1997 Ferrari 456M GTA (RHD)


  • Only 34k miles from new
  • Impressive history file
  • Four previous owners
  • Brand new 12mth MOT

The Appeal

Launched in 1992 as a replacement for the 412, the original 456 took over the mantle as Ferrari’s V12 four-seater. Company chief Luca de Montezemolo hoped that a reliable and practical supercar, intended to be used rather than simply admired, would be Ferrari’s most effective advertisement. 

The GTA incarnation, with a four-speed auto transmission, first appeared in 1996, then in 1998 the car received a major facelift and was relaunched as the 456M, the ‘M’ standing for modificata. The facelift included changes to aerodynamics and cooling, and the interior was comprehensively redesigned. Just 650 456M GTAs were made. 

S 245 JLY was first registered in 1998 and the service record and MoT history seems to verify the mileage as genuine. It’s in remarkably good condition for its age and has clearly been well cared for by successive owners. 

The History and Paperwork

  • Thick folders of paperwork
  • Comprehensive service history
  • Current V5
  • MoT until June 2023
  • Previous MoTs
  • Lots of invoices
  • Previous tax discs
  • Original leather folder with manuals
  • Invoices for £4k recent work

The car comes with two plastic folders full of invoices, previous MoT certificates, tax discs and so on. Amongst the paperwork is a listing from a previous sale, which states that the car was originally owned by the Sultan of Brunei and registered in the name of his holding company. The listing claims that servicing in the car’s early years was carried out in-house, which accounts for the lack of stamps in the service record from those years. 

The car comes with its original leather folder containing the owners’ manual and other booklets, and there is also an instruction manual for the stereo.  

There are invoices totalling almost £4000 from December 2022 and January 2023, from specialists Emblem Sportscars in Poole, Dorset, outlining work to address a number of issues, so the new owner can be reassured that the car is ‘on the button’ and ready to be driven and enjoyed. 

The Interior

  • Black Connolly leather seats
  • Smart dashboard, dials and centre-console
  • Original toolkit in leather case
  • Rear seats look unused
  • Fabric car cover

As you’d expect of a car with low mileage, the interior here presents extremely well. The Connolly leather front seats have very little evidence of wear, while the rear seats look to be unused. The driving position is excellent, with good all-round visibility, and all the controls fall readily to hand.  

The dashboard, instruments, switchgear and centre console all look to be in great condition, and everything seems to work as it should. The carpets in both front footwells are in extremely good condition, with little sign of wear, while one section of rear carpet appears to be missing.  

The headlining is also finished in black leather, but this has sagged slightly – this is something the new owner might wish to address. 
The carpet lining in the boot is also in excellent condition, with no marks or stains, and the original toolkit, in its stylish leather case, is all complete. There is also a fabric car cover, suitable for indoor use. 

The Exterior

  • Pininfarina design
  • Smart Nero black paintwork
  • Excellent wheels and tyres
  • Pop-up headlights in sound working order

The 456M’s elegant lines, designed by Pietro Camardella at Pininfarina, have stood the test of time well; the car has a sleek, aerodynamic profile, and looks good from every angle. Here, the Nero Black paintwork in is excellent condition, with no scratches, dents or chips, although the paint is bubbling slightly on the top of the passenger door. As well as the low mileage, the overall condition of the car makes it clear that it’s been carefully looked after.  

The five-spoke alloy wheels are generally in excellent condition, with only one displaying some very minor damage to the rim. All four are fitted with Pirelli tyres which all have good tread. 
All of the badges and brightwork present very well, the tail lights and indicators are unmarked, while the pop-up headlamps operate as they should. 


The Mechanics 

  • 5.5-litre V12 engine
  • 4-speed auto transmission
  • Regular belt changes recorded
  • Recent new battery
  • Everything in working order

The 456’s V12 engine has a reputation for supercar performance combined with reliability. At the time of its launch, it was the most powerful production car that Ferrari had ever made, with the honourable exception of the F40. 

S 245 JLY starts readily and idles with a smooth note. Even on the short drive to our photo location, it was apparent that the car drives and handles as it should, and the vendor assures us there are no issues. 

The electric windows, seats and radio all appear to work as they should, although the radio seems to be a non-original replacement item and we weren’t able to verify the operation of the boot-mounted CD- and mini-disc changers. 

Under the bonnet, all seems to be in very good order, with no sign of leaks or significant corrosion.  
The history file confirms that the car has regular cambelt changes at the appropriate intervals.   


Known for its searing performance and for build quality that finally matched that of its German rivals, the 456M has a reputation as a supercar that’s both usable and practical, and its status as a modern classic is already assured. 

With its low mileage and reassuringly comprehensive history file, this smart grand-tourer promises the new owner years of motoring pleasure.  

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1997
  • Make Ferrari
  • Model 456M GTA
  • Colour Nero Black
  • Odometer 34,497 Miles
  • Engine size 5474
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Trade
  • Town Marlborough
  • Location Wiltshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
11 bids from 6 bidders
  • mi•••• £37,250 29/05/23
  • Do•••• £37,000 27/05/23
  • Ri•••• £36,750 27/05/23
  • Do•••• £36,500 27/05/23
  • Ri•••• £36,250 27/05/23
  • Do•••• £36,000 24/05/23
  • re•••• £34,000 24/05/23
  • mi•••• £31,600 24/05/23
  • Gl•••• £25,000 24/05/23
  • ms•••• £20,000 24/05/23

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