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

1967 24 Hours of Daytona – Race Profile

1967 24 Hours of Daytona – Page Seven

With four hours to go the first place Amon/Bandini P4 was 11 miles ahead of the 2nd place Parkes/Scarfiotti P4 and 100 miles ahead of the NART 412P of Rodriguez/Guichet. The NART car had a little bad luck in the final hours when they had to pit for mechanical problems that cost them twenty minutes.

At 1 p.m. the three Ferraris had not changed position and in 4th & 5th position were the Porsche 910 of Hans Hermann and Jo Siffert and the Porsche 906LH of Rico Steinemann and Dieter Spoerry respectively.

From then on the Italian drivers were so comfortable with their lead that they engaged in a bit of NASCAR type drafting on the high banks. It was no one other than Bill France, Jr. who introduced them to Daytona-style drafting by showing the boys from Modena closed circuit films of NASCAR races. This was done in December when France played host to the Ferrari team during their test week at the Daytona Speedway.

During the final thirty minutes of the race the three Ferrari racers paraded around the track nose to tail at a leisurely pace ignoring the stream of race cars passing them by.

As the clock wound down to the final minutes the three Ferrari cars slowed down even further then filled the asphalt track three abreast as they headed toward the checkered flag and vindication for the Prancing Horse.

The rest of the pack was forced to bunch up behind them and as the three blood-red cars crossed the finish line the drivers purposely revved their engines and the distinctive scream of 12-cylinder Ferrari engines could be heard throughout the track. Ferraris led for almost 20 hours of the 24-hour race and it was a great victory for Enzo Ferrari.

1967 24 Hours of Daytona scoreboard
With only three laps to go, the score board at Daytona tells the story.

Finishing first was the P4 of Chris Amon and Lorenzo Bandini. They covered 2,537.46 miles (666 laps) for an average speed of 105.703 m.p.h. This was not a record because the Ferrari team had little to worry about after the collapse of the Ford team early in the race.

Coming in second was the P4 of Mike Parkes and Ludovico Scarfiotti and third was the NART 412P of Pedro Rodriguez and Jean Guichet. As a further embarrassment to Ford, fourth and fifth places went to the much smaller-engined works Porsche 910 of Hans Hermann and Jo Siffert and the Porsche 906LE of Dieter Spoerry and Rico Steinemann. The only surviving factory 7-liter Mk. II of Bruce McLaren and Lucien Bianchi limped home in seventh place and 278 miles behind the winning car while the private entry John Wyer GT40 of Dick Thompson and Jacky Ickx finished sixth overall and first in the sports category.

The winning Ferrari team crosses the finish line at Daytona in 1967
The winning Ferrari team crosses the finish line at Daytona in 1967. It was a great comeback for Ferrari and a humiliation for the world champion Ford Team. Photo colorized by Louis Galanos.

The Ferrari 1-2-3 victory was a crushing defeat to the world-champion American Fords in the first of eight races in the 1967 Championship series.

During the post-race interviews everyone had an opinion as to why the much ballyhooed Ford team failed to win.

Race winner Chris Amon felt that the Fords were “too heavy.” He said, “We (Ferrari) were lighter than the Fords. We could take them accelerating out of the tight curves, and run with them on the straights.”

North American Racing Team owner, Luigi Chinetti, felt that the Fords were too big and had too much power. He commented, “Four-hundred and five-hundred horsepower is foolish. Only about five drivers in the world can handle that kind of horsepower to full advantage on a short course.”

The winning drivers were awarded a purse of $17,100 which works out to the paltry sum of $3.36 per mile per driver. Second place drivers split $7,350, $3,900 for third place with 4th and 5th place cars taking away $1,050 each.

Victory lane Daytona 1967 24 Hours picture
Victory lane celebration at Daytona in 1967.

Not long after the race Ford and Shelby American would return to Daytona with their GT40 Mk. IIs and J car and rent the track right in the middle of Speedweeks in order to work out the problems with their prototype cars in preparation for Sebring. So as to not conflict with any NASCAR events all testing was done from 5 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily for one week.

Anyone hoping for a Ferrari repeat at Sebring on April 1 of 1967 would be thoroughly disappointed. Ferrari technical director, Franco Lini, announced that they would not compete at Sebring, “…because this American race was not in our plans.”

Ford GT40 Mk IV J Car photo
The problems with the Ford “J” car were too much to overcome. After the Daytona 1967 race Ford would immediately return for testing sessions with the GT40 Mk. II and the new GT40 Mk. IV. This is the car that Mario Andretti and Bruce McLaren drove to first place at Sebring one month after the disaster at Daytona in 1967. It also won at Le Mans in 1967. The GT40 Mk. IV was the only All-American built car to win at Le Mans. The Ford GT40 Mk. IIs were built in England. Photo colorized by Louis Galanos.

Those in the know suspected that both NART and factory Ferrari were fearful of legal action being filed at Sebring following the death of four spectators in 1966. Mario Andretti’s NART Ferrari figured prominently in that tragic occurrence. In fact, one week prior to the Sebring race a $1 million wrongful death suit was filed and Andretti was one of the principals named in the legal papers.

Not long after the ’67 Daytona victory Ferrari driver Mike Parkes would commission a painting of the 1-2-3 finish and present it to Enzo Ferrari as a birthday gift. Ferrari kept the painting prominently displayed on the wall of his office until his death in 1988.

When Ferrari introduced their now legendary 365 GTB/4 at the Paris Auto Salon in 1968 the media unofficially christened it the Ferrari “Daytona” to commemorate their 1-2-3 victory at Daytona in 1967. The name stuck and that’s how the car is referred to today.

A fitting epitaph for the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona could be found near the city limits of Daytona Beach, on Volusia Avenue, not long after the race. There a local Ford dealer had erected a sign which proclaimed that “This is Ford Country.” Someone, a Ferrari fan no doubt, had painted the name Ferrari, in red, over the Ford name.

For Additional Reading

Daytona 24 Hours: The Definitive History of America’s Great Endurance Race by J.J. O’Malley, David Bull Publishing, 2009

Ferrari’s Continental Revenge by Patrick McNally, AUTORSPORT Bulletin Board

The Daytona Beach Morning Journal, Daytona Beach, Florida, Feb. 4, 14, 17, 1967

The St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Florida, February 4, 6, 1967

The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Washington, Feb. 5, 1967

Competition Press and Autoweek, April 22, 1967

The Miami News, Miami, Florida, Feb. 17, 1967

SPORTSCARS.TV, Daytona 24 Hour Race

[Source: Louis Galanos]

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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!