A ‘70s Ferrari Showdown: Ferrari 365 GTB/4 vs. 365 GTC/4

A ‘70s Ferrari Showdown: Ferrari 365 GTB/4 vs. 365 GTC/4

What are the exact differences between the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 and the 365 GTC/4?

Enzo Ferrari’s outlook on selling cars simply to fund a racing team, in the beginning, resulted in a product line with a singular focus. There was only one model at a time (commercially), though with quick evolution but little deviation in the way of targeting different buyers and different markets.

Enzo Ferrari

After all, Enzo never wanted to be an industrialist. His obsessive interest in perfecting his race cars and the engineering behind them often caused him to overlook the fundamentals of sustainability within Ferrari as a business, and as a manufacturer. There was no calculated commercial strategy in these very early days to diversify Ferrari’s offerings. Then again, they weren’t intended for the masses either.

Focusing on road cars

The introduction of the 330 GT 2+2 really executed the idea of commercializing the brand’s road cars in the way of volume, as well as diversification of their model line. Between 1963 and 1968 the 2-seater 330 GTC or the family man’s 330 GT 2+2 gave the buyer of a then average Ferrari, options. This relationship continued to play out through the 1970’s with our subject cars: the 365 GTB/4 “Daytona” and the more pedestrian 365 GTC/4. Objectively speaking, from a driver’s perspective, these two cars are completely different while sharing so much.

Ferrari 365 GTB/4

The biggest and most obvious difference behind the wheel of either car is the difference in steering. The GTC/4’s power steering is a bit Rolls-Royce like, easy, with little in the way of feedback or resistance. While perhaps a bit light to the touch it also meant the car has a lower mental barrier for common use in a modern context. It literally turns it into a car you can use for the day if you want, not a car that you plan your entire day around. A Daytona on the other hand is heavy; you tend to plan an accommodating driving route or a purposeful approach to its use. The GTC/4 is a bit more casual in that instance. However the Daytona is on the other end of the spectrum with very heavy steering.

Ferrari 365 GTC/4

It communicates everything to the driver that you would want to know while in a corner at 9/10’s (not that you should be doing that on the open road!). Ironically, they both meet in the middle when at speed, with perfectly acceptable steering for both. These two extremes are simply a product of power steering technology of the time. Not like today when hitting a button firms up the steering and/or responsiveness. This fundamental change in technology and driving dynamics, in a sports car of the 1970’s can be attributed to Ferrari’s efforts to offer diversity in their product line. These were different cars for different purposes, but not without cutting corners when it came to performance.

Technological advances

Each example featured 6-Weber Carburetors, the Daytona with its downdrafts and the GTC/4 with its side drafts. The interesting part about these different carburation set-ups is that while one offers more in the way of power simply by virtue of its design (the downdrafts in the Daytona). The GTC/4’s side drafts offer a noise that Ferrari’s enthusiasts have often described as “the best sounding Ferrari of its era”. Not to mention, the side drafts aided designers at Pininfarina to accommodate a lower, sleeker, bonnet line. Which ultimately allowed the look of a fastback 2-Seater while still retaining a 2+2 configuration.

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Engine

By adding new technology (power steering), re-configuring existing elements (carburation), and working toward a diverse model range as a company. The GTC/4 took shape as the practical Ferrari that still kept true to the form of a Ferrari in the classical sense.

Verdict

Adding value into the mix, and all of the speculation that comes with it, the GTC/4 has an interesting proposition that cannot be ignored for any serious enthusiast. Historically speaking, and it’s been said before, the Daytona is generally the barometer for what is happening in the classic car market. This may have been true at one point and time when the landscape of the collector car world was simplified to pre-war classics, post-war sports cars and modern cars that just went down in value.

Ferrari 365 GTC/4

Not to mention, not nearly as many people were participating when it was more of a “hobby” rather than an asset class. More than ever, the classic car world has something for everyone. $500,000 goes a long way nowadays and a Daytona with its heavy steering, might be a whole lot more fun for the whole family for $250,000 in the form of a GTC/4.

While the 365 GTC/4 is technically a smarter car to own, the Daytona is just plain legendary. This is the irrational dynamic that drives value in the world of collector cars. It comes down to what you value, why, and how that reasoning will translate to the next generation of collectors to then sustain that value. Ferrari figured out what was practical and marketable long ago. Thus, we still haven’t figured out what the better car is, though we know which one is more expensive, for now.

365 GTB/4 or GTC/4? Which one would you pick? Let us know in the comment section below.

Written by Andrew Mastin of LBI Limited.


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