1969 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2

It is perhaps impossible to define the most distinguished period in Ferrari’s history, but if one were so inclined to try then surely the decade from 1958 to 1968 would be a compelling candidate. During this time, Scuderia Ferrari secured three Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championships and two Constructors’ titles, while at Le Mans the cars from Maranello enjoyed a remarkable seven wins in eight years. Over the same period, road car production went from being incidental to integral to the company’s success, with sales increasing almost fourfold from 183 cars in 1958 to some 729 in 1968.

Instrumental in Ferrari’s expansion through the 1960s was a succession of four-seat, front V-12-engined grand touring cars, the first of which—the 250 GT 2+2—appeared in 1959. The car used the same 3.0-litre V-12 engine and 96.5-inch wheelbase as the standard two-seat 250 GT—albeit with its driving position moved forward 12 inches and its body extended by the same amount—while relocation of the fuel tank and only a modest weight increase ensured that the driving experience remained undiminished. Some 957 examples were sold, more than double that of the 250 GT Coupé Pinin Farina, hitherto Ferrari’s most numerous design.

In 1963 Ferrari launched the interim 330 America model, which showcased its new 4.0-litre Tipo 209 engine. This afforded an increase of some 60 horsepower over the 3.0-litre unit—to 300 horsepower—and would go on to feature in the new-for-1964 330 GT 2+2. Exhibiting a markedly different appearance to its two predecessors, the 330 GT 2+2 utilized heavily revised Pininfarina coachwork and, on second series cars, a five-speed gearbox in place of the previous four-speed-with-overdrive unit. Significantly, power steering and air conditioning were offered as optional extras to maximize the car’s appeal to the US market. The production of 1,087 cars between 1964 and 1967 underlined its subsequent popularity.

By 1967 it was evident that the 330 GT 2+2 was ageing in both technical and aesthetic terms. In response, Ferrari introduced its all-new 365 GT 2+2 model at that year’s Paris Motor Show. This featured a new 320 horsepower, 4.4-litre Tipo 245 derivative of Colombo’s original V-12 design and, crucially, all independent suspension on a Ferrari GT 2+2 for the first time. Hailed by many as the spiritual successor to the standard-bearing 500 Superfast, it was generously specified, with power steering, servo-assisted brakes and air conditioning all fitted as standard. At almost five meters long, it offered a commodious cabin and a generous luggage compartment—the comfort of its occupants being prioritized by the fitment of an innovative hydro-pneumatic self-levelling rear suspension system. However, despite the proliferation of creature comforts, the 365 GT 2+2 offered spirited performance, with 100 km/h being achieved in just over seven seconds with a top speed of 246 km/h. Furthermore, the flexibility and lightning-fast throttle response of its engine—not to mention its four-wheel ventilated disc brakes and superb steering—ensured that it remained a true driver’s car.

This Ferrari 365 GT 2+2, chassis 12957, was delivered new in 1969 to a Chicago resident who soon relocated to Florida, where the vehicle was driven sparingly. The Ferrari briefly changed ownership again before being acquired in 1986 by a New York-based collector of Italian cars. He kept the 365 in a darkened underground garage, and during his 29 years of ownership he added just 1,000 miles. As a result, the lustrous Blu Chiaro paint, which is believed to be largely original, appears astonishingly well preserved despite being 55 years old. The penultimate owner acquired the 2+2 in 2015 with less than 25,000 miles on the clock and treated it to an extensive mechanical service by a marque specialist. It then earned a well-deserved First in Class in the 1949-75 preservation category at the 2016 Cavallino Classic in Palm Beach, Florida. Acquired by the most recent owner in 2017, the interior was beautifully restored with new leather and carpeting, however due to its unique preservation state, the original upholstery and carpets were carefully removed and preserved and are included with the car. A modern stereo, with controls located in the ashtray location on the console was also fitted, and again the original ashtray has been retained should the next custodian wish to go back to original. Included with the car are the aforementioned components, as well as the original jack, owner’s manual, some vintage photos of the car, and scores of original wear items such as shocks and ignition wires etc. that were saved as parts were renewed.

Following the end of 365 GT 2+2 production in 1971, Ferrari opted for a more angular appearance for its GT cars, with models such as the 365 GTC/4 and 365 GT4 2+2 sporting a distinctive, contemporary look for the new decade. As such, the 365 GT 2+2 represented the end of an era: arguably the last great, classically styled 1960s Ferrari GT car. Presented today essentially as it was first delivered, this remarkable 365 GT 2+2 now displays less than 28,000 miles. With a fabulous color combination, gorgeous Pininfarina lines, and a powerful V-12 under the hood, chassis number 12957 offers a definitive Ferrari experience fully befitting Road & Track’s “Queen Mother of Ferraris” declaration from 1969.

 

Offers welcome and trades considered 

 

$245,000

Stock number 7713

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