Unique of the Week: 1972 Ferrari Daytona

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The Daytona has often been named as one of the greatest Ferraris of all time.

Just as Ferrari rolled out their all-new F12berlinetta flagship this past week just before its live debut at the Geneva Motor Show, we thought it was time to take a look back at another Ferrari that was the focus of so many dreams. The Ferrari Daytona had its big premiere back in 1968 at the Paris Motor Show. Interestingly, the Daytona name was never officially given by Ferrari, but rather by the news media in an effort to commemorate the Italian automaker's big finish at the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona.

Its given name by Ferrari was 365 GTB/4. In contrast to the Daytona's predecessor, the 275 GTB/4, the new car featured much more angular styling and seemed a bit more reminiscent of something coming from Lamborghini. However, Pininfarina was responsible for the Daytona's styling. Unlike previous Ferraris of the era, the Daytona eventually had pop-up headlights instead of glass-covered units. The reason for the change, which happened in '71, was that new safety regulations took effect in the U.S, effectively banning glass-covered headlights. At the time, Lamborghini was busy rolling out their V12-powered mid-engined Miura.

In contrast, the Daytona's Tipo 251 V12 was located up front. It was a 4.4-liter unit with 347hp and was actually developed from an earlier V12 that was used in the previous 275 GTB/4. This was good enough for a 0 to 60 mph acceleration time of 5.4 seconds, which was quite remarkable for the era. Power was sent to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual that was mounted in the rear to allow for better weight distribution. The Daytona also featured a four-wheel independent wishbone suspension with coil springs. The U.S. version had a few modifications such as a reduced compression ratio and an exhaust system with a central silencer.

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All told, 1,284 units were built by the time production ended in 1973. In addition, 122 Spiders, officially called the GTS/4 came out of Maranello. The Daytona's replacement was the mid-engined Berlinetta Boxer and Ferrari didn't build another front-engined V12 flagship until the 550 Maranello's debut in 1996. It took a little searching, but we found this 1972 Daytona up for sale on cars.com. According to the seller, this Rosso Corsa Red Daytona has had a recent restoration both inside and out and the engine and transaxle have been rebuilt as well. It has a total of only 37,010 miles on the odometer and the asking price is $325,990.

Anyone who's interested can contact Ferrari of Atlanta, Georgia. Now that the new Ferrari F12berlinetta has been revealed online, it's interesting to see how the front-engined V12 Ferrari flagship has evolved, once again proving to be an absolute insane combination of raw power and Italian beauty.

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