The Ferrari 456 launched in 1995 was the long awaited V12 powered 2+2 replacement for the Ferrari 412 GT which had been out of production since 1989.
During the intervening 6 years if you wanted a 2+2 Ferrari you had to make do with the mid engine 8 cylinder Mondial 2+2.
Ferrari reentered the front engine rear wheel drive GT market with a V12 that owed nothing to the Ferrari 412 but was derived from the 65 degree Ferrari Dino V6 motor which in V12 form with 4 valves per cylinder and two overhead camshafts could produce an unstressed 436hp.
In 1998 the 456 was upgraded to 456M (Modificata) spec, externally distinguishable by the fog lights mounted in the grill, like the 1999 example seen here earlier this year at the Siverstone Classic.
456M spec motors were said to be good for an even smother 442hp thanks in part to a change in the firing order of the 12 cylinders and in part to the improved Bosch electronic engine management system.
There are a number of extremely rare variations on the 456 platform, these include two four door saloon / sedans built for the mysterious Nafsas Al Khaddaja allegedly resident in Belgium.
Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei is said to have ordered 7 456 GT Venice 4 door shooting brakes, but found he only had $9 million dollars in spare change when it was time to pay for them so only took six of them home without any change.
The Sultan of Brunei had two 456 Spyders built while Mike Tyson had an aftermarket Spyder conversion on his.
Finally there is Shaquille O’Neal’s example which features a number of aftermarket modifications to accommodate his 7′ 1″ frame including much longer seat rails and a unique, for a 456, targa top.
The 456M was the last Ferrari to feature pop up headlights which were no longer necessary at the time the car was launched in 1995, but remained since they had been a requirement at the time the design of the model commenced. In all 3,289 456 variants had been produced when production switched to the 612 Scaglietti in 2003.
Fellow blogger Jay Wollenweber spotted the older 458 model on the sunny streets of San Ramon recently.
Thanks for joining me on this Pop Up edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !
PS Don’t forget …
Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz
Win a set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards
Set 1 Sports & GT Cars
Set 2 Phil Hill World Drivers Championship 50th Anniversary Edition
Set 3 1934 Season
Set 4 Grand Prix Engines of the 1950’s
Set 5 Mike Hawthorn’s Race Cars
The Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will comprise 8 categories.
Overall winner chooses one set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards from the five sets shown above.
The cards measure 15.24cm x 11.43cm, come in packs of 12 with 3 copies of 4 designs in each set, plus A6 envelopes.
Which set will you choose ?
The free to enter Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will run from December 26th – January 2nd Entries close January 8th 2012, Winner announced January 16th 2012.