The Berlinetta Boxer was meant to be the jewel in Ferrari’s crown—one of the fastest GT cars ever. Replacing the legendary V12 Ferrari Daytona the 365 BB was powered by a flat-12 “Boxer” engine, so named for the image of the horizontally located pistons punching at their opposite numbers. Mid engined, with a tubular chassis frame and clothed in a peerless Pininfarina-designed body (a mixture of alloy, fiberglass, and steel), the 365 was assembled by Scaglietti in Modena.
First unveiled in 1971 at the Turin Motor Show, the formidable 4.4-liter 380 bhp Boxer was so complex that deliveries to buyers did not start until 1973. The trouble was that Ferrari had suggested that the Boxer could top 185 mph (298 km/h), when it could actually only manage around 170 mph (274 km/h), slightly slower than the outgoing Daytona. In 1976, Ferrari replaced the 365 with the five-liter Boxer 512, yet the 365 is the faster and rarer model, with only 387 built.
In the classic car boom of the mid-Eighties, Boxers changed hands for crazy money. The 512 tripled in value before the stock market crash, with the 365 doubling. Now both machines are back to realistic levels.
Ventilated disc brakes were needed to halt the Boxer.
The Boxer could carry 26 gallons (120 liters) of gasoline.
Antenna for the radio was set in the windshield.
Ferrari’s aerodynamic styling meant that the Boxer had a very low drag coefficient.
The Boxer engine layout was favored because it allowed the whole car to sit that much lower, giving better aerodynamics and a lower center of gravity.
Wheels were the same as on the Daytona—cast alloy.
The 365 Boxer was the first mid-engined 12-cylinder production car to carry the Ferrari name. Cylinder heads were light alloy, holding two camshafts each. Fuel was supplied by two electrical pumps into four triple-throat Weber carburetors.
The Boxer was shod with ultrawide Michelin XWX 215/70 tires.
The entire engine/drivetrain ensemble was positioned longitudinally behind the cockpit.
Not many other production road cars came with six exhausts.
A handful of Boxer prototypes were subject to extensive testing. Preproduction cars were recognizable by a number of differences, one being the roof-mounted radio antenna—factory cars had them enclosed in the windshield. Pininfarina’s shape went virtually unchanged from the prototype into the production version.
This was fiberglass, along with the wheel-arch liners and bumpers.
The Boxer’s chassis was derived from the Dino with a frame of steel tubes and doors, oil pan, and nose in aluminum.
Slatted hood cooling vent helped keep interior cabin temperatures down.
An amalgam of racer and grand tourer, the Boxer’s cabin was functional yet luxurious, with electric windows and air-conditioning. Switches for these were positioned on the console beneath the gear lever.
The rear-mounted gearbox meant that only a small transmission tunnel was needed, saving cabin room.
A magnificent piece of foundry art, the flat-12 has a crankshaft machined from a solid billet of chrome-molybdenum steel. Instead of timing chains, the 365 used toothed composite belts, an innovation in 1973.
The Boxer had twin oil filters, one for each bank of six cylinders.
S P E C I F I C A T I O N S
MODEL Ferrari 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer (1973–76)
PRODUCTION 387 (58 RHD models)
BODY STYLE Two-seater sports.
CONSTRUCTION Tubular space-frame chassis.
ENGINE 4.4-liter flat-12.
POWER OUTPUT 380 bhp at 7700 rpm.
TRANSMISSION Five-speed all synchromesh, rear-mounted gearbox.
SUSPENSION Independent front and rear.
BRAKES Ventilated front and rear discs.
MAXIMUM SPEED 172 mph (277 km/h)
0–60 MPH (0–96 KM/H) 6.5 sec
0–100 MPH (0–161 KM/H) 15 sec
A.F.C. 14 mpg (4.2 km/l)