One day Ferrari enthusiast Peter Giacobbi got a tip from his son in law that there was a huge warehouse in Colico di Piano near Como, Italy, that was full of car parts.
When Peter followed the lead up he found the body for today’s featured car in the rafters. Peter shipped the body to Orange County California where he enlisted Dan McLeod of Anaheim to help him build a replica of his favourite car the 1959 Ferrari Testa Rossa.
Allegedly an oafish TV presenter of a well known pseudo comedy motoring program who probably couldn’t tell you the difference between a gear knob and a knob of butter once described the Ferrari 400 as ‘awful in everyway’.
Personally I don’t see how any car with a chassis that owes it’s heritage to the Ferrari Daytona and with a Ferrari V12 engine, no matter how strangled to meet emissions regulations, can be awful in any way.
Certainly the 400i body, designed by Pininfarina, is not as appealing as the GTC and Daytona models that preceeded it but IMHO it’s seventies boxiness is a good deal less retro and a good deal more appealing than the mindset of the oaf described in the opening paragraph.
The coupé was first launched as the 365 GT 2+2 in 1972, by 1976 that model was re badged the 400 which became the 400i in 1979, when this particular car seen at Bristols Italian Auto Moto Festival was built. The ‘i’ denotes fuel injection which was fitted in place of the previous carburetors.
Although compliant with US regulations, unlike the 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer, none of the 422 manual GT or 883 Automatic 400i variations, or indeed any Ferrari 400 models were officially imported into the United States, doubly surprising since the 400 was the first Ferrari to be offered with automatic transmission.
Thanks for joining me on this fuel injected edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !