Ferrari Daytona – 1968

Everyone calls it a Ferrari Daytona, but of course they’re wrong – it’s really the 365 GTB/4. Daytona it is, then. This late 1960s stunner was just that, representing a radical departure from everything that went before.

The Daytona was created by long-time Ferrari collaborator Pininfarina and introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 1968. But to the dismay of many it was not like the slinky Pininfarina curves adored by aficionados. Instead, it had sharp-edged looks that reminded doubters of – whisper it if you dare – a Lamborghini.

Unlike the latest Lambo, however, the Daytona retained one traditional Ferrari characteristic – an engine up front, this time a meaty 4.4 litre DOHC V12 with six twin carburetors. But even this was a disappointment as Ferrari’s racers had already gone mid-engined. With all that not going for it, the Daytona turned out to be rather successful and even (eventually) quite well liked. Around 1,400 were built.

The majority were left-hand drive GTB/4 coupes, though around 1 right-hand drive versions were made. The factory also issued 122 GTS/4 Spyders converted from coupes by Daytona bodybuilder Scaglietti. A mere seven of these were RHDs. The open-topped cars are so desirable that a number of Berlinetta coupes have magically turned into Spyders over the years, but these ringers can be distinguished from the real thing because the windscreen is more steeply angled. A total of 15 special lightweight competition Daytonas was also constructed.

There were a couple of related evolutions that don’t have genuine ‘Daytona’ cachet. The 365 GTC/4 used an identical chassis and had a 2+2 coupe body by Pininfarina. The 365 GT4 2+2 was another four-seater with an angular look that had vague resemblance to a true Daytona, reiterating an angular style that Ferrari would use for cars like the Mondial in the 1980s.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

Italy

FIRST MANUFACTURED:

1968 (until 1973)

ENGINE:

4,390 cc DOHC V12

PERFORMANCE:

Top speed of 150 mph (241 km/h); 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 5.4 secs

YOU SHOULD KNOW:

All hell broke loose when Ferrari discovered that TV cops Crockett and Tubbs were driving a replica Daytona (built on a Corvette chassis) in the Miami Vice TV series – but the offending machine was conveniently destroyed in an action sequence and thereafter a genuine Ferrari Testarossa scorched the screen streets of Miami.

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