go wrong with a 400 at the prices they are trading for.

    Alex
     
  13. djblu

    djblu Formula Junior

    Jul 7, 2007
    319
    philthy
    Full Name:
    sean-michael
    WOW great news. So all in all get the best u can get so u are not spending all the time getting it sorted. Once sorted, a tank! Funny I have always liked the 400's and when my wife and I were in NYC over the weeknd there was one parked outside our favorite place to eat. She fell in love. I giggled cause it will be easy to talk her into it :) Unload the xj8 and vroom vroom! THANKS again to all of you. Great group of people.
     
  14. aleventhal

    aleventhal Formula Junior

    Jan 11, 2005
    653
    Millbrook, NY
    Full Name:
    Alexander Leventhal
    #14 aleventhal, Sep 18, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Was the car outside the restaurant Marronne (Brown)? If so, it was mine. I park it on the street in NYC fairl often. Either way, once sorted cars are tough - just could take time to sort one that is not in regular use with up to date service.

    Alex
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  15. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker In Memoriam

    May 25, 2006
    8,765
    Phoenix Az.
    Full Name:
    Dennis
    Personally I think they may have some challenges to deal with, but they are a steal right now, but it won't last forever.
     
  16. 400 gts

    400 gts Karting

    Apr 4, 2007
    58
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Full Name:
    B.I.
    #16 400 gts, Sep 19, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I have enjoyed a 400i convertible for several months, but due to health issues, the car is back at Motor Car Gallery in Fort Lauderdale. If you go to www.motorcargallery.com, you will see the listing for 1980 400i (30721) convertible. Attached you will also find a few pictures I took of the car. If you go to Youtube and search videos for Ferrari 1980 400i convertible, you will see and hear the car on a 3 minute clip.

    This is the third old Ferrari I have owned. The other two were a 250 GTE, and a 365 GT 2+2. The 400 is by far the most enjoyble of the three, and I had constant positive comments wherever I took it. I also had mechanical improvements done: Several belts and hoses were replaces, new seal in the water pump, new terminal connection connector (for 400 owners, replace the old one with a screw terminal), adjusted the fuel injectors, new fuses for fuel pumps etc., new battery, new custom exhaust system (sounds great), and several other minor items such as bleeding power steering and break systems. The engine is strong and runs well.

    If you need further information, you can call Ed at Motor Car Gallery, and he can tell you all about it, or let me know.

    400 gts.
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  17. djblu

    djblu Formula Junior

    Jul 7, 2007
    319
    philthy
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    sean-michael
    I wish it was. This was a black one with tan interior on 12th and 2nd ave. sunday around 4pm
     
  18. Hans

    Hans F1 Veteran

    Feb 17, 2006
    7,723
    Hilversum, Netherlands
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    Hans Teijgeler
    Alex,

    I just love your license plates! 1BIGFIAT?? Great! :D

    Wished we could have personal plates here. Not possible where I live...

    I drive mine nearly every day too (308 GT4). If only that bloody gas wouldn't be so expensive!! ($ 8.20 per gallon now over here, and 14 mpg)

    Hans
     
  19. aleventhal

    aleventhal Formula Junior

    Jan 11, 2005
    653
    Millbrook, NY
    Full Name:
    Alexander Leventhal
    Thanks, Hans. I have a gt4 as well - #10704. Love it, but it is too nice to drive every day - that is why I have the 400i - it is my sacrificial anode.

    A
     
  20. Hans

    Hans F1 Veteran

    Feb 17, 2006
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    #20 Hans, Sep 20, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Hmmm, that's what I'd like to do too. Problem that I have is that my daily driving usually involves quite some mileage. And with the fuel prices that I mentioned earlier, a 400 as a daily driver is not really an option. Just couldn't afford it....

    My GT4 is too nice too to drive every day, really. It's just that I cannot resist the daily itch. I just got to take her out of the garage for a spin... Done over 6000 miles in 6 months now. And she seems to love it as much as I do...

    Since you have both cars: It's obvious that the GT4 is much more a go-kart like car than the 400, but how would you compare the two?
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  21. aleventhal

    aleventhal Formula Junior

    Jan 11, 2005
    653
    Millbrook, NY
    Full Name:
    Alexander Leventhal
    Hans:

    They are very different but also very much alike. The 400 is obviously much softer, heavier, has power steering, etc. Where they are similar is in the unbelievable rigidity in the chassis - the tube frame cars all have that very stucturally stiff feeling that makes them feel composed. Both are extremely stable at high speed (as you know). In the end, while vastly different they both FEEL like Ferraris - in a way that some of the newer (uni-body) models do not, actually. Funny thing is that the gt4, compared to the 400 feels very nimble and, I hate to say it, slow and quiet. A 400, even an auto, once rollling and if shifted manually, will absolutely walk away from a gt4 - unless the road turns. :)

    Hope this helps,

    A
     

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