Ferrari 400/412: Pininfarina coachwork, V12 and sheer class… for BMW money

Can there be more elegant 1970s styling than that executed by Pininfarina for Ferrari’s 400/412 series of cars? We don’t think so...

And while the fastest part of the 3-speed automatic transmission might be the sound of its name (‘Turbo-Hydramatic’), today, the big GTs offer the traditional, Captain of Industry Ferrari experience for the price of a regional manager’s executive saloon.

The car started life as the 1972 365 GT/4 2+2, a manual, 4,390cc replacement for the smaller 365 GTC/4. The classic Pininfarina styling echoed that of the Fiat 130 Coupé, yet the Maranello version was more aggressive and sinuous – as is entirely appropriate.

During 1976 a bigger-engined version was introduced, the 4.8-litre 400 GT, and, for the very first time, an automatic: the 400 Automatic. Three years later, fuel injection was added to the classic Ferrari V12 and in 1985 a 412 version made an appearance, with various styling changes, Michelin TRX wheels and tyres and a now nigh-on 5-litre engine.

At all stages of the 400/400i/412 series, manual (‘GT’) and automatic versions could be ordered - although the latter tended to outnumber the former. In any case, in the right (understated) colour it was an imposing, true gentleman’s GT.

 

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Photos: Wheels for Life AG