Welcome to The Valet Stand, where we look at some of the best cars I've found parked in front of the lobby at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco. Today's feature is a Ferrari 456M GT, photographed in late winter 2011.
The 456 was a family car among Ferraris, a 4-seat grand tourer with a V12 in the front. The 456 enjoyed a long production run from 1992 to 2003. I've always seen it as a more relaxed Ferrari, available with either a six-speed manual or a four-speed automatic. Yes, a Ferrari available with a full automatic transmission. And that same Ferrari could do 188 mph so quit whining. Think about the fact that this was the last Ferrari ever to use pop-up headlights, a feature no longer available on anything.
This is a 456M, the post-1998 refresh of the 456 line. Despite being made for another five years, only 1,338 456Ms were built, of which 688 were manual GTs and another 650 were automatic GTAs.