Ferrari 365GTC/4

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You know the 365GTC/4. It’s obviously not to be confused with the 365GTB/4 Daytona, or with the 365GTS/4, or with the 365GTC, GTS, GT 2+2, GT4 2+2 or BB. The 365 GTC/4 is the other one, the forgotten Ferrari that really is worth discovering. Indeed, some rate it as the most underestimated Ferrari of all.

When it was first unveiled in 1971, initial reactions to the 365GTC/4 were not altogether glowing. In the US, Road & Track magazine assessed it as a ‘Ferrari for the mature enthusiast’.

This was faint praise, but praise nevertheless compared with portions of the Italian media who nicknamed it 'il gobbone', the humpback. And in the UK one journalist dubbed it a ‘Daytona for shopping’

The GTC/4 could never compete with the 365GTB/4 Daytona, but it wasn’t supposed to. If the B of the Daytona stood for blood and thunder belligerence, the C of the GTC/4 represented calm, composure and even civility.

The GTC/4’s 4.4-litre V12 was slightly detuned, the cabin was more airy, it had power steering and a nominal 2+2 configuration. It was a 160mph-ish luxury express, a Gran Turismo Coupe like it says on the tin.

But what of the looks? The GTC/4 was considered ugly when I was a kid. Not any more. Looking back, it’s now clear that the Daytona was the last gasp of a dinosaur breed, while the GTC/4’s Pininfarina-penned combination of linear curves, crisp edges and lack of garnish were a turning point and ultimately far more influential.

Moreover, Ferrari devotees will argue that, point to point, the slipperier, smoother, more civilised GTC/4 is actually quicker than the faster Daytona because it won’t wear you out and beat you up. The rarer GTC/4 also costs a great deal less. It’s just a pity that Pininfarina adopted the Edsel-style horse-collar grille, moulded it in black and mounted it sideways.

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Ferrari 365GTC/4 Coupe


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