Elton John’s former Ferrari 356 GT4 BB for auction

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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Elton John s Ferrari Elton John s Ferrari
Elton John s Ferrari front quarter Elton John s Ferrari front quarter
Elton John s Ferrari rear Elton John s Ferrari rear
Elton John s Ferrari engine Elton John s Ferrari engine
Elton John s Ferrari interior Elton John s Ferrari interior

Delivered new to Sir Elton John in 1974, the car will be up for grabs this weekend

Bonhams’ 77th Annual Goodwood Members’ Meeting sale occurs this weekend, with one of the highlights being this blue-chip Ferrari, delivered new to Sir Elton John in 1973.

The Ferrari 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer, or BB, was ostensibly one of Maranello’s greatest hits of the 70s.

It debuted in concept form at the 1971 Turin Motor Show and entered production in 1973 virtually unchanged.

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It was an all-new model and the first Ferrari whose V12 was not arranged in ‘V’ configuration. The basic architecture is similar to the traditional 60-degree 4.4lt V12 with an identical bore and stroke to the flattened 180-degree unit. This means, pistons, connecting rods and valvegear are actually interchangeable.

The new boxer engine harks to Ferrari’s Championship-winning flat 12, and the mid-mounted layout yielded a perfectly balanced chassis to match the 175mph top speed.

The car was underpinned by a tubular/monocoque chassis with an cleverly packaged five-speed transaxle that okaced the motor above the gearbox and final drive, avoiding long overhangs and giving it that unmistakeable squat profile.

Elton-John's-Ferrari-engine.jpg

The body atop was penned by Pininfarina and assembled in Modena by Scaglietti.

With just 367 produced between 1973 and 1976, the 365 GT4 BB was the world’s fastest and most expensive car at the time, and remains one of the most sought-after and collectible Ferraris ever.

The car here represents one of just 58 built in factory right-hand drive configuration for the UK market. It was ordered through H R Owen in London in 1973, and was delivered new to Sir Elton John in 1974.

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Optioned from factory with air conditioining and a Voxson radio, the car comes with an official Ferrari Classiche folder and certificate, along with a history file containing original factory and dealer invoices.

The car underwent a major engine-out service in 2012 at the hands of a Ferrari specialist, and had its cam belt replaced, a complete engine bay detail and works to the suspension, exhaust and wheels.

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The car has covered just 9,700 miles from new and likely is one of the best examples in the world.

Rocket Man’s ’74 Ferrari 365 GT4 BB crosses the block at Bonham’s on April 7th this weekend, and bears a pre-auction estimate of AU$460,000-AU$550,000.

You can see it here at the Bonhams website.

 

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