What is it?
It’s a Ferrari 365 GTB/4, the car you’ll more likely know as the ‘Daytona’. The absolute must-have luxury Grand Tourer in the 1960s and ’70s, the 4.4-litre Colombo V12-powered ‘Daytona’ is no shrinking violet when it comes to hiking up its skirt and getting a move on. Just ask the legendary American racing drivers Brock Yates and Dan Gurney, who, in 1971, famously drove a ‘Daytona’ 2,876 miles from New York City to California’s Redondo Beach in a record time of 35 hours and 54 minutes. That’s an average speed of 80.8mph!
Could you tell us about this car’s history?
Fitted from new with optional air-conditioning and a Voxson radio, this European-specification left-hand-drive Ferrari 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ was delivered in 1972 to the Iranian embassy in Rome before being exported to Tehran, where it’s understood to have joined the Shah or Iran’s sizeable collection. We discovered some amazing photos of the car during its time in the Iranian capital, parked alongside its successor, the 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer.
Chassis 16107 returned to Europe in the 1980s, winding up in the possession of a Parisian collector, before heading Stateside, where it was subsequently sold via Art Muller’s Southern Sports Cars of Miami to another France-based collector. The ‘Daytona’ was next seen at a 1998 Brooks auction in Gstaad, when Max, who was working for Brooks at the time, distinctly remembers it. "How could I forget? It's not every day you encounter a gold 'Daytona'!" Copies of the original Brooks vehicle entry form and catalogue description accompany this beautiful Ferrari, confirming that it displayed 30,880km on the clock at that time.
An Italian collector acquired the Ferrari in the early 2000s, who exhibited it at the Incontri d’Arte Ferrari meeting in San Marino. The car was to remain in Italy until 2014, when it joined the 40 car-plus collection of a German enthusiast. During his ownership, 16107 was maintained regardless of cost by his in-house team of mechanics, including the fitment of new fuel tanks and lines. He also had the official Ferrari dealer Eberlein Automobile fit electric power steering, a reversible feature which transforms the driving experience.
What makes this particular ‘Daytona’ so special today?
Well, have you ever seen another ‘Daytona’ painted gold? In all seriousness, there are only 16 others finished in Oro Chiaro (that’s ‘light gold’ in the Queen’s) and we reckon the subtle shade accentuates the sultry Pininfarina-designed bodywork of the car very well, especially in combination with the five-spoke magnesium alloy wheels, which look a hell of a lot more modern than the Borrani wires. Its royal provenance as part of the Shah of Iran’s collection is also a great talking point – there can’t be many other ‘Daytona’ owners who can legitimately say their cars are genuinely fit for a king.
Furthermore, in 2019 this ‘Daytona’ received the all-important Classiche certification from Ferrari, pertaining to the originality of its chassis, engine, gearbox, bodywork and exterior colour. The Classiche binder is accompanied by the car’s original owner’s manual, a period-correct tool kit and an expansive history file. All that was missing was an enthusiastic new owner prepared to give it the tender loving care it’s used to and willing to drive it with the gusto. Until now, that is.
What’s it like to drive?
You mean apart from making you feel like an oil-rich playboy prince? Simply put, it’s heavenly. The retrofitted (and entirely reversible) power steering makes the ‘Daytona’ feel like much less of a truck at manoeuvring speed, and during our day jaunt around central London, this example felt as tight as a drum. This reassurance leaves your mind free to properly enjoy what is one of the most intoxicating engines ever produced. The performance is astonishing, and we can only imagine what that must have felt like in 1972. Perhaps more impressive is how positively passers-by and fellow motorists treat you. Modern Ferrari owners won’t know the feeling half as well.
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