Italian Flag Ferrari 365 California Spider ~ 1966-67

The 1966 Ferrari 365 California Spider (Convertible) represents the last custom built sports car offered by Ferrari as a production car. The 365 California Spider was derived from the 500 Superfast and superseded it.

The elongated PininFarina style was related to the 500 Superfast as mentioned, and was made out of steel aside from the aluminum hood and trunk lid. The infinite long hood ended with a wide but thin oval egg-crate grill, with the prancing horse emblem at the center. The plastic covered headlights had two inward round pop-up driving lights next to them and looked like a Citroen DS first series unit when up. The windshield had side window vents, and the conical faux-air intake scoops that started on the door ended on the rear fender with a central chrome metal strip that doubled as the door handle. This design cue was taken from the 1965 mid-engine Dino prototypes, which were at least functional. The trunk lid was recessed from the fenders lines, and the rear long overhang was well disguised with a drooping rear line, and a long wrap around rear split chrome bumper. Surprisingly Tom Tjaarda, designer at PininFarina and then responsible for the 365 California project, succeeded to make this imposing 2650 mm (104.3 in) wheelbase Ferrari a beautiful and harmonious GT convertible with the exception of the three round taillights fitted under a trapezoidal reflector on the Kamm tail rear end.

The interior was spacious with two large Veglia gauges fitted under their own pods with a three branch wooden Nardi steering wheel watching over them. Three smaller dials were also individually cast in their pods with two more underneath them placed in a lavish teak veneered center console, when requested. As usual the chrome ashtray with Ferrari and PininFarina emblems looked great with all the chrome bezel gauge trim also found on the massive tunnel console.

The Ferrari 365 California Spider could also be practical with its imposing trunk and its 2+2 configuration with two small rear seats. Due to its handbuilt process, the 365 California had an astronomical price tag twice the amount of a 330 GT. Each 365 California was a little different from one another, but what was relevant to all of them was the bespoke and high built quality with the best material available.

The front V12 single-cam engine had a 4.4 liter (268 cu in) capacity and developed through three twin choke Webber carburetors 320 hp at 6600 rpm. Mated to a five speed non exposed gearbox, the 365 California could reach 0-60 mph in 7.5 seconds, with a top speed of 150 mph (241 km/h), which was a feat for a 3042 lb (1380 kg) car. To stop the 365 California, ventilated disc brakes were fitted all around, which was thinking forward, unlike the rear live axle and its leaf spring suspension.

Production of the Ferrari 365 California Spider ended a year later in 1967 after only fourteen cars, including 2 right hand drives were built. This ended the story on a short tradition of bespoke production sports cars that started with the America, Superamerica and Superfast series.


Ferrari 365 California Spider
Model/Year Ferrari 365 California Spider/ 1966-67
Designer Pinin Farina (Tom Tjaarda)
Engine Type All alloy V12 @ 60˚, SOHC. 2V
Capacity 4390 cc / 268 cu in
Fuel Feed 3 Weber 40 DF1 carb.
Power 320 hp @ 6600 rpm
Torque 268 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
Transmission 5 Speed - RWD
Top Speed 150 mph - 241 km/h
"0-60" mph - 0-100 km/h 7.5 sec
Chassis Oval tubular steel
Weelbase 2650 mm / 104.3 in
Front Suspension 2 Wishbones, Coil Springs, Tube Shocks, anti roll bar
Rear Suspension Semi-elliptic leave springs (live axle)
Brakes Ventilated disc
Front Tires 205-15 in
Rear Tires 205-15 in
Weight 3042 lb / 1380 kg (depending on coachwork)
Country of Origin Italy
Production Num. 14 (including 2 RHD)