In 1966 Ferrari presented the 365 California Spider as the first new model of a full model line. From 365 GT 2+2, 365 GTC and 365 GTS it reached the 365 GTB/4 and later the 365 GTC/4 and 365 GT4 2+2 – the final model with the 4.4 V12 engine – before the 365 GT/4 BB showed the numbering a last time, although it technically was a new concept with mid-mounted 180°-V12 engine. One car is missing in our list above, for a good reason: We would like to introduce you to the 365 GTS/4.
As direct successor to the 275 GTB the 365 GTB/4 had big footsteps to fill. Next to that there was a new competitor from the neighborhood called Lamborghini Miura. Its mid-engined layout wasn’t copied by Enzo Ferrari as he thought it wouldn’t work in sports car for the roads. Therefore the 365 GTB/4 was developed with front-engined layout and rear-wheel drive. With its name the car directs to the capacity of each cylinder, 365 cubic centimeters. If you multiply this number by 12 for all combustion chambers you get 4,380 cubic centimeters, which is 10 short of the real displacement (but 365.8333333 would have been a strange model designation). GTB is short for Gran Turismo Berlinetta and only given to the Coupés, as the Spiders were called GTS. The added 4 links to the four camshafts. It got the public nickname Daytona, which wasn’t used by factory but came from racing success during the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1967 with the 330 P3 and 412P prototypes.
World premiere of the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 took place at the Paris Motorshow 50 years ago and immediately ensured orders in Maranello. No wonder, the V12 which was developed by Gioacchino Colombo not only got bigger displacement, a drysump oil system and four overhead camshafts, but also more power: 259 kW/352 PS. Therefore it was more powerful than the Miura P400. Because of the engine which was mounted as far back as possible and the transaxle-style gearbox at the rear axle the weight distribution was great.
About a year after the presentation of the Coupé Ferrari showed the Spider version called 365 GTS/4 at IAA in Frankfurt. It took many styling elements like the long, slowly sweeping bonnet, the waist line and the four round rear lights from the Coupé version which was designed by Leonardo Fioravanti. But it also got its own details like the cloth folding roof and the sedan-like rear side with big trunk compartment. While early Coupés had double headlights behind plexiglass, this was changed in autumn 1970 because of US regulations for folding headlights (which by now aren’t allowed worldwide for new cars for quite some time). Only the very first Spider for its world debut in Paris got the plexiglass lights, all customer cars came with folding lights.
Scaglietti was responsible for producation of Coupé and Spider versions of the 365 ‘Daytona’. The open cars have been fitted with additional braces to get more torsional stiffness. For example behind the seats, at the firewall and inside the windscreen frame. Also the front wheel wells were made from steel instead of plastic at the Coupés. After its world debut in Frankfurt it took nearly two years until the first 365 GTS/4 were delivered to customers. All together only 121 examples have been built of which 96 were exported to the USA while 18 stayed in Europe, seven with RHD configuration.
One of these rare Ferrari 365 GTS/4 with LHD European configuration is for sale with JD Classics in Great Britain at the moment. It is the third delivered Spider with chassis number 14415. After a short while in Italy it was sold to a new owner in Cherbourgh/France, then exported to the USA. There it got repainted from its original blue metallic (Blu Dino) with white sidestripes to a typical red. 20 years later it changed owners again and crossed another ocean on its way to Japan, where it stayed for a short period of time before returning back to the US and changing its color to black during a big restoration. A few more owners followed and one of them repainted the car back to its original blue paint. The price for this rare car is only available on application at JD Classics, but should be one with seven digits for sure.
Images: JD Classics