When discussing the world’s most significant sports cars, few models loom as large as the 365 GTB/4, who’s racing pedigree label “Daytona” was unofficially gained after Ferrari’s 1-2-3 finish in the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona.
Despite Enzo Ferrari’s vision of the 365’s sole focus to become yet another brilliant road car produced by the factory, Luigi Chinetti saw great promise for the basis of a competition sports car. As both the founder of the North American Racing Team and Ferraris importer in the American market, Chinetti ordered an example from Scaglietti with lightweight aluminium bodywork and began works on his competition vision.
Despite the car not finishing in the 1969 24 Hours of Le Mans, Chinetti’s creation showed great promise and he agreed to develop two more examples. The factory began to take interest soon after and in 1971, Ferrari’s Assistenza Clienti division began to assemble Competizione versions of the Daytona. Over the course of three years, 5 examples were produced each year in three respective series.
In total, the Ferrari factory completed just 25 period Group IV competition Daytonas. Fifteen were completed by the factory, as well as two prototypes to almost production car specification and eight conversions by clientele workshops including Ecurie Francorchamps and N.A.R.T.
The competition cars immediately yielded results with one car taking 4th overall in the 1971 Tour de France, a 5th overall finish at the 1972 24 Hours of Le Mans and class wins at Le Mans in 1972 and 1973. Another example finished 2nd overall at the 1979 24 hours of Daytona, over a decade after the car was first produced, proving once again the resilience of its performance.
This particular example started life as a 365 GTB/4 'Daytona' in road trim and was delivered new to a Mr F. Grisard via Franco-Britannic Auto of Paris on the 3rd of September 1970.
In 1983, the car was returned to Modena and converted to Group IV specification for historic racing. Comprehensively re-engineered, this example was converted to Series III Daytona Competition specification for Group IV race specification. These changes notably include an aluminium bonnet and boot lid along with front wing mounted ‘fences’. Whilst the overall look is mostly comprised of a wider arched Daytona, the reality of the conversion process is one of a hugely labour-intensive process.
The transformation firstly required the addition of hundreds of hand drilled rivets to the now aluminium skinned bonnet. Both the bonnet and boot lid have period-correct leather tiedowns. To accommodate the competition width wheels, the body required wider flared metal arches both fore and aft. Centre lock wheels remained but are now significantly wider. The fuel filler was re-routed to an external filler cap on the offside rear. Below the car, and as per competition Daytonas, this example benefits from dual side-exit exhausts.
At the front of the car, the nose too has been heavily reworked for larger lights behind Perspex covers. The glass windows have been replaced with lightweight Perspex sliding items and the doors stripped back. The engine features the Competizione-specification revised airbox and is understood to have been fitted with revised camshafts too.
After the conversion was carried out, the car was kept in the south of France. On display for much of the 1980s at the Musée Automobile Cote d'Azur Mougins, the car would see minimal use.
Between April and August of 2003, the former owner carried out a mechanical overhaul with Garage Calderoni of Lyon, where it was overhauled and repainted which is accurately documented within the car's history file.
Later in 2006, the car moved to Germany where in October of the same year the transmission was renewed with a fresh clutch kit, from which the car has done only 100 kilometers since to date. Living its life in storage past this point, the car was then inspected by DK Engineering in 2014 at its storage facility in Petersfield on behalf of a very good client of the business.
Finally, the decision to sell the car came about and just earlier this year, the car underwent a significant major service at DK Engineering with the invoice near to £30,000. Presenting 'on the button' and with a completely fresh exterior, this stunning conversion example of the famous 365 GTB/4 'Daytona' Competizione is available to view at our showrooms outside London immediately.