The Boxer Berlinetta marked a big change for Ferrari because the company moved a horizontally opposed engine layout for its new flagship car (thus the Berlinetta Boxer name). It wasn’t just the engine design that was different either. For the first time Ferrari put the engine behind the driver. Ferrari’s V12 berlinetta cars always had the engine in the front, but with cars like the Lamborghini Miura and Countach capturing buyers attention, it was clear that Ferrari’s top model had to go the mid-engined route.
The move to a ﬂat-12 was partly dictated by packaging considerations. Mindful that a longitudinal engine with the gearbox behind would add inches to the wheelbase and/or steal cabin space, Ferrari had decided that the BB should have its transmission placed below the engine. This would allow a shorter wheelbase and a roomier cabin. It also pretty much dictated a ’ﬂat’ engine to keep the centre of gravity reasonably low, though it still put substantial mass in a sub-optimal position as far as handling was concerned.
The first of Ferrari’s Berlinetta Boxer is the 365 GT4. The car was first shown at the 1971 Turin Motor Show and production began in 1973. Only 387 examples of the 365 GT4 BB were made until it was replaced outright with the 512 in 1976.
Most of the magazines and press at the time loved the clean Pininfarina design and were shocked by the strong performance. Acceleration was strong, with the sprint to 60 mph over in 5.4 seconds. Handling and overall dynamics were class leading at the time. When tested by Road & Track in 1975, they hit 175 mph and declared it “the fastest road car we’ve ever tested.”
Initial excitement waned a little as stories of the 365 GT4/ BB having a wild and unpredictable side, especially at the limit. If you backed off the throttle mid-turn, the mass of the engine wanted to keep going, causing the tail to snap round and the car to spin (aka old 911-style).
The original 365 (named for the capacity of each cylinder, and sharing bore and stroke dimensions with the outgoing Daytona) is arguably the purest and — some say — the happiest of the Berlinetta Boxers to rev. It’s also the rarest, with just 387 built. Its 4390cc ﬂat—12 with triple twin-choke Weber 4O IF3s produced a claimed 344 bhp and 302 lb/ft, and it’s easily distinguished from behind by its triple rear lights (and triple exhaust tailpipes) at each corner.
1974 Ferrari 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer 17955 – sold for €482,760 The odometer showed in 1998, 10,927 miles and in 2014, 13,813 miles so the car has seen minimal miles and everything has been done to keep this car in fresh condition and the only recent work was the installation of a new ANSA exhaust system. It has also recently received a brake and suspension overhaul. In today’s market the 365 BB is undervalued and with only 380 cars built is an investment opportunity not to be missed. Auction Source: Rétromobile 2015 by Artcurial Motorcars
1974 Ferrari 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer 18159 – sold for €187,600 The car offered here was originally delivered through Australian Ferrari importer Lowe in October 1974, and it was finished in Argento with Beige hides. After remaining Down Under for 14 years, it was sold to a British buyer, and a year later, it was put away. It has recently emerged from its dry storage, where it had remained since 1989, and it will consequently require a re-commissioning before being able to take to the road again. Auction Source: 2014 Paris by RM Auctions
1974 FERRARI 365 GT4 BERLINETTA BOXER – sold for €160,834 The car on offer is being sold by its second owner. The first, a certain Morini Learco, from Legnano (in Milan) bought the car new in October 1974 from the dealer Crepaldi of Milan. This is one of the earliest models with the seats so typical of the 1970s style. The black leather interior was restored by Luppi in state of the art. It is equipped with a period Voxson radio-cassette. Auction Source: 2012 Sport & GTs au Mans Classic by Artcurial
1977 FERRARI 365 GT4 BB – sold for €119,136 When the owner of this Ferrari 365 GT4 BB bought it eight years ago, in used condition, he decided to restore it and took it to the Ropars Compétition workshop, situated at the Ferté-Gaucher circuit. He discovered that the business was looking after a competition BB, belonging to NART (North American Racing Team), chassis no. 18095. This car had participated in the 1977 Le Mans 24 Hours, finishing 16th overall, and first in class. Auction Source: 2012 Sport & GTs au Mans Classic by Artcurial
1974 Ferrari 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer – sold for $130,000 Approximately 17,300 original miles. One of only 387 built. The car remained in sunny, dry California for several years thereafter and was acquired by Bob Law in 1987. He commenced a complete restoration of the car in 1988, including a bare-metal refinish with the front and rear glass left in place to avoid damage, and the virtually irreplaceable original “mouse hair” dash was retained. Auction Source: 2011 Monterey Auction by RM
1975 Ferrari 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer 18419 – sold for $220,000 This low-mileage example shows just 33,000 kms and has had a single American owner for 33 years since its importation in 1978. Now with its first fresh, bare-metal repaint over an undamaged body, it is highly detailed and delightfully presented in its original, classic colors of Rosso Corsa with tan interior, complete with Daytona seats with black inserts. It comes with its original factory tool roll and owner’s books. Auction Source: 2011 Amelia Island Auction by RM Auctions
1974 Ferrari 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer – did not sell for €80,017 This car fulfils Ferrari expert John Apen’s absolute requirement of Boxers in that it has 100 percent complete paperwork. Records show the car was first registered by Maranello Concessionaires in April 1975 and used by none other than Col. Ronnie Hoare for six months, then sold to Ronald Symondson of Leatherhead, who kept it for 12 years and 24,000 miles. Anthony Hall in 1987 and M.J. Pearce in 1988 briefly drove it 1,000 miles apiece. Auction Source: 2010 Automobiles of London by RM Auctions