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).
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.
Delivered new via the UK legacy Ferrari agents Maranello Concessionaires, this original right hand drive car is of an extremely desirable specification, as it was ordered new with a traditional six-speed manual gearbox. This renders the car a rare machine indeed.
Historical reference will confirm that during the mid-1990s, Tiptronic and, in Ferrari’s case, the F1-style quick-shift automatic gearbox with paddles on the steering column was the fashion of the day, although retrospectively this style of transmission has become less desirable in the marketplace – so this car, upon delivery, may have seemed somewhat anachronistic in 1995 but is certainly an extraordinary bonus to the Ferrari driver today and is highly sought after.
A 456 GT is rooted in the great traditions of the classic Ferrari – and in this case, a manual geabox, front-engined 12-cylinder: the ultimate triple bill. This particular example has had only three owners from new during its life, with comprehensive and documented service history and MoTs etc – a comprehensive transcript of the car’s entire life, and most recently bills documenting an expenditure of some £70,000 in recent years, providing any new owner with one of the most celebrated big Ferrari GT cars of the modern era.