Though it's only a letter off from the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 a.k.a. Daytona, the GTC/4 has a personality all its own. On the surface, the GTC/4 seems little more than a softened take on the Daytona theme. But the car has unique merits and deserves to be recognized as a brilliant grand tourer in its own right and not just as an easy to live with plaything for the rich.
While the GTC/4 will never command the same respect as a Daytona, it is an undoubtedly important car in Ferrari's history. The GTC/4 marked the turn of a new era for the Maranello-based firm.
In 1971, the year of the GTC/4's introduction, Fiat purchased a 40% stake of Ferrari under the guidance of Gianni Agnelli. This Ferrari was one of the first of the fabled manufacturer's creations to be produced by a no-longer independent company.
Purists may cry at the loss of independence to such a pedestrian car builder. As expected, Fiat brought an end to many of Ferrari's wasteful but delightfully extravagant habits. A period of dazzling one-offs and show cars was succeeded by a newfound consistency that only an expert in mass-production could bring. All this startled Ferrari faithful.
Though nobody can be blamed for lamenting the loss of some of the charisma that once characterized Ferrari, it has to be said that Fiat's buying into the company was no bad idea. Enzo Ferrari knew how to race cars, and he did a great job learning how to build them as well. He wasn't a businessman in the same vein as Gianni Agnelli, though. Great car manufactures have come and gone, but thanks to Fiat's intervention, Ferrari is poised to remain a world leader secure in both its historical and financial success.
Now back to 1971. Under Ferrari's new dependence, the GTC/4 was introduced in March at the Geneva Motor Show. Sharing mechanical similarities with the Daytona, the GTC/4 rode on a wheelbase of an extra 100mm and was sheathed in crisply pleated Pininfarina lines with just enough curvature to soften their visual impact.
Under the sheet metal was an all-alloy V12, mounted up front in the manner of a traditional Ferrari GT. It displaced 4.4L and boasted a compression ratio of 8.8:1. With two Marelli distributors, four camshafts, and six Weber carbs, the engine was able to produce a hearty 340hp at 6,800rpm. Torque was rated at 318lb-ft at 4,000rpm. These numbers were impressive, and remain so even today, for a naturally aspirated mill of relatively modest displacement.
Controlling the flow of power to the rear axle was a 5-speed with synchros for all gears. The car was suspended by an independent layout of unequal-length control arms at all corners. Four-wheel vented discs were standard fare.
Few concessions to Fiat's new leadership could be found in the mechanicals, most of which were familiar Ferrari touches. A couple giveaways of Fiat's desire to make this car's driving experience more accessible, though, could be found in the GTC/4's self-leveling rear suspension and ZF power steering. Both were standard, and both were hated by purists as much as they were loved by the American market.
Two rear seats were included with the GTC/4. These uninhabitable perches added little practicality to the Ferrari, but their presence has established the GTC/4 as a legitimate predecessor of the 400, 412, 456, and current 612 Scaglietti.
Rear seats and power steering aside, the GTC/4 looked and drove like a real Ferrari. It was the first production Ferrari to have a design aided by Pininfarina's new wind tunnel. The resulting shape had proportions a tad more relaxed than the Daytona, with a purity rivaled by few other 1970's exotics. Five-spoke Cromodora rims finished off the corners with the same clean detail. Four tail pipes trumpeted the GTC/4's arrival while complimenting the circular taillights.
This Ferrari's design has aged well. The body's beltline follows cleanly from the sweeping hood, and swoops down at the front windows before sloping back up at the rear quarter windows and ending crisply as it converges with the fastback roofline. In the process, distinctly triangular quarter windows are formed. The door handles, though used on many other Pininfarina designs including mass-produced cars like the Alfa Romeo Spider, carry the triangular theme and work surprisingly well for parts-bin pieces.
The bumpers themselves are great accomplishments. Federal safety regulations were growing relentless by the 1970's. Most companies assumed that to keep passengers safe, a car's design must inevitably suffer. Bumpers got bigger and cars got blockier. Ferrari's approach to the dreaded rubber bumper mandate, though, proved the existence of stylish means with which to counter strict new regulations. The GTC/4's rear bumper was light, delicate, and clean, free of fuss and well-incorporated with the design. Up front, the situation was even better. A matte black ring offsetting the sparkling grille, the front bumper was seamless in its execution and matched the GTC/4's design perfectly.
From any angle, the GTC/4 stands ready to cut into the landscape and turn miles into memories. An honest grand tourer, it can hold 27.6 gallons of fuel. With its power steering and sophisticated suspension, the GTC/4 can cruise effortlessly on the interstate. Maybe it lacks some of the soul of its ancestors. It remains, though, a perfect balance of Ferrari firepower and cool calm. An ideal car for the American market, Ferrari produced 500 of them in just two years. Whether viewed as a saving grace for Ferrari or as a diluted interpretation of a once pure brand, the GTC/4 defined a new age for its parent company.
Donnelly, Jim; Spiro, Don. 'Ferrari 365 GTC/4 .' Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Feb 2009: 18-23. Charman, Andrew. Ferrari. First. Bath, UK: Parragon Publishing, 2005. 'Details.' Ferrari 365 GTC/4 2006 4 Mar 2009 http://www.365gtc4.com/Reference/.By Evan AcuñaThe 365 Series was introduced in the late 1960's and stayed in production until the early 1970's. The 365's were often powered by a Columbo SOHC 4390 cc V-12 engine with three Weber carburetors capable of producing around 300 horsepower. The front and rear suspension for most of the series was independent with double wishbones and coil springs. The 365 GT4 2+2 had an independent with transverse parallelograms and coil springs suspension. The 365 California had a live axle with coil springs rear suspension. The chassis was an oval tube ladder-type frame layout.
Disc brakes were standard on all the vehicles, as was the five-speed manual gearbox. Many of the series received standard options such as power steering and air conditioning, uncommon at the time. When most manufacturers such as Lamborghini and DeTomaso were creating vehicles with mid-engined design, Ferrari continued to use their tried-and-true front-engined, rear-wheel design.
In 1967 Ferrari dominated the Daytona 24 Hours race with a first, second, and third-place finish. At the 1968 Paris Auto Show, the public and press were expecting Ferrari's new Berlinetta to be dubbed 'Daytona'. They were proven wrong when Ferrari dubbed the vehicle the 365 GTB/4, however, the name Daytona is a common reference to the vehicle even to this day. Ferrari had intended on using 'Daytona' but it was revealed prematurely so the traditional Ferrari naming sequence was used.
During its production lifespan lasting from 1968 through 1974, 1383 examples of the Pininfarina designed 365 GTB/4 Daytona vehicles were created.
The famous coachbuilder Pininfarina was tasked with creating many of the designs for the 365 Series. The designs were not new, rather they borrowed many of the styling cues of the prior 330 GTC and 275 GTS models. The headlights were courtesy of the 500 Superfast. The result was a visually stunning automobile with proven Ferrari mechanics and performance.
GT represented Gran Turismo. GTB represented Berlinetta or coupe. GTS stood for open models which were either a Targa roof or a full convertible. '4' represented four-cam engines. 'C' represented 'Competizione' or 'Corsa' meaning 'to race'.
365 California In 1966 Ferrari introduced the 365 California at the Geneva Auto Show as a replacement for the Ferrari 500 Superfast. The famous coachbuilder, Pininfarina, had been tasked with creating the body for the vehicle. The result was a two-door, two-seat, convertible. The 365 borrowed many of the mechanics of its predecessor including the five-speed manual gearbox, chassis, and suspension. The front of the vehicle was similar in design to the 500 with the remaining portions all new. With a top speed of 240 km/h, it was the fastest convertible in the world at the time. Disc brakes provided excellent stopping power for the 1300 kg vehicle. Production continued for only a year with a total of fourteen examples being created.
365 GT2+2 In 1967 Ferrari introduced the 365 GT2+2, only its second production four-seater vehicle. The vehicle would stay in production until 1971 during which around 800 examples being created.
The rear passengers had limited headroom but there was sufficient legroom for most passengers. The purpose of the vehicle was to provided performance and comfort. As a result, the vehicle was outfitted with electric windows, leather interior, power-assisted brakes, full carpeting, and optional air conditioning.
365 GTC Near the close of 1968, Ferrari introduced the 365 GTC which stayed in production until 1970. During the production lifespan, 168 examples were produced. The 365 GTC was basically a 330 GTC with a SOHC 4390 cc V-12 engine. Visually, the vehicle was very similar to its predecessor except for the air vents in the front wings had been removed. In their place were black vents placed in the back corners of the hood.
365 GTS The 365 GTS was a replacement for the 330 GTS. It featured a 4390 cc SOHC engine and had its cooling vents removed in favor of vents in the hood. Only twenty examples were created.
365 GTC/4 In 1971 Ferrari introduced the 365 GTC/4 as a replacement for the 365 GT 2+2. It sat atop a Daytona chassis and given an independent suspension. The same Daytona ventilated disc brakes were used. The gearbox was mounted in the front and the engine was the 4390 cc V12 but with six side draught Weber carburetors and wet-sump lubrication resulting in 340 horsepower.
The design was once again handled by Pininfarina. The two-door, 2+2 coupe had pop-up headlights and five-spoke alloy wheels. During its production lifespan lasting until 1972, around 500 examples were produced. Strict American safety and emission regulations were partly responsible for the demise of the GTC/4.
365 GT4 2+2 The 365 GT4 2+2 was debuted to the public at the 1972 Paris Auto Show as a replacement for the 365 GT 2+2 and the 365 GTC/4. It sat atop an enlarged 365 GTC/4 chassis and given the same mechanics. The larger chassis meant more interior room for the passengers, especially the rear passengers, and their luggage. The styling was once again assigned to Pininfarina. The design was different from the prior 365 models.
During its production lifespan lasting until 1976, 524 examples were created.
365 GT4 BB The 365 GT4 BB, meaning Berlinetta Boxer, was introduced to the public at the 1971 Turin Auto Show. Its styling was similar to the P6 show car built in 1968. The engine was a flat-12 cylinder power-plant mounted longitudinally. The gearbox was mounted under the engine. This was a great design but ultimately created an unbalanced weight distribution with most of the weight over the rear axle. The weight distribution problem and the fact that the engine was mounted high in the vehicle resulted in a car that had poor handling and never achieved successful racing status.
The 365 GT4 BB was replaced by the 512 BB in 1976. The 512 BB was similar in design but featured a five-liter engine. By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2006
The relationship between Sergio Pininfarna and Enzo Ferrari began in 1951. Since then, over 200 designs have been created. Pininfarina was responsible for many of the memorable Ferrari silhouettes including the 250 GTO, 275, 246 Dino, and the P45. Ce....[continue reading]
RM Sothebys reveals unique Ferrari F12tdf 120th Anniversary for upcoming Paris auction on 13 February widely known as a former press vehicle in the UK and Europe, uniquely carrying an Enzo Ferrari 120th anniversary plaque and driven by Sebastia...
Rare 1970 Ferrari 365 GT 22 on offer at Silverstone Auctions debut Autosport International Sale
One of just 52 right-hand drive examples, powered by a 4.4 litre V12
To be offered at auction at the Autosport International Sale on 12th January at N...
This year marks the 50th anniversary of what must surely be regarded as one of the most beautiful Ferraris ever made the Dino. Named in honour of Enzos son who designed the V6 engine used in the car and who sadly died at the age of just 24, it was...
1970 Ferrari 365 22 with 007 Pedigree Set to Cross the Block at Russo and Steeles 16th Annual Monterey Collector Automobile Auction Event!
Scottsdale, Arizona (June 24th, 2016) – First shown at Paris in 1967, the 365 GT 22 took place...
· RM Auctions announces a legendary 1964 Ferrari 250 LM by Scaglietti as the latest multi-million-dollar highlight for its flagship Monterey sale, August 15–16 in California
· 250 LM leads a superb roster of no less than 26 Ferraris at...