1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4-A Daytona Berlinetta

Coachwork by Pininfarina

Worthy successor to the 275GTB/4, the 365GTB/4 Daytona debuted at the Paris Salon in 1968, with production proper commencing in the second half of 1969. Aggressively styled by Pininfarina, Ferrari's new supercar boldly re-stated the traditional sportscar 'long bonnet, small cabin, short tail' look in a way which suggested muscular horsepower while retaining all the elegance associated with the Italian coachbuilder's work for Maranello.

Ferrari's road-car V12 engine had gained four overhead camshafts during production of the 275GTB (cars thus equipped acquiring a '/4' suffix) and in the Daytona displaced 4,390cc. Power output was 352bhp at 7,500rpm, with maximum torque of 318lb/ft available at 5,500 revs. Dry-sump lubrication enabled the engine to be installed low in the chassis, while a five-speed rear transaxle enabled 50/50 front/rear weight distribution to be achieved. The chassis embodied long-standing Ferrari practice, being comprised of oval-section tubing. All-independent wishbone and coil-spring suspension was a more-recent development, having originated in the preceding 275GTB.

Unlike the contemporary 365GTC/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, vital for the US market, was optional, but elsewhere the Daytona remained uncompromisingly focused on delivering nothing less than superlative high performance.

"The Ferrari 365GTB/4...will make the most blasé car nut consider financial slavery to acquire one" said US author Dean Batchelor back in 1969, whilst Belgian racing driver Paul Frere commented that the styling "suggests speed even when the car is stationary and...is striking without being flashy." The most powerful two-seater, road-gong GT and the world's fastest car at the time of its launch, the Daytona was capable of over 170mph (270km/h) and will always be a landmark in Ferrari history.

The car we offer was supplied new to Italy in 1972, with coachwork in Rosso Dino and beige leather upholstery. It is believed to have spent its entire life in its home country, where it was acquired by the owner, a Milanese collector, some 10 years ago. By this time it had already been comprehensively restored, the coachwork now finished in a deeper shade of Rosso Corsa whilst the interior has been retrimmed in the correct beige with typical black 'Daytona' inserts. The tan carpets appear to be original. Mechanically the car performs well, and the owner reports that on the few occasions when he has driven it, the car has proven reliable and untemperamental even in heavy traffic. The clutch has been replaced.

The condition of the bodywork appears good bar one slight mark on the front right-hand valance. The sides are ripple free and no corrosion is evident. The standard Cromodora 7 ½" alloy wheels are in good condition, shod with Michelin XWX tyres in older but serviceable order. The engine bay is clean but not detailed and enthusiasts will notice that the car's chassis number bears the 'A' suffix, which some claim denotes a more powerful engine (we don't!). The engine starts first time and idles smoothly; the owner's mechanic reports that a new set of plugs and a long drive are all that it needs! The interior is well preserved, with the luggage straps still in place and a period radio fitted, whilst the leather is brand new, with a lovely smell which is somehow unique to Daytonas.

Italian registered and showing 10,230km (probably 110,230km, or 66,000 miles) this is a well presented Daytona which has no major needs. It is fair to assume that if the current trend continues, it won't be long before there are no more Ferrari Daytonas available at this price level. This one is ready to be driven and enjoyed immediately.