*** Scheduled to sell soon on Bring a Trailer. www.bringatrailer.com ***
Introduced at the Geneva Auto Show in 1972 the Ferrari 365 GT
2+2 began a 17 year run as the Italian supercar maker's premier V12
grand touring coupe. No Ferrari design before or since has endured
for as long as this Pininfarina styled "3 box design" V12 2+2,
exceeding the Testarossa's 12 year run by 5 years. In 1976 the
higher displacement 400 series became the first Ferrari to feature
an automatic transmission and the 400i, introduced in 1979 was
distinguished by its Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection system.
Practical by supercar standards, these were Ferrari's answer to the Mercedes SL, BMW CS, Aston Martin V8 and Jaguar XJS. A very limited few of these cars were commissioned by coachbuilders to transform them into convertibles. The premier North American Coachbuilder Straman worked his magic on the 1980 Ferrari 400i offered here for sale. The result was masterful, retaining the handsome profile of the hardtop while creating a supremely elegant yet simple and effective four passenger open air automobile.
For those unfamiliar with Richard Straman, Road & Track Magazine recognized his work in 1987 as "the best engineered and finished convertible conversions we have seen; true coachbuilding in the grand tradition".
Commissioned by Texas deal maker and philanthropist Richard Rainwater the car was comprehensively refreshed and modified with performance upgrades completed over a two year period by renowned Texas Ferrari service professionals Norwood Italia and Red Car Restoration. All told, receipts exceeding $200,000 document what was spent on new paint, interior, mechanicals, performance upgrades and tuning.
The 400i is powered by the next to last iteration of the legendary Tipo F101 Colombo V12 engine. Despite its 60' aluminum block and heads, double overhead cam and 24 valves it suffered like most performance cars of the era from the choking effects of emissions control. This was corrected during the 2010 restoration with the addition of twin turbochargers, one Turbonetics T3-60 per bank, uprated 44lbs/hr fuel injectors, MOTEC engine management control, MSD coil and ignition. Then, it was tuned to perfection with drivability in mind, the result being the performance you would expect from a V12 Ferrari; giving this 400i the power it deserves.
This car fires right up and idles smoothly. It accelerates strongly and makes glorious sounds doing it. The Turbo Hydromatic 400 automatic transmission shifts properly and kicks down predictably. The steering, suspension and brakes are up to Ferrari standards. Like all Ferraris, the tubular steel hand crafted chassis and suspension bits are pure automotive artwork. The paint shows excellent and the drop dead gorgeous interior appears and smells fresh. The heavy canvas convertible top and frame assembly is in as new condition. All of the instrumentation and controls work as intended and the AC blows cold.
Unfortunately Mr. Rainwater's health limited his ability to enjoy the car thereafter, adding only 1000 miles since the 2010 restoration. After his passing in 2015 the car was acquired from the estate by the current owner who has recently moved the car to Red Car Restoration for inspection and make ready and is now offering it for sale.
The 400i represents a compelling opportunity for Ferrari enthusiasts. For the person considering his or her first Ferrari the 400i represents entry level value as these cars have to date been overshadowed by the value surge seen in the same era mid engine V8's. For the serious Ferrari collector this car brings V12 panache that can be driven casually and in luxurious comfort without the anxious moments in traffic or crowded parking lots that a more valuable member of the collection may evoke and the automatic transmission provides a dimension of access not common in vintage Ferraris. With only 2907 units produced and a tiny fraction of those Straman convertibles they indeed tour grandly in rarefied air.
Hundreds of detailed photos and service records available by request.
This 1980 Ferrari Twin Turbo 400i Straman Convertible is located in Heath, Texas and is offered with full documentation from the 2010 restoration and subsequent make ready service. Shown by appointment. Inspections welcome. It is offered as is where is. Texas residents may be subject to sales tax and registration fees. Interesting classic/exotic trades considered. Shipping assistance is available.