In 1973 Ferrari unveiled a new series of models on the market. They were called Berlinetta Boxer and were using a flat-12 mid-mounted engine. The first model in this series was 365 GT4BB revealed at the 1971 Turin Show, two years before it really went to production. Between 1973 and 1976 Ferrari built almost 387 units, with 58 with right hand drive.
Ferrari already had vast experience of the mid-engine layout with their single-seater and sports-racing models, together with the two 365P "Tre Posti" (three seat) concept road cars produced by Pininfarina in 1966, and the V6 Dino series.
The 365 GT4 BB was Ferrari’s answer to the Lamborghini Miura, a model that already adopted the mid-engined layout. Like usual it was design by Pininfarina who addopted for the model an angular wedge with popup headlights.
The exterior design was based on the Pininfarina P6 mid-engined concept car, presented at the Turin Show in 1968. The lower section of the nose featured a full-width aluminum egg crate radiator grille, with driving lights behind it, from the top edge of which an indent line ran around the body perimeter, visually creating an upper and lower half to the body. This was made even more evident, as the standard paint finish below this line was satin black. This satin black bottom body section subsequently became an option on other models, and was referred to as the "Boxer" paint finish.
Above the nose was a one-piece, forward- hinged, front lid/wing assembly which had rectangular flush-mounted turn indicator light panels close to the forward edge. Behind these were twin retractable headlights in rectangular pods, either side of the plain aluminum finished radiator exhaust air louvre panel. The five-window cabin section had a teardrop shaped side window profile, and the rear screen was a shallow vertical flat panel, bounded by the buttresses of the one piece, rear hinged, engine cover with a stubby vertical tail. A satin black finished aerofoil was mounted just behind the cabin roof, bridging the sail panel buttresses, whilst the engine cover featured rows of black exhaust air louvres and twin raised rectangular sections over the carburettor air filter boxes.
The tail-light treatment followed that of the 365 GTC4, with triple circular units, fitted in a recessed mesh covered panel. The lighting layout was echoed in the bank of small triple chrome plated exhaust tail pipes, projecting through either side of the lower tail panel. The doors, front and rear lids had aluminium panels, whilst the cabin frame was steel, with fibreglass lower nose and tail sections. Because of the low angle of the windscreen a tinted strip was provided across the top edge, and it had the radio aerial embedded in it. This was the first Ferrari road car to be fitted with a space-saver spare wheel, which lay in a recess below the front lid, leaving very little space for luggage in the shallow nose.
Under the hood Ferrari placed for the first time in a road car a 4,4 liter flat-12 cylinder engine that delivered 360bhp at 7500rpm. The 365 GT4 BB made the 0 to 60 mph sprint in 5,4 seconds and was capable of a top speed of 175 mph, incredible performances for a ’70s model.