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The ultimate expression of Ferrari's fabulous line of V12 front-engined sports cars, the 365 GTB/4 debuted at the Paris Salon in 1968, soon gaining the unofficial name 'Daytona' in honour of the sweeping 1, 2, 3 finish by the Ferrari 330P4 at that circuit in 1967. Pininfarina's Leonardo Fioravanti, later the famed Carrozzeria's director of research and development, was responsible for the influential shark-nosed styling, creating a package that restated the traditional 'long bonnet, small cabin, short tail' look in a manner suggesting muscular horsepower while retaining all the elegance associated with the Italian coachbuilder's work for Maranello. One of Pininfarina's countless masterpieces, the influential shark-nosed body style featured an unusual full-width transparent panel covering the headlamps, though this was replaced by electrically-operated pop-up lights to meet US requirements soon after the start of production in the second half of 1969.
Although the prototype had been styled and built by Pininfarina in Turin, manufacture of the production version was entrusted to Ferrari's subsidiary Scaglietti in Modena. The Daytona's all-alloy, four-cam, V12 engine displaced 4,390cc and produced its maximum output of 352bhp at 7,500rpm, with 318lb/ft of torque available at 5,500 revs. Dry-sump lubrication enabled it to be installed low in the oval-tube chassis while shifting the gearbox to the rear in the form of a five-speed transaxle meant 50/50 weight distribution could be achieved. The all-independent wishbone and coil-spring suspension was a recent development, having originated in the preceding 275GTB. Unlike the contemporary 365GTC/4, the Daytona was not available with power steering, a feature then deemed inappropriate for a 'real' sports car. There was, however, servo assistance for the four-wheel ventilated disc brakes. Air conditioning was optional, but elsewhere the Daytona remained uncompromisingly focussed on delivering nothing less than serious performance. At the time of its introduction in 1968, it was the most expensive production Ferrari ever and, with a top speed in excess of 170mph, was also the world's fastest production car. Deliveries commenced in the second half of 1969 and the Daytona would be manufactured for just four years; not until the arrival of the 456 GT in 1992 would Ferrari build anything like it again. Only 1,300 Berlinetta models and 121 Spyder convertibles had been made when production ceased in 1973.
Only 156 Daytonas were manufactured in right-hand drive and Chassis number 15837 is indeed one of those rare cars. In common with many important cars, this fabulous motor car is accompanied by a massive history file which can take some wading through, however, in this case, Foskers have helpfully compiled a four-page ‘Ownership, MOT and service summary’ that documents the car’s history from new up until April 2016 when it was purchased by our vendor. All the relevant invoices and documentation since then have been kept in the same fastidious manner. From this useful summary, we can glean that 17th February 1972 an order was placed by Maranello Concessionaires with the factory for a 365 GTB/4 in Blue Dino Metallizzato (106-A-72) with Pelle Beige (VM3218) hide, beige carpets and optional air-conditioning. On 22nd May 1972 the car was UK-registered to its first recorded owner, Ian Anthony (Sales) Ltd. of Bury in Lancashire and by June of 1974, it was in the care of Dickson Motors of Perth and used by Tommy Dickson, well-respected works driver for Ecurie Ecosse and teammate of Roy Salvadori and Sir Jackie Stewart. September the 21st, 1983 marks the change to its second recorded owner, William Loughran Ltd of Preston, Lancashire and the names of Mr Hughes and Ms Francoise Jacquin of Hampstead were added to the logbook in May 1984.
The Fosker’s document continues for several pages listing MOT mileages, changes of registration number (6), services, and small repairs. Significant dates are 15th May 1989 when a ‘body restoration’ was undertaken by Maranello Concessionaires on behalf of Lord Gerald Fitzalan-Howard, Greystoke Automotive of Rotherwick and the invoice for this totalled £25,989.85 at 30,293 miles on 8th November 1989. In August 2004, Octane Magazine featured an eleven-page comparison between 15837 and a 365 GTC/4 with the car driven by Mark Hales and a copy of the magazine is in the owner's file. An 8-track music player was fitted in February 2005 and the car was fitted with power-steering by TDH Classics in May 2006. The following few years appear routine (by Ferrari standards) until January 2015 when there is an invoice from Foskers for £22,544 that relates to a full strip, repair and repaint in its original colour and chroming and sundry work to the bumpers.
Our vendor purchased the Daytona from Foskers in April 2016 and in the file there is a very detailed report from the hugely knowledgeable John Pogson MIMI who had been asked to carry out a pre-sale inspection. The issues highlighted were mainly cosmetic and minor mechanical and it would appear that our vendor made allowance for these prior to agreeing on a final figure. Certainly, there are half a dozen invoices (around £9,000) from Italia-Autosport over the following three years that appear to address all the items from that report.
During the Summer of 2016, 15837 was successful in being awarded its ‘Certificazione di Autenticita’ by the factory, the legendary ‘Classiche’ that every classic Ferrari owner desires and that confirms 15837 retains its matching numbers original engine, gearbox, differential and other key parts. Naturally, this will accompany the car in its bespoke red box. Also with the car will be the comprehensive Owner’s File containing MOTs, MOT History, ownership history, service records, dozens of invoices, inspection reports, August 2004 issue of Octane, and colour photographs of the bodywork restoration.
We welcome any inspection of this important car and would suggest that we leave the last words to John Pogson who has worked with these cars for over forty years and is an acknowledged authority on the Daytona. He kindly let us have his opinion in the last few days.
“I have been responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of 15837 since (our vendor’s purchase). I can report that the originality and patina in this car are amazing and one of the best I’ve ever seen, very hard to find this level today. No faults to report. This is one of the best, most rewarding Daytonas I’ve ever driven.”