*This is a translation done by a machine.
The models Ferrari sold to customers in its early days were not pure road cars, but pure sports cars for truck use that could run on a weekend circuit. However, as the Ferrari brand begins to gain popularity in the U.S. market, there is a growing demand for a luxury GT car that is a bit more comfortable to drive, rather than a hard-to-handle pure sports car that makes a loud noise.
Then, in 1960, a 12 cylinder FR 4seater coupe called Ferrari 250GTE was born. This model is virtually the beginning of Ferrari's road car business. Since then, the 250GTE genealogy has continued, and various 12 cylinder 4seater GT models have been born. Also, these 4seater 12 cylinder FR were often loved by Enzo, the founder of the company. In other words, the 4seater 12 cylinder FR coupe is a Ferrari tradition, and is part of the line of orthodox models.
It evolved into the 365/400/412 series in the 1970s, but when production of the final model ends in 1989, there will be no 4 seater 12 cylinder GT for a while. Enzo died in 1988, so along with the "il commendatore" seemed to have run out of life.
Of course, Ferrari never gave up on the four-seater model. Rather, There were working on a new model, scrapping the original plan (412 Evolution Types) to give it modern performance and styling that could be passed on to the next generation. It is said that Enzo himself was very interested in the project before he died.
Thus, the new 4seater GT introduced in 1992 was called the "456GT". It debuted as a highly ambitious model with styling reminiscent of Ferrari designs from the mid-1990s, and a newly developed 12 cylinder engine with a variable damping suspension system. The development costs were unusually high at the time.
“456” in the name indicates the displacement per cylinder according to tradition. The 5.5 liter V12 is called the F116 and is a completely newly developed engine. Since then, several improvements have been made based on this engine.
When it was first released, it was set only for the 6-speed MT, but later GTA which combined the 4-speed automatic was introduced. As AT was also popular in the previous generation (400 series), GTA gradually increased. Its moderate-sized body was one of the largest at the time, and yet its performance was a testament to the dawn of the new Ferrari era. A minor change was made to 456M in 1998 (Redesign by Kiyoyuki Okuyama). About 3300 units were produced until 2003. It is said that 1/3 of them are AT.
As a result of adding many new technologies to the flagship model that appeared during the transition period, it was rumored in the used car market that "break down" but since it was a 4-seater practical Ferrari, it was not easy to maintain after the second user, and it is true that many of the cars gradually deteriorated. I've tested the new 456GT in Maranello, but I can only remember that it was a "great GT that wakes up".
|Jun Nishikawa's Highlights!|
The 1995 model 456 GT features a subdued Blue Leman body color and vivid blue interiors. There is an image that the body color of 456 matches blue or silver. This car is a typical example. At first glance, it doesn't look like a modern Ferrari, but rather like an adult's "Prancing Horse" style.
The current owner got the 456 GT from a friend 6 years ago. The previous owner was a frequent rider, and when he received the car, the odometer had already shown 65000 km. Therefore, there were many minor troubles such as a small oil leak, but it was not a car that requires a huge repair cost.
I can't believe this car has driven 75000km. The front desk is slightly down. The lights and rubber are surprisingly free from discoloration and damage, and if you look at the details, you can safely say that the mileage is 10,000 km. I was a bit surprised by the condition of this car because I saw many more cars with more damage on the 456 that only ran about 30,000 km. When I asked the owner why, he said that he had never gotten wet in the rain. It's a good example of how you can keep it in good condition if you keep it in your garage. If you polish the whole body, it will look better.
As the mileage is high, small scratches can't be helped. There are some minor scratches on the mirror, the door and the front and rear fenders. The hood and rear bumper have been repainted. In the interior, the seats, floors, pedals, handbrake switches on the driver's side had damage that were commensurate with the model year and mileage. Especially the cracks on the seat are noticeable, but if you take it to a repair shop specializing in interior decoration, it should be back to the same condition as the rear seat. The secret to having a good time with a neoclassical model is that you will enjoy petit restore.
After all, this is the last 4seater Ferrari with 12 cylinder front engine and 3 pedals MT. By putting the lever to the clearly cut shift gate and enjoying the sound of the metal touching each other, there is a feeling that the shift is indeed connected to the engine and cannot be experienced with the latest Ferrari.
I enjoyed driving for about 30 minutes, but the engine feels good after it's warmed up as it's being maintained by a regular dealer and a specialty shop. However, there are some parts that need to be treated in the future, such as the clutch is not working well and it is hard to put into the second gear, and the transmission oil pump makes noise when it is cold. But as long as you ride carefully, you don't feel any inconvenience so far.
It is a car that can enjoy 12 cylinders with 3 pedals. Please try it once.
Originally written by Jun Nishikawa
Photo by Hidehiro Tanaka
Published on December 2019
|Year of Purchase||Jul 1995|