History of the 1973-1976 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 BB
When Ferrari introduced the 365 GTB/4 Berlinetta Boxer in 1973 as a replacement for the all-conquering 365 GTB/4 Daytona, the mid-engined 4.4-liter flat-12 marked a significant departure in the way the Maranello carmaker had always done business: it was the first Ferrari not powered by some kind of "V" type engine. Based on Ferrari's semi-successful Formula 1 3-liter boxer, it was the world's first flat-12 put to use in a passenger car.
The Pininfarina body was of the wedge variety, with many cues taken from the carrozzeria's striking P6 show car of 1968. Built upon a semimonocoque with fore and aft subframes, the car's low profile and the longitudinally mounted, horizontally opposed engine suited one another quite well.
With 344 hp on tap, the 365 BB loved to rev and screamed all the way. And it was quick, too, with a claimed top end of 188 mph, though a 40/60 weight distribution could make handling tricky at high speeds. For all their ferocity on the street, Ferrari Boxers never enjoyed much success on the race tracks of the world. Privateers had little luck with the 365.
Just 387 365 BBs were built before Ferrari unveiled the 512 BB for 1976, none of which were imported to the U.S. Thanks to the miracles of creative modifications, they are here now. And they serve as reminders of a thrilling period in Ferrari history when Enzo loosened the reins just enough to produce something even more radical than a front-engined V12.