It's going up for auction later this month.
One of the most desirable Ferrari grand tourers in existence is going up for auction, and it's none other than the first 365 GTB/4 Daytona prototype. Listed for auction by RM Sotheby's, Dutch-based Ferrari specialists have done a beautiful job of restoring this car, while the original chassis and unique V12 engine have contributed to it being certified by Ferrari Classiche.
The Italian marque's successes in racing led to the 365 GTB/4 receiving the Daytona name in the late 1960s, and Ferrari more recently referenced this iconic nameplate with the launch of the new Daytona SP3, a car that was voted as the most beautiful supercar of the year last year. But even the SP3 lacks the charm of this immaculate 365 GTB/4 Daytona prototype, and the latter's front-engine layout is more akin to modern Ferrari GTs like the Roma than the SP3.
Aesthetically, this car has links to both the 275 GTB/4 and the later 365 GTB/4 Daytona, and this represents the first of just six prototypes that were built. This one has a Tipo 596 chassis and a unique Colombo V12 engine known as Tipo 243 internally. Displacing 4.4 liters, the V12 boasts six Weber carburetors.
Compared to the 275 GTB/4, the prototype has a nose that has been stretched and flattened, and it has covered headlights. Interestingly, US safety regulations led to later Daytona models having retractable pop-up headlights since headlights behind covers became banned at the time, but this is another detail that makes this first prototype so unique.
It's said that Enzo Ferrari's favorite aspect of this prototype's design is its side profile, which shares much with the production model. There are also shades of the even prettier Jaguar E-Type in the car's nose and hood. At the back, there is a chrome bumper, rounded light clusters in three separate casings on each side, and quad-exit tailpipes.
This prototype was exported from Italy to the USA in 1972, and it exchanged owners a couple of times between then and 2003. At that stage, the car wasn't in great condition, but its owner became aware of its significance over time and decided it deserved a full restoration.
This restoration was done in the Netherlands, and the professionals entrusted to revitalize the 365 GTB/4 Daytona clearly knew what they were doing. The interior, for instance, has flawless black leather seats and a classic three-spoke steering wheel with a thin wooden rim.
As part of its certification from Ferrari Classiche, photographs of the prototype were found that confirmed it had six Carello taillights instead of the four on other 365 GTB/4 models. Because it left the factory with the six taillights, this change was made, along with a correct transaxle gearbox. The certification binder from Ferrari Classiche serves as assurance that the car accurately adheres to the original design.
Following its restoration, the prototype drew a tremendous amount of attention wherever it went, culminating in a Best of Show award at the 2016 Concours d'Eleganze Paleis Het Loo Apeldoorn in the Netherlands.
Since its restoration, the car has covered approximately 620 miles, so it has been run in enough to be enjoyed at speed.
Bidding is set to open on 22 May and close on May 26, and even if it misses a spot on the list of the most expensive Ferraris ever sold, the Daytona is sure to fetch a tidy sum before the end of the month.
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