1974 Ferrari 365
Year of manufacture1974
Chassis numberF102AB 18259
Number of seats2
1974 Ferrari 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer
Coachwork by Pininfarina/Scaglietti
Registration no. AVS 471N
Chassis no. F102AB 18259
Unquestionably one of the greatest cars Ferrari has ever built, the 365GT4 Berlinetta Boxer debuted at the 1971 Turin Show in prototype form and commenced production in 1973 almost unaltered. An entirely new model and the first road-going Ferrari not to have a vee-configuration engine, the 356 GT4 reflected Ferrari's motor racing heritage; its 4.4-litre, four-cam, 'boxer' engine drew on experience gained from the Maranello firm's World Championship-winning, flat-12 Formula 1 and sports-racing units and developed no less than 360bhp at 7,700rpm. Rumours abounded that the prototype Boxer had run at over 180mph, and even though the production version managed 'only' around 175mph there can have been few disappointed customers. The mid-located engine gave near-perfect balance and ensured that the Boxer's handling matched its stupendous straight-line speed.
Testing a Berlinetta Boxer in June 1975, Road & Track reported, "Handling is an enthusiast's delight. There's plenty of road feel, which is reassuring when you're exploring the upper limits of the Boxer's capabilities. As an ultimate road-going high performance machine the Boxer has few equals".
A combination tubular/monocoque chassis housed the mid-mounted engine/five-speed transaxle package that ingeniously placed the motor above the gearbox and final drive, thus avoiding an overly long wheelbase. The ensemble was clothed in elegant, low-slung Berlinetta coachwork by Pininfarina. The result of extensive wind tunnel testing, Pininfarina's masterpiece was assembled at Modena by Scaglietti and comprised a superstructure mixing aluminium-alloy and steel panels, complemented by matt black-finished glassfibre elements beneath the front and rear overhangs.
Only 367 Ferrari 365 GT4 BBs were constructed before the model was superseded by the 512 BB in 1976. At the time of its introduction the 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer was the world's fastest and most expensive car. It remains one of the most desirable and sought after of all Ferraris.
This rare right-hand drive example of the rarest Boxer was supplied new in the UK via Maranello Concessionaires and is one of only 58 cars delivered to this country. According to copies of the build sheets and correspondence from Tony Willis of Maranello Concessionaires Archive, '18259' is finished in its original colour scheme of Azzuro Metallizzato with Nero hide interior. The engine number '00259' matches that of the factory records, as does the body number '253', which may be found on the rear engine cover, front bonnet, and door handles.
Further correspondences in the file include a copy of the original order from HR Owen to Maranello Concessionaires Ltd dated 14th August 1974; a confirmation of the order from Ferrari dated 9th September 1974 to Maranello Concessionaires; and a copy of the original delivery letter dated 2nd January 1975 recording the purchase price as £9,765. In early 1975, the Ferrari was shipped to sister-company Maranello Concessionaires Far East Ltd in Singapore, most probably for the first owner, believed to be the Thai Royal Family.
The Boxer returned to the UK in the-mid 1980s and was purchased by the hotelier and collector, Sonu Shivdasani, becoming part of a collection that included a Ferrari Dino 246 GTS, a 1973 Porsche 911RS, a Radford-converted Bentley S3, and another 365 GT4 BB. Correspondence in the file includes an email from Mr Shivdasani confirming his purchase of the car from either "a Malaysian king or the Sultan of Brunei" together with a 1993 letter from Maranello Concessionaires to Mr Shivdasani stating that the lack of early history was due to the very low mileage the car had covered since 1975. The Ferrari was repainted red and registered as 'AVS 471N'. The Boxer remained in Mr Shivdasani's ownership until 1995, although he rarely drove it. In early 1994 it had benefited from engine work carried out by Prowess Racing, necessitated by its long period in storage.
In 1995, the car was sold to Paul Simon with a recorded mileage of 1,550 miles and is currently showing circa 4,500 miles. Bills on file from Ferrari specialist John Etheridge dating from October 2001 total £5,957, while bills for further work carried out by official Ferrari dealer Francorchamps Motors of Brussels in 2006 total £8,800.
'18259' was laid up for a number of years prior to 2016 and subsequently underwent a full re-spray in its original colour of Azzuro Metallizzato together with an interior re-trim in black leather and an engine-out overhaul. The latter included replacing the exhaust valves and rebuilding the cylinder heads; these works being carried out by Ferrari specialists Neal Lucas Sports Cars Ltd in Camberley, Surrey. The car was fitted with a rare Ansa sports exhaust, which it retains today, while the original gearbox has been changed for another of the correct type. The original gearbox casing is supplied with the car.
Most valuable and sought-after member of the entire Boxer family, the 365 GT4 BB is one the last truly hand-built Ferraris and is gaining in popularity with enthusiasts and collectors alike. Finished in its original Azzuro Metallizzato livery, making a welcome change from the more common Rosso, '18259' represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a fine example of a legendary Ferrari that is much rarer and more collectable, not to mention faster, than the 365 GTB/4 Daytona.