Dream garage

Ferrari Daytona

Tell your friends you’ve bought a Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Berlinetta and they’ll look at you blankly. Say “Daytona” and their faces will clear. Maranello never officially titled it thus, but that’s how we know the elegant Grand Tourer that Enzo revealed in 1968.

These cars weren’t conceived as competition vehicles, and stayed away from the race track for some years. But 1967 had started with Ferrari’s sweeping victory in the Daytona 24 Hours – in a trio of barely related mid-engined prototypes – and it seems that we in the press couldn’t handle all those numbers and letters in the factory designation. Hence the handier nickname.

With ever more comfort built in, the 175mph Daytona marked a divergence between the factory’s racing models, by now 3-litre prototypes, and its big-engined tourers. Perhaps we don’t see the Daytona as one of the greats, but look at it and muse on the design leap from the curving ‘two wings and a bonnet’ tradition of its 275GTB forerunner to the wide, chiselled planes of the Daytona. Pininfarina’s Leonardo Fioravanti produced one of the world’s most beautiful cars, its simple unadorned flanks sweeping ahead to a snout as sharp as a carpenter’s chisel, the lamps delivering a challenging stare from behind Perspex shields. Those later switched to the retracting version seen on the example on offer at Hendon Way Motors, which boasts a remarkably restrained 38,000 miles on its odometer.

“Real miles,” says HWM’s Anthony Pozner. “It’s had three owners from new, the last one since 1985.” That was Ian Fraser, co-founder of Car. “He maintained it beautifully,” adds Pozner.

“It hasn’t been restored, just kept in nice order.

“I’ve often taken a 275 to rallies and race meetings and, compared to the Daytona, it’s probably a bit better balanced, and lighter too. But the bigger engine of the later car really tells; at 100 it has so much more left in it.”

That’s because the quad-cam Colombo V12 jumped to 4.4 litres and 357bhp, six twin-throated carburettors producing a glorious noise. Hand-assembled like all Ferraris of the time, the Daytona ran to only 1400 examples. “About 150 are right-hand drive, which makes it pretty rare,” Pozner says.

These gorgeous cars won’t disappoint on a brisk continental trip. “It’s like driving the Eurostar,” Pozner says. “Squeeze the throttle at 100 and you’re well on your way to Paris!”