Model history: When Ferrari replaced the 275 GTB with the 365 GTB/4 'Daytona' in 1968 and no competition version was announced, a highly successful era came to an end. In this period, Ferraris, particularly the 250 GT derivatives, dominated GT racing. There were various reasons for the Italian manufacturer to suspend the customer racing program, like the spiralling costs of the sports car and F1 efforts and the switch of the focus to prototype racing of the potential clients.
The Ferrari 365 GBT/4 was nevertheless bestowed with the same racing DNA as its predecessors, so it was only a matter of time before one was independently prepared for racing. Not surprisingly, among the first to field a Daytona was Luigi Chinetti, who was Ferrari's American importer and long time private entrant under the North American Racing Team (NART) banner. Readied in 1969, the alloy-bodied NART Daytona was raced at Daytona and Sebring with a twelfth at the latter as the best result.
Buoyed by the performance of his Daytona, Chinetti approached Enzo Ferrari in an attempt to re-consider his decision not to make a competition version. He met his old friend halfway and offered the help of the 'Assistenza Clienti' or customer assistance department to ready a batch of five new cars for the 1971 season. Crucially, the 'Gestione Sportiva', the works racing department, was not involved. With this arrangement, Ferrari could genuinely claim they had no association with the competition Daytona, while also keeping his loyal clients happy.
Built to Group 4 regulations, the new 'Daytona Competizione' featured an all-aluminium body with plastic windows. This helped shave a massive 400 kg off the dry weight of the relatively heavy road car. Further changes to the exterior included the removal of the bumpers and the addition of small 'fences' on the the front wings to improve stability at high speed. Modification to the engine was limited to a cold air box and an open exhaust system. This raised the power with 50 bhp to 402 bhp.
In addition to Chinetti, other seasoned Ferrari privateers like French importer Charles Pozzi and Scuderia Filipinetti also bought the new GT racer. The fifth car was sold to an Italian, who opted to use the ferocious machine on the street. Ready late in 1971, the Daytona Competizione debuted at the Tour de France where the Filipinetti and Pozzi cars finished fourth and tenth overall respectively. The final major outing that year was in the Montlhery 1000 km where the Ferrari France car Daytona placed third overall and second in class.
Over the Winter five more cars were built, which used a steel body and a further tweaked engine, now good for 430 bhp. The Daytona Competizione had a breakthrough result at the 1972 edition of the 24 Hours where a Series 2 example entered by Pozzi finished fifth overall and first in class ahead of four sister cars. Underlining the car's versatility the Le Mans class winner also took an outright victory in the Tour de France a year later. Across the Atlantic, the Daytonas were also raced successfully.
Another and final batch five cars were built with even stronger engines for the 1973 season. They remained successful, scoring two more class wins at Le Mans. In addition to Chinetti's prototype and the 15 examples produced by the Assistenza Clienti, several other road-going Daytonas were updated to 'Group 4' specification in the early 1970s. Many of these cars had lengthy and successful racing careers; one even finished second overall in the Daytona 24 Hours as late as 1979.
With three class wins at Le Mans and an outright win in the Tour de France Automobiles, the Daytona Competizione has a rightful place in the long line of successful Ferrari GT machinery. Especially considering it was built in the manufacturer's client assistance department and not in the competition department. Today the Daytona Competizione is highly sought after and eligible for all the major events like the Tour Auto and Le Mans Classic.
Delivered new to Charles Pozzi in the Summer of 1971, this is first of five Daytona Competiziones built that year. It made its competition debut with a tenth in the Tour Auto and a third overall in the Montlhery 1000 km. In the following years, it was extensively raced with a class victory at Le Mans in 1974 for Bardini and then owner Cyril Grandet as the best result. The car eventually ended up in the hands of a Dutch enthusiast. Following a complete restoration, he raced the car extensively, including at the 2005 Tour Auto where it is seen here.
Of the 15 Daytona Competiziones built, this Series 1 car is the only one that was not raced in period. Instead it was used on the street by Enzo Ferrari's close friend Dottore Paolo Mariani. In the following years the car passed through various hands until it was acquired by Sir Anthony Bamford in 1994. He had the car prepared for racing but it was only sparsely used. Since 1999, it is in Swiss ownership and raced more extensively at events like the Tour Auto and Le Mans Classic.
Shortly after taking delivery, Scuderia Filipinetti entered this chassis in the Tour Auto where Vic Elford and Max Kingsland finished fourth. After the car crashed out of the 1972 Le Mans, it was set aside and eventually sold. In 1977 legendary actor Paul Newman acquired the car and raced it to fifth overall in the Daytona 24 Hours with Milt Minter and Elliott Forbes-Robinson. Following a brief spell in the Matsuda collection, the car passed into the hands of an American enthusiast, who has actively campaigned the car on both sides of the Atlantic.
The first of two Series 1 Daytona Competiziones sold to Luigi Chinetti's NART team, this chassis was raced at Daytona and Sebring at the start of the 1972 season. The best result came at Sebring where Luigi 'Coco' Chinetti and Bob Grossman finished second in class. In German ownership the car eventually returned to the track during the 1990s. It is seen here while in the hands of Sir Anthony Bamford, entered in the Tour Auto and Spa CER race in 2005 and the 2006 Le Mans Classic.
This is the final of the first batch of five Dayonta Competiziones constructed. It was delivered new to the North American Racing Team, who extensively raced the car during the 1972 and 1973 seasons. Among its best results was a fifth outright in the 1973 Daytona 24 Hours in the hands of Bob Grossman, Luigi 'Coco' Chinetti and Wilbur Shaw Jr. For most of its live, chassis 14889 remained in the United States, until it was acquired by Jean Guikas in France. He raced it at the 2010 Le Mans Classic.
What a wonderful car. What a versatile car. Pure Ferrari. Possibly the greatest of the twelve cylinder cars.
Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competitizione S1
In 1972 I went to Le Mans to watch that year's 24 Hr race. In this race the Ferrari 365's placed 5th through 9th. For me, attending this race was the highlight of the early '70's. Sadly, one of my heros, Jo Bonnier had a horrific fatal accident driving a Lola T280. In between practice and the race, I drove around the course in my car. Towards the end of this "adventure", I was chased off the course by the local police - Nothing ventured, nothing gained.