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Best Place to Learn About the 400i

Discussion in '365 GT4 2+2/400/412' started by t6dpilot, Apr 28, 2020.

  1. t6dpilot

    t6dpilot Rookie

    Mar 18, 2014
    9
    Chicago area
    Full Name:
    Scott Hansen
    Long time early 911 guy here wanting to learn more about the 400i. Is there a comprehensive thread here that informs a person new to this model what to look for in a pre-purchase situation and differences between Series I and II cars? I have read through some threads to learn some information, but was wondering if there is one go to spot for all things 400i.

    Also curious if it is a DIY friendly car? I try to most of the work on my early 911s and would intend to try that on this car too. From what I have read, they appear to be pretty reliable once sorted. As with most things mechanical, they are best driven regularly. Thanks for your input!
     
  2. 57Wayne

    57Wayne Karting

    Mar 29, 2015
    101
    Wilbraham MA
    Full Name:
    Wayne Thresher
    I don't have an answer on a "one place" like a buyer:s guide. I learn as I go, and find that with support from the forum you can work on your own car.
    I have a 412 so someone else will answer re the 400s. Good luck and welcome.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
     
  3. bjwhite

    bjwhite F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 17, 2006
    3,627
    Seattle, WA
    Full Name:
    Brian White
    Series I and II differences have been covered here many times--lots of threads about it. Do a couple of searches and you'll find a lot.
     
  4. OttoB

    OttoB Formula Junior

    Aug 17, 2013
    615
    Palm Beach, FL
    A fantastic source aside from this forum is a blog maintained by Erwin who only posts on these cars weekly and, singlehandedly is the only independent source globally for 365/400/412's. A quick Google search will find him at:

    http://erwin400.blogspot.com

    Over the last 15+ years, there is not much new that has not been covered in this forum and/or within Erwin's blog. The search tool will be an invaluable tool for you and hope you are able to find what you are looking for in more ways than 1, Scott!
     
    Jack-the-lad and Jasonberkeley like this.
  5. simon klein

    simon klein F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Feb 25, 2009
    15,383
    North Qld
    Full Name:
    simon klein
    I believe the first question you need to ask is,do you want a manual or auto?
    If it's manual then you should start with the 365 and then work down...:D
     
  6. Schumi

    Schumi Formula Junior
    Owner

    Jun 5, 2002
    698
    Missouri
    Full Name:
    Daren
    I created this pre-purchase checklist for a Series I 400i, but 90% of it will work for any of them.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. au400i

    au400i Rookie

    Oct 26, 2018
    17
    Here is my 2 cents

    (I currently own a 400i series 1 manual, a 330 GT and a Dino 308 GT4 and I have also spent a lot of time in 80/90's Ferraris and my father is Porsche guy)

    These cars are a gentleman's car, refined to drive, fantastic on the open road but also around town. Subtle with fantastic style. It doesn't matter if you love or hate the styling, it grows on everyone the more time they spend around the car. The same with the driving experience, it doesn't blow you away the first time with noise or performance but it is my number 1 go to car for a road trip.

    400's are the opposite in many ways to an early 911 Porsche. They are a heavy (~1,800kg) well appointed luxurious sports car with a big torquey engine. They are still sporty, rewarding to drive and sit flat in corners but they love long sweepers and covering big miles at speed rather than driving a ten tenths on a twisty mountain road. A 308 is much more of a Porsche feeling car with a lighter more top end focused engine, sharper handling and simpler interior.

    Few points of 365/400/412's:
    - Injected cars are more reliable. Carb'd cars make a better noise.
    - Like most classic ferrari V12's if it has been cared for the core engine is bullet proof. It's the stuff hanging off it which normally gives the issues.
    - The injection system is very reliable when setup and adjusted correctly. This is a simple task on a well maintained system for someone with the experience and skill but difficult for even experienced mechanics who don't know the system.
    - Manual cars are worth a lot more and feel much sportier feel to drive. Autos are nice if you like to cruise. Both boxes are well built and the auto can be re-valved.
    - The core of these cars is simple but there is a lot of stuff on them which adds up to make the car complicated for a classic. They are almost a 2 of everything car, essentially 2x 6 cylinders put together. When I say that I mean they have 2 alternators, 2 injection units, 2 fuel pumps etc etc This means twice the cost / effort to restore / repair plus the skills to keep everything in sync. There is also a lot of extra stuff on these cars which make them more complicated than a simple classic car. Just compare the parts diagrams to that of my 330 or 308 (or early 911) and they are next level of complicated. However this is 70/80's technology so most things can be rebuilt and worked on and anyone with patience and a good mechanical mind can handle. I work on all my cars and I really enjoy the 400. It's more challenging than my 330 or 308 but it is still a car and with patience and a little experienced help now and then it is a rewarding experience.
    - Generally there is a good availability of parts. Most Ferraris share parts across multiple generations and this is true with the 400. However things like the front indicator lenses and very specific things to this model are getting expensive.
    - My opinion is the series 1 cars have an interior with better personality. Think 2 toned leather, toggle switches and less plastic. The series 1 has essentially the same interior as the 365GTC/4 which for me feels more like a classic ferrari. The series 2 feels like a 80's car with a lot more plastic (think Ferrari 308 GTB/S) and even more luxurious seats.
    - The few extra horses you get from the later cars can be made up for by having a good car setup correctly and because of the nature of the these cars you tend to enjoy the torque rather than the top end horse power. So I don't think the higher engine horsepower of the later models is a deciding factor. If you really interested in sporty and horsepower then you buy the earlier 365 as they are significantly lighter as well as having the higher horse power so you really notice the difference and are a much sportier car.
    - It is worth reading up on the self levelling systems. The earlier version is more simple but harder (but not impossible) to find someone to service (this is definitely not a do at home task). If you own a 400 long term you will need to deal with this at some point.
    - Most 400's were fitted with metric rims and TRX tires are the only tires that fit. These are available but are expensive. If you are not going to do a lot of miles then this is not a problem as you put a new set on every 5-7 years and you're done. I've done ~10,000 kms in the last year so I fitted superformance 16 inch wheels with spacers and modern tires to keep the cost down.
    - Prices are on the rise. These are the most modern of the classic V12 Ferraris and the last of the Columbo engine line. In many ways they are the end of the classic ferrari era. The next V12 was the 456 which very much the new era of modern, electronic, plastic less, modern construction techniques etc etc Many 400's where used as parts cars for earlier more valuable models such as Daytonas and replicas. Any many have simply been neglected and lost to time so there are fewer left than production numbers suggest and even fewer exceptional examples. There are a few people starting doing full restorations but generally the cost of dong so is many times more than the car is worth so they are not yet restoration candidates.

    Therefore my number one piece of advice is to take you time and get a very good one. Don't worry about purchase price too much as if you need to start doing a lot of work on the car you will quickly spend more on servicing than you will purchasing the car. The majority of these cars were neglected when they were worth close to nothing and getting the maintenance back to an acceptable point where the car is reliable ends up being too much. This is when people turn around and think the car is unreliable and expensive. If they are in good order and well maintained well these are very reliable cars. I have spent the time/money on mine and I have never once had a reliability issue. This is the same for the other owners I know, however those that don't stay ahead of maintenance have constant issues. Having a preventive approach really pays off... I know that everyone says this about every classic car but these 400's can be very niggly (or even worse). Think of it this way, it is 1/10th of the purchase price of a Daytona but mechanically a more complicated car. Very easy for the maintenance costs to overpower the value.

    What would I look for:
    - Manual more fun to drive and more potential capital growth (look at the 575 F1 vs 575 Manual prices)
    - Good interior - there is a lot of leather to re-trim
    - Excellent service history with proof that maintenance has been done. Ideally a pampered car. Go through the major components and find out exactly where they are at. Everything on a car needs servicing eventually so finding out where each system is on the maintenance cycle will limit surprises.
    - Body / chassis - you need a car which has been stored correctly and not driven in salty winter roads. Not worth considering rusty examples
    - Good exhaust - they are eye watering expensive to replace (even for an aftermarket option)
    - Drive a few, a good driver will quickly learn the difference between a well sorted example and a looks good on the surface example.
    - Take your time - there are always new examples coming on the market. Is is not the type of car where you need to be worried about missing out as there is enough out there. Also as the prices have risen there is a change of generation going on from those who purchased them when they were super cheap getting out and a new generation getting in so generally good turn over at the moment.
    - Try and find some local owners and talk to them / ask to drive/ride in their cars. Sorted vs good vs tired cars feel very very different.
    - Ask for details on specific cars of interest on here and on the excellent FB group. There are some experts around that know the history of most cars worldwide which can be super valuable. It fills in a lot of blanks that is missing on some of the advertised examples.

    And lastly... Get one. They are hugely enjoyable to own. My (Porsche loving) father hated mine for about a year and they I left it with him for 6 months while he was between classics and now I cannot get him out of it. I've even caught him using it as a daily driver!!!

    Here is some pictures of mine if you need inspiration:
    https://www.instagram.com/giuseppe400i/
     
  8. raemin

    raemin Formula Junior

    Jan 16, 2007
    377
    Lyon (FR)
    Full Name:
    R. Emin
    Twice everything indeed!

    Two braking circuits, separate harness for left and right parking lights, low beam, high beam, two heater blowers, two tanks, triple cooling fans, etc. And 4 seats...

    More room on the rear seats than in the front seats of a 911. Superb upholstery (an Aston Martin V8 looks cheap by comparison).

    Perfect weight balance, strong chassis. Not so much heavy by nowadays standards.

    Expensive maintenance costs. $2 per km as far as I am concerned.
     
  9. Jack-the-lad

    Jack-the-lad Three Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 22, 2004
    39,818
    Isle of Luci
    Full Name:
    Jack
    Beautiful. Blue Ribot is one of my favorite colors.
     
    au400i likes this.
  10. Ewan

    Ewan Karting

    Jul 5, 2015
    131
    Dorset, UK
    When I was looking, I wanted a fuel injected auto with the more classic (wooden dash) interior, so for me it had to be a series one 400i. Here in the UK these are now pretty rare, with maybe only 2 or 3 cropping up for sale per year. So I simply bought the car that was available at the time. Of course, this is not the recommended way to go about these things (!), but I knew that when I made the decision. The more considered option is to see several, wait for the right car, and buy the best you can afford.

    My car had been in storage for a long time, covering less than 1000 miles in the preceding 25 years. So a fair amount of recommissioning was obviously required. But it was a strong example, with no rust, lovely interior, stacks of history and full provenance, well known previous owner, etc, so worth the work.

    The market has moved up, but I still may well have spent more on the car than it is worth. But I'm fine with that and am happy to offload the work to others more capable than I. But if you have the time and mechanical skills to do work yourself, you could easily run such a car for a not unreasonable sum.

    Undoubtedly they are a very stylish way to travel. Have fun with your search and I hope you find the car that's correct for you.

    Here's mine:
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
    Ak Jim, au400i, Schumi and 1 other person like this.
  11. bjwhite

    bjwhite F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 17, 2006
    3,627
    Seattle, WA
    Full Name:
    Brian White
    Gorgeous car Ewan....and in a rare color too.
     
  12. t6dpilot

    t6dpilot Rookie

    Mar 18, 2014
    9
    Chicago area
    Full Name:
    Scott Hansen
    Thanks for the replies gents. And thank you Au400i for the very detailed response - very, very helpful. Love Ferraris in blue. While I am an early 911 hotrod guy (RG) currently, I have been exposed to and driven many different sports cars from soup to nuts - including a number of Ferraris - 330 GTC, 275 GTB/4, 250TR replica, 456 GT. Yes, the 911 is very much the raw canyon carver, yet I have driven it across the country to both coasts twice. The 400 would be more of a comfortable sporty cruiser that my wife can join me in. My initial thought is to get a manual car, but after spending some time in a 456M GTA, I could easily go with an automatic. Makes for a pretty comfy ride. Another car I have had a strong desire is the 308 GT4 and that remains on my radar. Yes, I know, a completely different direction and that is the model I initially started looking at until the 400 entered my radar.

    I really appreciate all of your input and will keep you posted on my pursuit. I need to sell one first so in the meantime, I will scour the forum for tidbits of information. Beautiful car Ewan.
     
    au400i likes this.
  13. bjwhite

    bjwhite F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 17, 2006
    3,627
    Seattle, WA
    Full Name:
    Brian White
    There are two manual 456 series I cars for sale here in Seattle. One silver on black, one black on black.
     
  14. Jack-the-lad

    Jack-the-lad Three Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 22, 2004
    39,818
    Isle of Luci
    Full Name:
    Jack
    Thanks. This will be very helpful as I begin to search for the best 365 available.
     
  15. Choptop400

    Choptop400 Karting

    Oct 10, 2014
    87
    Huntington, NY
    Full Name:
    Frank L Caponi
    AU400I, great advice from someone living the dream. Having owned 17625 for the past 2 years, I can confirm that your reply is right on.

    The truth of the matter is the smallest nut or bolt is what causes the most problems. I have over 5000 miles and started to develop a warm running engine. So I took the entire front of the engine apart, removed all the cooling system in 1 day. Three months later, I am still waiting for Ferrari to open back up so I can get the power steering pump swing bracket bolted back on (not Ferrari's fault). It uses a special nut (Ferrari's fault, what were they thinking) that was ruined when removed. Even with this frustration the 400 is a fantastic vintage Ferrari. Take your time and purchase wisely (use every resource you can find) and you too can have stories about how much fun your vintage Ferrari is to own.
     
    raemin likes this.
  16. It's Ross

    It's Ross Formula 3

    Jul 30, 2007
    2,000
    Barrington, Ill. USA
    Full Name:
    Ross
    Hello Scott,
    I am local to you and would be happy to show you around mine(series 1 400i automatic) and answer any questions I can.
    DIY friendly? How patient are you?
    I am a seasoned repairer fairly well equipped with tools and facilities and am constantly confounded by the "engineering" responsible for terrible serviceability. Anything is doable but this car tests my patience EVERY time I lay hands on it. This could quickly devolve into a rant as mine is currently apart for suspension, brakes, tires, fuel system, cooling hoses...........
     
  17. t6dpilot

    t6dpilot Rookie

    Mar 18, 2014
    9
    Chicago area
    Full Name:
    Scott Hansen
    Ross, thank you so much! I would really welcome that opportunity. Thank you. I am in the far western suburbs, but wherever you are in Chicago does not matter. Good reason the get a vintage car out for a ride. I'll send you a PM with my contact info.

    So I was showing my wife some photos of the Ferrari cars that inspired me as a young person and the ones that I have spent time with driving. She loves everything Italian since she lived there in the mid 80's. Of course, her response to the 250 GTO was outstanding, "that car is bad ass!" But her favorite car was the 400i. Go figure. I showed here the GT4 and 360 I have toyed around with, but she likes the family cruiser 400i. Says, buy one! She's the best - always supportive.
     

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