Bill Cosby’s Ferrari

1974-Ferrari-365-GT4

Jesse MortensenBy Jesse Mortensen

We all recognize Bill Cosby because of his comedy, but did you know that he also has a taste for fine European automobiles? This 1974 Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2 was part of Bill’s collection at one time. But, does that make you want it any more than any other 365 GT4? Find it here on eBay out of San Antonio, Texas where bidding starts at $37,500.

bill-cosby-dash-plaque

Here is some evidence that king of comedy once owned this car. You may want documentation though if the Cosby history is important to you. These cars were never officially imported to the States, so we assume he ordered it through the above mentioned Milano Imports.

1974-Ferrari-365-GT4-seats

Those little seats in the back make this one of the least desirable prancing ponies today, but they also make it one of the best secondhand bargains to have come out of Maranello. The requisite longer wheelbase makes the car handle a little different than its stablemates, but the backseat also makes it possible to introduce the younger generation to the mystic of the prancing horse.

1974-Ferrari-365-GT4-v12

This Ferrari may be more luxurious than most, but there is still a fire-breathing V12 under the hood. This one is good for 320 horsepower and is connected to a five-speed manual gearbox. Even if the celebrity ownership does not do anything for you, this one is worth a look because of how cherry it is. The underside is cleaner that most kitchen counters and we had a hard time finding any flaws on the topside.

Now, do yourself a favor and listen to Bill’s 200 MPH comedy routine. He’s one of us!

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Comments

  1. Dolphin Dolphin Staff

    The upside: – It’s a no-reserve auction, so we have a shot at getting an affordable vintage V12 Ferrari.
    – Appears to be in terrific condition, with low miles and the rare manual transmission.
    – Famous original owner.
    – Seats 4.

    The downside.
    – These 365 GT4s are about as expensive to service, fix, and buy parts for as Ferraris costing 10 to 50 times as much.
    – Famous original owner might, or might not, add any value.
    – Seats 4, so these 2+2s are the Ferraris that are least likely to appreciate much in value going forward.

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  2. J. Pickett

    If I remember correctly same powertrain as a Daytona.

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  3. scottski

    I love Ferraris.
    Bill Cosby is revered.

    Still… Every manufacturer in the early-to-mid seventies was guilty of having the most awful color selections, ever.
    Lime. Orange. Yellow. Chartreuse.

    “Harvest Gold” belongs on a refrigerator.

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    • scot

      ~ or a Neil Young album?
      “Harvest Gold” belongs on a refrigerator.

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  4. Jethro

    Doesn’t the top of the engine get messy when you change the oil filters?

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    • Tobias

      No. Not if you use a vacuum oil extractor to remove the old oil.

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    • Dolphin Dolphin Staff

      The most important thing is to use the proper Ferrari-specific oil filters that have a tube running up the middle inside the filter that traps the oil that remains inside the filter. Then just screw it off carefully and remove it without tilting it, and your engine stays clean. You can also pack the area around the base of the filters with paper towels and that will catch anything that dribbles out. These Ferrari-specific oil filters are much pricier—surprise! —than similar conventional filters without the tube that can be used instead.

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  5. Skip Middleton

    The same power train as a 365 Daytona, but detuned slightly. Along the lines of a 365 GTC, if I’m not mistaken. Cosby’s ownership may not add value to others, but it would to me. If i could afford to bid on it, it might be one car I’d keep forever. At least my dog could go along in the back seat… His 200 miles per hour routine nearly killed me the first time I heard it, on vinyl, when I was in high school! That Cobra he talks about had two superchargers and the only other one like it was built for Ol’ Shel hisself!

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    • Jethro

      I got see Bill’s twin supercharged Cobra at the Oakland Roadster Show back in the late ’60s. Didn’t like the green color nor the automatic!

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  6. Chip Lamb

    I won’t go into details, but suffice to say the seller bought it from a consortium I am a part of, paid far less than this, then tried to bail on the car once delivered to him as the car was not originally brown and this particular hue is not one offered by Ferrari. He was refunded a few more $$s. I nearly bought it from him myself as I sorta liked it. I see he has repainted the wheels as they were gold, redyed the seats and hopefully overhauled the carbs as they were also needy.

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    • Horse Radish

      ALWAYS love to hear the ‘other ‘ story from previous owners, As the seller hopes to fly in the anonymity of the web etc. Inside info nicely exposes covered up flaws and a sellers integrity.

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    • scot

      ~ ‘Noah, how long can you tread water?’

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    • Kemal Cinaroglu.lu

      Mr.Lamb,
      It is with utmost sadness to see that you have posted completely untrue, not-transparent facts in reference to the 1974 Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2.
      1- I purchased the automobile from Mr. Peter Brotman, who was referred to me by Mr. Mark Lieberman, and Thomas Cahalane, both brokers.
      2- I paid for the vehicle upon detailed description of these involved gentleman in good faith.
      3- At no time was it relayed to me that it was a color change, that it had poor interior/ carpeting, rubbers, carburetors, dash, awful paint with the original color showing through at many places, and checking, poor tires, damaged wheels, no tools/ books, windows, radio, A/C, headlights not operational, as a matter of fact I was assured that it had received a full service at Paul Russell Co, and it was running perfect!
      4- For your information I did have a heart attack when receiving this automobile, and tried for the seller unsuccessfully to purchase the car back, but I only could secure a small amount refund back which would and did not cover a fraction of the issues.
      5- With all the work so far performed/ commissioned by me I invested close to $ 56,000.00. You see, work performed is far more the your allegation of simple ” seat dying, or carburetor adjusting.
      I can not help but suggest that next time before opening your mouth and placing on the Internet completely false statements which you should be hold responsible for, learn to talk the truth and be honest, and that you clearly are not!

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      • Horse Radish

        @Kemal
        Whoaou,…let’s sum this up.
        In your detailed description I see ZERO discrepancy from Mr Lambs description.
        How ever I fail to see any mention that you hired or performed a detailed inspection of the car, nor the actual purchase price..
        ANYBODY who has ever dealt with old cars KNOWS, that unless you perform the work yourself you can quickly end up upside down on any car.
        Knowledge is everything in this OR any business.
        If you don’t have that it’s better left to others.

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  7. paul

    No I don’t really care about “famous people” who owned the car, but this one is quite sweet aside from a few mismatched panels & some rotors that show the car hasn’t been used in awhile, I do love Webbers & this one has a lot of them. Sweet.

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  8. koich

    That explains the Jello Pudding color. Lol.

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  9. Jeff

    Nice, when I first saw the pic I thought 400i which I was bonkers over years ago when I needed a 4-seater.

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  10. Peter R

    I always liked the styling which seems to make me part of a small minority. I like Bill Cosby but would not pay extra just because he owned it. Rare 5 speed – they were mostly a GM automatic. Car seems clean but way overpriced as I understand the market. I recently bid on a nice 400i 5 speed in the high $20k and just missed buying it. So $37.5 for the earlier version seems way too much to me. Anyone else know of recent sales?

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  11. Sunbeamdon

    Somewhere in the pictures it looked to me like this was a repaint – the color chipping on the margins is most likely the give-away. Based on maintenance and upkeep costs, probably a car to stay away from, but, ? under $40k? – who knows what lerks out there! Now if it was FERRARI RED, who knows.

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  12. Frankster

    As a member of the weirdo minority, I do like this car very much. Reminds me of a Bitter, a car I adore. The sedan look does it for me. And with a manual shift? Wow! Gotta admit, the “bearshit brown” paint color certainly wouldn’t be my first choice, but it beats the snot out of red, which seems to be a requirement on most Ferrari cars. Bill Cosby? Love him. But it doesn’t affect the value to me; but provenance does matter to many people.

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    • Robert J

      A Bitter SC would leave you less bitter than a used Ferrari in the long term undoubtedly.

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  13. FRED

    Bill cosby has to be the funniest man ever. He never said a curse word to make himself funny. I never knew he was into cars. I don’t know how you could ask for more money just because bill cosby owned it. I just hope this isn’t the car his son was killed in.

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    • stigshift

      His son was driving a Mercedes SL when he was murdered, as I recall.

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  14. scot

    ~ Turd personified.
    Like these, hate this.

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    • Dolphin Dolphin Staff

      Scot, I was going to say something about the brown color, too.: -)

      1+

  15. Dolphin Dolphin Staff

    Not exactly the same powertrain as the Daytona.

    Daytona: – 4.4 litres, DOHC, with 6 downdraft Webers in a row along the midline of the engine, flowing air downward.
    – 5-Speed transaxle at the rear containing both the transmission and differential, with the remote shift lever set in a metal gate in the console between the seats.

    This car: – 4.4 litres, DOHC, but with sidedraft Webers between the cams of each head, flowing air horizontally.
    – 5-Speed transmission in unit with the engine, with a conventional shift lever in the console with a leather boot around the lever. Most of these 365 & 400 GT/4 2+2s came with automatic transmissions, which were only available for mounting in unit with the engine, so the ones with a standard transmission got the transmission attached to the engine, instead of a transaxle.

    Higher claimed horsepower in the Daytona than in the 2+2s, probably mostly due to camshaft and porting differences.

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  16. stigshift

    These are amongst my favorite Ferraris of all time. Obvious repaint in a curious color does nothing for this one. My old X1/9 carried brown much better. If I had the money, though, I’d book a trip to go see it. And by virtue of the third pedal alone, Mr. Cosby’s stock has risen exponentially in my book.

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  17. Darel

    Without a doubt the ugliest Ferrari in all of recorded history.

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  18. Bryan Cohn

    Only a fool would think this car is actually “clean” underneath. The dead give-a-way to hiding things is the rattle can painted hardware on the suspension. Look at the a-arms: Silver as far as the eye can see with silver nuts, bolts washers. Really? The rear upright’s look rattle can black and some of the hardware in back is black, some of it silver. And flat black calipers? The Koni’s even look like they’ve been repainted. Something is rotten and its not in Denmark, its in San Antonio.

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    • Horse Radish

      I agree.
      Some things don’t look right.
      The car must have been outside while in Massachusetts, maybe even in Reno (which has snow in the winter).
      A very tedious spray can ‘clean-up’ indeed, but some clear give-away pointers.
      Why the suspension parts cleaner than the chipped windshield wipers or the faded emblem? To synchronize 6 Webers must be a b**ch.
      After all keep in mind, that this car is just shy of 40 years!

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      • Skip Middleton

        I watched a mechanic do a minor tuneup on a 365 GTC/4 back in the mid-’70s at Newport Imports. Two dual point distributors and 6 2 bbl Webers. If I remember right, it came to more than $1000 back in ’74.
        There does seem to be a lot hinkey about this car, the spray painted aluminum parts, the GTC manuals instead of the correct GT4 2+2 ones, random dings that should have been taken care of and the odd color repaint.

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    • paul

      Of course it’s going to be a 20 ft’er that’s why it’s on ebay & not sitting in a high end dealer or Goodings etc.

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  19. Bikermark

    Iirc Grand Prix driver Jody Schecter owned a similar brown Ferrari but an automatic.

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  20. braktrcr

    I think there is so much interest, and so many posts, because it was Bill Cosby owned. Yes Jello ads, but what about TV star, who remembers “I SPY” Now a Lindsay Lohan owned car has no interest to me but to young folks maybe so

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  21. ron bajorek

    (best Cosby accent imatation) “Can you paint it the color of Jello Pudding?”

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  22. Clay

    Ever see a knock-off hammer so beat all to hell. They could have at least ground off some of the edges. Looks like they’ve been using it to crack walnuts out on the driveway.

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  23. Dolphin Dolphin Staff

    No bids.

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    • Horse Radish

      Thanks for the follow-up.
      Lovely !
      ….seeing the response from the ‘seller’ to C.Lamb’s post it would be dreadful to deal with him.
      He seems neither pleasant nor knowledgeable, and the car, well…………

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  24. Peter R

    Just read the comments by the purchaser- It reminds me of two things – 1 – never buy a car until a reliable person (other than yourself usually) has done a thorough PPI and -2- why sites like this one are so helpful in pointing out that some of the trees may not be so nice in that beautiful forest. While I need to want a car emotionally I need to buy it as well informed as possible. BTW I just bought a ’91 BMW M5 sedan (originally sold to Japan then imported to Canada) with only 80k miles or 129k km. My mechanic only found one small oil leak and said it is one of the best examples he’s ever seen. That gave me the confidence to sign the check
    Too bad for this buyer – hopefully the rest of us take another lesson from it

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