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Four Fantastic Ferraris by Pininfarina From the 70s and 80s

1972-1976 Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2 Prototipo by Pininfarina

The Ferrari 365 line of cars is quite possibly the most confusingly named series of products since the advent of mass manufacturing. There was the 365 GTB/4, the 365 GT 2+2, the 365 GT4 BB, the 365 GTC, the 365 GTC/4, the 356 California, and finally, the 365 GT4 2+2. And, each of those is an almost completely different car. But the 365 GT4 2+2 was especially different in that it was so big, even compared to other 2+2 Ferrari models, and nearly sedan-like in its proportions. It was introduced in 1972 as a replacement for the short-lived 365 GTC/4.

The 365 GT4 2+2 would evolve into the 400, then the 400i, and finally the 412 while retaining the same basic overall design. Some controversial decisions would be made by Ferrari when it came to this car in its later stages, but the 365 has the distinction of being made before all of that happened, and saying that you like the 365 doesn't need to be qualified. The 365 is still an unusual car for a Ferrari, though, almost more of a luxury car than a 2+2 grand tourer.

The 365 GT4 2+2 was styled by Leonardo Fioravanti of Pininfarina, the same man who had designed the Daytona, and there are a lot of similarities in the two designs. The 365 GTC/4 that the GT4 replaced was even more similar, but there was some downside to adding a back seat to a design that was never meant to have one. The seats weren't very big, and the slope of the fastback roof meant that headroom was a sort of cruel joke.

The GT4 was built using the same chassis, but the wheelbase was stretched by 7.9 inches (and overall length by 10.3 inches) to allow more room for the back seat. The roof was redesigned as well, obviously for the sake of headroom. The resulting "three-box" design was surprisingly understated, and opinions tend to be divided.

In the days before Ferrari had any V-8 models, the company made the bulk of its profits off of bigger 2+2 grand tourers. So with the 365, Ferrari gave the public the closest thing to a daily driver the company ever produced. The big spacious interior could seat four, and air conditioning came standard. Ferrari also went back to offering a full leather interior as standard, after briefly offering the 365 GTC/4 with a partial cloth plaid interior. Many people will tell you that plaid interiors are underrated, I might even be one of them, but you can see the argument against cloth seats in a Ferrari.

The many Ferrari models with the 365 name used a version of the Colombo V-12 engine with the same 4.4-liter displacement. This is, in fact, all that the 365 nomenclature meant, that the engine displaced 365cc per cylinder. Not all versions of the 365 engine were the same, but the GT4 2+2 got its engine from the GTC/4 completely unchanged. The "/4" in the older car's name meant that the engine was a quad-cam, and this remains true on the GT4 2+2, even though it was dropped from the name.

Unlike later versions of the car, the 365 was offered only with a manual transmission. The engine made the same 340 horsepower as it did before and continued to make 340 horsepower when it was enlarged for the 400. The figure dipped for the 400i and its pollution controls, but the 412 saw power rise back to 340 horsepower. Apparently, that was exactly the right amount. But, it is often misattributed as the starting point of Ferrari automatics by virtue of looking almost the same as the 400.

Pictured Above: Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2 Prototipo (Pininfarina), 1972

Pictured Above: Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2 (Pininfarina), 1972-76


1976-1979 Ferrari 400 by Pininfarina

A replacement for the 365 GT4 2+2 came by 1976 by the name of the Ferrari 400. As with the model it replaces, the name refers to the swept volume of a single cylinder.

To visually differentiate the 400 from the 365 GT4, the first comes with a body-colored chin spoiler, five-bolt fixed rims, paired circular stoplights, and the deletion of the emblem from the radiator grille. The interior got more sumptuous, with better seat upholstery, different stitching, patterns, and slightly changed switchgear.

The underpinnings of the 400 are almost identical to the 365 GT4 2+2. The car was available in two forms: the 400 Automatic, which was also the first Ferrari with an automatic transmission (Borg-Warner 3-speed automatic), and the 400 GT, coming with a 5-speed manual box. A total of 502 units were built - 355 automatics and 147 manuals. No US versions were made.