Automotive of the Week: This 1972 Ferrari Is Sleeker Than a Daytona and Twice as Uncommon

The Ferrari 365 GTC/4 is an unsung hero in the history of great GT automobiles. Debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in March of 1971, the model enjoyed just an 18-month production run. With only 505 examples built, it has forever stood in the shadows of its burly brother, the GTB/4 “Daytona,” of which 1,284 examples were made from 1968 through 1973.

The Daytona did everything a Ferrari needed to do. In the spirit of its predecessor, the 275 GTB, it looked like all business; fairly bursting the seams of its Pininfarina bodywork and leaving no doubt that it was a powerful, take-no-prisoners GT built for covering long distances at top speed. With space for only two occupants and a little luggage, and a hood long enough to make room for a 4.4-liter, Colombo-designed V-12 engine, the Daytona was the one to beat. Its design by Leonardo Fioravanti, the prolific penman who created, among other Ferrari masterpieces, the Dino and 308 GTB, was an instant hit.

The 1972 Ferrari 365 GTC/4 being auctioned through Gooding & Company.

Mike Maez, courtesy of Gooding & Company.

Yet Ferrari needed a 2+2, and with the 365 GTC/4, buyers got what was essentially a Daytona with two marginally useful rear seats that folded flat for luggage. Its crisp modern bodywork, designed by Pininfarina’s Filippo Sapino, was constructed by Scaglietti in Modena. The steel body, with an aluminum hood, used a fiberglass floor pan, footwells, and firewall bonded to the chassis. Both models shared the same engine, five-speed transmission, tubular spaceframe chassis (with 98.4-inch wheelbase), and suspension setup. With its engine pushed toward the firewall, the GTC was a good handler, with near-perfect 51:49 weight distribution, while softer spring rates and hydraulic power steering made for more comfortable driving than the Daytona.

The interior of a 1972 Ferrari 365 GTC/4.

The car has been repainted and reupholstered in its original color scheme.

Mike Maez, courtesy of Gooding & Company.

In July of 1972, the magazine Road & Track received a GTC that was loaned for the road test by Ferrari enthusiast and casino owner Bill Harrah. The reviewer was impressed with the car’s excellent handling on winding roads, but found the brakes wanting and missed the extra 30 hp delivered by the Daytona, concluding that “the car must succeed or fail as a work of art.” The 365 GTC/4 was originally priced at $27,500 new—$3,000 more than the Daytona and about the median cost of a house in the U.S. at the time.

The 4.4-liter, Colombo-designed V12 engine inside a 1972 Ferrari 365 GTC/4.

The 4.4-liter, Colombo-designed V-12 engine is paired with a five-speed transmission.

Mike Maez, courtesy of Gooding & Company.

This relatively uncommon Ferrari comes to Gooding & Company’s Geared Online auction, running from December 4 through 8. A lifelong Southern California car, it was delivered new to Beverly Hills and retained by its original owner from 1972 to 2006. Chassis No. 14959 is finished in the particularly desirable Marrone Colorado, a soft brown metallic that perfectly captures the aesthetic spirit of early 1970s-era Italian exotics and was the second most popular single shade, with 75 known examples.

One of 194 U.S. examples, this car uses a different exhaust, ignition, and air cleaners than those built for other countries, while adding side marker lights and emission controls. The model is also the first from Ferrari to have rubber bumpers, with a design that featured a synthetic resin noseband—in matte black—that characterizes this model and simplifies the form.

A 1972 Ferrari 365 GTC/4.

This example has 37,201 miles on it, and is being offered without reserve.

Mike Maez, courtesy of Gooding & Company.

A set of polished Borrani wire wheels embellishes the car’s graceful profile. Repainted and reupholstered in its original color scheme, the car is accompanied by a 2010 report from Ferrari expert Marcel Massini. With 37,201 miles at the time of cataloging, and an original set of tools in the trunk, it is offered without reserve and is estimated to fetch as much as $300,000.

Click here for more photos of this 1972 Ferrari 365 GTC/4.

A 1972 Ferrari 365 GTC/4.

The 1972 Ferrari 365 GTC/4 being offered through Gooding & Company.

Mike Maez, courtesy of Gooding & Company.

Source: Robb Report

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