1989 Ferrari 412 GT Manual - £49,995

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We have had a couple of these over the years and are always looking for them. One of Ferrari's rarest and most unexpected masterpieces, this is a 1989 Ferrari 412 GT, Rare Optional Manual Gearbox, Supplied new by Maranello Sales to its Dublin Based First Owner and having covered only 53k Miles from new. Ferrari made only 24 RHD Manual 412's in the entire lifespan of the car, so you have a better chance of finding a 250 GTO than one of these. The reason they are sought after now is, quite simply, the 5-Speed ZF gearbox changes the entire complexion of the car from the 3 Speed Slushbox Automatic Version. Quick changes open up the engine considerably and she feels a much more modern car because of it.

Produced between 1985 and 1989, the Ferrari 412 was the final glorious flowering of the series of luxurious four-seaters that had commenced with the introduction of the 365GT/4 2+2 in 1972. Launched at the 1976 Paris Salon, the successor-model 400GT gained a 4.8-litre version of the four-cam V12 engine but otherwise differed only in detail. Following successful experiments carried out in the USA, the 400 became the first Ferrari to offer automatic transmission as an option. The unit chosen - General Motors' three-speed Hydra-Matic 400 - was widely regarded as the world's best, being used by Cadillac, Rolls-Royce and Jaguar among others. Flagship of the Maranello range, the splendidly equipped 400GT featured self-levelling independent rear suspension, power-assisted steering, electric windows and optional air conditioning. Its arrival reaffirmed Ferrari's determination to compete with the world's finest luxury saloons.

Representing evolution rather than revolution, the 412 debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 1985. The newcomer enjoyed a small (119cc) capacity increase, anti-lock brakes, revised interior and bumpers colour co-ordinated with the bodywork, while an improved front air dam and raised boot deck reduced the already low co-efficient of drag. By the time production ceased in 1989, Ferrari's finest 2+2 had been in production for a remarkable 17 years, though its exclusivity meant that there were seldom more than 200 sold in any one year.

Ferrari's decision to equip the 400 series with automatic transmission was vindicated by the fact that more than two-thirds of customers took up the option, though this example's purchaser chose the extremely rare ZF five-speed manual gearbox. Right-hand drive chassis number '78593' was delivered new via the UK importer Maranello Concessionaires to Roadfield Motors Ltd in Belfast. First owned by Mr Lochlan Quinn of Dublin, Republic of Ireland, a well-known Ferrari collector, it had remained in that country until recently. The car passed to its second owner, financier and developer Mr John Ronan, in 1997 and to its third, Mr Trevor Henderson, in 2001. The previous owner but one acquired the Ferrari in 2005.

'78593' comes with one of the most comprehensive history files we have seen (close inspection of which is recommended) testifying to the careful maintenance it has enjoyed since new. The car has in the last six months been subject to over £11,000 worth of fettling and servicing at a local Ferrari Specialist, In addition to this the car was sublect to a complete mechanical overhaul in 2012 at a cost of around £35,000 which included the fitting of a genuine UK 412 replacement engine amonst other things. The car has also been fully re-sprayed in the past, while the engine has been recently fully serviced and is running perfectly. Fully UK Registered, the car also comes complete with its original Ferrari wallet, owner's manual, stamped warranty/service booklet and tools. in Double Black, from the factory, this is the meanest car on the road today, and with the manual gearbox, also one of the rarest. No expense has been spared on the car, it is now ready to be enjoyed or added to any significant Ferrari collection.