At the Paris Auto Show in October 1968, Ferrari introduced the 365 GTB/4 as their V12 flagship. The press informally dubbed it the “Daytona” in honor of Ferrari’s 1-2-3 finish at the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona. The Daytona’s striking Pininfarina-designed body featured a nose-down, tail-up design with a long nose and short tail, giving it a phallic appearance.
The car was powered by a 4.4-liter quad-cam, six-carb Colombo V12 engine that produced more than 350 horsepower, an independent suspension, disc brakes on all four corners, and a rear-mounted 5-speed transaxle that provided optimal weight distribution.
Despite the mid-engine trend among exotic car manufacturers such as Lamborghini, Maserati, and DeTomaso, the Daytona’s performance figures were impressive enough to quash any doubts. In fact, Road & Track magazine achieved a top speed of over 170 mph during a run across the Nevada desert, solidifying the Daytona’s position as a formidable sports car.
The Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona is considered one of the marque’s greatest grand touring cars, as it was a mechanically advanced version of the 275 GTB/4.
In total, about 27 Daytona Competizione cars were created for racing during this period, with 15 of them made by the factory in three sets of five cars and two additional factory prototypes. The cars had different specifications, with the earliest factory model having an alloy body, and later cars having 450 brake horsepower engines.
Their accomplishments were nothing short of remarkable: during a 12-year period, 365 GTB/4s achieved numerous accolades such as 4th overall at the 1971 Tour de France, 5th overall and 1st in class at the 1972 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1st and 2nd overall in the 1972 Tour de France, two more class victories at Le Mans in 1973 and 1974, and a class victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1975, with a 2nd overall and another class win there in 1973. The Daytona Competizione was so potent that one even claimed 2nd overall at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1979, over a decade after its introduction.
Photo Source: Favcars.com