1979 Ferrari 400A

Four seat Ferraris are often the stepchild of the breed, unloved and not given the due respect they deserve. Such is the case with the Ferrari 400. These grand touring coupes were manufactured for 14 years, which represents quite a long time by Ferrari standards. It almost appeared as if Pininfarina used a ruler to design this front-engined V12 coupe; the styling was a marked departure from previous vehicles to wear the prancing horse badge. This was also the first Ferrari to be made available with an automatic transmission, which was manufactured by General Motors. This 400A for sale in Georgia offers a chance to have V12 Ferrari thrills for the cost of entry more akin to a new mid-sized sedan.

1979 Ferrari 400A

Rare 1979 Ferrari 400A in amazing condition for sale. It starts, runs and drives great. The body and undercarriage are rust free. This car has had one repaint that looks great with minimal flaws. The 4.8L V12 engine produces 311 hp. It is equipped with six Weber carburetors. This engine and carburetor set up is the same as the Ferrari Daytona. This luxury 2+2 touring car was equipped with the GM Turbo Hydramatic (TH400) automatic transmission for the USA market. Only 502 Ferrari 400s were ever built. There were 355 units with an automatic transmission and 147 units with the manual transmission. We have the owner's manual, tools, an aftermarket but functional jack and several keys for the car.

We purchased this Ferrari as part of a 3 car package from a serious car collector in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a two owner car. The previous owner purchased it on 5-23-1992 in Tennessee where he kept it in a climate controlled garage with minimal use. In fact, he just registered the car in his name just before the sale (see photo of the title). We were told that his private mechanic kept it up regularly. We don't have any service records for the car so please don't ask about them. If you are looking for an original 400A that looks, runs and drives great, this car is for you. It may need some minor repairs and services. If you are one of those Ferrari fanatics that wants to see the engine out service records and other documents, this car is not for you. These carbureted V-12 Ferraris may be sleepers for now but eventually their prices will climb up.

EXTERIOR:

The body panels, under carriage, inner fender, sills and the trunk are rust free. The body panel lines are perfect. This car has had one repaint about 10 years ago. It is very glossy with some minimal flaws such as tiny chips (IE: one about the size of half of dime above the driver's door handle), and a few small stress cracks at the corners adjacent to the headlight openings, hood opening and one adjacent to the hood louver. Overall, the paint really stands out. All glass, trim and light lenses are in great condition. The windows are tinted. The original wheels are in great condition with some minimal curb rashes. The Michelin 215/70 VR15 XWX are very old and dry but still ride smooth. They need to be replaced. The exhaust system is solid and sounds great.

INTERIOR:

The leather seats are in very good and soft condition. The driver seat has some wear (see photo). The rear seats, door panels, dash, console, steering wheel, headliner and the instrument panels are in great condition. The original black carpets are in great condition and are protected with a set of new floor mats with Ferrari logos.

MECHANICAL:

The engine starts right up. It idles smooth, runs cool and has great oil pressure. It is amazing that a 34 year old Ferrari with 6 carburetors runs so smooth. The oil pressure gauge shows 5kg/cm2 while idling at 1,100 RPM (see photo). There are a few drops of oil below the engine while parked overnight. It's not much and we are not worried about it. The TH400 automatic transmission shifts smooth. The brakes and suspension function properly. We have only driven this car for about two miles around the block. The tires are very old and we did not want to drive it at a high speed on main roads. Our technician just replaced all the drive belts including the 2 A/C belts. This Ferrari may need a fresh service or some minor repairs but runs and drives great.

ELECTRICAL:

All lights, turn signals, brake lights, hidden fog lamps, gauges, horn, switches, etc. function properly. Even the power antenna switch works. The fuel gauge works but it fluctuates and does not show the actual fuel in the tank. This Ferrari is equipped with an A/C system with separate controls for the front and the rear. Both controls work and the air blows cold from the front and the rear vents. The power window on the passenger side is not working. Our technician replaced the motor. However, the plastic transmission gear teeth are worn. It needs to be replaced. The aftermarket radio works OK. Some of you old timers may recognize the escort radar detector control unit that is installed in the ashtray. We do not know if it works but it sure looks cool.

ENGINE COMPARTMENT:

The engine compartment looks clean and original but not detailed.

TRUNK:

The trunk looks very nice and clean. The carpets are very nice. The trunk houses the spare tire, an aftermarket jack and the tool kit. Most of the tools appear to be original but not all. We have tried to describe a 34 year old classic Ferrari to the best of our ability. We have provided 100 high quality images. This Ferrari will be sold with a bill of sale and a clear Tennessee title. The odometer reading of 28,783 miles appears to be the actual mileage on the car. However, in the state of Georgia all vehicles that are 10 years or older will be sold with miles "exempt."

This vehicle is sold "as is" and without and warrantees. We have the right to end this auction at any time for any reasons.

The seller is incorrect in stating that this car with the automatic transmission was for the US market. No Ferrari 400 or later 412 was sold new in the US. Some of these did make their way through the gray market at the time and later, a few more would trickle in once past the 25 year moratorium on non-federalized vehicle imports. Also, buying a car like this without service records is a HUGE gamble. As it sits, this car is probably worth no more than $25,000 to $30,000. The best, well-documented 400 could reach into $30,000 territory, with good 412s bringing closer to $40,000.

-Paul

Posted under: Ferrari
Dated: Apr 24 2013

5 Comments

  1. David says:

    The price range in the latest issue of Cavallino is $20k – $40k, with the low end for beaters and the high for cars in excellent condition w/ recent service, etc.. With no service records, the buyer is taking a big gamble (odd that there are no service records from a “serious car collector”). To say that a PPI is mandatory is a gross understatement.

  2. Richard Avery says:

    Attn: Was this 400A 1979 ever sold? what was the selling price? with no records of repair?

  3. R Bernard says:

    Cavallino places the price range in $18K to $45K depending upon condition, low in for neglected cars, High end for mint condition. but no records at all? Strange for a serious collector don’t you think?
    Has this vehicle sold? If so how much?

  4. Paul says:

    Bernard,

    By clicking the link above the main picture in this post, it will bring you to the original auction where you can get in touch with the seller. All of the cars on our site are not our own, rather we post from third party sellers.

    Regards,

    Paul

  5. David says:

    according to this ebay auction http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230984218409 it sold for $20k – which I still think is too high for a 30+ year old car with no service records – one could easily spend that just in deferred maintenance.