Q: What other Ferraris did your dad have?
A: He’s had nearly 30, from a 250 Lusso, which he didn’t much care for and got rid of quite quickly, to a 250 SWB, two- and four-cam 275s, a few 365 GTC/4s and so on. He currently owns a Daytona Spyder that was converted from a coupe, and a 550 Maranello as well.
He paid about £7,500 for this car, which was about half of what it was worth when new about a year earlier (this was during the height of the fuel crisis and they were giving them away). He was also entertaining the idea of buying a DB4 Zagato for similar money, but ultimately went with the Daytona—that’d have been quite a return for investment.
Q: What’s the Daytona like to drive?
A: The first time I drove the car, it scared the shit out of me! I was coming from a Porsche 944 S2, which in real-world driving is probably a faster car, but the Daytona with its skinny tires, huge power and very long bonnet was quite intimidating at first. Once I built up a bit of familiarity with it, though, I found it’s actually quite docile and friendly, easily handling traffic.
Q: How often do you drive the it?
A: Weather permitting, about two to three times a month. It only gets about 11 US MPG, though, so that’s a limiting factor—we pay quite a bit more for fuel here than what it costs in the US, after all. It never gets hot, possibly because of the dry sump setup. It sounds great, of course, better than the earlier twin-cam V12s, which were great-sounding cars on their own, but the extra cams give the sound an added layer of complexity—they just sing. The steering will kick like a mule if you hit a pothole. After a long drive you’ll get out of the car, drenched in sweat, and just look back at it in awe. It’s an absorbing, analog experience.
Q: What’s your favorite (or least favorite) quirk or idiosyncrasy that you’ve come to be familiar with as an owner?
A: I’d have to say I don’t like the way it handles wet weather, or rather it doesn’t like wet weather at all. I like to joke that the guy given the task of designing the wipers spent most of his time and budget chasing women and then slapped together a system very quickly at the last moment—it’s really awful, with the two wipers banging together quite hard in the center of their travel and barely touching the glass for much of their travel, they are pretty ineffective.
A lot of rain also makes its way into the engine bay, where it plays havoc with the electrics, making it hard to start or causing misfires—it’s clearly a fair-weather Italian toy and not a machine designed with wet English weather in mind.
Long rides end up with you smelling of petrol, which I don’t really care for all that much as my wife really dislikes it, but otherwise it’s all lovely.