It seemed that Ferrari prices continued going up every month. The only V12 that was not out of reach was the 400. It didn’t have the smooth soft lines of its predecessors, but it was a V12 Ferrari and had 4 seats, and now I had a new baby so I needed the back seat.
I found a nice blue one with tan interior and low milage for the right price. The problem with other Ferraris now, was that the prices had gone up so much that if you had an accident, the insurance would not cover the real value. They used some formula that was worthless for these types of cars. Therefore many Ferraris were destined for the warehouse or museum, but sadly not for the roads. The 400 engine evolved from the 365 engine in the C/4 and the Daytona. Initially they used carburetors and a year or two later converted to fuel injection with the introduction of the 400i. Unfortunately, like all other cars of the era, performance suffered greatly, although pollution improved slightly. The horsepower declined to 310 versus 340 for the carbureted version.
This Ferrari’s price was reasonable and I wasn’t afraid to drive it anywhere. It was comfortable and fast, and I drove it all the time. I never had a problem with it, until one day my son Alex asked me if I would volunteer to be a chaperone on a school camping trip. I agreed and happily looked forward to a potential bonding moment with my oldest son.
When the camping trip started I drove the 400i, since it had more trunk space and I could carry sleeping bags etc. Besides I thought my son, who was living with his mother in Boston, would enjoy coming and going in a Ferrari.
Most of the roads to the camping site were paved, the exception were the last 10 miles on a well used dirt track. None of this presented a problem and we enjoyed the camping trip. When it was time to go back, the Ferrari wouldn’t start. It took a few hours for the tow truck to find its way to the site, and fortunately my son was able to get a ride home to Boston from another chaperon.
When I got home that evening, there was a message from the Ferrari/BMW dealer in Spring Valley. I called him back. He thought it was hilarious that I took a Ferrari on a camping trip, but he wanted to show me something. “Could you drive over to the dealership tomorrow?”
“Why not.” I answered.