Manual swaps have been en vogue for the past few years, is now the time to take an F1 box Ferrari F430 and make it a manual? The most famous swaps began in e46 M3 CSLs and now e60 & e61 M5s are getting in on the action. In the United Stated the allure of swapping paddles which commanded automated manual single clutch gearboxes for a ‘stick’ and third pedal has reach Ferraris such as the 599 GTB and 458 Speciale.
That brings us onto the F430: first announced on the 24th August 2004, the F430 signalled the arrival of a brand new generation of Ferrari 8-cylinder models. It introduced a new engine over the 360 Modena, in the form of the 4.3 litre V8 first seen in Maserati’s front-engined 4200 GT. Extensively re-engineered with a flat-plane crank, power was up 80bhp over the 360.
With Ferrari’s ‘modificata’ facelift model release often seeing minimal changes, it was a surprise to see the F430 debut two production car world firsts. The electronic differential (E-Diff) and the steering wheel-mounted switch, better known to the Formula 1 Scuderia’s drivers as “manettino”, offered a new method for the driver to manage the vehicles’ driving dynamics.
Whilst a traditional manual gearbox was offered at launch, it was all the rage to have the ‘latest’ F1 gearbox; a system derived from Ferrari’s Formula 1 race cars. Before the introduction of todays seamless dual-clutch gearboxes, the first F1 gearbox cars were automated manuals.
In short, instead of using an open format H-gate gearshift; pulling the left or right paddle would initiate a series of hydraulic movements to change the gears for you. All of this happens within 150ms in the F430 which doesn’t sound like much, until you notice Ferrari more than halved the time for the 430 Scuderia to just 60ms and Lamborghini’s Huracan dual clutch setup can shift cogs in just 8ms.
Intended to help bolster sales of the V12 lineage, Ferrari’s V8 cars have traditionally been seen as more accessible, both in terms of price and usability. As such, a quick scan of Pistonheads and Mobile.de proves that most of these examples have upwards of 30k miles/50k kms.
This week we have spotted a very rare exemption; a one-owner from new Ferrari F430 with just 1,000 miles from new. Without doubt a time capsule example, it appears this car was used on just a handful of occasions and then put away in storage – alongside several other exotics – where it would lay dormant for over ten years. It has still been serviced mind, and since being put up for sale has also received a thorough recommissioning.
So today it presents a fascinating proposition. Perhaps its an F430 for the person who maybe grew up aspiring to own one? A car to preserve as a nearly box-fresh example of one of Ferrari’s greatest mid-engined V8 sports cars? Or perhaps there is a different solution.
With prices for manual Ferraris soaring, a 575 manual now commands double the price of an equivalent 575 F1. A low mileage manual F430 commands a generous premium over an F1 example and rightly so; as both models demonstrate the last iterations of Ferrari’s stunning naturally aspirated powerplants that were developed to be used with both gearbox options.
Perhaps this almost-brand new F430 is the perfect candidate to decouple the hydraulics, add in an extra pedal and enjoy the nearly 500hp of naturally-aspirated magic through Ferrari’s most iconic metal gearshift. After all Ferrari’s F1 gearbox isn’t far off BMW’s SMG gearbox, and Everything M3’s reversible solution for that has made a great number of E46 CSL owners very happy indeed. Perhaps now is the time to find a great F430 and make it greater with a third pedal and a wiggle stick.