- Well sorted example of the first mid-engine 12-cylinder Ferrari production car
- One of just 367 examples constructed
- Powered by a 4.4-liter, flat 12-cylinder engine rated at 380 hp
- Presented in the striking “Boxer” combination of Rosso Dino over black with Pelle Crème upholstery
- Includes Ferrari Classiche Certification and copy of Marcel Massini history report
Following the introduction of the 365 GTB/4 “Daytona” in 1968, Ferrari engineers set to work on its successor. While the Maranello-based automaker had long been resistant to offering a mid-engine road car, with Enzo Ferrari himself reportedly fearing his customers would find it difficult to handle, the firm was forced to shift gears after both Lamborghini and Maserati debuted the configuration in their top offerings.
Benefitting from significantly improved weight distribution, handling, and traction, the mid-engine design had been the dominant configuration in Formula One for nearly a decade. Seeing the need to boldly respond to his competitors, Enzo relented and tasked his engineers with developing a road version of the company’s mid-engine racecars.
The resulting model was not only the first mid-engine Ferrari road car to wear the Cavallino Rampante marque (the previous Dino 206 GT built by Ferrari was not branded as such), but also the first not to sport a V-configuration engine. Drawing from the World Championship-winning, flat 12-cylinder “Boxer” Formula One and sports-racing engine, the new car’s powerplant was a revolutionary offering for the prancing horse. The flat 12-cylinder engine displaced 4.4-liters with a Silumin alloy engine block, double overhead camshafts, and light alloy pistons, and was fed by a quartet of triple-barrel Weber 40 IF 3C carburetors. The engine was said to be capable of producing 380 horsepower and could rocket to 60-mph in just over 6 seconds on its way to a near-180-mph top speed.
The mid-engine configuration gave almost perfect balance and ensured that the new car’s handling matched its stunning straight-line speed. These outstanding levels of performance made the 365 GT4 BB the world’s fastest production car when it debuted, passing the baton from its front-engine Daytona predecessor.
The 365 GT4 BB was well received upon its debut, with Road and Track declaring it one of the fastest cars the magazine had ever reviewed. Unfortunately, the 1973 world oil crisis crushed market demand, to the extent that only 367 examples were produced before the introduction of the succeeding 512 BB in 1976.
Presented in its factory-correct finish of Rosso Dino, a vibrant orange hue, this Berlinetta Boxer was completed by on 21 May 1974 for Italian delivery. Per the car’s history report by marque expert Marcel Massini, chassis number 17927 was dispatched to Dino Ravasio & Sons of Verona in June of 1974 and sold to its first owner, Mrs. Teresa Baravasse, that July. The 67-year-old Baravasse surely must have enjoyed touring the Italian Alps in her Boxer before selling it in 1981 to noted enthusiast and gentleman racer, the late Aldo Cudone, in who’s stable it would remain for the next two decades.
The car underwent a major service in 2009 at a cost of over $11,000. Work performed included the installation of a new idler pulley, oil seals, and factory exhaust pipes as well as an overhaul of the air-conditioning system. An assortment of service records is included with the sale. Numerous factory and dealer-supplied materials accompany the car, including a 1974 service and sales book, guarantee card, radio instructions, spare parts catalogue, and instruction manual, all in their correct leather pouches. Other documentation includes a Ferrari Classiche Certificate of Authenticity, history report by marque expert Marcel Massini, and a data sheet issued by the Automobile Club of Italy. Freshly serviced prior to the sale, including the all-important cambelts, by a marque specialist, this 365 GT4 BB was also treated to a thorough detail and presents extremely well.
While only a few hundred were built, the 365 GT4 BB is remembered for the seismic shift it caused at Ferrari, setting a tone for the marque which continues to this day. This well-sorted milestone Ferrari represents an essential addition to any serious collection.