V12 Ferraris: Catch It While you Can

No-one with even the faintest smidgen of interest in cars can fail to have noticed that classic Ferraris are suddenly worth their proverbial weight.

How did they go from this to 612?
How did they go from this to 612?
From a 250 GTO going for a record-breaking £23m to Daytonas being worth over half a million quid these days, V12-powered Ferraris are proving sounder investments than London penthouses.

And it's having a trickle-down effect. I did a buying guide on the 550 Maranello last year, when you could buy a very decent one for £35K; just one year later, their value has pretty much doubled. The boat may well have sailed on the 550 (and indeed the 575M), but other V12-engined Ferraris are still unbelievably cheap - and it can't last long.

To gauge where we're at, I spoke with Tony Glynn of Foskers, the Ferrari specialists, to sound out possible 'sleepers'. He agrees that some V12 Ferraris are now at the bottom of their price curves.

612s are sub-£50K now if you fancy
612s are sub-£50K now if you fancy
One example is the very underrated 612 Scaglietti. Not only is it a cracking car to drive, it's also surprisingly practical. Prices have been tumbling since launch, but Tony reckons 612s have now reached a firm base. Your entry price is £48K - which is frankly fantastic value. They're going to start appreciating, for sure, but probably not by a significant margin for the foreseeable.

Same story with the 456 GT. A 190mph Ferrari supercar for £26K sounds pretty good to me, and 456 prices definitely won't fall any lower. However, finding good, low-mileage examples is becoming harder, especially with rare manual transmission, and values on these are now starting to rise.

But the V12 Ferrari that has real potential to shine is the 1972-1979 365 GT4 and 400. The shape - by Leonardo Fioravanti while he was at Pininfarina - looked sensational in its day, and although the 365 GT4/400 have had a long, painful period of being thoroughly unloved, their day is coming, and that day could be now.

Is now the 400's time to shine?
Is now the 400's time to shine?
These cars have a reputation for being black holes to chuck money down, and certainly you wouldn't want to face restoring a rough one. That's why you can still find rust-buckets changing hands for as little as £5K, although considering that the V12 engine alone (basically the same as the Daytona) is worth double that, it's hard to understand.

The starting price for a decent usable car is around the £25K mark. The PH classifieds yield up just one 400, an injected automatic 400i. With a full history, it looks a bargain at £27,995. But Tony Glynn reckons the injected engine doesn't have the soul of the earlier carb models, and automatic transmission saps the power quite drastically.

Pre-1979 carb models are far more attractive, especially with a manual transmission (all 365 GT4s were manual, while 400s were offered with both manual and auto). Such examples are hard to find - only 1,026 carb models were built, just 671 of those with manual transmission.

Mmm, carb-fed 365 GT4 manual...
Mmm, carb-fed 365 GT4 manual...
It'll be fascinating to see how much probably the best spec of all - the 365 GT4 manual - fetches at the Silverstone Auctions sale this weekend; its estimate is £45,000 - £55,000 but it might go even higher.

If so, this could be the start of a general rise in prices for this very underrated Ferrari. There is certainly a precedent: an example of the once-unloved 330 GT 2+2, bought by Foskers for £40K in 2010, has recently sold for £315K. OK, GT4s are unlikely ever to reach anything like that price, but no V12-engined Ferrari has ever offered as good value as 365s and 400s right now.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (78) Join the discussion on the forum

  • mrclav 13 Nov 2014

    I've always wondered why the 612 was so underrated - I don't really think there's much wrong with a modern-era (i.e. more or less correctly functioning, relatively reliable) Ferrari with a V12 and room for four.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see these go up in value over the next few years.

  • Galsia 13 Nov 2014

    Probably due to it's looks.

  • uremaw 13 Nov 2014

    The 612 is one of those cars that seems to look better in (carefully angled) pictures than it does in the flesh. I always found it too bloated and bulbous - though it probably felt the same about me.

    The 400 does nothing for me, but the 456 is lovely. At the risk of sounding all Max Power, a set of 18" (genuine) wheels would transfer the look. It's too modern for the underwheeled, big-sidewalled look imo.

  • mrclav 13 Nov 2014

    I looks are subjective but personally I never found it particularly offensive. Admittedly it wasn't one of their better designs but I don't baulk at it when I see them. I would say they are quite colour sensitive though!

  • 0llie 13 Nov 2014

    I'm not a big Ferrari fan, but I love their front engined GTs and their 4 seaters.


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