1983 Fer­rari 400i £49,995

A ex-wham GT has prove­nance to wake you up be­fore you go-go, but also the odd care­less whis­per, says Rob Sco­rah

Classic Cars (UK) - - Ads On Test -

Orig­i­nally red, though now look­ing far more gen­teel and classy in this shade of dark­est green, this Fer­rari 400 was the prop­erty of An­drew Ridge­ley of the pop group

Wham! ear­lier in its life. The big GT comes with quite a good his­tory file, though there’s not much to be said about a re­paint. How­ever, the pa­per­work does doc­u­ment how Ridge­ley changed the in­te­rior colour to the cream we see to­day. There are also a cou­ple of let­ters from other own­ers pass­ing the coupé along to its next stew­ard.

The next in line will in­herit a very tidy ma­chine. The in­voices for this car show good ser­vic­ing, most re­cently in­clud­ing a thor­ough brake over­haul in 2016. It also has fresh oil and flu­ids.

The body­work is in very good or­der, with only the light­est blem­ishes to the paint­work. There are a cou­ple of very small grazes in the paint on the lead­ing edge of the bon­net and the head­light edge (driver’s side), and the front bumper sits very slightly proud of its usual po­si­tion. There is a small scratch on the driver’s mir­ror sur­round and faintly dis­coloured patches in the steel sur­round­ing the win­dows – small de­tails, but this car’s price pitches it among the best ex­am­ples on of­fer.

Panel fit is good; those origami-like folds in the metal con­tinue from front to back with­out in­ter­rup­tion, and the car looks sym­met­ri­cal about all rel­e­vant axes. The in­te­rior is sim­i­larly in good or­der. The re­trimmed (in 2000) cream leather shows no scratches or dis­coloura­tion and the car­pets are clean and lit­tle worn. All in­stru­ments and switches are work­ing fine, al­though the heat­ing ro­tary con­trols are a bit vague – or loose.

The car’s im­mo­biliser is tem­per­a­men­tal – it can be de­cid­edly re­cal­ci­trant in hand­ing over con­trol to the driver. That’s worth hav­ing sorted be­fore pur­chase. Once this de­vice has de­cided you are wor­thy, the V12 fires up eas­ily and im­me­di­ately set­tles into a splut­ter-free idle (this is a fuel-in­jected car). The GM four-speed au­to­matic slots smoothly into gear and the Fer­rari pushes off with­out any shunt from the driv­e­train.

This 400 is a smooth op­er­a­tor and can be left to its own de­vices as re­gards gearshift­ing. The V12 smoothly spools up power from seem­ingly any revs, tak­ing the car eas­ily through up­hill B-road bends. But if you do want to take more con­trol through the cor­ners, a tap of the T-bar will hold the gear where you want it.

Less sat­is­fac­tory is the gear­box’s kick­down re­sponse, though it may just need a lit­tle more use af­ter the car’s long lay-up. And con­sid­er­ing how fast this much metal can shift, the brakes are less ef­fec­tive than they should be and could use at­ten­tion (or per­haps just more use).

A good car with sound prove­nance, though this ask­ing price cer­tainly puts it in the ‘ev­ery­thing sorted’ bracket.

Want Wham-bam per­for­mance? This 400i could be a hit

Fuel-in­jected V12 is smooth and pow­er­ful

Ridge­ley-se­lected in­te­rior is in good nick

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