Lifestyle

Family Ferrari


This "family Ferrari" was repainted in its original silver-blue from bare metal in 1997. There is new black leather on front seats, the brake system has been overhauled, and new rear self-leveling shocks fitted. A new clutch has been installed, along with fresh belts, hoses and motor mounts. The engine has never been opened and the carburetors are original. It is a three-owner car, with fully-documented history. It has never been stored, but regularly driven. It comes with the original tool kit and owner's manuals, and has covered just 59,800 miles. It is being offered at no reserve.

The SCM Analysis

This imposing, but elegant, 2+2 sold for a reasonable $43,740, including buyer's premium, at Barrett-Jackson's Petersen Museum auction on June 22, 2003.

The 365 2+2 may be the best and least expensive way for an enthusiast on a budget to enjoy a traditional Ferrari V12. It's cheap and durable by Ferrari standards, and an ideal car for the person who wants a sports car that can haul the family or another couple. Just don't expect a lot of appreciation—or much depreciation, either.

The 365's air conditioning, power windows, power steering, power brakes, and electric vent-wings all added up, and it was dubbed the "Queen Mary" of Ferraris by Road & Track in 1968, due to its two-ton weight. Still, it would reach 152 mph and went from 0-60 in 7.1 seconds. Succeeding the 250 and 330 2+2s, the 365 was the first 2+2 Ferrari to have independent rear suspension, giving the car fine handling despite its weight. It was as stable at 150 as most cars were at 70 and R&T concluded it was still a thoroughbred Ferrari.

The conventional drivetrain featured a front-mounted 4.4-liter DOHC engine with three carbs and dual distributors. This basic engine design was over 15 years old; it would be the last of the two-cam Columbo engines from Modena. By this time, Ferrari had worked out most of the problems from the earlier 330's 4-liter engines—these tended to suffer head cracks between spark plug holes and exhaust valve seats at higher mileage. Although its head and block are similar, the 365's 4.4-liter engine has slightly different stud placement and sintered iron valve seats rather than bronze. These engines still used a multiple-row timing chain with well-developed tensioners (which rarely give trouble) rather than rubber belts. They have valve seals to prevent the ubiquitous Ferrari smoking, and despite the addition of some rudimentary emissions-control equipment, the 4.4-liter engines seem to be more trouble free than their predecessors.

The 365 2+2 was fitted with newly developed Koni hydraulic spring-ram load levelers that used suspension movement to pump up and maintain correct ride stance when the large trunk was full. While not nearly as trouble prone as many air-bag suspensions developed in the 1950s, they simply don't last 30 years. They can be rebuilt (at a cost of over $2,000), but many have been replaced with $150 Gabriel "HiJackers" air-adjustable shock absorbers. An owner of two 365s at January's Barrett-Jackson claimed his air-shock converted "driver" handled better than the rebuilt Konis on his "show" 2+2, at about a tenth of the cost, installed.

American 365 2+2s had air conditioning and extra cooling fans, which pulled more current than the 40-amp Marelli alternator provided. The factory installed a second alternator and a troublesome relay box, but details of how to rebuild and upgrade the box inexpensively have been available for 25 years. After the fix, it causes no problems.

In the mid-1970s, I took a delightful trip from Atlanta to Watkins Glen for the Ferrari Club Meeting with my wife and three kids in an 80,000-mile 365. We had bought the car over the phone; it had been described as "burgundy" with contrasting stripes. But when it arrived, it was more Cold Duck pink than Rothschild red. And the stripes? They were six-inch-wide, bright violet, fuzzy-edged accents in the best hot rod tradition. These days, an e-mailed photo would have prepared us for the weird paint. But back when 365s were under $10k, we didn't concern ourselves about cosmetic stuff. Did it pull to 8,000 rpm, get to 100 fast and have at least 11 of the 12 cylinders with decent compression? Yes. So we just bought it, but were careful to park around the corner at the next Ferrari club meeting.

After looking it over, I judged the silver-blue car here to be a 2-; another auction analyst said 3+. It had attractive, non-original five-star-type Cromodoras with good Michelins. The light metallic paint, a good color for these large 2+2s, had some minor bubbles. The car had a nice interior with some wear on the rear seat. The rear bumper chrome was thin, with pits in the pot metal taillight surrounds, a common problem. Trunk lid fit was way off, but there was no obvious rear-end collision damage inside. Other panel fits were up to original Pininfarina standards. The windows were tinted and a later stereo was installed, but the original was included. The chassis was clean, but not detailed.

The car started easily with no smoke and idled well, indicating no excessively worn shafts on the carbs. It picked up rpm smoothly, evidence that the distributors are still advancing and accelerator pumps still pumping. The owner said the A/C works but needs R12 refrigerant (likely at least a $1,000 problem). The car appeared to be well maintained, and never abused. This was a fair price if the mechanicals check out as well as claimed. If the new owner is a family man, this V12 will be a terrific and stylish way to transport his family to various car events around the country.

Years Produced: 1968–71

Number Produced: 800

Original List Price: $18,900, with A/C, radio, power windows and disc wheels

SCM Valuation: $45,000–$60,000 (at time of print)

Tune-up Cost: $2,500–$3,000

Distributor Caps: $300+

Chassis #:12651

Chassis # Location: Right front chassis rail, plate on right inner fender, DOT plate-driver's door jamb

Engine # Location: Right side, near starter motor, back of block

Club Info: Ferrari Club of America, PO Box 720597, Atlanta, GA 30358

Web Site: http://www.ferrariclubofamerica.com

Alternatives: Mercedes–Benz 6.3, Lamborghini Espada, Ferrari 400, '63–'65 Buick Riviera

Investment Grade: C


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