Know your Ferraris: The 365s


Learn all about the 4.4 litre 12-cylinder Ferraris of the Sixties and early Seventies in Drive Cult's handy guide.

It's quite hard to be a Ferrari fan these days. What was once a brand of luxury, exclusivity and impeccable taste has become a brand of t-shirts, slightly iffy aftershaves and worst of all, theme parks. It seems to me that the fantastic heritage and image that Ferrari has built up as the most successful brand in motorsport history is steadily being forgotten. One of the most surprising things is the lack of knowledge many car enthusiasts have of the older Ferrari models, this even being true of many owners of modern Ferraris. One worrying quote from a member of a major Ferrari forum described the F355 as "an early classic Ferrari"!

To remind people of Ferrari's classic and in some cases iconic cars of the past, here is the first in an occasional Drive Cult series of handy guides to identify early Ferrari road models. We begin, perhaps unsurprisingly, with the 365s.

The 365 in Ferrari-speak represents the cubic capacity of one cylinder, which means that all the cars featured here have 4.4 litre 12 cylinder engines. Ferrari first used this engine size as a customer race engine in its sports racers; the relatively big capacity two-cam engine was considered easier to maintain than the works cars' smaller four-cam units. The first road car to feature a 4.4 litre V12 was the 1966 Ferrari 365 California.

Ferrari 365 California

The 365 California is a 2+2 convertible touring car that represents the last of a line of limited production Ferraris for the super-rich. In this respect it replaced the 500 Superfast in the Ferrari range, although the California did not offer the ultimate performance of its predecessor. Considering its exclusivity you might say that the new 599 SA Aperta is the closest modern-day equivalent.

Despite being the most expensive car Ferrari offered at the time, the California was very closely related to the relatively humble Ferrari 330 GT 2+2, using the same chassis with a live rear axle and five-speed transmission. The styling is best described as elegant, probably in keeping with its owners whose names often began with Count. The most interesting feature of the design is the side scallops, an idea which would later be used on the 246 Dino. The 4.4 V12 was fitted with two overhead cams and rated at 320bhp at 6600rpm.

The 365 California turned out to be a very exclusive car since only 14 were made with production (such as it was) running through from spring of 1966 through to the summer of 1967. Today the rarity of these cars means that they seldom come up for sale, although RM Auctions has the very first one made in its forthcoming London auction. They estimate you will need somewhere between £550,000 and £680,000 to take it home.

Ferrari 365GT 2+2

The next Ferrari 365 was the 365GT 2+2, introduced in 1967. This large 2+2 GT car, which was the equivalent of the 612 Scaglietti in today's range, featured a number of firsts for Ferrari. It was the first Ferrari to feature power assisted steering, the first to feature self-levelling independent rear suspension, and the first Ferrari to feature the luxury of an automatic car radio aerial. It's also known that at least three examples were fitted with automatic transmissions, although it was never an official option.

The attractive flowing Pininfarina styling was clearly influenced by the earlier Superfast, but with a cut off Kamm tail. The styling has also, for reasons that I have never quite understood, earned the 365GT 2+2 the nickname of the Queen Mary. As with the California, the 320bhp two-cam version of the 4.4 litre engine was employed. The Queen Mary was quite a heavy car but nevertheless independent road tests of the time recorded a top speed of 149mph.

Production ran through to 1971 during which time around 800 were made. Queen Marys have never been highly valued (2+2 Ferrari's never have made big money) but with the current rise in values of older Ferraris expect to pay around £70,000 for a decent one.

Ferrari 365GTC and 365GTS

1968 saw the introduction of the next 365 in the GTC and its convertible derivative, the GTS. A development of the previous 330GTC and GTS (which in turn had been a development of the 275GTS), these car's don't really have a direct equivalent in the modern range, although the California would be closest in ethos.

As with the 330, they sit on the same 2400mm wheelbase that Ferrari had used on its Berlinettas dating back to the 250SWB. The styling is neat if not stand out, sharing more than a passing resemblance to the Fiat 124 Spider and Alfa Duetto of the same period (all of which were designed by Pininfarina). The 365 is visually distinguished from the earlier 330 by having engine vents on the bonnet rather than on the flanks, but under the skin there are a number of differences from the earlier car, including a revised braking system from ATE rather than Girling, and different engine mounts aimed at reducing vibration.

Understatement is a large part of the appeal of these cars. The 365GTC in particular is a real sleeper car, offering excellent performance (top speed of 152mph) and fine handling, with double wishbone independent suspension all round and a transaxle gearbox providing 50:50 weight distribution. These cars were also the last application of the two-cam 320bhp version of the 365 engine. The GTS is a great convertible Ferrari, although the upright windscreen does mean the occupants get rather buffeted!

In sales terms these cars were not a major success, with 150 GTCs and 20 GTSs being sold before the car was dropped in 1969. In some ways this is a shame, since many enthusiasts and experts consider the 365 GTC to be the best road Ferrari of the 60s. I don't quite share that view (though I am biased) but they do deserve far more recognition than they currently receive. Expect to pay around £150,000 - £200,000 for a GTC, and as with the 365 California rarity means the GTS is difficult to value but I suspect you won't get any change from £600,000.

One of the reasons for the lack of sales for the GTC was it was considered a run out model from the earlier cars and it was also overshadowed by the other 365 that was launched at the Paris show in 1968...

Ferrari 365GTB/4 and 365GTS/4 "Daytona"

The Daytona is one of the most famous and iconic Ferraris of all time, and needs no real introduction (especially for regular readers of this site). At launch many were surprised that it was a front-engined GT, when it was expected that Ferrari would launch a mid-engined supercar to compete with Lamborghini's Miura. The critics were soon silenced when they discovered that the new four-cam dry sump V12 was rated at 352bhp at 7500rpm, sucked petrol through six twin choke Weber downdraft carburettors, and offered epic performance. 60mph arrived in under 6 seconds and the Daytona would run on to a top speed of 174mph.

The public has always christened the car the Daytona but in fact Ferrari never officially called it that. The Daytona name originates from Ferrari's 1-2-3 win in the 1967 Daytona 24 Hours race, and some literature on the car refers to the name Daitona (an Italian spelling of Daytona) being seen on the design drawings. Legend has it that the name was leaked to the press which annoyed Enzo Ferrari into dropping it, but I suspect it may be a more mundane copyright issue which stopped Ferrari from using the name since there had already been a Shelby Daytona Coupe and Dodge launched the Charger Daytona the following year. Interestingly, the website does refer to it as a Daytona but also points out that this is not an official name.

The Daytona was the replacement for the earlier 275 series of Berlinettas and as such is the direct equivalent to the 599 in the current range. Early cars are characterised by the headlights under plexiglass covers. This arrangement was not legal in the United States, so a popup headlamp arrangement was adopted on for US versions and then standardised across all markets. A few early examples had the front painted silver to simulate the plexiglass design but this idea was quickly dropped. As with the 275 and 365GTC, the Daytona utilises a 2400mm wheelbase although in this application it features a wider track, and the gearbox is incorporated in a transaxle arrangement to give excellent weight distribution as per the earlier cars.

The Frankfurt Show of 1969 saw the introduction of the 365GTS/4 "Daytona" Spyder, which replaced the 365GTS in the range. Ferrari effectively merged the GTB and GTC lines at this point, since the 365GTC was not directly replaced. The Daytona Spyder became something of a movie star with appearances in a number of 70s movies including The Gumball Rally, A Star is Born (though the exact same Sypder is used in both films) and The Swiss Conspiracy which has a chase sequence through the Swiss Alps featuring two Spyders. In the Eighties a (bad) replica Daytona Spyder was used in early series of Miami Vice but this was quickly replaced be a genuine Ferrari Testarossa after Ferrari complained!

By the standards of previous Ferrari production runs, the Daytona was manufactured in quite large numbers with 1284 Berlinetta's and 122 Spyders made by the time production ended in 1973. Values for a decent Berlinetta depend to some extent on where you live, since right-hand drive cars in the UK seem to have settled at around £165,000 but in the US or Europe somewhere around £200,000 is needed to secure a decent left-hand drive model. There is little or no difference in terms of price between plexi or popup versions. In the 1980s more than a few Daytona Berlinettas were converted into Spyders, and the value of these varying depending on the quality of the conversion with most selling for a little more than the standard Coupes. Genuine factory Spyders cost considerably more, with around £700,000 needed to secure the movie star car of the 365s.

Ferrari 365GTC/4

This next 365 is something of a curio since it was only listed for eighteen months, and unlike other short production life Ferraris was neither a limited edition or a run out model. Launched at the Geneva Salon of 1972, the GTC/4 replaced the 365GT 2+2 in the range. Officially it is a 2+2 unlike the earlier GTCs which were strict 2-seaters, but the rear seats in the GTC/4 were very small and only for use by the very youngest of children. Having tried to sit in the back of one on a number of occasions I can verify they are best used for additional luggage space only!


The body style is unique to the model and has an unusual integrated lip front bumper which does divide opinion. Mechanically, the engine shares the four cams with the Daytona but uses wet sump lubrication and is rated at 330bhp. The bonnet line is lower than that on the Daytona necessitating the use of sidedraft carburettors which can be tricky to tune. The C4, as it is colloquially known, is often said to have the best engine sound of any of the early Ferraris since the wet sump muffles some of the rattling heard on the Daytona, and the exhausts give a smooth but meaty sound. The gearbox is mounted in line with the engine and both of the examples I have driven suffer from gearbox whine in fifth gear.

Fitted with power steering and the self-levelling suspension from the Queen Mary, the C4 is an easier car to drive than the Daytona. However, should you be thinking of buying a GTC/4, be warned - the self-levelling suspension units are very expensive and fail easily, leading to some owners to replace them with conventional units which has a detrimental effect on both the car's ride and handling.

Despite the short production life Ferrari made 500 C4s, and in fact it outsold the Daytona over the same period. Today it is often mistakenly seen as a poor(er) man's Daytona, but they are quite different cars. The C4 is a better long distance tourer, but the Daytona is distinctly more fun when the roads get interesting. Expect to pay around £80,000 for the very best examples.

Ferrari 365GT4 2+2

At the Paris Salon of 1972 the C4 gave way to the. 365GT4 2+2. Not all the short life of the C4 was wasted, since the entire engine, transmission and dashboard design were carried over into the 365GT4. The shape of this car should be familiar to anyone with a reasonable knowledge of Ferraris, since it was also used for the later 400 and 412 (making a total life for this design of 17 years, the longest for any Ferrari). The longer wheelbase of this car means it is a proper 2+2 unlike the C4.

The 365GT4 is distinguished from the later cars by the lack of a front chin spoiler and six rear lights instead of four. Many people knock the design for being boring and 'un-Ferrari-like', but in this early form at least it's a very elegant shape and considering the turbulent political and economic times when the car was new, I suspect many owners appreciated the subtle looks.

Ferrari produced 525 of these cars before the 400 took over. Unlike the 400, an automatic version was never officially offered.

Values for these cars have been in the doldrums for many years, with the over-familiarity of the shape not helping matters, but in recent years they have picked up, and are particularly sought after in Italy. The best examples are probably around £40,000 which is something of a bargain in Ferrari V12 terms, although it's important to remember that this is still likely to be many times less than the restoration cost of one.

Ferrari 365GT4 Berlinetta Boxer

As Monty Python said, "and now for something completely different". The last of the 365s shares almost nothing in common with any of the others.

The first of the Berlinetta Boxer line, the 365GT4 BB features a mid-mounted 4.4 litre flat-12 engine. The Boxer name is actually a misnomer, since the engine features a conventional firing order and should really be regarded as a 180 degree V12. Ferrari claimed that the engine produced 380bhp at 7700rpm, but it is generally agreed that this is a rather optimistic figure with probably a Daytona-matching 350bhp being closer to the truth. Performance-wise the top speed was independently timed at 174mph (Ferrari claimed 188mph) which again only matched the Daytona, but the BB's raison d'etre was much more as a sports supercar than the Ferrari's previous GT offerings.

The 365GT4 BB can be distinguished from the later 512 Boxer by the lack of the front chin spoiler (although some have had this retrofitted), six tail lights and possibly uniquely for a production road car, six exhaust pipes. To me, this is one of Ferrari's best looking mid-engined offerings and has aged remarkably well.

The flat 12 engine defines the Boxer but in some ways is also it's Achilles heel. The configuration forced Ferrari to mount the gearbox underneath the engine resulting in a high centre of gravity, which gave the car a reputation for tricky handling on the limit. Although, some might consider that a bonus for a supercar...

387 365 Boxers were produced before the 512 replaced it in 1976, making it the rarest of the Boxers. The Boxer has always lagged behind the Daytona and the older Ferrari V12's, value-wise, in part due to a lack of usability (it has almost no luggage space) and the fact that more modern Ferraris like the F40 and 288GTO can provide a bigger adrenalin hit. Today you can expect to pay around £80,000 for the best examples, but of all the cars on this list I think it's the most undervalued, so I wouldn't be surprised if that figure goes up in the near future.

Summing up

All these cars are great Ferraris. The 365GTC in particular is a truly great car which provides much of what the Daytona (and earlier 275GTB) offer in a rather more discreet package. While some - principally the Daytona and the Boxer - are more well known than others, all deserve the recognition of car enthusiasts.