Ferrari’s first mid-engined 12-cylinder production road car, the 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer, was seen as early as 1971 in prototype form but did not go on sale until 1973. Designed to compete against the contemporary Lamborghini Miura and the newly-designed Countach, the 365 GT4 BB represented a major departure for Enzo Ferrari, replacing the front-engined Daytona. Ferrari had previously been of the opinion that such a powerful mid-engined road car would be too much for his customers, but eventually realized otherwise after the success of the mid-engined Dino racing cars, and of course the V6 mid-engined Dino road cars.
Most notably, the 365BB/512BB series was Ferrari’s first with a 180-degree flat 12-cylinder engine in a production car. From a design standpoint, the car is unmistakably related to its contemporaries like the 365 GTB/4 Daytona and 365 GTC/4, with its round taillights on its vertical rear and its sloping, dramatic lines. However, it also draws from the 1968 Ferrari P6 Berlinetta Speciale concept car with its mid-engine proportions, razor-sharp front end and visible lights. The 365 GT4/BB was clearly a Ferrari while also being something new entirely.
Just 387 examples (of which just 58 were UK right hand drive cars) were produced before production ceased in May of 1976. With those few hundred cars, Ferrari ended its incredible front-engine era and opened a promising new chapter of mid-engine excellence in one fell swoop.
The wonderful example on offer was ordered new in March 1975 by Ferrari royalty Colonel Ronnie Hoare; the chairman of Maranello Concessionaires UK. The original order form confirms that the blue metallic Dino paintwork with beige upholstery interior was the original specification. Also supplied new was five wheels and tyres, a tool kit, AC and Radio autovex melody. An order form document from marque specialist Tony Willis confirms the above.
The BB is accompanied by a comprehensive history file which consists of all major work carried out from 1982, including invoices for restoration work and maintenance work from specialist Nick Cartwright as well as many pictures detailing every stage of the restoration process including the bare metal respray that was recently undertaken. Also included is an original Ferrari tool kit and the original 365GT4/BB alloy wheels (the car currently sits on later 512BB alloys). Not only does this BB have great provenance but it also has bundles of character, the few custodians fortunate enough to own this car will know that it drives fantastically, the engine pulls well and the gearbox is smooth. A fantastic handling car with plenty of punch from the flat 12 motor. We are sure this early right-hand drive BB must be one of the best on the market today.