Price: £54,995 | Year: 1980 | Engine: 4823 cc V12 310 bhp
If you're looking for the most discreet of grand tourers, here is the elegant answer. The Ferrari 400i is an unjustly oft-ignored member of the stellar Maranello stable. Just look at this beautifully looked after example. Pininfarina's restrained design created a supremely refined Ferrari that can carry four adults plus their equally refined weekend bags in high speed comfort to the five star destination of their choice.
Not everyone has always loved the 400i. Somehow its very practicality – a Ferrari with a boot? And four actual seats? – seemed to offend the cognoscenti. Forty years on, Pininfarina's restraint and foresight has weathered remarkably well. This isn't a Ferrari for the flash at heart, rather it's an everyday 2+2 sports car that exudes dignified taste.
This 400i, originally a dealer demonstrator, is finished in Blu Pozzi, a classic shade created to honour the French Ferrari importer Charles Pozzi. It's one of just 180 right hand drive models made for the British market, so you're unlikely to see another as you make your way to your country house retreat. Interior leather is Crema with Blu Scorro detailing, the hand-stitched hide extending to the doors, dashboard and headlining. Original detailing is present and correct. The period Blaupunkt radio/cassette player awaits your mixtapes.
The Ferrari has automatic transmission, like almost every 400i made, another detail that upset those at the time who insisted a true Ferrari could have nothing but a manual box. This isn't, though, a track toy intended for a record lap of the Nurburgring. Just grasp that thin-rimmed, leather-trimmed steering wheel and use the power of the V12 to waft classily along.
This 400i has a remarkable history file, its detailing impressive even for a car of this calibre. The Ferrari returned to the factory at Maranello for a fully documented £28,000 rebuild in 1988, after a period of unfathomable neglect. The present owner has spent £13,000 on the car in the last three years, including a new set of the correct Michelin TRX tyres at a cost of £1,500.
The 400i represents remarkable value for a Ferrari. It's surely worth every penny that Fast Classics are asking just for the sound of that extraordinary V12 alone. Sublime.
For more '80s automotive excellence, check out WalzWerk's customised 1989 BMW 100 RS.