There seems to be a large world wide market for the 456 Ferrari.
Is there any out there who can advise in importing a car from a different country, how do you get a bullet proof history on damage and repairs plus the important servicing history?
Also note back in June 08, some one was importing from UK to Australia, how did it go, was it worth the wait and cost of importing one of the best shaped front engine Ferrari's ever?
I have had my '02 456 now for a little over a year. I have just parted with £1200 for its annual service, which I thought acceptable. I smile when I drive it, and also when I walk past it in the garage. I think it's a thing of beauty. If you can afford it then give it a try. If it doesn't just bowl you over, then sell it. Chances are you won't lose much to know for sure it's washed out your system.
I own a 2003 456M GTA and a 1999 F355 GTB Manual. Both are absolutely gorgeous to look at with timeless designs.
With just 8K miles on the 456, the major service last month was painful at $7K by a Ferrari specialist. The car is a joy to drive as it is fast, comfortable and very stable. The turn in ratio is not as good as the 355 and not comparable to my 7-series BMW which, despite its size (it is an L), turns nearly twice better than the 456.
The windows work very well on this late example, but there's still sometimes an air-leak from the driver's door.
I have the 18" 550 wheels on it which fits the design better than the standard 17".
Overall, these are unique, timeless forms of art. If you can afford to keep one in perfect shape, don't hesitate...
I am currently debating between the purchase of a late model 456m and an early 612. The posts that everyone have been kind enough to share, still leave me with questions. I plan on using this purchase as my daily driver 10-12 miles a day with the occasional longer trip. I like the look of both cars, and I am not deterred by the cost of maintenance. I am looking for the car I would be most happy with over the years. I am interested in hearing from those involved with the thread what they would do with my choice. I currently drive an "ugly German blob."
I have owned a Ferrari 456, 1994, since 2001. It had 40000 km when I bought it, and at the moment it has 96000 km.
Before I had a Ferrari 330 GT from 1964. A great car, but with a lot of technical problems; in the end it was no fun to drive because of those problems. I changed to the 456 and I have not regretted this for a moment.
The 456 is a beautiful car, black with tan leather, and I have NEVER had any problems with it. Every three years I do regular maintenance at a Ferrari workshop, changing the distribution belts, valve clearance, spark plugs etc.
For those considering to buy one, I would say not to be too afraid for high running costs.
The only problems at the moment are:
1. Electric rear spoiler doesn't come out. I don't care very much, but the annoying warning light keeps on blinking.
2. Ashtray-cover doesn't want to close any more. Does anybody know how to solve this last problem??
Someone said earlier in this forum something about the bad make of Italian cars. Personally I do not have this experience. For instance I have an Alfa 166, 2.4 diesel, with 357.000 km, only regular maintenance, never a specific problem!
Interesting. I also have a 166 and a 456.
I have had my 456 for two months now - it's a fabulous machine. It can be quiet, it can be comfortable. You can transport your mother in it, even your grandmother. But it can also be the beast, scaring everyone including yourself when you want it to.
Get one while they're still cheap, because I don't think prices will go any lower. Come on, a V12 thoroughbred that has traveled less miles in its life than a Mondeo repmobile racks up in a year, for less money and three times the power of same said repmobile? What kind of insane bargain is that? What are you waiting for? Live a little!
As I can't afford an F40, the only Ferrari I've ever wanted to own is one with a V12 in the front, and the 456 is top of my list.
The last poster has been extremely lucky with his 456 and Alfa. I have recently sold an immaculate yellow Delta Integrale EVO2, and my story is quite different:
Over the 7 years I owned the Integrale, I did 40,000km and it ALWAYS had something going wrong with it : usually electrical, sometimes mechanical.
I'm glad I bought it from Lancia-Integrale-Specialist Walkers of North Allington, because for some completely inexplicable reason and despite every possible check having been done before I bought it, the engine blew within a week of my buying it.
To their great credit, Walkers replaced the engine without question. Lesson 1 : NEVER buy ANY performance car from anyone other than a Marque specialist.
A 456 comes from the same era and the quality of the electrics are the same as used in the Integrale.
That means if the car is used in the winter or on wet days, poor quality terminals will quickly corrode, and the result will inevitably be constantly failing electrics.
It's no surprise that window mechanisms are a weakness on the 456 : Window actuators were cheaply made and weak motors were used on all FIAT products in the '90s including Lancia and Ferrari.
My Integrale was as expensive to own and run as a V8 Ferrari, but I could forgive it anything because it was so fantastic to drive.
Fabulous car though it is, I've decided I'm not going down the 456 route : It's not a matter of affording the running costs, I'm just not prepared to pay that much for the pleasure.
I have a 1997 456 GTA. The radiator went $6,000.00, the oil seal $3,000.00, and the alternator went $1,300.00. I am waiting for the rear shocks to go $2,000.00. This car costs money to run.
Thank you all for the honest opinions and shared experiences.
I, for one, have decided right here and now that I will not purchase a 456, despite me lusting for one for quite some time. I guess to me it's just not real love, if you have to pay so much for it.
I do like the concept of a gorgeous V12 coupe with a manual though, but I decided to go for a decent, unmolested 850i with a stick. Please - forgive the blasphemy. Perhaps I can "Ferraririze" the sound of it, by means of a audiophile aftermarket exhaust. And I expect that now, that I know what I know about the 456, I will like it even more.
I will still admire all you owners when I see you, but at least I won't envy you anymore.
Thanks - and happy motoring!