Ferrari 400: a Grand Tourer

The Ferrari 400 is a grand touring sports car that was produced by the Italian automaker Ferrari between 1976 and 1984.

Distinguished by its long, wedge-shaped design, the 400 was one of Ferrari’s most commercially successful models from the 1970s and 1980s era.

No less than three of the Rolling Stones owned these cars.

Let’s take a closer look at one thing that made this classic GT so special: the tuneful howl of the 12-cylinder engine.

blue Ferrari 400

Ferrari V12 engines always seemed musical, and there was a reason for this.

I had a 1977 Ferrari V12 400 GT and I was working on the engine when I noticed an extra exhaust tube exiting after the confluence of the individual exhaust pipes from the exhaust ports.

It re-joined the system in the silencer. It was the same on the other side. Curious, I blanked it off and discovered that the engine had lost its tuneful howl.

Further research suggested that Ferrari had added this extra pipe on each side of the engine to enhance the odd harmonics in the exhaust sound.

blue Ferrari 400 with the front engine cover open

As any classical musician knows, a clarinet is a cylindrical bore instrument closed at one end by the vibrating mouthpiece (and in the car, the exhaust valve provides the source of vibration).

The normal resonant modes have a pressure maximum at the closed end (the mouthpiece) and a pressure minimum near the first open key or the bell. These conditions result in the presence of odd harmonics in the clarinet’s sound.

A saxophone with its conical tube provides even harmonics, which is why the saxophone has a bright sound, and a clarinet produces sounds that are warm and dark.

This is maybe one reason why a good piston engine can arouse musical feelings.

blue Ferrari 400 with the front engine cover open

How Many Ferrari 400s Were Made?

In total, Ferrari produced around 1,300 examples of the 400 over its 8-year production run. This was a relatively high number for a Ferrari model at the time, as most of their cars were produced in very limited quantities.

The higher production numbers of the 400 allowed more enthusiasts to own and experience Ferrari’s Grand Touring pedigree.

front view of Ferrari 400

What Makes the Ferrari 400 Special?

The 400 was significant in Ferrari’s history for being the company’s first true Grand Tourer. It represented a shift in focus from pure sports racing cars to more comfortable and practical road cars.

As a front-engine V12 coupe, the 400 provided an optimal balance between power and usability.

The Pininfarina-designed body gave the 400 a distinctive look that set it apart from Ferrari’s sportier Berlinettas like the 246 GT and 365 GTB/4 Daytona. Its design was optimized for aerodynamics and stability at high-speed cruising.

Overall, the 400’s blend of performance, comfort, and stylistic elegance made it a landmark Ferrari Grand Tourer.

front view of blue Ferrari 400

Who Designed the Ferrari 400?

The body of the 400 was designed by legendary Italian design house Pininfarina, who had a long history of collaborating with Ferrari.

The effort was led by Leonardo Fioravanti, one of the most acclaimed automotive designers of the 20th century. He helped create an elegant and timeless body that was both aerodynamic and unmistakably Ferrari.

The Ferrari 400’s Specifications

The 400 was powered by a 4.8 litre (4,823 cc) V12 engine mounted up front, an evolution of Daytona’s engine. Initially, it produced 340 horsepower in the 400 Automatic model.

The 400i model introduced in 1979 boasted more power, producing 340 HP in the American market and 360 HP in the Euro market.

My Ferrari 400 GT had no less than six twin-choke Weber carburettors, and the likelihood of all twelve cylinders receiving the correct fuel/air mixture at all times was vanishingly small.

The 400 had an advanced suspension system, with independent front suspension by double wishbones and coil springs.

At the rear was an independent suspension setup by single coils over Koni shock absorbers. Disc brakes provided excellent stopping power, with ventilated discs at the front and rear.

description and specification of 1982 Ferrari 400i

Inside the Ferrari 400

The interior of the 400 was elegantly trimmed in leather and featured power-adjustable seats. The usable cabin space made it suitable for longer trips compared to a traditional sports car.

It could seat up to four people comfortably, though the rear backseat was quite cramped. The luxurious cockpit was yet another element that made the 400 such a refined grand touring machine.

Survival Rates: How Many Ferrari 400s Are Left Today?

It’s estimated that around 600 examples of the Ferrari 400 still exist today. That means nearly half of the original production run has been lost over the decades, which is typical of most older Ferrari models.

The 400’s survival rate is slightly better than the Daytona, of which only about 40% are still around. The remaining examples of the 400 are coveted by collectors and enthusiasts.

What’s a Ferrari 400 Worth Today?

The original price was £32,000. Because of its pedigree as a classic V12 Ferrari GT, the 400 maintains strong value on the collector car market. Low-mileage, pristine condition examples can fetch over $600,000 at auction in some cases.

Average sale prices tend to range from $150,000 to $350,000 for driver-quality cars. Even though over 1,000 were built, the survival rate means the 400 remains somewhat rare.

The combination of scarcity, status, and driving enjoyment gives the Ferrari 400 enduring value today.

The Ferrari 400: Summary

The 400 played an integral role in Ferrari’s evolution from a sports car company to a premier luxury automaker.

Its grand touring credentials, stylish Pininfarina design, and smooth V12 performance make it a cherished classic to this day, overcoming a slightly lacklustre reputation when new.

For Ferrari enthusiasts, the 400 represents the ideal blend of speed, comfort, and Italian flair that defines the brand. Its reputation as Ferrari’s pioneering Grand Tourer model solidifies its place in automotive history.

The 400 showcased Maranello’s ability to build not just great sports racing machines but also refined road cars capable of long-distance journeys in great style.

rear side view of a blue Ferrari 400