The 1988 movie “Rain Man,” famous for featuring a chrome-covered 1949 Buick Roadmaster prominently, also includes some impressive machinery in its opening credits. Our featured pick on Bring A Trailer, part of the Hearst Autos Group like Car and Driver, is a 1982 Ferrari 400i that closely resembles the car driven by Tom Cruise’s character in the film. This European-spec coupe was imported into the U.S. in 1982 and boasts an imposing all-black appearance, reminiscent of il Commendatore himself, with a soft-spoken demeanor but a powerful 4.8-liter V-12 engine under the hood.
The movie’s opening scene showcases a red Lamborghini Countach being unloaded from a ship via an overhead crane, joined by three other bewinged adolescent fantasy Countachs, while Tom Cruise’s character, dressed in a “Miami Vice” fashion, looks on. These gray-market imports are held up at customs by the EPA, adding tension to the film’s initial plot. Later in the movie, Cruise drives away in a silver 1983 Ferrari 400i.
During the 1980s, many Italian exotics were not officially sold in the U.S., and gray market importing often involved some hustling. Ferrari chose not to offer its V-12 grand tourer in the U.S. during that period due to the national 55-mph speed limit and stringent environmental regulations, which were unsuitable for such high-performance cars. Nevertheless, dedicated Ferrari enthusiasts eager for speed were determined to navigate the obstacles to get their hands on these forbidden fruits. The 1982 Ferrari 400i in this auction is a testament to such determination, having been imported in January 1982.
The Ferrari 400i replaced the 365 GT4 2+2 as the brand’s front-engine V-12 grand tourer and marked the introduction of an automatic transmission option for the first time in Ferrari’s lineup. This particular 400i is equipped with fuel injection for its 4.8-liter Colombo V-12 engine, delivering 306 horsepower. Its sleek Pininfarina body design and stylish five-spoke wheels exude elegance and class, making it a true business-oriented Ferrari.
Having accumulated 51,000 miles on the odometer and a few minor stone chips, this Ferrari 400i is not a showpiece for a glass-windowed garage but a car meant to be driven and enjoyed. While the three-speed automatic transmission may not appeal to racing enthusiasts, it is perfect for leisurely weekend cruising.