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Ferrari 400i vs. 412...

Discussion in '365 GT4 2+2/400/412' started by bonaturtle, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. bonaturtle

    bonaturtle Rookie

    Nov 1, 2004
    7
    Chicago
    Full Name:
    Sean Mulkeen
    hello, i'm new to ferrari world, but thinking about picking up my first one in the spring. I obviously am looking at the low end ferrari's, but none the less, a ferrari. I really like the 400/412, and call me crazy, but I dare to be different. To have a V12, with a trunk, and some back seats (small, but doable), seems great to me.

    I've read a ton of posts on here about them, and, if they have been properly maintained up to date, they are pretty maintenance free away from oil changes, tires, and valve adjustments every 12k miles.

    Any other thoughts, and what would you choose and why? 400i or 412? I guess I'd rather get a fuel injected one, seeing that the long term maintenance seems to be easier. And of course I'm out there looking for an MT, just to be that much more special :)
     
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  3. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
    Global Moderator Owner

    Nov 26, 2001
    24,952
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    Dindu Nuffin
    In general, buy the latest version that you can afford of whatever model you're interested in. The 400/400i/412 has been an underappreciated model, so there's lots of them out there with deferred maintenance. If the motor's bad or going bad, the car is essentially valueless. Assuming you're in the States, make sure the car has all the DOT and EPA releases.

    And, if you're looking at a red 5-speed 400i in the northwest, be sure to take a very close look at it.

    Another great source of information for vintage V12s is www.tomyang.net
     
  4. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
    17,673
    Tauranga, NZ
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    Pete
    Yes I like the looks too ... very classy.

    The big issues with complex cars like this is that as they devalue so does the quality of the maintenance. Thus you will more than likely have to fix a few bodges ... and bodges on a Ferrari can get expensive to fix.

    Thus keep in mind while this is considered a low end v12 Ferrari ... they still have 12 cylinders, 4 camshafts, 24 valves ... high revving motor, lots of exhaust pipes (to rust) ... and if carbed, 6 carbs to get out of tune or needing a rebuild.

    This is one of the reasons why this model has become a low end Ferrari, ie. as expensive to maintain as a Daytona but without the 'Wow it is a Daytona' looks, etc.

    Hmmm ... I'm no expert, but early fuel injection systems can give big headaches when they go wrong. Can you still get parts for that system?

    I'd go for a carbed one myself (which I think means either a 365 or 400) as you get the inlet sound, visual treate and it is something I know and can fix.

    The biggest issue with these engines is valve servicing, not because the valve adjustments are hard BUT getting to the valves requires removal of all the carburrettors or fuel injection systems ... thanks to the inlet manifold feeding between the inlet and exhaust camshafts (apparently to obtain a lower bonnet). Thus if you are paying somebody to do this job ... er, it gets expensive due to time.

    The other issue I know of is the self levelling shocks ... can no longer be bought, but somewhere in the USA somebody has worked out how to service them (have a look at www.tomyang.net forum archives).

    Good luck.
    Pete
     
  5. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    27,086
    Austin TX
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    Brian Crall
    412 is better in almost every way but is much harder to find (so few made).
    400 with a 5 speed is a must. Due to gearing and torque/weight they are very sluggish at around town speeds with auto.
    Very nice cars.
    Down side: Electrical, especially in the 400. 412 was improved in that area.
     
  6. bonaturtle

    bonaturtle Rookie

    Nov 1, 2004
    7
    Chicago
    Full Name:
    Sean Mulkeen
    ok, but if maintained up to date, and no problems with it, are they pretty maintenance friendly?

    say it has new shocks and has had valves adjusted, would I be in pretty good shape? one guy said he spends about $1,500/year maintaining his, which compared to my car now (modded audi) is actually saving money!
     
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  8. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    27,086
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    Brian Crall
    I used to work on them a lot when they were new. The dealer I was at imported quite a few.

    I always liked them, a good one is nice to drive (actually handle pretty good). But it seemed it was always something. There are not too many things to fix that are going to be cheap. And last but not least we are talking about a 20 year old exotic.

    If you love it, get one. Just don't expect it to cost on the same order as your Audi
     
  9. bonaturtle

    bonaturtle Rookie

    Nov 1, 2004
    7
    Chicago
    Full Name:
    Sean Mulkeen
    I hear ya, just hear mixed reviews. Spoke to one guy who has used his as his daily driver for 5 years, and has never had any issues. But then another guy who had to dump about $5k into it the day after he bought to get it up to spec.

    I guess a good PPI before I buy will be in need, but it would ultimately be a second car, and only driven in the summer for the most part. I'm trying to decide between a 400i and an BMW 850 6 speed, and being at my age (27) wouldn't you go for ferrari, even though they are both V12's?

    i'm flustered
     
  10. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    27,086
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    Brian Crall
    If I was deciding with my head it would be the BMW
    With my heart, Ferrari
    No car guy should go to his grave with out having owned a Ferrari
     
  11. judge4re

    judge4re F1 World Champ

    Apr 26, 2003
    13,234
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    Dr. Dumb Ass
    Both the 400/412 and the BMW 850 can be fright pigs if you get the wrong one.

    The 412 has ABS brakes and more modern electronics. I don't care for the painted bumpers of the car and regardless of what people say, $35k is all the money in the world for the perfect one.

    The 400i is actually more complicated than the 365/400 versions as it has 2 of everything under the hood.

    Is it reliable to use as a daily driver, yes, but as was said before, there will always be something that needs work. There are alot of wear items on the car and they are 20+ years old at this point. You're going to have to go through every system on the car to make sure that it is perfect.

    Not to scare you off of them, because they really are wonderful cars, but it can and probably will cost a small fortune to put right. An engine rebuild is close to the purchase price. Exhaust system can be up to $5k. Great cars, but not something to get if you're on a tight budget.

    Put it this way, if you can afford to buy two of them, you will be able to afford to own one.
     
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  13. Higgins23

    Higgins23 Karting

    Jul 16, 2004
    179
    Europe
    I have a friend who owns a restoration shop and is a 400 series fan. He has owned several 400's and 412's over the last 20 years. In his opinion they are very nice drivers cars, practical for a Ferrari, much easier to work on than either the 365 GTC/4 or later 456 GT's BUT keeping up with the rust in a northern climate is a constant long term loosing battle.
     
  14. bonaturtle

    bonaturtle Rookie

    Nov 1, 2004
    7
    Chicago
    Full Name:
    Sean Mulkeen
    alright, well you have all officially scared me off from Ferrari. I guess it all depends on who you talk to. I would only buy a present day maintained car so it wouldn't cost a fortune to keep up. My buddy just bought one for $16k and it was flawless, but AT. He plans on using it for his daily driver 6 months out of the year.

    Anyone know of anyone selling a 400 series? The 412 will be out of my range, and now some posts are saying the 400i is more expensive since there is two of everything, but what is the latest year of the 400? 1979?
     
  15. judge4re

    judge4re F1 World Champ

    Apr 26, 2003
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    Dr. Dumb Ass
    We're not trying to scare you off. You just have to realize that you're talking about 20 year old cars and you need to do your homework. They're not cheap to maintain. The injected cars aren't that bad to work on. Who is going to be doing the work on them? If you don't have a mechanic yet, don't even think about getting a car. Find someone that knows these cars. Going to the dealer and paying $105/hr gets old in a hurry.
     
  16. bonaturtle

    bonaturtle Rookie

    Nov 1, 2004
    7
    Chicago
    Full Name:
    Sean Mulkeen
    I've got a mechanic, family friend an ex-Ferrari tech who works on them everyday, so I'm not worried about the labor. Just looking for a starter Ferrari that might need some work to maintain, but overall will be a solid runner.

    Seems like I could get that out of a 400i or 308, yes?
     
  17. Higgins23

    Higgins23 Karting

    Jul 16, 2004
    179
    Europe
    Yes, but a good 308 should have lower running costs. Good luck with the search.
     
  18. 208 GT4

    208 GT4 Formula 3

    Dec 27, 2003
    1,700
    Brighton (UK)
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    Dan
    How about a 308 GT4. They're cheaper to buy than the 308 GTB/S and are pretty much the cheapest old Ferrari to maintain.
     
  19. John Bissell

    John Bissell Rookie

    Dec 4, 2016
    4
    Rancho Mirage, CA
    Full Name:
    John Bissell
    HI All, Im looking at a 400I and a 412 that are both very nice well cared for 5 speeds. Th price is $75000 and $79000. Is that way over the top or have things changed over the past few years? Any advice will be greatly appreciated . Regards, John Bissell
     
  20. Ewan

    Ewan Karting

    Jul 5, 2015
    140
    Dorset, UK
    Prices have moved up over the last few years, especially for manual versions. So if these cars are in good condition the prices you mention seem par for the course. But have them indecently inspected by a specialist before committing to a purchase.
     
  21. Ashman

    Ashman Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Sep 5, 2002
    28,524
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    John
    Where are you located? US prices are lower than European prices, even with the weaker Euro. Those prices seem very aggressive for the U.S. but I'm not as close to the market as I used to be 3 years ago.

    Search the serial numbers on here and you likely will find some information about those cars, particularly since the 5 speeds are so rare.

    Oh, yeah, welcome to FChat and in particular this forum! Lots of extremely friendly and knowledgeable people on here that can provide you with incredible assistance in your questions about these cars.
     
  22. bjwhite

    bjwhite F1 Rookie

    Mar 17, 2006
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    Brian White
    If you want a V12 and a manual, don't forget to consider an Aston Martin DB7 or DB9.
     
  23. Ashman

    Ashman Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Sep 5, 2002
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    John
    Holy massive depreciation, Batman! Who knew a 2003 manual V12 Aston would be asking in the low 20's? And there are several to chose from.
     
  24. rubenpadron

    rubenpadron Formula 3
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    Oct 22, 2013
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    SF Bay Area, CA
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    Ruben
    John, the prices you quote are very much in line with what I would have expected for 5 speeds in good condition with history... dare I say, perhaps about $5K under what I would ultimately them to be.

    These cars, especially the rare 5 speeds, have really appreciated quite a bit in the last couple of years. As has been discussed here ad nauseum, a good PPI is critical.

    Best of luck and let us know how it turns out! They're magical cars, especially 5 speeds.

    Cheers!

    Ruben
     
  25. rubenpadron

    rubenpadron Formula 3
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    Oct 22, 2013
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    They're no Ferrari V12... IMHO.

    Ruben
     
  26. roger21

    roger21 Formula Junior

    Aug 13, 2015
    259
    France
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    Stéphane
    And a bit "modern", no?
     
  27. rubenpadron

    rubenpadron Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 22, 2013
    1,025
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    Ruben
    Compared to a 365/400/412, indeed!

    Nonetheless, IMHO, when comparing to Ferrari contemporaries of DB7/DB9, they're still no Ferrari V12. I am, admittedly, quite biased on this subject though. :)

    Cheers!

    Ruben
     
  28. Newman

    Newman F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Consultant Owner

    Dec 26, 2001
    13,670
    Canada
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    Newman
    I agree. New cars give a neutered experience and as much as I like the astons I think it would fall apart around me and it's a disposable car.
     

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