- A renowned California Daytona
- Offered by its second owner of 40 years; only 4,838 believed actual miles
- Painted by Junior’s House of Color with Tony Nancy interior
- Complete with books and tools; original matching-numbers engine
- Featured on the cover of Cavallino, No. 61
- Ferrari Classiche certified
352 bhp, 4,390 cc DOHC V-12 engine with six Weber 40 DCN21/A carburetors, five-speed manual transaxle, four-wheel upper and lower wishbone coil-spring independent suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 94.5 in.
THE MAGNIFICENT DAYTONA
Ferrari’s 365 GTB/4 acquired its unofficial “Daytona” moniker after Maranello swept the top three places in the 1967 endurance race of the same name. Enzo Ferrari was reportedly quite annoyed when the Daytona nomenclature subsequently leaked to the press during testing, and it was never officially applied to the model.
While much of the Daytona’s sleek, dart-shaped Scaglietti bodywork was steel, its low weight was typically maintained by the use of aluminum for the doors, hood, and trunk lid. Under the hood was a four-cam, 4.4-liter Colombo V-12, developing an impressive and unprecedented 352 horsepower. With a top speed of 174 mph, the 365 GTB/4 Daytona was Ferrari’s fastest road-going automobile to date, and it was one of the fastest automobiles in the world during the early 1970s. Le Mans-winning Ferrari driver and well-known automotive journalist Paul Frère claimed to hit 176 mph in autostrada traffic in 1969. “It’s the engine that makes the music,” he noted, “the finest music of all to the ears of the enthusiast, and the music he can enjoy in a well-sprung car, fitted with such amenities as electric window lifters, air conditioning . . . and a really capacious luggage locker—a Grand Touring car par excellence.”
“THAT SPECIAL GLOW”
Typical of Ferraris, the 365 GTB/4 Daytona never ceased to be desirable and was never merely a “used car.” Witness, in 1976, the purchase of the car offered here by its current owner, who has now lovingly maintained it for a full 40 years; or this car’s use in 1991 to lavishly illustrate a cover feature in Cavallino, No. 61, when that august journal of Ferrari history at last turned its attention to the Daytona’s tale. For a quarter-century now, Pete Lyons’s Daytona history in that issue has remained one of the definite works on this landmark model, and this was the car that accompanied it, its Rosso Corsa finish bursting off the pages against its desert background.
Chassis number 15305 was built to U.S. specifications, with Borletti factory air conditioning, and finished in Rosso Chiaro over Nero. It was sent to William Harrah’s Modern Classic Motors of Reno, Nevada, and subsequently to Chic Vandergriff’s Hollywood Sports Cars, dealer of choice for Steve McQueen and other glitterati, which sold it to the original owner, Dr. Howard Twilliger, a doctor in Beverly Hills, California, in 1972. At some point during this early ownership, the gearbox was correctly replaced, as is noted in the car’s Ferrari Classiche certification. It is believed to have had its set of chromed Borrani wire wheels since new, as a specially ordered feature.
In 1976, the Daytona was acquired from its original owner’s estate by the consignor, a longtime enthusiast, beginning a 40-year odyssey with the car he proudly registered in California as MY 365. The low-mileage Daytona was repainted Rosso Corsa by the renowned Junior’s House of Color, upholstered by the famed Tony Nancy, and set out on a highly successful show career. It was awarded Best of Show at the Ferrari Owners Club Los Alamitos Concours d’Elegance in Long Beach in 1978, and 1st in Class at the FCA Annual Meet at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, in 1988. The owner is proudest of the Best of Show award bestowed at the Queen Mary Concours d’Elegance in 1986, when he accepted the trophy in the shadow of that grandest of ocean liners, now a Long Beach landmark.
In featuring the car in 1991, Cavallino’s editors gushed that it was “the one that stops concours organizers, judges, and attendees dead in their tracks, the one that brings endless oohs and ahhs wherever it goes . . . . If it’s in better shape now than when new in terms of fit and finish, that’s fine with us; it remains, however, thoroughly accurate and a prime example of the Daytona model.”
The car has, indeed, been one of the best-known and most awarded Daytonas in California while remaining a substantially original car. In 2011 it was certified by Ferrari Classiche, with the Red Book on file for the sale. At the time of cataloguing, it had turned over only 4,838 actual miles, as backed up by its excellent Tony Nancy interior and well-preserved finishes inside and out, and it retains its original books and tools. Few lower-mileage and better-preserved Daytonas are to be found, anywhere.
Simply put, much of what Cavallino once said about this “prime example of the Daytona model” is still true, and its consignor adores it as much today as he did back in 1976. Such is the power of timeless beauty.