The Pininfarina designed original 456 was available in GT and (from 1996) GTA forms. The difference in name signifies the transmission: the former has a six-speed manual and the latter has a four-speed automatic developed in partnership with FF Developments in Livonia, MI (which was later purchased by Ricardo Engineering in the UK). This was only the fourth automatic transmission ever offered by Ferrari. The 5.5 Litre (5474 cc) 65° V12 engine was derived from the Dino V6 rather than the more conventional 60° V12s used in the 412 and Daytona. It produced 436 hp (325 kW; 442 PS) with 4 valves per cylinder and Bosch Motronic 2.7 engine management. It could push the 1690 kg car and four passengers to 302 km/h (188 mph) making it the world’s fastest production four-seater. Acceleration to 100 km/h (62 mph) was just 5.2 seconds, with a 13.4 second quarter-mile time. At the time of its development, it was the most powerful road car ever developed by Ferrari (aside from the F40).
The name 456 is derived from the fact that each cylinder displaces 456 cubic centimetres. This was the last Ferrari to use this naming convention. It is essentially a detuned version of the engine that appears in the 550 and 575. Despite its supercar performance, the 456 has a relatively unstressed engine, which has proven to be a very reliable unit. The chassis is a tubular steel spaceframe construction with a one-piece composite bonnet and body panels of aluminium. The body panels are welded to the chassis by using a special “sandwich filler” called feran that, when laid between, allows steel and aluminium to be welded.
Supplied new to the UK, specified with the rare manual 6-speed gearbox, this 456 GT is in fine condition throughout, having had just 3 previous owners who have spent a total of £70,000 in maintenance over the years with Ferrari.
A surprisingly rare Ferrari and very much a modern classic GT car.