One day, when I was 13 years old and already completely crazy, I was walking to the bus stop when a black car came up and the driver asked if I wanted a ride. I said yes and got in the car. Now before you think of how bad that sounds, read further.
Once I got in, I told the owner that he was driving my all-time favorite car. He asked if I knew what it was, and I said yes, that it was a US-spec Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona. The driver said he was impressed and asked where I was going. I told him I was going to school, and he diverted from wherever he was originally going and drove me to Orange Grove Junior High.
He made the ride there the kind that every car-crazy kid would hope it would be, and I know that we hit at least 100 mph a few times. It forever changed my life and started a lifelong love of the Daytona.
Quite a few years later, in 2002, I bought my first of two Daytonas while covering the Vintage Festival at Road America for my then-editor, Gary Anderson. I drove that Daytona from my home in Falls Church, Virginia, to Monterey, California, that same year, showed it at Concorso Italiano, drove it to the USGP at Indy, and ended up putting 26,000 miles on the car before selling it after two years for a good profit.
Driving that car on interstate 80 to Monterey was one of the best road trips I have ever taken. The factory said that the Daytona has a top speed in excess of 150 mph, and many say it can exceed 170. While I did not reach those speeds on the trip, I can believe either of those claims. The Daytona is an epic driving experience on the open road.
The Pick of the Day is one of these mythic sports cars, a 1972 Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona coupe said to be in largely original and apparently excellent condition. The private seller in Fort Meyers, Florida, advertising the Ferrari on ClassicCars.com, has owned the car since November 21, 1984, according to the ad.
Equipped with its original 4.4-liter, 352-horsepower V12 fed by six Weber carburetors and a five-speed manual transmission, the Ferrari shows 23,878 miles on its odometer, although there is no indication in the ad whether that is the car’s correct original mileage.
The 365 GTB/4 is fitted with handsome Borrani chrome wire wheels, as seen in the pictures with the ad, and comes with a set of original knock-off alloys. The car has its complete tool kit and jack, as well as its original factory owner’s manual.
The seats and door panels in tan leather appear to be in decent original condition, as do the dashboard and carpets.
The asking price for what Road & Track magazine once called “the best sports car in the world” is $645,000, and if it is indeed an all-original example, then it would be money well spent. The car is said to have an extensive documented service history, which is important for any car you might be buying in this lofty price range.
The Daytona is the ultimate of the front-engine V12 cars from Maranello. They are the last V12 Ferrari road cars that were raced at Daytona, Le Mans and just about everywhere else, and they were amazingly successful. I have assisted quite a few friends in buying Daytonas, and not a single one of them ever regretted the purchase.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.