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Order number 1533 was completed and invoiced to Maranello Concessionaires Ltd/Ferrari UK, by the factory on the 14th June 1994 for delivery to the UK by truck. It was invoiced to Nigel Mansell Sports Cars on the 24th June 1994. First registered, M360 JPR on 17th August 1994 to one Nigel E. J. Mansell c/o NMSC Ltd Salisbury road, Blandford Forum, Dorset, the then Ferrari agents in Dorset, Nigel Mansell Sports Cars of Blandford. The then (20th October 1994) list price was £145,999.63 plus delivery, number plates and road tax. The original service book with the owners name was left blank, however the Direct line warranty booklet was completed and I have obtained copies of the warranty registration card from Ferrari UK, along with correspondence relating to the order. I spoke to James Steventon the former sales director Nigel Mansell Sports Cars ,and friend of Nigel Mansell, and it seems that this was the car ordered at the 1993 London Motor show by Nigel Mansell for him to use when in the UK and James to run it as a demonstrator the rest of the time. At the same time a second 456 was also ordered for his use in America. This apparently came as a result of James collecting Mr Mansell from the airport in his Peugeot 205 GTi company car! Ferrari UK issued a credit note on the 12th December 1994 giving an additional 5% demonstrator discount.
In January 1995 and now with some 1,000 miles ,the car was sold to the late Mr Roger Newport of Dorset to "tie him over" until his new 456 arrived. His new car arrived in October 1995 ,and the car was re sold with some 3,000 miles to a 43 year old "international businessman", who re registered the car L1 JAR.
It seems to have remained in the West Country as it was sold in June 1997 ,with some 9,000 miles ,by Westover Sports Cars -they had bought Nigel Mansell Sports Cars- to Mr Nigel Walter of Dorset, who re registered the car AJM 180.It was then taken back in part-exchange for a new 550 Maranello once again by Westover Sports Cars.
Mr Christopher Smail of Dorset who bought the car on the 24th July 1998, once again from Westover Sports Cars , with 16,814 recorded miles for £94,000. It was then registered to a Mr David Smail (related?) of Surrey, on the 12th August 2001 with some 20,000 plus recorded miles.
The penultimate owner Mr Bruce Wood of Northamptonshire,-who was/is CART Program Director with world renowned engine designer/builders Cosworth for the last 20 years,- bought the car from a London specialist on the 18th July 2004 for £42,000, with 32,000 miles recorded. He traded a Ferrari Mondial QV in the deal. He used it to tour Europe and only sold the car to obtain a larger ,four door motor car.
Purchased by a 54 year old director of an international company based in London, on the 22nd June 2007 at 42,754 miles ,from myself. The car has returned to each year to be serviced. The last work ,which in addition to the service, included a new clutch ,new brake and discs all round. In all there 21 services carried out by main dealers and recognised specialists.
Complete as new with its original factory handbook, service book, wallet and tools. Unusually it includes the three piece Schedoni fitted luggage.
The 456 GT took the luxury 2+2 coupé theme to new heights and saw Ferrari return to the front-engine concept for the first time since the 1968 365 GTB4. The all-new 65° V12 provided unprecedented flexibility and power.
The aluminium bodywork designed by Pininfarina was aerodynamic, efficient and indisputably elegant, unequivocally conveying the model’s identity as a Ferrari. Cockpit ergonomics meant passengers enjoyed high levels of comfort: the 456 GT set the standard for its class.
After a three year period without a V12 engine 2+2 model in the range, the 456 GT was announced on the occasion of Ferrari’s then Belgian concessionaire’s fortieth anniversary in September 1992, making its public show debut in Paris the following month.
As part of the Garage Francorchamps anniversary celebrations, the new model was launched at a gala dinner in the Palais de Cinquantenaire in the centre of Brussels. This was a positive and brave move by the company, as the classic, luxury, and prestige sports car markets were in deep recession, after all the speculation and hype of the late eighties. However, they showed their commitment to broadening their range, and to maintaining their position at the head of the list of the world’s most desirable automobiles.
The smooth rounded lines from the pen of Pininfarina drew praise from all sides, particularly the modernised reflection of the fabled 365 GTB/4 “Daytona” with the long bonnet, featuring retractable headlight pods, running into a set back cabin. Also inspired by the “Daytona” was the design treatment of the rear of the cabin envelope and tail. Thus although the shape was thoroughly modern, it contained retro trace elements to associate it with the company’s history.
One aerodynamic element that was almost imperceptible was the electronically activated spoiler below and within a cut-out in the rear valance, whose angle changed relative to road speed to increase downforce. As with all the other models in the range at the time, it was designed as a world market car from the outset, and perhaps most importantly there was an USA market model.
However, where the preceding 2+2 models had been offered with automatic transmission, the 456 GT was initially only available with a manual gearbox. Here there was another analogy with the “Daytona”, as it had the gearbox mounted in unit with the differential and final drive assembly, forming a transaxle.
The bodies were mounted on a 2600mm wheelbase chassis, which was 100mm less than the 412 2+2 model, with a front track of 1585mm and rear track of 1606mm. It was constructed in the traditional steel tube fashion, incorporating substructures to support mechanical and body components, bearing factory type reference F 116 CL.
All were numbered in the continuous chassis number road car sequence in the range 96157 to 111376, and the production period spanned 1992 to 1998, during which time 1548 examples were produced.
The model was available in right or left hand drive form, with power assisted steering as standard.
The majority of the body panels were aluminium, welded to the steel frame via a specially formulated sandwich material called Feran, which was chemically treated to permit the welding of the two dissimilar metals, whilst the front and rear valances were composite mouldings.
The standard road wheels were stylised renditions of the traditional five spoke “star” alloy design, featuring elegant convex spokes and five bolt fixing. Independent suspension was provided all round, with front and rear anti roll bars, and electronically operated driver controlled variable shock absorber settings, plus hydraulic self levelling rear suspension.
The adjustable dampers were provided with an electronic “brain” that monitored various factors, like steering angle, road speed and acceleration, to optimise the settings for the driving conditions. The steering was power assisted, the degree of assistance varying with road speed, being greatest at parking speeds and diminishing with an increase in velocity.
Four wheel ventilated disc brakes were provided, and equipped with an ATE Mark IV Antiskid system, to minimise loss of traction under extreme conditions.
The engine was completely new, the first brand new 12 cylinder unit since the flat twelve “Boxer” unit some two decades earlier, with factory type reference 116 B, and then 116 C. It also marked a return to the old tradition of the model designation number (456), relating to the approximate swept volume of a single cylinder in cubic centimetres.
Previous production V12 engines had a 60 degree angle between the cylinder banks, unless you think of the flat twelve “Boxer” engine as an 180 degree V12, whereas the new motor had an angle of 65 degrees. The total cubic capacity was 5474cc, with a bore and stroke of 88mm x 75mm, four valves per cylinder, twin overhead camshafts per bank, and dry sump lubrication.
The block, cylinder heads, sump, and sundry castings were constructed from light alloy, featuring Nicasil treated alloy cylinder liners. A Bosch Motronic 2.7 combined fuel injection/ignition engine management system was fitted initially fitted, superseded by a Motronic 5.2 unit in 1996, which fed the air/petrol mixture to the engine through beautifully sculpted cast alloy intake boxes and manifolds atop the engine, to provide a claimed power output of 442bhp at 6200rpm.
The complete transmission system was also entirely new, featuring the provision of an all synchromesh six speed transaxle gearbox for the first time on a Ferrari road car. However, the principle of the transaxle, with its benefit to weight distribution was not new to Ferrari, as it had been used successfully on the 275 GTB and “Daytona” models some twenty five plus years earlier.
The interior was sumptuously upholstered in leather as standard, with electronic adjustment facilities for the front seats, which slid forward automatically when the catch was released to afford access to the rear.
The rear seats provided adequate space for adults in comfort, with good headroom, and adequate legroom for most people. Because of their location relative to the side windows, rear seat passengers were provided with good visibility, without feeling confined by the rear pillars.
A range of fitted leather luggage was provided as standard to maximise the boot space.
Electric windows and door mirrors, a stereo system with CD player and eight speakers, plus air conditioning, were further standard features of the model. In mid 1996 twin airbags became a standard fitment, with a redesigned steering wheel to incorporate the driver’s unit.
Taken from Ferrari's own website
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