1992–1997 (456) and 1998–2003 (456M) More
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  •   Stuart Gallagher reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Untold tales The time #Performance-Car upset Ferrari with a #smokin ' Ferrari-456GT Words John Barker

    / #Ferrari-456GT / #Ferrari-456 / #Ferrari / #1994 / #Performance-Car / #1994-Ferrari-456GT /

    I was delighted that we'd managed to bag a big beast to re-launch the Performance Car magazine road test.

    The handsome 456 would produce some arresting numbers at Millbrook and look great on the cover. Best of all, I'd broached the subject of tyre wear with Tony Willis, our contact at Maranello Concessionaires, and was delighted when he said that he was planning to replace the whole set when it came back from the loan anyhow. Very much game on, then.

    At the track we suckered our Datron Correvit test gear to the rump of the 456, wound up its 5.5-litre V12 and side-stepped the clutch. The results were impressive and right on the money: 0-60mph in 5.1sec (the factory claim was 0-100km/h or 62mph in 5.2) and 100mph in 11.2sec. We tried to verify the claimed 186.5mph (300km/h) top speed but on the banked Millbrook bowl (hands-off speed 100mph), the big Ferrari faltered at about 180mph, possibly due to fuel surge, so we didn't push our luck.

    No matter; we got a superb set of photos, including a lovely sequence of oversteer shots at my favourite corner on the B660. For the cover, art director Gill Lockhart and photographer Michael Bailie had come up with a plan that involved a cherry-picker and a standing start with plenty of tyre smoke. With Bailie and his camera poised high up behind the 456,

    I wound the V12 right up and let it go. It felt ludicrous, the rear tyres immediately letting go and only after a few moments finding traction and sending the Ferrari howling down the mile straight.

    'It looks great,' said Lockhart, 'but there's not enough smoke.' Hmm. I tried a different technique, which involved side-stepping the clutch and moving that.

    ‘The editor got a letter from Ferrari UK. The gist was that we’d abused the car and made it unsaleable’ foot immediately to the brake. It worked a treat, the front brakes stopping the car on the spot while the rear tyres spun.

    After about five seconds the car was engulfed. Job done. The rear Bridgestones were hot but remarkably unscathed. In fact, it was the track that had suffered; each tyre had dug a groove in the asphalt. Oops. We cleaned the car up and delivered it back, explaining to Mr Willis how well everything had gone.

    A few days after the magazine hit the newsstand, the editor got a letter A long and very detailed letter from someone else at Maranello, listing everything that was wrong with the car It started with the tyres and went on to catalogue everything we might possibly be culpable for, including minor paint defects, light scuffs on the leather and even a slight smell in the glovebox. (OK, I made up that last bit but you get the idea.) The gist was that we'd abused the car and, because people would know it from the article, made it virtually unsaleable. I thought we'd just shown what a brilliant car the 456 was, both dynamically and in performance. terms. Happily, Mr Willis agreed. A few months later, all was amicable again.

    Left and below In 1994, Performance-Car re-launched its road test with a cover story showing what was involved in obtaining a full set of performance figures. Staged pics of smoking 456 didn’t go down well with Ferrari
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  •   John Barker reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    / #1997 / #Ferrari-456GTA £69,990 / #For-Sale / #Ferrari-456-GTA / #Ferrari-456GT / #Ferrari-456 / #1997-Ferrari-456GTA / #Ferrari / #Ferrari-V12

    This four-seater Italian exotic has been driven sparingly but obviously cared for well, says Rob Scorah

    It’s more usual to meet Ferrari’s Nineties two-plus-two in more subdued colours – blue or silver – but this mid-production 456 in #Rosso-Corsa over Crema leather makes a striking example. With fewer than 21,500 miles driven (and having been garaged properly), you’d expect the paintwork to retain all of its factory lustre and consistency, and it does. Finish and colour hue do not vary across surfaces or different body materials and there are no signs of cracking or corrosion on aprons or leading edges. There are several very tiny stonechips to the nose. These have been touched up, though considering the calibre of the car they could maybe have been done a little better but you have to look hard to find them. The black windscreen surrounds show no sign of discolouration or corrosion.

    Panel fit remains true. Doors and boot close to leave nicely-matched edges and the big clamshell bonnet rises and falls smoothly and fits precisely. Under that big lid the engine appears as (after reading the blue-chip specialist service history) you would expect. Everything looks factory fresh – wiring, clips, cam covers and general cleanliness. As well as a fully stamped book, with the most recent services by Migliore Cars of Bromsgrove, prospective buyers will also be pleased to find that the 456 has had a recent cambelt change. Interestingly there are also a couple of notes from previous owners outlining a little specialist lineage on the mechanics who have worked on the car.

    The interior of the car mirrors the outside, with very light signs of use commensurate with the mileage. The worst that can be found is a little wear to the driver’s seat outer bolster. Otherwise, carpets and hides are clean; steering wheel, gearshift and switches are free of ring or fingernail scratches. There is also a set of fitted Ferrari luggage included, its condition not far behind the car itself.

    Nineties Ferraris were more urbane than their forebears and the V12 fires up easily and settles into a refined idle without any oil-starved rattles. The automatic transmission slots easily into gear and the car is away without any thuds or shunts. As with the car’s aesthetics the 456’s road manners emphasise refinement and you soon realise that this car is about swift progress from fairly gentle input. Steering is precise and the suspension sure-footed, handling bumps without clunks. The gear changes seem particularly smooth, even when the driver gets involved to hold / drop the coupé into a lower gear for bends (there are no rattles or creaks in the turns).

    You have to provoke the Ferrari to really hear the engine and even then its tone has a silky, even quality. The 5.4-litre V12’s heft is felt low in the revs, accelerating smoothly through the range. The pressure and temperature gauges threw up no warning signals on our test.

    Although prospective 456 owners may prefer different colour / transmission options, this 1997 car is hard to fault. It is a very clean, very usable and swift tourer. And an easier Ferrari to own than many.


    The #Pininfarina -designed 456 GT 2+2 is launched in 1992 at the Paris Show. Its traditional front-engined Ferrari grand tourer layout makes it attractive and practical as well as the fastest front-engined car in the world. Complementing the usual six-speed manual, a four-speed auto is offered in the 456 GTA.

    In 1998, the 456M (for Modificata) takes over. There are subtle restyling cues, the most notable being a reshaped front grille incorporating fog lamps. The #V12 is unchanged in size or output. The biggest mechanical differences are the revised active (self-levelling) rear suspension and traction control.

    The model is discontinued in 2003 after a total of 3289 of all models have been built.

    The interior looks original but has very little wear of note. Recent cambelt change is good news for potential owners. Rosso Corsa with Crema leather is unusual on a 456.

    Quote £975.07 comprehensive, 3000 miles per year, garaged, tracker. Call: 0333 323 1181

    1997 Ferrari 456 GTA

    Price £69,990
    Contact Manor Classics, North Yorkshire (01904 501252,
    Engine 5474cc V12, dohc per bank
    Power 442bhp @ 6250rpm / DIN
    Torque 406lb ft @ 4500rpm / DIN
    Performance Top speed: 193mph; 0-60mph: 5.5sec
    Fuel consumption 15mpg
    Length 4763mm
    Width 1920mm
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  •   John Barker reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Want a Ferrari-456 ? Watch and wait, that’s my advice

    / #Ferrari / #Ferrari-456GT / #Ferrari-456GTA / #Ferrari-456M-GT / #Ferrari-V12 / #1998-Ferrari-456GTA / #2003-Ferrari-456M-GTA

    CHASING CARS Quentin Willson’s hot tips

    VALUE 2012 £32k

    VALUE NOW 2018 UK £52k

    Not so long ago we gasped when a minimal-mileage Ferrari 456 made £118k. Prices shot up in the months that followed and soon the going rate for nice right-hand-drive manuals was £60k, and £120k for tiny-milers.

    Now that’s all changed and 456s have settled back to pre-hype prices as the modern Ferrari market has fallen away from its high of 2015. How low have they gone? An interesting indictor was the decent ‘1998 silver GTA with 40,000 miles and history that Coys sold in May for a little over £30k. Being left-hand drive and automatic held the car back but the no-reserve sale was a good barometer of the market. Scan the online classifieds and you’ll see a clear easing of values. A private seller in Yorkshire has a right-hook 2003-Ferrari-456M-GTA in Fiorano-Red with 37,000 miles for £39,950, while a trader in Henley-on-Thames has a 2000 GTA in Argenta with just 27,000 miles for £44,995. Last year both of these would have been pitched at the mid-£50k mark.

    At Silverstone’s May Ferrari Owners’ Club sale a concours winning 2003 GTA in Tour de France Blue with 28,000 miles and eight dealer stamps made £47,250.

    There are some 40 examples on the UK market as I write, so values are under pressure. If you’re in the market I’d advise you to watch and wait. I expect to see autos with sub-50k miles and good histories to settle at £35k in time, at which point they will be back to 2012 prices. This is becoming a cyclical market where classics go up and down – the trick is to watch the ebbs and lows and strike when the time is right. The 456 is one of the finest Ferraris of its era and at £35k definitely worth buying.
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  • Rob Scorah created this group

    Ferrari 456 GT

    1992–1997 (456) and 1998–2003 (456M)
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