Greg's List: Cord Phaeton
By Greg Warner
The 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 "Daytona" was the final production year for this venerable and highly sought after collector classic! A true original Ferrari 365 GTB/4 "Daytona" is a rare vehicle by any definition of the word and only some 1,406 total units (according to the Ferrari historians who determine these numbers) were ever produced between 1968 and 1973, and these included about 121 (some say 122) Ferrari 365 GTS/4 "Daytona", which was a true, convertible version or "Spyder", as Ferrari preferred to call them. In fact, as prominent a vehicle as it was (the 365 GTB/4 and 365 GTS/4) in Ferrari's notable history and in automotive history as a whole, the unofficial moniker of "Daytona", was only adopted later on by the Ferrari "powers-that-be" and was thought to commemorate the victorious results of a 1-2-3 place finish by Ferrari's model 330P4's at the grueling 24 Hours of "Daytona" Race in 1967. With that fantastic finish fresh in their minds and hearts, and when the new Ferrari 365 GTB/4 made its debut in 1968, the media immediately dubbed the new Ferrari as "Daytona". This name subsequently caught on, and stuck, as both the media and the public in general, made constant use of the name "Daytona" when describing the iconic new vehicle.
The Ferrari 365 GTB/4 "Daytona" was designed as a unique, front engine, independent rear suspension with a transaxle-drive gear. Sporting a V12 (called a model "Tipo" 251), 4.4 liter (approx. 268 c.i. for you stateside enthusiasts) stated to produce around 347 hp, with DOHC (double over-head camshafts per bank) fed by six, twin Weber carburetors mounted in a row, along the top of the engine. The engine was connected to the above mentioned, 5-speed manual, transaxle which was designed this way to better improve handling by utilizing optimum weight distribution of the vehicle front to rear. This design resulted in superior handling characteristics which was lauded by all who had the pleasure to pilot one of these powerhouse exotics. The 0-60 mph sprint was achieved in a mere 5.4 seconds, while the 1/4 mile was clocked at only 13.8 seconds and the car was capable of achieving a top speed of 174 mph! Few cars ever made, were as exciting to drive as the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 "Daytona" even to this day!
The Ferrari 365 GTB/4 "Daytona" with its rakish new body, hide-away headlamps and outstanding performance was nicely outfitted with typical Ferrari interior appointments, including plenty of gauges, switches and of course racing style, leather seating. Even optional air-conditioning was offered, mainly for the North American market which was Ferrari's largest consumer base. Incidentally, Ferrari has a method-to-their-madness means of naming their cars and the 365 GTB/4 designation breaks down like this: the 365 relates to the displacement in cc's of each cylinder, the GT stands for a model of vehicle called Gran Turismo, the "B" references the body style of a Berlinetta or "coupe" and "S" models were "Spyders" (or "S" could also designate Targa roof or convertibles depending on model and year) and the 4 (no, it doesn't mean it seats four people, which it does) is for the four-cam engines.
Many magazines of the day, the ones which were lucky enough to get a hold of one for a test-ride and ensuing article, applauded the Ferrari 365GTB/4 "Daytona" as the best sports car or "GT" car ever produced and it has more than lived up to those accolades even to this day. The prowess of this fine automobile on the racing circuits of the world, speaks volumes about its heritage and success. These world-class cars are highly collectable and sought after rarities and will always bring top dollar at any prestigious dealership or auction where you may be lucky enough to find one offered for sale!
Certainly among the all-time greats in any automotive history lesson, the Ferrari 365GTB/4 "Daytona" has secured it's place in history and you can join the select few connoisseurs to own and drive one of these legends by contacting Steve Ahlgrim and his knowledgeable staff at The Motorcar Gallery in Ft. Lauderdale, FL to inquire about the fine example of an original, unmolested, beautifully patina'd vehicle featured here or the many others they offer for purchase @ 888-491-8101 or local/International (954) 522-9900. Also, feel free to peruse our website for similar vehicles or the many thousands of other varieties of vehicles we offer!
Thanks for reading and remember to make the best of every day and always, always, enjoy the RIDE!
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