Track To Road: Why The Ferrari 365 Is Known As The Daytona

Track To Road: Why The Ferrari 365 Is Known As The Daytona

I previously wrote about why Ferrari uses numbers to indicate their models, but today it’s time to explain why the 365 GTB/4 is called Daytona.

In the summer of 1966, Pininfarina designer Leonardo Fioravanti laid eyes on the bare chassis of a Ferrari 330 GTC and his mind began rattling. He grabbed a piece of paper and started drawing: ‘’I wanted to follow its shape and dimensions, while paying close attention to the aerodynamics.’’ Fioravanti showed Sergio Pininfarina the designs he made and the rest is history. Ferrari introduced the 365 GTB at the 1968 Paris Motor Show, replacing the widely beloved 275 GTB/4.

While Pininfarina further shaped the car, the engineering team made sure to complement the excellent styling with an excellent engine - an updated version of the 275’s Colombo V12. The engine could rev up to 6500 rpm, resulting in a goosebump-worthy engine tone. It was undoubtedly one of Ferrari’s and Pininfarina’s greatest collaborations.

Ferrari 275 GTB

The starting price of the Daytona was approximately €10.000, which at the time made it the most expensive new Ferrari ever. It was also the last model made by Ferrari before the company was sold to Fiat in 1969.

A complete red podium

1967 24 hours of Daytona

As Richard Hammond once said about the Daytona: ‘’It may take its name from a race track in America, but trust me, the Daytona is the absolute essence of pure European supercar.’’ Its name was indeed derived from the Daytona International Speedway.

After Ferrari lost the endurance races in Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans in 1966, they were determined to see better results the following year. The 1967 World Sportscar Championship (WSC) began in Daytona and Ferrari completed it with a one, two, three finish’. The first Ferrari to cross the finish line was the Ferrari 330 P3/4 (#23) driven by Lorenzo Bandini and Chris Amon, in second place was the Ferrari 330 P4 (#24) driven by Mike Parkes and Ludovico Scarfiotti, and third was the Ferrari 412 P (#26) driven by Pedro Rodriguez and Jean Guichet. This was the perfect start to a successful season, which Ferrari eventually won with 34 points.

1967 24 hours of Daytona

To commemorate this historical moment, artist John Ketchell made a fabulous art print of the three Ferraris lining up before crossing the finish line.

About one and a half year later, Ferrari revealed the 365 GTB to the public.

Ferrari 365 GTB/4

As this was the first car the automaker revealed after having won the WSC, the media quickly dubbed it as the Daytona. Although Ferrari never recognized the name, the car is still known as the Daytona.

Written by Max Lammers.

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