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Chopping the top on a 400/412

Discussion in '365 GT4 2+2/400/412' started by cabrio_fan, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. cabrio_fan

    cabrio_fan Formula Junior

    Mar 23, 2002
    262
    Atlanta, GA
    Full Name:
    Michael Davidson
    As my username suggests, I am a huge convertible fan. I'm keeping my eye out for a Mondial Cabrio in my future. However, what I'd ~really~ like to have is a V12. I like the looks of the 400/412s that have been converted to cabrios.

    I'd like to get a feeling for what the F-car community would think (market resale wise) of taking a coupe 400 or 412 and shipping it off to a custom shop to perform a modern day cabrio conversion on it. I understand that the Ferrari factory only did that to one chassis (#73011) so any others that are out there are "non factory" customizations. Were these done by Hess & Eisenhardt? Straman? Do either of these companies still do this type of work? I do know that H&E is now O'gara Hess & Eisenhardt doing armour protecting for vehicles.

    Also, if a customization such as this would be looked upon favorably, what price range could I be looking at to perform a cabrio conversion to a power top? Based on my initial research, it would appear to be beneficial to the cars value since coupes can be had in the 20's and comparable cabrios are fetching 40+.

    Does anyone have any personal experience with a cabrio conversion?

    Thanks much.

    Mike
     
  2. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
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    Pete
    I wouldn't buy the end result.

    Pete
     
  3. ferrariartist

    ferrariartist F1 Rookie

    Feb 21, 2003
    3,564
    East of Toronto
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    Grant Thomas
    the few that i've seen on the 'net, i think, are quite beautiful from a design standpoint...

    from an engineering standpoint i wonder how the handling is affected... a LOT of stiffening would be required... someone would REALLY have to know what he was doing to tackle this properly...

    but then again.. these werent really built for the track-driver anyways... more for the "grand touring drive it to the club on Saturday" crowd...

    my 2 cents...

    GT
     
  4. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    2,722
    Little Rock
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    David Jones
    Some of these have been done with great results, back when the cars were new.
    If you could find one that has been converted then you should be ok.
    But to do one now would be a financial folly,
    15k car, 40k conversion, and in the end a 20k car.
     
  5. cabrio_fan

    cabrio_fan Formula Junior

    Mar 23, 2002
    262
    Atlanta, GA
    Full Name:
    Michael Davidson
    Dave,

    You really think it could be upwards of 40k for a conversion?? I've been around convertibles for awhile and I didn't think it'd be that much. I was thinking 20k max.
     
  6. Ed P.

    Ed P. Formula 3

    Dec 28, 2002
    2,177
    Long Island
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    I think they look pretty good, but I still wouldn't buy one. There was a dark blue one kicking around on ebay for about a year. That guy couldn't give it away.
     
  7. donv

    donv F1 World Champ
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    Jan 5, 2002
    18,586
    Portland, Oregon
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    Don
    I think the cut 400s look OK, although a bit awkward with the top up.

    I'm pretty sure there are some Straman conversions around. I would expect that if you looked hard, you wouldn't have to pay much (if any) more than a comparable coupe. I certainly wouldn't cut one now.

    Of course, there is a fair amount of variation in 400/412 coupe prices. I've seen asking prices anywhere from mid-teens for a carbed 400 auto to low-50s for a 412 5-speed.

    I doubt if any of the 400/412 cars sell quickly, so regardless of the asking price you would have plenty of negotiating power. And, I imagine that would be even more true for a cut car.
     
  8. mondial85

    mondial85 Karting

    Sep 9, 2003
    168
    Indianapolis
    Full Name:
    Casey Slattery
    I think they look good but not great. They just don't have that va-va-va-boom look you expect from a Ferrari. The top also looks like a real probelm to put up/down. For some reason they remind me of the Jaguar xjs (also a v12 btw).
    I wouldnt think a conversion would be anywhere near the 40k that was mentioned above, but you can bet it will be expensive...if you can even find someone qualified to do it. Why not just buy one already converted? I have seen several for sale under 40k in the last two years.
     
  9. andrewg

    andrewg F1 Rookie
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    Sep 10, 2002
    4,667
    Chester, England
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    AndrewG
    a converted car sold last month in the UK for £4000, a simialr condition car sold for £4000..... if you want one to keep go for it, if you every want to get your money back forget it, dont forget these things are really the last of the hugely rusty Ferrari's so unless the base cars in good condition you'll have a load of remedial work to do whilst its apart, and as Jeff from F-UK will tell you body parts for 400 are not in plentifull supply and never seem to fit first time (been there done that!) so if your wings, nose or lower panels are rusty (mine all were rotten) your looking at a big job before you chop the roof!
     
  10. Ken

    Ken F1 World Champ

    Oct 19, 2001
    16,078
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    Kenneth
    I saw a convertable 400i at my mechanic's and it looked great even though the interior was rather worn. He claimed the owner said it was factory but obviously it isn't, although it may have been done when new. The lines were very sweet! My biggest surprise was how small the car is; I thought they were bigger but it's a small car!

    Ken
     
  11. Exoticbro

    Exoticbro Karting

    Nov 1, 2003
    203
    St.Louis, MO
    Full Name:
    Chuck Ligon
    There was one here in St. Louis at Charles Schmitt, not
    Dan Schmitt, he had it for quite a while but I
    believe it is gone now.
    I like the understated look of the 400i
    It was Blue/Tan.
    I think they look nice with the top down, but up is
    another story.
     
  12. bert308

    bert308 Formula 3
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    Nov 30, 2002
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    Bert Kanters
    As it happens, today I was at a local carshow and there was a 400iA with electric roof, asking price 47650 Euro, which is even more in Dollars these days :)
    I brought my digicam:
     
  13. bert308

    bert308 Formula 3
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    Nov 30, 2002
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    Bert Kanters
    "Ferrari 400i Convertible"
    (very rare)

    Year of build 1982
    V12 4.8 Liter
    319 HP
    Automatic
    Topspeed 153 mph
    Electrical top
    Airco
    Mileage 21500

    200 build (less than 10 convertibles)
    Original owners manual and parts book
     
  14. Wickeddeus

    Wickeddeus Karting

    Nov 12, 2003
    63
  15. Tomg

    Tomg Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 7, 2003
    39
    Minnesota
    I certainly wouldn't buy one and cut the top. There are plenty of cut cars out there for sale. Of course asking prices are ridiculous which explains whey their not moving. The 400i is a $18,000-$25,000 car. I doubt a cut car is worth anymore. Too many people are holding out hope that there going to get $40K for their 400 and it's not going to happen. Find a car and make an offer independent of the asking price. Based on the estimated cost to cut the top on one you would purchase, it looks like you would have about $30K to bargain with.

    They do look nice!

    Regards,
    Tom
    '83 400i
     
  16. mondial85

    mondial85 Karting

    Sep 9, 2003
    168
    Indianapolis
    Full Name:
    Casey Slattery
    Besides, I've always thought the 400i to be more of a luxury ferrari than a sports car (in the purest meaning of the term). Most of them are even automatics. I think making it into a cabriolet destroys the greater meaning of the car, IMHO. Its a beautiful car anyways; nice simple lines and very easy on the eyes.
     
  17. Ken

    Ken F1 World Champ

    Oct 19, 2001
    16,078
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    Kenneth
    Well I'll be!!! Maybe the one at my mechanic's WAS factory after all! A rare car indeed.

    Ken
     
  18. cabrio_fan

    cabrio_fan Formula Junior

    Mar 23, 2002
    262
    Atlanta, GA
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    Michael Davidson
    bert308, nice car. But that paint job...!!! Whoa! **I** couldn't even take that car without painting it! And I'd take just about any cabrio out there.

    Mike
     
  19. cabrio_fan

    cabrio_fan Formula Junior

    Mar 23, 2002
    262
    Atlanta, GA
    Full Name:
    Michael Davidson
    #19 cabrio_fan, Jan 10, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    FWIW,

    I don't think I'll pursue this course of action (buy coupe, cut coupe) based on the responses, but this would be more of a keeper rather than turn it over right away for something else. I love Ferraris. I love drop tops. I'm in 7th Heaven with the two of them together. Add two REAL (not miniature) seats in the back, and I'm good to go!

    I may still look at some 400/412 cabrios that are "pre-cut" conversions. I guess to me it's a bit of a moot point since only one was factory. All others had been done after the car was sold as new. How long after is another question. I don't have enough facts under my belt to know for sure but only 10 cabrio conversions sounds a little light. It seems like more than that must have been converted. Also, if I were to commission a conversion job myself, I would know *exactly* what was going on with the conversion down to the last nut and bolt. That aspect is apealing to me.

    Here is the F-car I had in mind when I started this thread:

    http://www.viper-aircraft.com/ferrari/

    [again - no affiliation]

    1982 Ferrari 400i

    EXTERIOR COLOR: Ross Barchetta Red

    INTERIOR COLOR: Tan double stitched Connolly leather hides w/red accents

    CYLINDERS: DOHC V/12 ( 315bhp) (304 lbs.) ft. torque

    FUEL INJECTION: Bosch K- Jetronic (Same used on Mercedes Benz)

    TRANSMISSION: 5- Speed Manual

    MILEAGE: 48,500mi ( Fresh Maintenance inspection)

    Power windows, Power mirror, Rear defrost window, Clifford alarm w/power locks, air conditioning, 4 wheel disk brakes, NEW!!!!! Polished stainless steel exhaust.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  20. bert308

    bert308 Formula 3
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    Nov 30, 2002
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    Bert Kanters
    I don't remember the color that horrible when seeing the car live, the camara flash got confused by some reflections I guess, and the pic was very underexposed so I had to enlighten it by 100%. I don't know how they came up with the numbers 200 build, 10 convertible. Maybe 200 400iA were build, excepting 365/412/400manual and I also think more then 10 convertibles were build, seen them sometimes on ebay and thought they did the cutting in a last attempt to be able to sell the car.

    When buying a complete cut car you can judge the work after it's done, and walk away if you don't like it instead of trusting someone in advance to do it. I wouldn't cut such a good looking car as the red one, since after the cut it will need bodywork and painting anyway.
     
  21. Ferrari_nr1

    Ferrari_nr1 Karting

    Nov 16, 2003
    59
    Belgium
    I was ther too today. My picture is not very good, but you get a better idea of the color.

    I was a little dissapointed about the InterClassics this year...
     
  22. cabrio_fan

    cabrio_fan Formula Junior

    Mar 23, 2002
    262
    Atlanta, GA
    Full Name:
    Michael Davidson
    That second photo of that car makes the paint a little easier on the eyes.

    bert308, Ferrari_nr1 - thanks for the photos.

    bert - I'm with you. I think there must be more than 10 cut cars out there.
     
  23. bert308

    bert308 Formula 3
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    Nov 30, 2002
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    Bert Kanters
    Me too, I was in and out in an hour. Posted about it in Europa section.
     
  24. cinquevalvole

    cinquevalvole Formula 3

    Feb 6, 2004
    1,146
    Germany, Bayern
    #24 cinquevalvole, Mar 25, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  25. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
    34,891
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    HUBBSTER
    I know a guy in PA who has a 400i convert for sale, let me know if you are interested
     

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