From the onset, the intention of the 400 had been to challenge the finest luxury saloons available. It was anticipated that a large demand would come from the lucrative American market, though sadly the cost involved in meeting the stringent US regulations denied this option.
Introduced in 1976 at the Paris salon, it was available with either a five-speed manual gearbox or automatic three-speed transmission, sourced from General Motors. This option was targeted at those customers who wanted a long-distance GT without having to change gear; it was very much a boulevard cruiser in the modern idiom of the time. 502 examples of the standard, carbureted 400 models were built before fuel injection was introduced in 1979, mostly selling to the European market.
This 400 was purchased new by Alfred Heineken in France, as an update for a 308 model. The car was kept in France until 1983, when it was imported to Holland. It has the three-speed automatic option, 340-bhp V12 engine and four-wheel disc brakes.
This is the archetypal example of the model, right down to its period color. Throughout more than 20 years of ownership, its mileage has remained under 8,000 km (4,968 miles), and naturally its condition reflects its limited use. Furthermore, the benefit of its single ownership from new is that it retains its original tools, handbook, etc. A relatively small number of the model was built; they represent a tremendous value for the money in our opinion, with the glorious V12 engine and ample room to go long-distance touring. These aspects, combined with the uncomplicated history of this car, mean that we highly recommend this four-seat Ferrari.