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Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona

Italian Stallion

This profile first appeared in the September 2001 issue of Collector Car & Truck Market Guide

 

Ferrari. The word itself is legendary, and the man behind the name, Enzo Ferrari, is one of the automotive world’s most legendary players.  From his skills in pre-war Europe as a tenacious and successful driver, to his desire for perfection in high-speed motorcar construction, Enzo displayed his passion for performance and speed in every car that bore his name.


Almost from the beginning, there was a desire to bring the Ferrari name to the United States. With early road cars carrying names like the America and Super America, little red sports cars began to find their way into the stables of well-heeled American enthusiasts. With prices starting well over the $10,000 mark at the time a very well appointed American sedan could be purchased for around $3,000, and with even luxury models hovering in the $5,000 range, ownership of these cars was limited to the elite.
 

In 1964, Ferrari began producing the 330-GT 2+2, which was the first “family car” from the little car company in Maranello, Italy. From this model and subsequent versions came another car, the 365 GTB/4 Daytona.
 

Period promo shot, European version The dry sump V12 Bold interior ready for action

While the 330-GT had debuted at Paris four years earlier to mixed reviews, the Daytona won instant approval by nearly everyone in attendance at the 1968 show, except maybe the competition. For the purists that believe all cars with the Ferrari nameplate should have twelve cylinders in front of the driver, the Daytona takes its place as one of Ferrari’s quintessential models.
 

Carrying graceful lines originally designed by long-time Ferrari coach builder Pininfarina, the bodies for these sleek and graceful cars were actually constructed by Scaglietti. Based on the successful 275 GTB chassis and drivetrain, the Daytona coupes sat on a 94.5" wheelbase and measured from front to back a rather long 196". The Daytona was no lightweight, tipping the scales at almost 3900 lbs. wet.
 

Under the hood resided a magnificent 4390cc V-12, a proven design that featured a 60-degree spread, delivered 268 ft-lbs at 5,000 rpm, and supplied fuel through a six-pack of Weber 40-DCN carbs. A dry-sump design, this engine was rated at a potent 352 horsepower (DIN) at 7500 rpm, and amazingly could deliver it on what was then standard grade fuel with its compression ratio of 8.8:1. Top speeds with the five-speed shifter linked to the proven Ferrari-designed rear transaxle topped 170 miles per hour, and 130 mph cruising was delightfully easy.
 

Inside, the driver was faced with all gauges neatly arranged in a nacelle where he could check road and engine speed and all vital engine functions. Leather was everywhere.
 

While the Ferrari 365GTB was still considered a hand-built car, rolling production changes were instituted whenever engineering felt they were ready for release. In 1969, the 365GTS Spyder was unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Early models had headlights mounted behind a plastic protective lens. This set-up was not legal in the U.S.A., so a specially engineered retractable system was developed. By the end of 1970 all of these cars used the hidden light design. Factory appointments such as the full-leather seats, air conditioning and AM-FM radio eventually made their way into production models giving these cars even more of a family sports car appeal. Five-spoke Cromodora cast alloy wheels were standard on these cars, but many buyers opted for the more expensive Borani wire wheels.


By 1974 the Daytona was dated and ready to give way to new and improved versions.  Gaining favor with the factory were mid-engine models, such as the new 365-Berlinetta Boxer, housing the new, horizontally opposed "boxer" 12-cylinder engine.


What to Look For

The Daytona was a tremendous marketing success for Ferrari. A total of 1,285 coupes and 127 convertibles were built between 1968 and 1974. Over the years, a number of coupes have been converted to Spyder configurations. Some of these were well done, some are a little scary. Among the top-rated conversion facilities for these cars was Strahman from Costa Mesa, California. In addition to lopping off the metal top and putting in the convertible top mechanisms, they added the proper structural support to keep the car from exhibiting too much chassis flex. There are a number of coupes that now sport a soft-top conversion with sketchy histories, and extra care should be taken with these.  Stress cracks and other signs of structural fatigue is the first thing to look for when inspecting any (factory or otherwise) drop top Daytona.


Ferrari ID numbers are pretty simple and straightforward. Always start with the numbers! Registries and even factory help is available in determining the history and background of the car you are looking at. These same tools can also be helpful in determining the rest of the car’s authenticity with regards to soft trim, paint and factory installed equipment.


When these cars were new, they were often driven with gusto.  Many Daytonas have had a hard life, and and a few even have track history. A limited number of 365's were raced prepped by the factory and command a much higher price if racing heritage can be proved.
 

When vehicles are driven hard, accidents happen, and at speed they can be serious and extensive. When looking over a Daytona the sheet metal and body panels will provide some clues, but much more important are the suspension parts and basic chassis parts, especially the frame.
 

'The dash is simple, well executed, and full of information. 

Corrosion and other natural elements that contribute to the disintegration of the integrity of the machine should also be looked for. Fortunately, however, most owners of these cars take precautions against these problems.
Replacement parts and Ferrari factory support are one of the big pluses for Daytona owners, as long as the checkbook isn’t short on funds. If you intend to drive your Daytona with any regularity, keep in mind that these cars are unbelievably expensive to maintain in top condition.
 

There are some common ailments to look for. The crazing of the front and rear light lenses seem to be a given, but replacements are available. In addition, pay close attention to the soft trim, the webers, the Boranis, and any tell-tale blue smoke.


Market Conditions

Over the past several years, falling prices in the Ferrari market have reversed and some substantial increases have been seen with many limited production models. The relatively plentiful 365 GTB/4 Daytona coupes have not shared with the rebound, but have been strong sellers around the $100,000+ mark for excellent editions. The few Spyders that come on the market can be expected to hit the $300,000 range for strong examples. This is quite a ways off the 1989/90 market of $300,000 coupes and $800,000 Spyders. Values for the best conversions usually bring about the same as a comparable coupe.


Although we don’t expect any substantial rise in values for these cars in the near future, they remain quite desirable and should do  better than the market as a whole. Look for prices of true Spyders to continue to lead any appreciation curve.

Current Daytona Values


There was little difference in performance between the U.S. and European delivered Daytona’s, and there appears to be (at least in the U.S.) a bit of a premium for those that came to America when they were new.


There are dozens and dozens of publications which focus exclusively on Ferrari, and you should read several of them to become more familiar with running changes, what questions to ask and where to look for problems. As always, we recommend becoming a member of those clubs and groups which honor the marque. One of the largest and oldest groups in the United States in the is the Ferrari Owners Club of America. They can be contacted via the Internet at www.ferrariownersclub.org


Finally, it is strongly advised that you arrange for inspection by a knowledgeable Ferrari mechanic. It is well worth the cost. Rebuilding that V12 will run you a bit more than a Chevy small block!
 

All U.S. spec. cars have rotating hidden headlights (middle, photo courtesy RM Auctions).  Everyone else got the plexiglass covered lights (left) until late in 1970, when all cars switched to hidden lights.  It's a looker from the rear, too. (Ferrari photo)

This profile first appeared in the September 2001 issue of Collector Car & Truck Market Guide

(c) Copyright 2001 VMR International, Inc.  All rights reserved.