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Coachwork by Designed by Pininfarina, Coachwork by Scaglietti
The 365 GTB/4 Daytona
Unveiled at Paris in 1968, the new 365 GTB/4 gained its unof ficial name while still a prototype, when Ferrari swept the podium of the storied 24-hour race at Daytona in 1967. Today, the 365 GTB/4 remains the ultimate expression of the classic front-engine V-12 Ferrari concept, with its lean and aggressive body universally acknowledged as one of Pininfarina’s finest designs. Early models had full-width Plexiglas headlight covers, but US regulations rejected covered lights, resulting in the pop-up arrangement fitted to all Daytonas from 1970 forward.
The Daytona was hailed at introduction as the fastest production sports car in the world, with a claimed top speed of 174 mph on tap courtesy of its 352 hp, four-cam V-12 engine. Road & Track’s Dean Batchelor photographed an indicated 180 mph at 7,000 rpm and even when the speed was calculated and corrected, it still worked out to 173 mph. One of the first reports on the Daytona came from the pen of Le Mans-winning driver and auto journalist Paul Frère, who hit a reported 176 mph in 1969. He also extolled the Daytona’s impressive total experience, characterizing it a “Grand Touring car par excellence.”
Daytonas acquitted themselves very well in competition as well despite their Grand Touring mission, winning the Tour de France in 1972, their class at Le Mans in 1973 and 1974, and their class at Daytona in 1973 and 1975. Finally, long after production had ceased, a 1973 365 GTB/4 finished 2nd overall at Daytona in 1979 with John Morton and Tony Adamowicz co-driving.
This exceptional early-production example, chassis 12561, is an extremely desirable original European-specifications, left-hand-drive Daytona with rare early-production features, including Plexiglas headlamp covers, squared triple-ear “knock-off” hubs, a flat roofline, no marker lights, unique early window switches, quarter-windows, and seats without headrests. As documented by noted Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, it was completed on May 23, 1969, with assembly sequence 17 and Scaglietti body number 19, and finished in Rosso Rubino (ruby red) with a Nero (black) leather-trimmed interior.
Soon after it was completed, 12561 was delivered new to official Ferrari dealer M. Gastone Crepaldi S.a.s. in Milan and, later in May 1969, the Daytona was sold to Interauto S.a.s., also of Milan. Throughout 1969, the Daytona was serviced at the Ferrari Factory Assistenza Clienti in Modena. During the 1970s, the Daytona was exported to the US, where it has remained ever since. On November 6, 1977, it was advertised for sale in the Atlanta Journal Constitution by a private party in Tennessee and described as being in mint condition with 3,500 miles. Soon thereafter, 12561 was sold to Gerald R. Mautz, of Medina, Washington, under whom it was repainted, driven only sparingly, and stored.
Following Mr. Mautz’s passing in 2011, the Daytona was acquired by the consignor, a Ferrari Club of America Master Judge, in April 2012. A careful post-purchase examination of the Daytona revealed that it had never been taken apart under its prior owners and that it is truly an exceptional and unmolested original Daytona. Recent work includes installation of a new exhaust system and a painstaking disassembly, rebuilding, and reassembly of the suspension, including the bushings and shock absorbers, with parts sympathetically and correctly replated as required.
In addition, the Daytona was fully serviced and properly sorted, with the carburetors cleaned and adjusted, and the distributors rebuilt and recurved, ensuring it is ready to be enjoyed and operated with confidence. Compression checks revealed exceptional levels, with all 12 of the engine’s cylinders delivering a strong 175 psi. Other than the single aforementioned repaint to Rosso Dino under Mr. Mautz, 12561 retains the all-original interior with just one small repair noted, the original seat belts and steering wheel, the original glass, and the original date-coded wheels.
Surely among the finest early Plexiglasnose Daytonas in existence today, 12561 has travelled less than 9,000 km (5,600 miles) from new and it is accompanied at auction with books and a tool roll. Best of all, it is offered complete with the all-important Ferrari Classiche certification, providing further confirmation of its exceptional authenticity.
Outstanding in every respect and complete with rarely seen early-production features, 12561 stands proudly as simply a “best of the best” example. While a superbly restored Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona is a remarkable and desirable supercar on every level – with outstanding per formance and handling characteristics even today – a highly original, well-maintained, and never-restored example carries particularly irresistible cachet. While any car can be restored, it can be original but once. Accordingly, 12561 is simply a wonderful example of this rarefied breed, ideally suited for the true Ferrari connoisseur and enthusiast.