1973 FERRARI 365 GTB/4 'DAYTONA' BERLINETTA
'It's a hard muscled thoroughbred, the Daytona - easily the most awesome and yet disciplined road-going Ferrari in that firm's brilliant quarter century of existence. The Daytona isn't fast – it's blinding. It will eat up a quarter-mile of asphalt in 13.2 seconds at 110mph and scream out to 175mph - or it will slug through traffic at 1,500rpm with the Sunday manners of a FIAT. It is the perfect extension of its driver. You can cut and weave through shuffling traffic with the agility of a halfback, or lope down the freeway with the piece of mind that comes from knowing you can contend with anyone's incompetence. To say, after you've driven it, that the Daytona is desirable doesn't begin to sum up your feelings - you would sell your soul for it.' - Car & Driver, January 1970.
Every Ferrari is, to a greater or lesser extent, a 'landmark' car, but few of Maranello's road models have captured the imagination of Ferraristi like the 365 GTB/4. The ultimate expression of Ferrari's fabulous line of V12 front-engined sports cars, the 365 GTB/4 debuted at the Paris Salon in 1968, soon gaining the unofficial name 'Daytona' in honour of the sweeping 1, 2, 3 finish by the Ferrari 330 P4 at that circuit in 1967. Pininfarina's Leonardo Fioravanti, later the famed Carrozzeria's director of research and development, was responsible for the influential shark-nosed styling, creating a package that restated the traditional 'long bonnet, small cabin, short tail' look in a manner suggesting muscular horsepower while retaining all the elegance associated with the Italian coachbuilder's work for Maranello. One of Pininfarina's countless masterpieces, the influential shark-nosed body style featured an unusual full-width transparent panel covering the headlamps, though this was replaced by electrically-operated pop-up lights to meet US requirements soon after the start of production in the second half of 1969. Fioravanti later revealed that the Daytona was his favourite among the many Ferraris he designed.
Although the prototype had been styled and built by Pininfarina in Turin, manufacture of the production version was entrusted to Ferrari's subsidiary Scaglietti in Modena. The Daytona's all-alloy, four-cam, V12 engine displaced 4,390cc and produced its maximum output of 352bhp at 7,500rpm, with 318lb/ft of torque available at 5,500 revs. Dry-sump lubrication enabled it to be installed low in the oval-tube chassis, while shifting the gearbox to the rear in the form of a five-speed transaxle meant 50/50 weight distribution could be achieved. The all-independent wishbone and coil-spring suspension was a recent development, having originated in the preceding 275 GTB. Unlike the contemporary 365 GTC/4, the Daytona was not available with power steering, a feature then deemed inappropriate for a 'real' sports car. There was, however, servo assistance for the four-wheel ventilated disc brakes. Air conditioning was optional, but elsewhere the Daytona remained uncompromisingly focussed on delivering nothing less than superlative high performance.
At the time of its introduction in 1968 the Daytona was the most expensive production Ferrari ever and, with a top speed in excess of 170mph, was also the world's fastest production car. Deliveries commenced in the second half of 1969 and the Daytona would be manufactured for just four years; not until the arrival of the 456 GT in 1992 would Ferrari build anything like it again. Only 1,300 Berlinetta models and 121 Spyder convertibles had been made when production ceased in 1973.
Chassis number '16927' was originally ordered in September 1973 by Jacques Swaters' famous Garage Francorchamps, the Belgian Ferrari importer, for their client, a Mr Bricoux. Completed the following month, the Daytona was sold by Garage Francorchamps in November 1973 to the Brussels-based Commercial Credit SA Belgian Services, which leased the car to Bricoux SA of Charleroi, Belgium. '16027' was delivered finished in Blu Dino with Beige leather interior.
In the late 1970s, the Ferrari was sold to Christian Plesner, a resident of Oslo, Norway and also Zürich, Switzerland. During the 1980s, while still in Mr Plesner's ownership, the car was treated to a ground upwards' restoration by marque specialists Graypaul Motors in the UK, in the course of which the engine was up-rated along Group 4 lines to produce 405bhp.
In 1989, by which time it had covered some 52,000 kilometres, the Daytona was advertised for sale by Mr Plesner and found its way to a new owner in Montreal Canada. The Daytona was owned subsequently by Ferrari collector Dr Ferrara of Glen Cove, New York, who purchased the car in 2006. By December 2010, '16927' had passed to Giacomo Ciaccia of Glen Cove, New York. The accompanying Massini Report lists the next private owners as Brendan Gallagher and Michael Stern of BGMS LLC.
'16927' is currently finished in Blu Scuro with beige/black leather Daytona-interior, and is still on its Cromodora aluminium alloy wheels. Accompanying documentation consists of the aforementioned Massini Report; Ferrari Classiche certification confirming the car's originality (chassis/engine/body); invoices from 2015 for cosmetic works ($15,000) and mechanical works ($2,000); and a copy of the old US title.
Although an older restoration, this Daytona still presents beautifully; indeed, in 2016 it won the 'Best in Class' award - 'Racing the Italian Grand Tour 1970-75' - at the Schloss Dyck Concours d'Élégance, and that same year was displayed at the Zoute Concours d'Élégance. The Schloss Dyck Concours prize; a Ferrari Classiche badge; and a 1:8 scale model of the car by Brianza are included in the sale.
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