Fer­rari 456 GTA

This four-seater Ital­ian ex­otic has been driven spar­ingly but ob­vi­ously cared for well, says Rob Sco­rah

Classic Cars (UK) - - Welcome -

It’s more usual to meet Fer­rari’s Nineties two-plus-two in more sub­dued colours – blue or sil­ver – but this mid-pro­duc­tion 456 in Rosso Corsa over Crema leather makes a strik­ing ex­am­ple. With fewer than 21,500 miles driven (and hav­ing been garaged prop­erly), you’d ex­pect the paint­work to re­tain all of its fac­tory lus­tre and con­sis­tency, and it does.

Fin­ish and colour hue do not vary across sur­faces or dif­fer­ent body ma­te­ri­als and there are no signs of crack­ing or cor­ro­sion on aprons or lead­ing edges. There are sev­eral very tiny stonechips to the nose. These have been touched up, though con­sid­er­ing the cal­i­bre of the car they could maybe have been done a lit­tle bet­ter but you have to look hard to find them. The black wind­screen sur­rounds show no sign of dis­coloura­tion or cor­ro­sion.

Panel fit re­mains true. Doors and boot close to leave nicely-matched edges and the big clamshell bon­net rises and falls smoothly and fits pre­cisely. Un­der that big lid the engine ap­pears as (after read­ing the blue-chip spe­cial­ist ser­vice his­tory) you would ex­pect. Ev­ery­thing looks fac­tory fresh – wiring, clips, cam cov­ers and gen­eral clean­li­ness. As well as a fully stamped book, with the most re­cent ser­vices by Migliore Cars of Broms­grove, prospec­tive buy­ers will also be pleased to find that the 456 has had a re­cent cam­belt change. In­ter­est­ingly there are also a cou­ple of notes from pre­vi­ous own­ers out­lin­ing a lit­tle spe­cial­ist lin­eage on the me­chan­ics who have worked on the car.

The in­te­rior of the car mir­rors the out­side, with very light signs of use com­men­su­rate with the mileage. The worst that can be found is a lit­tle wear to the driver’s seat outer bol­ster. Oth­er­wise, carpets and hides are clean; steer­ing wheel, gearshift and switches are free of ring or fin­ger­nail scratches. There is also a set of fit­ted Fer­rari lug­gage in­cluded, its con­di­tion not far be­hind the car it­self.

Nineties Fer­raris were more ur­bane than their fore­bears and the V12 fires up eas­ily and set­tles into a re­fined idle with­out any oil-starved rat­tles. The au­to­matic trans­mis­sion slots eas­ily into gear and the car is away with­out any thuds or shunts.

As with the car’s aes­thet­ics the 456’s road man­ners em­pha­sise re­fine­ment and you soon re­alise that this car is about swift progress from fairly gen­tle in­put. Steer­ing is pre­cise and the sus­pen­sion sure-footed, han­dling bumps with­out clunks. The gear changes seem par­tic­u­larly smooth, even when the driver gets in­volved to hold/ drop the coupé into a lower gear for bends (there are no rat­tles or creaks in the turns). You have to pro­voke the Fer­rari to re­ally hear the engine and even then its tone has a silky, even qual­ity. The 5.4-litre V12’s heft is felt low in the revs, ac­cel­er­at­ing smoothly through the range. The pres­sure and tem­per­a­ture gauges threw up no warn­ing sig­nals on our test.

Although prospec­tive 456 own­ers may pre­fer dif­fer­ent colour/trans­mis­sion op­tions, this 1997 car is hard to fault. It is a very clean, very us­able and swift tourer. And an eas­ier Fer­rari to own than many.

Rosso Corsa with Crema leather is un­usual on a 456

The in­te­rior iooks orig­i­nal but has very lit­tle wear of note

Re­cent cam­belt change is good news for po­ten­tial own­ers

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.