You've made the decision to purchase a used Ferrari 456. If this is the first time you've considered buying a high-end Italian sports car, there are a few things you need to know to make sure that you get the best possible deal. Some sellers are honest and offer fair prices, but this doesn't always apply. It doesn't take a great deal of knowledge to know how to assess the value of a 456, but its not the same as other cars, and we have a few tips for first-timers to bring you up to speed on the ins and outs of getting a good price on a quality used Ferrari. Here are the things you need to consider when looking for a used 456 Ferrari in our concise Buyer's Guide.
History of the Ferrari 456
The 456 made its debut in 1992 in the form of the 456 GT, the successor of the 354 GT4. While not as aggressively styled as some of the other body styles Ferrari released, it still found an audience. this was a 2+2 that was powered with a 5.5 liter V12 engine that was paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. The GTA 4 speed automatic followed soon afterward.
The first update came when the 456 was 4 years old with an update in engine management in 1996. Two years later it received a face lift and was remained to the 456M with its variant the 456 MA version. There were a variety of changes made to the interior as well as the exterior throughout the 1990s. In 2002, a special limited edition of the 456 was released with just 30 examples offered under the Carrozeria Saglietti specialization program. When the last 456 was made in 2003, the production run brought the total ever made to just 3,289 vehicles with several minor and aesthetic changes but no major redesigns in its six years of production.
Where to find a Ferrari 456
Ferrari is an upscale Italian sports car and although private sellers may offer a 456 for sale, they're often sold through auctions or other parties dealing in classic car sales. Some of these resources include the Du Pont Registry, Mecum Auctions, or classic car dealerships. An online search will usually yield results quickly. If you deal with a private party, it's recommended that you first check out the reputation of the seller before you enter into any serious negotiations. If it is a dealership, an online search for consumer reports and reviews are usually easy to find.
Potential problems to be aware of
Although the engine of the 456 is known for its reliability, there are a few issues that tend to happen with the 456 model. Generally, proper maintenance keeps them in good running order. Any car you're considering for purchase should be inspected prior to buying. There were a few recalls issued for the 456 for replacements of parts related to possible fuel leaks, brake fluid and handbrake problems as well as gearbox, oil, and radiator pipe leaks. It's worth checking to ensure that all of the recall items were addressed. Cambelt changes are recommended every 3 years but the costs are not that high. They should show up in the service logs maintained for the car.
Prior to sealing a deal on a Ferrari 456 there are a few more things that you should add to your inspection checklist. These are items that can affect the overall current value, as well as the resale of the vehicle should you decide to resell it later. We've included the most important points for you to consider that can help you to assess the overall value of a car to know if the seller's asking price is fair and reasonable. This is how you avoid being taken by a smooth talker with a shiny car.
A history of ownership should be available with the date of the original sale, and the dates of each sale thereafter. It may not include the names of each owner as some like to remain anonymous, but the history of the vehicle tells you where it's been and how many times it has changed hands. You might find some interesting facts about the vehicle by taking a look at its history. Some of these cars have been moved from one country to another throughout the world.
This is a collectible vehicle and as such it should come with accompanying documentation that verifies its identity, including an owner's manual, and a service log. This will detail the maintenance and any repairs that have been done on the car. The service log will show you whether or not the car has received necessary maintenance to keep it in good running order. If it has been repaired, this documentation will also show if the work was done by a certified Ferrari mechanic/workshop. Make sure that only Ferrari parts and components were used as aftermarket parts can decrease the overall value in some cases.
Have the car inspected by a Ferrari certified mechanic
This is a professional who will know what to look for when assessing the value and overall condition of the car. Some items to look for if you're doing it yourself are signs of wear and tear on the interior and exterior. Make sure that the electrical components are all in working order including windows, which have been a problem in some models. Make sure there are no gap issues. Check the leather seats and door panels for signs of wear. Look for signs of shrinkage on the leather dashboard, flaking at the center console, and check for any signs of corrosion or rust on the exterior of the car including the wheel wells, and the sills.
It's a good idea to have a detailed report that shows that all recalls have been satisfied, and that the shocks, fluids, and all other maintenance recommendations specific to this model have been performed at the appropriate times. This is where a good working knowledge of the history of the particular car will come in handy. There are so many different consideration points that it's best if a qualified mechanic is with you to look for some of the hidden issues that may be known to exist in these cars exist. Some things are not readily obvious, but they can cost you money in repair bills later.
Was the car driven?
Another important question to ask is how often the car was driven. You can get an idea by looking at the mileage. The Ferrari 456 is a car that needs to be taken out for a good stretch of the legs on a fairly regular basis. Allowing these cars to sit in storage can be detrimental to the internal workings as the fluids tend to concentrate, and they can deteriorate if not driven, washed, and maintained on a somewhat regular basis. Although most of the available 456 models still have low miles, they should have been taken out for an occasional run.
How was the car stored?
You should ask how the car has been stored throughout the years. It's usually best when the car is garaged and kept out of the elements throughout the seasons. If the vehicle was a barn find, make sure that it was properly restored to retain the value as a collectible. Some restorations can increase the overall value of a vehicle, but if not done properly, they can reduce the value as well.
Take it for a test drive
Before you close the deal, take the 456 you're interested in out for a test drive. Get it out on the open road so you can assess its overall performance. Upon startup it should immediately show a jump in oil pressure. Watch for signs of blue smoke because there shouldn't be any. The 456 should handle nimbly with plenty of power when accelerating. You can get a good feel for the performance of the engine, transmission, suspension and brakes with a thoughtful test spin. Don't spend much time with distracting conversation with the sales rep when you're on the road. Pay attention to the vehicle and listen for anything that seems out of place such as sluggishness, smoothness when shifting gears, or lack of it, and other signs of a problem.
Ferrari 456 models have been sold to owners all over the world. There are still quite a few listed for sale, but they are scattered throughout the world. Consider the cost of acquisition if you decide that you want to check out an example that is offered in a foreign country. While you can have them shipped over to your address for a cost, if you don't travel to the location you won't be able to take it for a test drive. This means that you're going to have to take the sellers word about the condition of the car. It's a risk when you're spending that much money, and one that isn't recommended. It's more difficult to receive legal remedy when dealing with anyone who lives outside of your country of residence unless you spend time in the country they live in. Even then, it's a mess that most of us have no desire to engage in. If you can't take the car for a test drive and perform your own visual inspection, it might be best to pass and go with something a bit closer to where you live.
The Ferrari 456 is a collectible car and if you find one that is in mint condition with everything original from the factory, it will retain much of its value. Having said this, the 456 is one of the more affordable classic Ferrari's on the market today. To get an idea of what these vehicles are currently going for we checked with a few reliable sources including Hemmings, CarGurus, and Cars.com. We found 9 examples of Ferrari 456 models for sale by dealers on Hemmings. The prices were fairly low with a 1995 going for $98,500 with just 5,000 miles listed. A 1998 is offered at $72,900 for a JT. This car is located in Piney Flats, Tennessee.The lowest priced example was offered by a seller from Dubai, United Arab Emirates for $55,000 for a 1994 edition GT. CarGurus offered models priced at $54,000 for older 456 cars to the $95,000 range for 2000s models. The original sticker price was $215,000 so the Ferrari 456 is one of the better values in classic Italian sports cars.
Although the Ferrari 456 is one of the more reasonably priced classic sports cars, it still represents a significant investment. It's important to know how to get the best possible deal so you wont' experience buyer's remorse at a later date. It's not the most aggressive or beautiful model that Ferrari has made, but it is an attractive and prestigious vehicle. You don't necessarily need to be an expert to make a good assessment of the value of a car but there are certain things that you need to be aware of. Our buyer's guide is designed to give you an overview of he most important things to consider before buying a used Ferrari 456. When you are aware of the potential problems with a car along with its advantages, you're better equipped to spot any potential issues for the future, and subtract the cost of any needed repairs from the overall value so you don't get taken on a ride, figuratively speaking. Whenever possible, consult with a Ferrari mechanic for a thorough inspection before you close the deal. It can increase your confidence and save you headaches down the road.
Written by Benjamin Smith
Read more posts by Benjamin Smith