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Coachwork by Scaglietti
Unveiled at Paris in 1968, Ferrari’s new 365 GTB/4 Berlinetta gained its unofficial Daytona name while still a prototype, when Ferrari turned the tables on racing archrival Ford with a podium sweep at the famous American 24-hour race in 1967. Today, the 365 GTB/4 remains simply the ultimate expression of the classic front-engine, two-seater V-12 Ferrari GT ethos, with its taut and aggressive body design universally acknowledged as one of Pininfarina’s best.
Hailed from launch as the world’s fastest series-production sports car with a factory-claimed 174 mph top end, the Daytona backed up the hype with a six-carburetor 4.4-liter DOHC V-12 engine developing 352 bhp mated to a five-speed rear transaxle for outstanding balance. In fact, Road & Track’s Dean Batchelor photographed an indicated 180 mph at the wheel of a Daytona at 7,000 rpm, later corrected to 173 mph. Daytonas also performed very well in competition despite their grand touring primary mission, winning the Tour de France, and taking several class wins at Le Mans and, fittingly, at Daytona.
Having covered only an approximate 85,000 km (approximately 53,000 miles) from new, this original European-specification Daytona was a single-owner example until acquired by the consignor in 2014. Completed on December 12, 1973, Daytona no. 17607 is a very late example, being the fifth from the last ever built. It was factory-finished in the unusual and highly desirable colors of Nero (Black) over Rosso (Red) leather. Options included factory-installed air-conditioning. Delivered to Switzerland via the official Ferrari importer Société Anonyme pour la Vente des Automobiles Ferrari (SAVAF), 17607 was purchased by the first owner in early 1974. Around 1976, when the owner decided to have a major service performed by a non-Ferrari garage that worked with his company vehicles, a timing chain was incorrectly adjusted, severely damaging the engine and necessitating its replacement. A few years later, the Daytona’s gearbox was replaced. In 2010, the Daytona was sent to the Ferrari Classiche-accredited firm Eberlein Automobile GmbH in Kassel, Germany, for extensive refurbishment, including rebuilding the engine and gearbox. An eight-page invoice details the work, which nearly cost €45,000.
In 2014, the Daytona was acquired by the consignor, who treated it to an extensive bare-metal repaint. Additional items include new signal lenses and carpeting. Recently, the Daytona was rigorously inspected and certified by Ferrari Classiche, and the all-important Red Book accompanies this car. No. 17607 has had strictly limited use since the aforementioned mechanical recommissioning five years ago in Germany. It is striking in presentation and offers a wonderful opportunity to acquire one of the final examples of its storied breed.