Ferrari 365 GTC4. Half a century for the daily version of the Daytona

Fifty years ago, the Ferrari 365 GTC4 was presented at the Geneva Motor Show. First street model developed under the supervision of FIAT and 2 + 2 version of the Daytona. An attempt by Ferrari for the day to day that, despite its lights and shadows, remains in the retina as one of the models that launched the transition to the new era marked by the beginning of the seventies, the expansion in the United States. United and wedge design.

1969 was a key year for FIAT but even more so for Ferrari. And it is that at that time those from Maranello ceded 50% of their company to the conglomerate led by Gianni Agnelli. Of course, Ferrari reserving full control over the sports area to leave the management of the series vehicles to the experienced FIAT executives. In addition, in the field of design Ferrari faced the mechanical and aesthetic changes announced for the early 8s. Decade in which he inaugurated his V308 engine saga with the 1975 in XNUMX.

Thus, one of the last models presented before the agreement with FIAT was the 365 GTB known unofficially as Daytona. Denomination in memory of the crushing triplet achieved in 1967 by the 330 P4 during the 24 hours of that circuit. A GT model in the purest Maranello tradition. Powered by a mighty 12-liter naturally aspirated V4 positioned longitudinally up front to deliver 4CV as it gleefully climbs above 352rpm. All dressed in a Pininfarina body from Leonardo Fioravanti's pencils.

Designer who perfectly understood the impact of the new wedge design, adapting his lines to the next decade of the seventies. In that sense, the bodywork of the Daytona had nothing to do with that of its predecessor the 275 GTB. A model marked by the smooth and rounded forms of the sixties, still indebted to the 250 GTO and other examples of the golden age of the GT. In this way, the 365 GTB mounted a sharp design with straight lines and aggressive angles. Features inherited from its 2 + 2 version. The 365 GTC4, which is now 50 years old, being the first series Ferrari developed under the control of FIAT.


Traditionally, the 2 + 2s have been models that the Ferrari fans have never considered among the “cavallinos”Highlights. However, these star in a saga that has its precedent in some models of the fifties that already had two brief rear seats. Foundation on which the saga started in 1960, when The 250 GT 2 + 2 debuted as the first series-produced four-seat Ferrari. A powerful but elegant and practical vehicle, clearly indebted to the lines set by Pininfarina in the Lancia Florida prototypes.

Good start for the 2 + 2 saga, which continued with the two series of the 330 GT 2 + 2. Enzo Ferrari's favorite vehicle for day to day, whose practicality cannot make us forget that it is an authentic V12 like other four-seater Ferraris such as the 456 or the 612 Scaglietti. History in which the 1971 GTC365 was inserted in 4 as the 2 + 2 derivative of the Daytona, which not only separates the body but also certain mechanical adjustments to smooth the response of the engine with 320CV. In that sense, your V12 was tamed to lower the maximum rpm.

A fact that made the 365 GTC4 a less nervous four-seater than the Daytona two-seater. More comfortable to drive, with excellent torque and good low-end handling. In addition, regarding the body Pininfarina did an excellent job of getting the two rear seats inserted without altering the proportions of a coupe.. Some lines that completely break with the schemes of the previous decade, following precisely the postulates of the wedge design to end in a rear cut in Kammback style.


Speaking of habitability, we must specify that a real four-seater is not the same as a 2 + 2. And, while the first type accommodates four adults without problems, the second only guarantees space for children or suitcases. A characteristic limitation of the 365 GTC4, which is one of the most concise four-seater Ferraris in its habitability. In fact, although its many extras define it as a comfortable sports car adapted to everyday life, the rear seats find their best use when they are folded down. Provision with which a wide luggage platform is created.

For this reason, the 365 GTC4 was only manufactured for a little less than two years, ceasing production when it reached 500 units. Most of it directed to the American market, where by emission laws they had to be incorporated some new exhaust manifolds that capped even more power. However, the saga of the four-seater Ferraris continued with the 365 GT4 2 + 2. A rectilinear model with which the aesthetic transition was finalized towards the seventies together with the presentation in 1971 of the first Berlinetta Boxer.

All this with the United States in mind, which is why its first update came to offer a version with automatic transmission. An aberration for many purists, but that on the other side of the Atlantic was an applauded feature as can be seen from the success of the 365 GT4 and its updates to the 400 and 412. Milestones in the four-seater Ferrari saga, which goes all the way up to the past 2020 with the GTC4 Lusso and its 690CV in the V12 version. A story in which the 365 GTC4 turns 50 since in 1971 it was presented as the first series Ferrari developed under the supervision of the FIAT Group.

Photographs: Ferrari / RM Sotheby's

P.D. The unit chosen to illustrate the article is chassis 14461. One of the models to be auctioned for RM Sotheby's within the Guikas collection. Which will take place on November 19 in the town of Le Castellet -south of France-.

What do you think?

Miguel Sánchez

Written by Miguel Sánchez

Through the news from La Escudería, we will travel the winding roads of Maranello listening to the roar of the Italian V12; We will travel Route66 in search of the power of the great American engines; we will get lost in the narrow English lanes tracking the elegance of their sports cars; We will speed up the braking in the curves of the Monte Carlo Rally and we will even get dusty in a garage while rescuing lost jewels.


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