Page 1 of 2 Next >> For many years, Ferrari produced some of the finest and most successful GT racers. That was until the Italian manufacturer decided to focus on the works Formula 1 and sports car program during the second half of the 1960s. Ferrari's production models were no longer thinly disguised racing cars, which made it increasingly difficult to turn them into GT racers. As a result Ferrari had several very public run-ins with the sports' governing body over homologation issues. This ultimately prompted the Italian company to curtail its once so successful customer GT operations at the end of 1966.
Ferrari did continue to produce thoroughbred road-going Grand Tourers and the company's most prominent customers were keen to take them racing. These customers included the distributors in Belgium, France, England and the United States. Especially, the latter, Luigi Chinetti and his highly successful North American Racing Team (NART) had little intention of slowing down his operation. NART had the means and the experience to develop production road cars into proper racer. So it was hardly a surprise that within a few months after the all-new 365 GTB/4 'Daytona' had broken cover, NART fielded an example in the 1969 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The car used was an early production, aluminium bodied example, which had been prepared in Italy. Knowing Chinetti's close relationship with Enzo Ferrari himself, this was done with a certain level of backdoor support from the factory. As with any competition conversion from a production car, the main job at hand was stripping as much weight from the car as possible. A stiffer suspension and slightly wider tyres were also added to improve the roadholding. One of the Daytona's greatest attributes was undoubtedly, the all-new twin-cam V12 engine, which was the first fitted to one of the company's production cars. It was also further tuned to suit the competition needs. Page 1 of 2 Next >>