Supercars On A $50,000 Budget: The V12 Ferrari That You've Never Heard Of


This might be the coolest V12 you never knew about.

If you've forgotten about the Ferrari 456, then you are not alone. No, we didn't mean to type 458 there, we are talking about Ferrari's V12 Grand Tourer from the 1990s. The 456 was built from 1992 to 1997 and the 456 M continued until 2003. All of these cars were powered by a 5.5-liter V12 which produced 436 hp. This engine could hit 60 mph in 5.2 seconds when paired with the six-speed manual. Amazingly, the 456 was also offered with a four-speed automatic. Just 3,289 were ever built. For reference, Ferrari built more 458 Italias in just one model year.


Back in 1997, MotorTrend tested a 456 with a sticker price of over $230,000. The 456 is not one of those Ferrari models that collectors have driven up the price on. Some low mileage examples are priced over $100,000, but most examples are less than half of that. We even managed to find a manual transmission model with less than 18,000 miles for just $48,997. The performance numbers of the 456 can't even compete with a modern V8 Mustang, but if you want the prestige of owning a V12 Ferrari, the 456 might be the best way to do it. The predecessor to the 456, the 412, came with a three-speed automatic and the successor, the 612, still costs over six figures. If you want the best bang for your buck V12, this might be it.

Even Jeremy Clarkson loved this car in this vintage road test of the Ferrari 456. Do you really need anymore reason to buy one now?

Ferrari operating costs are extremely high with simple services costing at least $5,000. However, when you factor in the reasonable price of this V12-powered Ferrari, the benefits may outweigh the costs. For less than $50,000, you can show up to Ferrari meetings with people who have probably spent 10 times as much as you to get a V12 Ferrari. Trust us though, unlike the Mondial, this Ferrari is not the joke of the Italian supercar world. The 456 is in desperate need of a revival and at these low prices, now is definitely the time. When you show up in your 456 and flip up your popup headlights, the other Ferrari owners may be shocked that they have never even seen a 456 before. They may even ask you if its really a Ferrari.

Then you can tell them about the award winning 5.5-liter V12 engine and the nearly extinct gated manual transmission. After you tell them that your car is much rarer than their puny V8-powered 458, you can run to the grocery store and fill you decent sized trunk up with items and take full advantage of the 456's usable back seat. This may be the coolest car that $50,000 can buy you!


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