The first Ferrari ever offered with automatic transmission, the 400 was aimed at the American market, and was meant to take the prancing horse into the boardrooms of Europe and the US. But the 400’s automatic box was a most un-Ferrarilike device, a lazy three-speed GM Turbo-Hydramatic also used in Cadillac, Rolls-Royce, and Jaguar.
It may have been the best self-shifter in the world, but it was a radical departure for Maranello, and met with only modest success. The 400 was possibly the most discreet and refined Ferrari ever made. It looked awful in Racing Red—the color of 70 percent of Ferraris—so most were finished in dark metallics. The 400 became the 400i GT in 1973 and the 412 in 1985.
Apart from the delicate chin spoiler and bolt-on alloys, the shape was pure 365 GT4 2+2. The rectangular design of the body was lightened by a plunging hood line and a waist-length indentation running along the 400’s flanks.
Four headlights were retracted into the bodywork by electric motors.
S P E C I F I C A T I O N S
MODEL Ferrari 400 GT (1976–79)
BODY STYLE Two-door, four-seater sports sedan.
CONSTRUCTION Steel/alloy body, separate tubular chassis frame.
ENGINE 4390cc twin ohc V12.
POWER OUTPUT 340 bhp at 6800 rpm.
TRANSMISSION Five-speed manual or three-speed automatic.
SUSPENSION Independent double wishbones with coil springs, rear as front with hydro-pneumatic self-leveling.
BRAKES Four-wheel ventilated discs.
MAXIMUM SPEED 150 mph (241 km/h)
0–60 MPH (0–96 KM/H) 7.1 sec
0–100 MPH (0–161 KM/H) 18.7 sec
A.F.C. 12 mpg (4.2 km/l)