Ferrari Team 1-2-3 Finish at the 1967 Daytona 24 Hours

1967 24 Hours of Daytona – Race Profile

1967 24 Hours of Daytona – The Revenge of “Il Commendatore”

By Louis Galanos | Photos as credited

The year 1966 was not a good year for Enzo Ferrari. Ford beat Ferrari with a humiliating 1-2-3 finish at both Daytona and Sebring and for the first time in six years they lost, again to Ford, at the Holy Grail of endurance racing the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

With the 1966 World Sportscar Championship (WSC) trophy solidly in Ford hands many were predicting that the ten-year dominance of Ferrari cars in endurance racing had come to an end. Many believed the much talked about and much written about three-year-long Ford – Ferrari War was being won by Henry Ford II and his mega buck program would bring Ferrari to its knees.

Not everyone in the racing community was happy with this turn of events. Stirling Moss, at the time a retired world driving champion, commented: “…he’s (Enzo Ferrari) a true racing manufacturer… It’s sad to see a man like this beaten by a big company, especially when you realize their (Ford’s) decision to race is really just another marketing decision.”

Not long after the defeat at Le Mans the Ferrari engineers went to work to analyze what went wrong, to correct it and bring Ferrari back into the winner’s circle in 1967 and avenge their loss of honor at the hands of Ford.

This was no small task for unlike Ford the folks at Ferrari had a lot on their plate and, as one of the smallest auto manufacturers in the world, limited resources. Not only were they building prototype cars for the WSC but they were also building Formula 1 cars, developing a V6 Formula 2 racer, the Dino 206GT and turning out their vaunted V12 production cars. Added to these burdens were labor unrest and parts shortages. As a result they often would enter only one or two factory cars in endurance events to compete with six or more Ford prototypes.

To get back on the winning track for 1967, the 68-year-old Enzo Ferrari gave Mauro Forghieri, Technical Director at Ferrari’s Racing Department, a relatively free hand in developing what would become one of the great racing cars from this era.

Capitalizing on everything learned from racing the Ferrari P3 Forghieri eventually produced a 4-liter V12 engined car with Lucas fuel injection and 30 more horse power than the P3’s 420. In addition a 36-valve cylinder head came with the engine along with a higher compression ratio.

To address the problems they were having with the unreliable Tipo 593 ZF transmission an in-house 5-speed gearbox was created as a replacement. The new car also sported cast magnesium Campagnolo wheels and wider Firestone tires to replace the Dunlops. It would be christened the 330 P4.

Ferrari 330 P 3 4 Daytona 1967
The factory Ferrari 330 P3/4 that Chris Amon and Lorenzo Bandini drove to first place at the Daytona 24 in 1967.
Mike Parkes Ludovico Scarfiotti Ferrari 330 P4
Mike Parkes and Ludovico Scarfiotti finished second in this Ferrari 330 P4, three laps behind the winner.

Because of the afore mentioned limited resources, Ferrari was only able to produce two new Ferrari fuel-injected 330 P4’s to challenge Ford at Daytona in 1967 and one reconditioned 330 P3/4 running a normally aspirated engine. That car was also was known as the Ferrari 412P and would be entered by the North American Racing Team (NART) of Luigi Chinetti at the second annual Daytona 24 Hour race.

That was the limit of what the factory could bring to the table but there were also several private Ferraris entered at Daytona. The Belgian – Francorchamps P3 driven by Willy Mairesse and Jean Beurlys and the other a green P2 entered and driven by David Piper with his co-driver Richard Attwood. Other private Ferrari entries included two Dinos, a 275 GTB and a 250 LM driven by Peter Clarke and Edward Nelson.

The NART 330 P3/4 (412P) was just an upgraded older P3 with improved gearbox, Weber carburetors rather than fuel injection, better brakes, and other refinements. The body shell was also almost identical to the newer 330 P4 and this caused some confusion among sports writers in reporting the race.

NART Ferrari 412P Pedro Rodriguez Jean Guichet photo
NART Ferrari 412P of Pedro Rodriguez and Jean Guichet. The car finished third, 29 laps behind the winner.
Ferrari 250 LM Peter Clarke and Edward Nelson photo
Ferrari 250 LM of Peter Clarke and Edward Nelson. They finished in 21st position.
Modern Classic Motors #34 Dino 206 S
Bill Harrah's Modern Classic Motors #34 Dino 206 S left the race with engine problems. (photo credit: Al Wolford Collection)

In a reflection of his determination to return the WSC trophy to Maranello, Enzo Ferrari did something unprecedented. He allowed his Ferrari prototypes team to fly two of the new 330 P4’s to New York where they were then trailered to Daytona Beach, Florida for a private one week of testing (thanks to Firestone Tire Company) at the Daytona Speedway late in 1966. Racing division chief, Mauro Forghieri, and competition manager, Eugenio Dragoni, went along to supervise the testing. Dragoni was given strict orders from Ferrari not to break the track record set the previous year by Ken Miles driving an older model Ford GT40 Mk. II.

Mario Levetto lived in Daytona during those years and worked at Cape Kennedy as an aerospace engineer. His father (also called Mario) owned the San Remo Restaurant in South Daytona and this place was frequented by Bill France, Jr. and his family. France was known to recommend the restaurant to the Italian teams when they were in town.

On more than one occasion France had asked Mr. Levetto, Sr. to act as a translator for the Ferrari factory team and his son Mario was known among the Ferrari team members. Mario commented that when the Ferrari factory team arrived at Daytona for testing during the winter of 1966 they had not done any fittings for the car seats that the driver’s would use during the tests. Ferrari team manager Dragoni asked Mario to go to the nearest supermarket and buy a couple of auto seat covers (the thick ones used in Florida to reduce the sweat marks on shirts) so that the smaller drivers could find it easier to adapt to the cockpit of the new 330 P4.

For the testing session at Daytona Ferrari recruited Chris Amon and Lorenzo Bandini to drive the Spider 330 P4 and Michael Parkes and Ludovico Scarfioti to drive the other prototype which was the Berlinetta P4. Chris Amon’s presence surprised a few folks because he had been on Ford’s winning Le Mans team just six months earlier.

Amon finished sixth driving an earlier version of the Ford GT40 Mk. II at Daytona in 1966. During the testing session at Daytona in 1967 he was asked to compare the Ford to the Ferrari and he said, “It’s rather like driving a truck compared to a car.”

Lorenzo Bandini Ferrary Daytona 1967
Winning Ferrari driver Lorenzo Bandini at Daytona in 1967. Three months after this photo was taken Bandini would die as a result of a crash and fire at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Ferrari team at Daytona 1967
Some of the winning Ferrari team drivers at Daytona in 1967. With the helmet is Lorenzo Bandini, in the baseball cap is Chris Amon and to the right is Ludovico Scarfiotti.

During one of the tests Mike Parkes was on the track alone. For some reason he kept ignoring signals from his crew and they became concerned. They were about to send out a driver in the other P4 when he finally entered the pits. He stayed in his car for some time in what was described as a daze. It is not known whether he had been affected by exhaust fumes or being alone on the track he developed a form of self-hypnotism. He soon recovered.

One goal of the test sessions was to recreate the demands of a 24-hour race with pit stops, driver changes and minor repairs. While the pit area was closed to the public during those test sessions, the grandstands were not and quite a few spectators were happy for the privilege of witnessing them at work.

Among those spectators were some engineers from Ford with stopwatches, binoculars and a long-lens camera. They and the other spectators witnessed just about every Ferrari driver break the track record set by Ford the previous year. Also, the Ferraris were turning regular lap times at speeds above what Ford was able to accomplish at Daytona the previous year. The Parkes – Scarfiotti P4 was averaging close to 110 m.p.h. after six hours of testing and this, no doubt, worried the Ford engineers.

Lorenzo Bandini NART Ferrari 412P
Lorenzo Bandini examines the NART Ferrari 412P during practice and qualifying for the 1967 Daytona 24 Hour race.
4-liter V12 engine of the winning Ferrari 330 P3/4 Daytona
The 4-liter V12 engine of the winning Ferrari 330 P3/4 in the garage before the start of the 1967 Daytona race. Few in the automotive press gave these cars a chance against the 7-liter Fords.

1967 24 Hours of Daytona – Race Profile Continued

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Show Comments (27)

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  1. Another Galanos masterpiece! Thank you, Louis. As an aside, isn’t it a shame that Ford and Chaparral didn’t develop their lighter, higher revving, and less torquey small blocks, rather than feeding transmissions to the big blocks?

    1. David: That has mystified me for years. Time and time again the Chaparral was a DNF due to automatic transmission failure. We can’t change history but it is fun to speculate on the “what if…..”

  2. Thanks Lou and SCD – you feed us great stuff. The ’67 24 Hours of Daytona snaps into sharp focus. If I said that racing was never better, I’d be dating myself, but it never was… Ferrari vs. Ford – nothing is forever, but good writing prevails. I look for SCD every week, and I’ll see you in the pits, Doug

  3. Thanks Lou for the great article. It’s also very see good dad’s photos accompanying it. At that time in the mid to late 60s he was a glove rep/salesmanager for an industrial glove firm which had just begun marketing a sports/golf glove. Dad thought it might make an excellent driver’s glove. Being a huge motorsports enthusiast and photographer he parlayed the lot and headed off to Daytona. He was able to spend time with all of the major teams, Ferrari, Ford, Porsche, and Chaparral, meeting with the drivers, establishing friendships and handing out free samples of the gloves. I remember us getting phone calls from him at the track, we being just as enthusiastic about the sport (thanks to him) and occasionally he would put someone on the line saying “There’s someone who’d like to say hello to you”. I and my brothers were awe struck when the likes of Chris Amon, Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney and Phil Hill would take a few moments to speak with us. Dad’s archives span 60+ years of motor racing, everything from Grand Prix and F5000 to Can Am, Trans Am, ALMS, CART, Indy Car, and IMSA and I know he is thrilled to see his photos here along with your superb write up. Many thanks Lou and cheers!

  4. Great article….actually much more than an article, an in depth documentary! Yup, we had a great time that year. Mechanic, Bill Cannons of Daytona Beach entered two TR-4s (an A and an IRS). Ara Dube’ and Dana Kelder were 14th OA and 1st in class, Steve Sumner and I finished 16th and 2nd in Class. A little side note: During the testing days for the Ferraris, Steve asked if he could take his personal Ferrari GT around the track a few times. The Ferrari people said why not, expecting Steve to just cruise around….I rode as passenger and Steve proceeded to put ‘the peddle to the metal.” Well we came into turn one a little too hot ,and low and behold we started spinning circles through the entire turn. When we finally came to a stop and were still right side up and not having hit anything, I climbed out of the passenger seat with my knees knocking and here comes Bandini driving a stationwagon and Scarfiotti as passenger checking on our condition. They were concerned and then laughed a bit and we all returned to the pits. I wasn’t laughing a whole lot. Guido Levetto

  5. Lou, another impressive piece of work, very much appreciated. You may be interested to know that the Dragoni saga had gone on for sometime. Franco Lini was a friend of mine and told me once that the real problem was that Dragoni had a number of close contacts within the Italian press. He used them to pressure Enzo Ferrari to gain things he wanted…mainly number one spot for ‘his’ man Bandini. Bandini found Dragoni’s approach embarrassing. Phil Hill on Dragoni was wonderful…the only person I think Phil was openly critical of. Phil said he couldn’t find enough bad things to say about Dragoni!!!

    1. Ed, do you think that Enzo Ferrari connived with the factory drivers to violate the orders not to break the Daytona track record in order to give him a public reason to fire Dragoni?

  6. Another fantastic article with great photos –
    A super performance; you’ll have a hard time maintaining this level of quality in future articles !

    1. Not for the first time, I am amazed that no ‘real’ colour photograph of the famous Ferrari finished has ever emerged!

      Surely this was not a race from the stone-age era and one would have thought the U.S.A. would have enjoyed ready availability/use of colour film stock at the time – any thoughts/comments? Was there any film footage taken, perhaps?

  7. Outstanding work, Lou. Do you have plans to do the 1969 Daytona 24, the year we were filming James Garner’s “The Racing Scene” there?

  8. Great article Lou. You really go into details in the behind the scenes antics of racing. Thanks for taking the time to document a great race.

  9. Terrific job Louis. I don’t remember reading an account that weaved the facts in such a way as they setup what happens on the track so concisely interesting. The drama of the politics plays out against the mechanical realities of the race. And let me thank you for Bob Johnson, the driver of the Chaparral 2D, who passed away recently. He would have loved it. Our friend, and later our crew chief, he told stories that were this thick with life. I’ve already passed this on to several of our semi-old racing friends. Thank you Sports Car Digest for finding writers as good a s Mr. Galanos to keep alive the memories of a time when cars were actually different from one another and the personalities were bigger than life.

  10. Lou:

    Nice lead-in to the race this weekend. Thanks for setting the stage for us – excellent report with great photos!

  11. Stirling Moss was never World Champion, and all the Ferraris were “normally aspirated.” Two were fuel-injected and one was carburated. Other than that, great piece.

  12. Wow, what an article. This was when I lived and died with the Fords (my dad was a Ford man all his life). Thank you for an great behind the scenes look. Also, to all who added commentary, it adds immeasurably to the experience. Thank you all.

  13. Hello Guido. Fred Schmidt here. Remember me? I am the current owner of both the #42 and #43 Triumph TR4A’s. A few years ago while I was gathering information on the Triumph’s, you sent me some motion picture film that your brother shot of the cars. I still have the copies and they are great to watch. Have you been in touch with Bill Cannons, Dana, Ara or any of the others?. The last time I saw Bill was about 10 years ago. He gave me the actual Trophy from that race. So, I still have both cars and they look and run fantastic. Email me anytime. Thanks, Fred

    1. Just read your article, glad the cars are in good hands. Bill is still in good shape but “a mite older oi say”, I haven’t heard from Dana in quite a time. Ara passed away some years ago. Drop me an e-mail. Guido

  14. I am not sure about this statement: “Stirling Moss, at the time a retired world driving champion, commented: “…. Sir Stirling was a huge hero of mine then, as now, but I do not believe that he was ever world driving champion. He won a huge number of races in his career, usually in privateer cars, principally belonging to Rob Walker, methinks, and he was at one point a teammate of Fangio’s, but, better look that claim up.

    I attended that race with two college buddies, Randy De Stefano and George McNeese. Both of those guys were big (“irrationally exuberant”) Ford fans. I was a Ferrari fan. Needless to say, we goaded each other a good deal on the way to the race about who was gonna whip whose a$$. Ford had come out with overwhelming numbers of both 289 and 427 GT 40s, I think it was. Early on Sunday morning, after a long, cold night, we were out along the fence line (from the infield side) when along came Mario Andretti, helmet in hand, looking very very despondent. “What happened Mario,” we asked. “Fifty cent dog-screw in the transmission,” was all he said, as he walked back to the pits, leaving his Ford GT 40 on the track. It was very cold that morning, as I recall, chillingly cold for the Ford fans, as the Fords just continue to drop out in droves.

    At the end of the race, it was Ferrari, Ferrari, Ferrari, with two Porsche 911s tucked in a respectable distance behind them. That outcome did not please my two friends, at all. When leaving time came, there was more unbelieving silence than celebration on their part. And I had to pretty much struggle not to crow a little.

    I remember taking a picture of the number 32 Ferrari 250 LM on the infield course from about half-a-mile away with a Nikon F1, with a standard 50 mm lens on black and white Kodak PlusX film. Needless to say, I had to rotate the enlarger 90 degrees and project the image onto the floor to get a full 8 x 10 images, and was it ever grainy!

    That was a great race. Hugely exciting. Let’s see: 2013 – 1967 is … Oh, never mind. It was just yesterday in my memories.

  15. Such a great article and memorable race. I just read your race story for the third time, and suddenly realized that I had never left a comment! Thanks, Lou!

  16. Great article, I enjoyed the details.. I grew up in Lakeland FL and went to all the races at Sebring and Daytona during the 60’s. I later lived in Daytona and worked as a photographer at DIS. I really like the local look at Daytona at the time, San Remo. It was a small town. Very small crowds at Daytona and Sebring, not like today. How about an article about 1966 24 hrs. to correct the movie, “Ford vs Ferrari”.

  17. ALWAYS great to read and re-read and re-read your factual accounts of historic races and viewing again and again the photos. Mario

  18. In 1985 I sold my 275 GTB to a guy named Armand Blaton who revealed he had bought it on behalf of his Jean Blaton who was the “Beurlys” mentioned in this report and who also competed successfully for several years at Le Mans. They owned the best hotel in Brussels. The reason for the Beurlys nom de plume was that the family did not want him to race so he assumed the name and used it throughout his career. I believe the car is still in the family. I wish it was still in mine!