1971 Ferrari 365 GTC 4
1971 Ferrari 365 GTC 4
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When first introduced in 1970, the 365 GTC/4 was Ferrari’s top of the line model, a fast but civilized 2+2 intended for the well-heeled enthusiast who could drive this car daily. Enzo himself always drove (or had himself driven) in the 2+2 variants of the cars that bore his name. The GTC/4, having been specifically designed to meet growing premium markets for clientele seeking Ferrari performance in a comfortable touring car, offered more interior space, functional air conditioning, and power steering. In 1971, the first production cars were delivered, offering a welcome balance of thoroughbred performance and luxury. The beautiful Filippo Sapino designed, Pininfarina-built car received resounding praise from the motoring press who lauded the new crisp and progressive body architecture as dynamic while being considerably more manageable to drive than the 365 GTB/4 “Daytona” produced during the same period.
Although the 365 GTC/4 shared many mechanical components with the Daytona, the new Pininfarina design, featured pop-up headlights and an impact absorbing perimeter front bumper which uniquely distinguished the GTC/4 from any other Ferrari. Even the remarkable V12 engine, which put out 335 hp, was modified by fitting six twin-choke side draft Weber carburetors instead of the Daytona down draft type, with the sole purpose of allowing a lower, more dramatic hood line. The 365 GTC/4 achieved performance numbers comparable to the Daytona, offering greater comfort, while allowing for two, albeit diminutive, rear seat passengers. During the brief two-year production run of 1971-1972, Ferrari built only 505 of these rare V12 front-engine rear-wheel-drive touring cars.
History and Build Details of This Car
According to the Marcel Massini report accompanying this Ferrari, this beautifully finished GTC/4 is a US specification left-hand drive example originally finished in Verde Pino and optioned with full leather interior, instruments in miles, air conditioning, and power windows. Assembly sequence #19 indicates this is a very early car further verified by the December 1971 factory completion tag mounted in the door jamb. In February 1972, the car was delivered new to Charles “Chic” Vandagriff’s Hollywood Sports Cars, Hollywood, CA. The car remained unsold until early 1973 when it was sold to the first owner in Los Angeles, CA, 1973, subsequently assigning a 1973 year to the title. In May 1979 the car was offered for sale in Los Angeles, described as sold new in 1973. In March 1984 the car was offered for sale in Ferrari Market Letter by Roger Joseph, Longmont, CO. At that time, it was described as dark green metallic (Verde Pino) with full tan leather and 60,000 meticulously maintained miles. By 1986, the car was offered for sale by Centennial Motor Company, Boulder, CO in the Ferrari Market Letter, this time noted with recent red paint and 63,000 miles. By 2007 Paul Phillips, Palm Coast, FL purchased the car. In 2016 the car was sold to the current consigning owner.
Under current ownership this Ferrari was treated to a bare metal respray by top Ferrari paint expert Steve Beckman with careful attention paid to minor rust including the right subframe and other minor metal body areas prone to rust. Efforts for the body and paint work totaled $44,000. Under the hood, the engine was comprehensively rebuilt under the supervision of expert engine builder Rod Drew, totaling $60,000. Additional work included tending to many detailed parts and features of the car to make sure the quality of the finishes was the best that could be achieved.
During the restoration the engine rebuild included boring and line honing the block and replacing the crank with a 400i unit which slightly increased displacement due to a 2mm longer stroke. The rebuild included new main bearings, new CP pistons and Carrillo rods, new valves, valve guides, oil seal rings, cap lash and valve buckets, new motor mounts, and sealing o-rings. For the timing case, a new timing chain and belts, tensioner, side pad, and Renold tensioner were installed. The gearbox was also rebuilt with new synchro rings and a new slider, including the thrust bearing, mounts, gaskets, and oil seals. Additional work included the following new parts: master cylinder, new clutch, thermostat, thermal switch, Magneti Marelli electronic control units, battery, fuel filters, oil filters, air filter, ignition wires and spark plugs, fuel pumps, hood struts, a new AC compressor and drier. The following items were rebuilt: the water pump, oil pump, starter motor, alternator, distributor, brake booster, radiator, electrical fans, condenser, lights and turn signal indicator, radio, and clock. All six dual throat Weber carburetors were removed, cleaned, rebuilt, and reinstalled. Based on their serial numbers, they are believed to be original to the car.
While the car was under restoration, the interior was removed and comprehensively reupholstered in beautiful tobacco leather including door panels rear seating area, and new carpets.
Today, this stunning Ferrari presents as possibly one of the best examples of a 365 GTC/4 in existence today. Seldom restored to this level of excellence, the finishes and mechanical performance are impressive. In addition to being a very early car (the 19th delivered), the restoration has spared no expense to deliver quality finishes throughout. Refinished in stunning deep blue, the paint has a wonderfully smooth, glossy finish. Even critical inspection of the various trim, window moldings, and details reveals exceptional quality and care afforded to all finishes. The panel fit and closures are very well done, including the doors which close with a crisp ping. Unlike many GTC/4s, the front and rear bumpers are in beautiful condition with excellent fit to the front of the car and no visible warping to these distinctive surfaces. The original Casalegno and Sigla glass pieces, including the windshield, are in excellent condition as are the delicate chrome trim window surrounds, door handles, and side marker lights. The car sits on correctly finished Cromodora wheels with chrome center hubs and knockoffs wearing correctly sized Pirelli tires. The dramatically sloped rear glass and rear deck are design features unique to this model, accented by handsome quad tailpipes evoking the desirable V12 sound.
The interior is in exceptional condition throughout with a cohesive appearance consisting of warm tobacco leather and correct materials for the dashboard, headliner, rear seating area, and carpeting. The seats are comfortable and properly bolstered with just the right give to the seat structure and perfectly tailored seat pleats, piping, and seat details. The door panels and armrests have been correctly reupholstered using contoured material to match factory specifications. The “mousehair” dash material properly covers the top of the dash and instrument binnacle. The dash is pleasing to the touch and the material still fits tautly. The instrumentation is clear, the dial faces are visually crisp, and the switches and various knobs appear in excellent overall condition.
The original engine and engine compartment is reflective of the care and detail performed during the restoration. The level of appearance and overall cosmetic presentation is both correct, accurate, and certainly capable of concours level competition. The engine displays correctly rebuilt original components, proper hardware, and fasteners, reflective of the detailed work performed on this car. The six side-draft Weber carburetors, factory air cleaners, and correct cam cover finish are among the many correct details of this restoration. The trunk has been properly finished with black carpet, concealing a correct wheel and tire. The underside is straight, and solid, representative of the high-quality restoration performed on the car.
The car starts easily warm or cold, settling into a smooth idle while delivering a wonderful exhaust note. The seating position is particularly good, especially for drivers with long legs. The gearbox is easy to use with good synchromesh working in harmony with the clutch. The brakes operate well, tracking evenly and coming down from higher speeds with ease. Acceleration is brisk, exhibiting progressive power as revs climb, and composed handling at higher speeds. Visibility is expansive due to the sweeping rear glass and quarter windows. The car comes with an original owner’s manual set, jack, hub spanner, jack bag and accessories, tool set in factory suitcase, and four music cassette tapes ranging from the dulcet tones of Led Zeppelin to wildly creative Gregorian Chants.
The beautifully designed Ferrari 365 GTC/4 is a compelling vintage Ferrari embodying all the desirable vintage front-engine V12 attributes in an attractive, usable, and comparatively affordable package. Although nearly three times as many Daytonas were built when compared to the 365 GTC/4, the GTC remains a fraction of the price today and are easily the more enjoyable car for touring and GT motoring. Elegant and well-appointed, this beautifully restored 365 GTC/4 presents as a rare opportunity to purchase one of the most usable highest-performing classic Ferraris ever built.