1974 Ferrari 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer
For Sale: One of only 58 UK-supplied, right-hand drive 365 Boxers and almost certainly the lowest mileage example currently available.
Despite the fact that replacing the Daytona, long regarded as the ultimate Grand Tourer, seemed an impossible feat, the all-new 365 GT4 BB appeared on the world stage at the 1971 Turin Motor Show to a rapturous reception. With streamlined, low and extremely aggressive lines, it was the first production Ferrari to be fitted with the boxer-type, 12-cylinder engine derived from their Formula 1 car. The technical approach taken was completely different from that adopted on all other Ferrari models produced so far, and the architecture was not that of the classic front-engined V12s. The longitudinally-mounted engine featured opposing cylinder banks and the 'Boxer' reference in the car’s name was derived from the fact that the cylinder banks form an angle of 180° with opposing pistons moving in a fashion resembling a boxer’s arms. Consequently, the engine was wide and flat and, with the gearbox fitting neatly below it, the car’s centre of gravity was much lower. From a technical standpoint, this solution rendered design and construction considerably more complex and consequently, the gestation period for this model took longer than usual, however, it was definitely worth the wait. Engine displacement was 4400cc, generating 380bhp and a top speed of around 180mph, and these outstanding levels of performance led the 365 GT4 BB to be crowned the fastest production car in the world when it was first unveiled.
Here at Fiennes, we are delighted that we have been entrusted with the sale of this immaculate 365 Berlinetta Boxer. One of only 58 delivered new to the UK, chassis number #18259 has a rather intriguing history. According to copies of the build sheets and correspondence from Tony Willis of Maranello Concessionaires Archive, '18259' is finished in its original colour scheme of Azzuro Metallizzato with a Nero hide interior. The engine number '00259' matches that of the factory records, as does the body number '253', which may be found on the rear engine cover, front bonnet, and door handles.
Within the car’s history file is a copy of the original order from HR Owen to Maranello Concessionaires Ltd. dated 14th August 1974, a confirmation of the order from Ferrari dated 9th September 1974 to Maranello Concessionaires and a copy of the original delivery letter dated 2nd January 1975 recording the purchase price as £9,765. In early 1975, the Ferrari was shipped to sister-company Maranello Concessionaires Far East Ltd in Singapore and onwards to its first owner, believed to be the Thai Royal Family.
The Boxer returned to the UK in the mid-1980s and was purchased by a well-known collector of very special motor cars. There is very little history with the car prior to his purchase, however, there is a 1993 letter from Maranello Concessionaires confirming that the lack of early history was due to the very low mileage the car had covered since 1975. During this period, the Ferrari was repainted red and registered as 'AVS 471N'. The Boxer remained in the collection until 1995, although it was rarely driven and in early 1994 it benefited from engine work carried out by Prowess Racing, necessitated by its long period in storage and presumably to prepare it for its sale to Paul Simon in early’95 with a recorded mileage of 1,550 (the odometer currently reads 4,578 miles). Invoices on file from Ferrari specialist John Etheridge dating from October 2001 total £5,957 and further work was carried out by official Ferrari dealer Francorchamps Motors of Brussels in 2006 amounting to £8,800.
#18259' was laid up for a number of years prior to 2016 and subsequently underwent a full re-spray in its original colour of Azzuro Metallizzato together with a full re-trim in black leather. The engine was removed at the same time and fully overhauled with new exhaust valves and rebuilt heads with the work being carried out by Ferrari specialists Neal Lucas of Camberley who also fitted a rare Ansa sports exhaust, which it retains today. The decision was taken to replace the original gearbox with another of the correct type, however, the original gearbox casing is supplied with the car should a new owner seek ‘Classiche’ Certification.
In December 2019, the car was treated to a substantial engine-out cambelt service, new rear crankshaft oil seal, oil heater exchange pipes and the carburettors set up and balanced. The imminent arrival of COVID-19 ‘lockdown’ meant that the Boxer has only covered a few miles since this work and should now be able to offer a long maintenance-free period.
The 365BB is a rare car, particularly in this lovely shade of metallic blue, and with a mileage of less than 5,000 is probably unrepeatable. As one of the last of the hand-built Ferraris, they are becoming increasingly collectable and we are delighted to offer this superb example.