The world famous Daytona name was unofficially conjured up by the press in recognition of the firms stunning 1-2-3 victory at 1967's Daytona 24 Hours and - the fact that it was the last front-engined Ferrari GT before the Fiat years also means it occupies a special place in Maranello history. The Daytona was a stopgap model between Ferrari's outgoing 275 GTB/4 and their mid-engined 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer, the development of which was running well behind schedule. Influenced by the fact they were beginning to suffer a number of financial problems, Ferrari decided to produce what was essentially an updated version of an existing model. However, despite the troubled background to its inception, Daytona's themselves were in no way affected. Ferrari produced what became the definitive GT of its time.
The Daytona's motor is essentially an enlarged Tipo 226 60° V12 from the previous 275 GTB/4 and is designated Tipo 251. They have a displacement of 4.4-litres producing 352bhp at 7500rpm. At the time the Daytona became the world's fastest production car with a top speed of 175mph and 0-60 in 5.3 seconds - enough to eclipse every other manufacturer, even Lamborghini. Pininfarina designed the Daytona's bodywork exuding power from every angle. As a result the Daytona remains one of the most jaw-dropping GT's to this day.
The 365 GTB/4 was launched during October 1968's Paris Salon and won enormous praise. It was the fastest production road car available and would be the last of Ferrari's front-engined GT's, a fact not lost on writers at the time. Relatively few official options were available, just wider Cromodora alloys, spoked Borrani wires, front bumper bars and air conditioning having been on the upgrade list. After two years Pininfarina carried out a front-end make-over resulting in retractable headlights in early-1971. As production went on, Ferrari made changes to the indicator lenses, later cars more often than not coming with exclusively orange items whereas earlier examples tended to get combination lenses.
There was also a switch from aluminium to steel doors (these providing a little more side impact protection) and the arrival of a smaller-diameter leather-rimmed steering wheel. Production ceased in late 1973 to make way for the overdue mid-Flat-12-engined 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer. By this time, Ferrari had completed 1284 GTB/4's, 158 of which were right-hand drive and came to the UK.
This desirable European specification "Daytona" was supplied new in August 1973 through Maranello Concessionaires, one of just 158 UK RHD examples from the 1284 cars produced. Ordered new in Rosso Ferrari over tan with Bordeaux Carpets, this is one of a handful of cars to be ordered new to the UK with air-conditioning. The car was collected by Robert Gibson, who was studying at Edinburgh University at the time, on behalf of its South African owner Pat Spencer. He drove the Daytona directly to Edinburgh but slightly terrified by the car, he arranged for it to be prepared for storage; a mechanic was sent to him to disconnect the battery and plugs ahead of storage for 6 months.
As a South African studying abroad, he was entitled to import the car into South Africa free of customs tax, and at a used car valuation. In March 1974, the car received warranty service at Maranello Concessionaires, after which the car was driven to Southampton docks for shipment to Cape Town, South Africa. Pat collected the car from the docks and drove the car 600 miles to his home in Kimberley, Northern Cape. The incredible history file documents his ownership thoroughly and he often spoke highly of the car, keeping it alongside his 275 GTB/4 in the 1970s.
Spencer passed away in 1979 and the car was purchased by Colin Russell from Spencer’s estate, through Denwil Motors of Kimberley who had serviced the car throughout his ownership. Russell collected the car from Kimberley and drove it home, some 600 miles to East London on the South East coast of South Africa. In light of no local Ferrari agents, his workshop handled the maintenance of the car throughout his 10 year ownership.
On May 8th 1989 the car was returned to the UK via air-freight to its new owner. Upon its arrival in the UK, GTC Engineering completed a mechanical overhaul of the car along with some cosmetic work, including the re-chroming the exterior parts of the car. In March 1990 the car was purchased by Boland Investments Limited at c.22,600 miles and promptly delivered to Fosker Engineering for a comprehensive, bare-metal restoration including engine overhaul, brake and suspension rebuild and an interior refurbishment. The work was done to ‘concours standard’ with the sole intention of ensuring this fantastic, low mileage Daytona was the best example in the world.
During Mr Boland’s ownership, the car was thoroughly maintained and serviced by Glenvarigill Co. Ltd and visited Stewart Roden Motors annually for its MOT. In July 1992, the car was exhibited at the Ferrari Owners Club(FOC) National Concours in conjunction with the Christie’s International Historic and was the highest marked example in the 275/365 class.
Over the proceeding years, the car would see regular concours attendance, visiting the F.O.C. Scottish Weekend, Scottish F.O.C. Dinner at St. Andrews and F.O.C. Concours at Walton Hall.
The fascinating and comprehensive history file spans four large binders. Inside the correspondence between the original owner, Mr Gibson who collected the car, references from those who knew the owner in period as well as comprehensive testimony to the incredibly low mileage of just 27,100 miles in the form of annual MOT certificates. The binders are accompanied by a restoration book from the work done by Fosker Engineering, the workshop manual requested for its time in South Africa, countless dated film photographs including negatives, the Ferrari Red Book Classiche Certification and a wealth of books, magazine features and Concours results.
Arguably the finest RHD Daytona extant, this unrepeatable example is available to view at our showrooms just outside London immediately.