1997 Ferrari 456
Year of manufacture1997
Formerly the property of the Sultan of Brunei
1997 Ferrari 456 GTA Coupé
Registration no. R394 VRH
Chassis no. ZFFWP50L0000109951
"The first completely new car from the Modena manufacturer since the 348 of 1990 and arguably the most evocative front-engine coupé since the fabled 365 GTB/4 Daytona of the early '70s. Its ancestors read like a who's who in the Great Book of Grand Touring 330 GTC, 365 GTC, 365 GTC/4 and, for good measure, it was the last new project Enzo Ferrari saw before he died in 1988." Autocar.
Not since the 412's demise in 1989 had Ferrari offered a '2+2', and when the 456 GT debuted at the Paris Salon in October 1992 it was obvious that the long awaited newcomer eclipsed all Maranello's previous four-seat Grand Tourers. Although new from stem to stern, the 456 GT incorporated elements familiar to generations of Ferrari cognoscenti - front-mounted four-cam V12, rear transaxle, tubular steel spaceframe chassis and all-independent suspension - while making an appearance for the first time were electronically-controlled adaptive suspension and a six-speed gearbox. Essentially a de-tuned version of that powering the 550 and 575, the new 5.5-litre V12 unleashed no less than 442bhp at a lowly 6,250rpm yet remained smooth and tractable from idling speed to red-line thanks to its state-of-the-art engine management system. F40 excepted, the 456 was the most powerful road car developed by Ferrari up to that time, yet despite delivering supercar performance this relatively unstressed engine has proven to be very reliable.
For the 456, Pininfarina worked its magic once more to create a subtly beautiful curvaceous body contrasting with the hard edges of its predecessor. Although bereft of extraneous aerodynamic devices, the 456 remained stable up to its maximum of around 190mph, a figure that made it the world's fastest production four-seater passenger car. Acclaimed on its debut, the 456's styling has not dated and is a tribute to Pininfarina's farsightedness in creating one of most successful designs of modern times. An air-conditioned interior, sumptuous Connolly leather trim, perfectly weighted power steering, and Porsche-rivalling build quality all combined to make the 456 GT a worthy competitor for Bentley, Aston Martin, and Mercedes-Benz in the luxury Gran Turismo marketplace. An automatic transmission version, known as the 456GT A, became available for 1997 and then two years later the model was given its one-and-only makeover, re-emerging as the subtly restyled and improved 456 GT M (Modificata).
Rare and desirable, this automatic transmission Ferrari 456 GTA was delivered new to the UK and then returned to Maranello to have mirror glass and extra-soft leather fitted before being shipped to New Zealand. Used infrequently, the Ferrari returned to the UK in December 2014 with approximately 1,000 kilometres recorded and was re-commissioned by a Ferrari main dealer. A new MPH speedometer was fitted at that time, since when the car has covered only 50 miles. Finished in black metallic with matching interior, this low-mileage Ferrari 456 is offered with five expired MoTs, a V5C document and fresh MoT.