Do you remember waiting on bated breath at the Mazda dealership in 1989 with your nose pressed to the window hoping to catch a peek of the all-new Miata? Yah...neither do we. While we have nothing against the fun, affordable and very reliable Miata, there’s an omnipresent cloud looming over its long list of pros. Did you know that in 2016 Mazda reached a production milestone of 1 million Miatas? That means the Miata dominantly enjoys the title of the best selling two-seater sports car of all time. This begs the question, who wants something that everybody already has? This is one of the reasons gearheads can be thankful there are manufacturers like Ferrari who take the opposite approach. Enzo always had the philosophy to create one less car than what the market demanded. The tightly limited availability of Ferraris is part of what makes them so intriguing! This type of exclusivity created a mystique around the brand, just because you had the money didn’t mean you could be a part of the club. This exclusivity and mystique sent Ferrari on a trajectory of increasingly expensive new releases and now an almost impossibly expensive used market where vintage Ferraris frequently sell for several million dollars each. Alas, the common man should disparage not, for there are a few exceptions to every rule. Featuring 3 pedals, 6 gears and 12 cylinders, the 456M GT checks all the boxes and might very well be the best-kept secret on the used Ferrari market today!
Back in the good old days when Enzo was still driving back and forth to the Maranello factory, he chose a 330 GT 2+2 as his personal commuter. Featuring the timeless Columbo V12 in the front and an extra two seats in the back it's been a desirable prancing pony since the day it came out. Elegance, speed, practicality and the ability to share the experience with more than just one other person made the 330 an instant hit and paved the way for successors like the 365, 400, 412 and eventually the 456. With the ability to carry up to four fully grown adults in the cockpit and several weekend-sized bags in the trunk, the 2+2 configuration adds practicality to the chimerical Ferrari line-up. This particular 456M GT is finished in Nero Black leather and features an optimal seating position for all 4 passengers with room for a 6ft tall adult to sit in the back. The front two seats are electronically adjustable with memory settings. The gauges are presented in a simplified white on black for easy legibility. Traction control, audio and in-cabin temperature controls can all be adjusted from the centre console and are easily within reach and arranged strategically to focus one's attention on the masterfully crafted aluminum 6 speed gated shifter. The quality of the leather has been maintained in excellent condition, no collapsed seat bolster or cracking leather can be found anywhere on the interior.
Finished in the flawless and refreshing Grigio Titanio, this 456 exudes confident perfection. Showing just 29,218 km from new, this car has been meticulously maintained its entire life and has the documentation to prove it. Featuring the classically appealing combination of a long sweeping hood and fastback roofline leading to a short decklid this car has some beautifully timeless lines that make it look fast standing still. While subtle in its design, it still does a great job of encapsulating the automotive motif from its era. It’s also the last car ever made to feature the forever-cool pop up headlights.
Although it has been described as slightly softer than its brother the 550, the 456M GT is still a force to be reckoned with on the open road. With a 0-60 speed of 5.1 seconds and a top speed of 185mph, you have the ability to thrill (or frighten) your copious passenger load at will. With similar skidpad and slalom performance numbers as the F355 and 550, an experienced driver would need to drive each car back to back to be able to spot the minuscule differences in handling performance. In short, despite its roomy accommodations, the 456M GT is as capable as it is comfortable and truly embodies the ethos of a grand touring car. Showing just 29,218 km (18,155 mi) on the odometer, the quality of maintenance on this particular vehicle can not be understated and needs to be seen to be appreciated. The 456M GT is also fully compliant with EPA/DOT emissions regulation (OBD II)
Modern-day automotive giants seem to only be focused on one thing; sales. A highly competitive market coupled with the general demand of clients has forced manufacturers to produce cars with their brains and not with their hearts. Numbers are more important than emotion and practicality supersedes dreams. But fortunately, brands like Ferrari still have the ability to keep people dreaming and cars like the 456M GT are some of the most honest representations of those fantasies, while at the same time providing a reasonable entry fee to the club. The Ferrari 456M GT is a civilized travel companion with lots of power on tap. While the internet has helped educate buyers on nearly every aspect of the used car market today, some gems are still able to slip through the cracks unnoticed, this is one of those gems. In fact, it might just be the crowning jewel of under-appreciated supercars.