Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, a milestone in front-engined Coupé cars



The Ferrari 365 GTB/4 was built by the Maranello car manufacturer between 1968 and 1974.


But it is only following the sweet revenge of the Maranello car manufacturer against Ford, with the victory and the arrival in parade of the three Ferrari 330 P4s at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1967, that public opinion dubbed the new model of the 365 series with the name of the American circuit in question, in honor of this success.


The car was originally built in a Coupé version in 1968, but following pressure from the importer Luigi Chinetti, a further Spyder version was built in 1969 for the American market, called Ferrari GTS/4.



The Ferrari 365 GTB/4 was therefore officially presented at the 1968 Geneva Motor Show like many other Prancing Horse cars of that period, effectively taking the place of the 275 GTB/4, from which it also inherited the engine: a V12 with four shafts to overhead cams, powered by six 40 millimeters double-barrel Weber carburettors, which thanks to the dry sump lubrication, therefore with the circuit always under pressure and without cup, delivers a power equal to 325 hp, bringing the Daytona to close to a speed maximum of 280 km/h.


Compared to the previous model, the mechanics therefore vary only in detail, with the classic 4.390 cm³ Ferrari V12 mounted in the longitudinal front position, while the five-speed manual gearbox is arranged at the rear in block with the self-locking differential according to the transaxle scheme, guaranteeing distribution optimal weights.


The double coil and the ignition distributor are arranged behind the engine and on the American models the ignition is electronic.



The front and rear suspension adopt a new geometry with independent wheels with superimposed wishbones, a refinement of the solution already seen on the previous 275 GTB/4 from 1964, after the latter abandons the now obsolete rigid axle scheme.


As for the braking system, there are four self-ventilated disc brakes and the brake booster, and for cars destined for the American market, the wheels are fixed via a large central nut, while all the other models are equipped with a screwed wing nut. on a Rudge type hub.


The car body, built with main tubulars of large section and oval shape, reinforcing arms and supporting structure, is mounted on a chassis with a wheelbase of 2400 millimeters and the odd nomenclature typical of road Reds is adopted on all of them; while the bodywork, curated by Turin-based Pininfarina, sees the signature of Leonardo Fioravanti, and the design immediately denotes a sporty but at the same time elegant setting thanks to the extremely clean line, presenting a semi-circular rib at half height of the car body it runs along the entire perimeter of the vehicle starting from the top of the wheel arches, a feature then exploited for the subsequent 2+2 models of the Maranello car manufacturer.



At the front, the car is equipped with a huge engine hood with twin rectangular air vents, while the rear driving position flows smoothly up to the rear truncated tail, equipped with a pair of round lights positioned above the two corner bumpers.


The doors and hood are made entirely of aluminum, thus covering a completely new central trellis frame built by the Scaglietti bodywork.


The interior is carpeted and has a five-light configuration, with a huge windshield and a flat rear window, while the seats are made of fine leather.



The first prototypes leave the factory with a nose inspired by the outgoing 275 GTB/4 model, but the definitive line is radically modified with a much more wedge-shaped design, with a wide plexiglass strip behind which they find the double optical groups. while on the sides there are the position lights and direction indicators.


In 1971, the lights were replaced and completely redesigned due to an American legislative update, which did not allow the placement of the lights behind the plexiglass covers, and since this car was specially designed to meet American regulations, it was re-designed. with a double retractable system.


An alternative with fixed optical groups is also studied, but it is immediately evident that this solution would ruin the clean style of the nose, while a mobile solution allows you to maintain the original line.


For the Maranello company, the 365 GTB/4 represents the end of a cycle.



In fact, this car is the last powered by the legendary 12-cylinder to be designed independently by the Maranello car manufacturer, before FIAT took over the production of the Reds intended for road use.


It is also the last 12-cylinder car to be sold on American soil through official channels, and it will have to wait until 1984 to review a 12-cylinder Ferrari among the new models on sale in the windows of American dealers.


The reason for this absence will be caused by the very high costs that the manufacturer would have had to incur to adapt its cars to the increasingly stringent constraints imposed by American laws.


One year after the presentation of the GTB/4, a Spyder version called GTS/4 was announced at the Paris Motor Show in 1964: visually identical to its sister Coupè, the GTS/4 differs only in the foldable top and in the luggage compartment lid, proving to be at the same time extremely popular, collecting ten percent of revenues deriving from models attributable to the GTB/4 model.



The cars remained in production until the end of 1973, and considering the replacement times of the previous models, the marketing period can be defined as rather long and lasting.


However, the distinction between the GTB/4 Coupé and GTS/4 Spyder is not so clear-cut.


In fact, many examples of the Spyder version originally come out of the Maranello factory with the 365 GTB/4 plate, like the closed version, so only very few of the original Spyder version have the 365 GTS/4 plate.


In addition, a fair number of Coupé versions will be converted to Spyder in the early 1970s.


Currently, the value of the car in the Coupé configuration is around 1.8 million euros, while a model in the Spyder configuration is around 2.47 million euros.


DATA SHEET


Front engine, longitudinal, 12V 60 °

Bore and stroke 81x71mm

Unit displacement 365.86 cm³

Total displacement 4390.35cm³

Compression ratio 8.8:1

Maximum power 259 kW (352 hp) at 7500 rpm

Specific power 80 hp/liter

Maximum torque 431 Nm (44 kgm) at 5500 rpm

Double shaft distribution, 2 valves per cylinder

Powered by six Weber 40 DCN 20 carburettors

Mono ignition, two distributors

Dry sump lubrication

Single plate clutch

Car body


Length 4425 mm

Width 1760 mm

Height 1245 mm

Wheelbase 2400 mm

Front track 1440 mm

Rear track 1453 mm

Weight 1200 kg when empty


Frame


Front independent suspension, wishbones, coaxial coil springs with telescopic shock absorbers, anti-roll bar

Independent rear suspension, wishbones, coaxial coil springs with telescopic shock absorbers, stabilizer bar

Self-ventilated disc brakes

Five-speed manual gearbox + reverse gear

Steering screw and tapered roller

Fuel tank capacity 128 liters

215/70 VR 15 front tires

215/70 VR 15 rear tires

Performance


Maximum speed 280km/h

Acceleration 0-100 Km/h not declared

Course from 0 to 1000 meters in twenty-four seconds


Andrea Rasponi

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