In essence a closed version of the 275 GTS, the 330 GTC, which was the immediate forerunner of the 365 GTC, was first shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1966. Beneath the understated Pininfarina coachwork, there was the 4-liter version of Ferrari’s familiar, Colombo-designed two-cam, 60-degree V12 (as used in the 330 GT 2+2) mated to a 5-speed all-synchromesh transaxle. The chassis was of relatively short wheelbase, and the suspension independent all around by wishbones and coil springs. Naturally, there were disc brakes on all four wheels.

Introduced late in 1968 as a replacement for the 330 GTC and given its first public airing at Geneva in March 1969, the 365 GTC was virtually identical in appearance — apart from engine-cooling vents relocated in the bonnet, a feature it shared with last of the 330s.

Installing an 81-mm-bore 4.4-liter V12 in place of the 330 GTC’s 4-liter unit boosted mid-range torque and flexibility, while maximum power was raised to 320 horsepower at 6,600 rpm. Acceleration improved markedly, and the luxury coupe’s top speed increased to more than 150 mph. Less obvious to the eye were the refinements made to the drivetrain that achieved a marked reduction in cabin noise, a sign that Ferrari understood that 365 GTC customers valued comfort as well as high performance. A sumptuous leather-trimmed interior, electric windows and heated rear screen were standard equipment, while air conditioning could be ordered as an option. Like so many European sports cars, the 365 GTC (and convertible 365 GTS) would fall victim to increasingly stringent U.S. safety and emissions legislation. Production ceased after less than one year, during which time about 150 GTC and 20 GTS models left the factory.

Examples of this strikingly handsome, startlingly fast and much-underrated Ferrari Gran Turismo model rarely appear at auction. This right-hand-drive example offered has been fitted with a new set of wire wheels but comes with the original Borranis.

The car comes with full Ferrari Classiche certification in a red box file, current MoT certificate, Swansea V5C registration document and a very detailed history file containing MoTs dating back to 1974 verifying the mileage of circa 31,000. Presented in concours condition, 12721 represents a rare opportunity to acquire a low-mileage Ferrari 365 GTC possessing excellent provenance.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1969 Ferrari 365 GTC
Number Produced:168
Original List Price:$14,500
Tune Up Cost:$3,000
Club Info:Ferrari Club of America
Alternatives:Porsche Carrera RSL, Aston Martin DB6 Vantage, Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona coupe

This car, Lot 264, sold for $923,407, including buyer’s premium, at Bonhams’ Goodwood Revival auction on September 14, 2013.

Eric Clapton is one of many famous Ferrari collectors. In an interview with Nick Mason for The Official Ferrari Magazine, he describes his first encounter with one:

“My mate George Harrison came round to my house, Hurtwood Edge. He was a man with a great sense of style and aesthetics. Up till then he’d been buying Mercedes Pullmans. And then he pulled up in this sports car, and I’d never seen one in the flesh. It was a Ferrari 365 GTC. Dark blue with a tan interior. And it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.”

At the time, Clapton couldn’t drive a stick shift and turned down the offer to drive the Ferrari. However, Harrison left the car there and Clapton taught himself to drive a stick in it. It sparked his enthusiasm for the marque. Clapton would later order his own new 365 GTC, but this 365 GTC isn’t that car — this is a second one that he bought years later and subsequently resold.

Beauty and beast

There have been many superlatives written about the 330/365 GTC. The total balance of beauty and performance is usually credited — but it is the engines that set the bar. The 330 version has a 4-liter displacement that delivers 300 horsepower. The 365 version of the engine has 4.4-liter displacement yielding 320 horsepower. Both variations have a crisp, quick rev with a wonderful sound that makes you want to hold the last gear as long as possible. A friend said that he has never heard anyone get out of a 330 GTC and say they would like a little more power — but that’s what you get in the 365 GTC.

Ferrari never formally imported the 365 GTC to the U.S., and the car remains a bit of an enigma in this part of the world. Here’s a bit of background:

In 1967, Ferrari introduced a new 2+2 to replace the 330 GT 2+2, and as it was a bigger, heavier car, it needed a larger engine. A new 4.4-liter version of the venerable Colombo-designed V12 was introduced to meet the need. As the new 365 engine was physically the same size as the 330 engine, the new engine replaced the 4-liter engine in the GTC/GTS line.

The GTB/4 Daytona was introduced shortly thereafter, and the 365 GTC was discontinued. Only 168 330 GTCs and 20 365 GTSs were ever built. They were truly special cars, as they kept everything that made the 330 GTC so loved — while adding enough power to really make a difference. The 365 GTC is a stunning performer with acceleration that rivals the Daytona’s.

Trading places

A 365 GTC was traditionally valued at about a 20% premium over a 330 GTC. They were also valued a reasonable amount under a Daytona. As prices of classic Ferraris escalated, the delta between 330 GTCs and 365 GTCs stayed roughly the same, but a new paradigm emerged between the GTCs and the Daytonas.

Not that long ago, GTC prices were straddling $200,000 and Daytonas were straddling $300,000. A GTC was often the second choice of someone who couldn’t afford a Daytona.

When Daytonas starting hitting the $400,000 range and GTCs were closing in on $300,000, the GTC buyer pool changed. The new GTC buyer was far wealthier and did not have to settle for a second choice. Many of the buyers already owned a Daytona or had owned one before. They made conscious decisions that they wanted a GTC, and a Daytona was no longer a factor. Buyers began to pay up for exceptional examples, and in a blink, GTC prices eclipsed the Daytona’s.

Ticking all the boxes

There have been at least four 365 GTCs sold at auctions this year. The top sale was $1,072,500, with our subject car coming in second.

Our 365 GTC is a top example with a stellar history. It was the London Motor Show car. It had been owned by Eric Clapton and by BBC host Chris Evans. It had low mileage and was well documented. It was nicely restored. It was one of the few right-hand-drive 365 GTCs, and it came with full Ferrari Classiche certification in a red box file.

There was little not to like about this car, and the buyers agreed. The seller was probably a little disappointed that it didn’t set a new record — and the buyer was glad that it didn’t. If a car selling for three times what it would have just two years back can be called market-correct, then this was a market-correct result. ?

(Introductory description courtesy of Bonhams.)

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