Featured: This 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Was Built By Michelotto

This 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Was Built By Michelotto

By Ted Gushue
November 22, 2016

Photography by Tom Shaxson

A few months ago I happened to be at Luton Hoo, a stunning country estate turned hotel that just happened to be around the corner from Bell Classics. I was snapping away, posting on Instagram as one does when they’re at an absolutely massive luxury hotel in the country and Matt Wilton dropped a line. Sadly I only happened to be there for about 16 hours, but he was very quickly able to explain why I should make a point of stopping by next time I was in town. Namely, he texted me a photo of this Ferrari.

Long story short, we sent Tom Shaxson up that way to get a look at the thing in person. It is, as you can see, a delightfully absurd machine.

Ted Gushue: How did this car come into the world? Ferrari wasn’t spec-ing out Daytonas for Privateers, were they?

Matt Wilton: In the late 70’s a gentleman by the name Aldo Cudone had it converted to Group 4 by Michelotto. He loved the look of the Group 4 cars of the era and decided he wanted to own one himself. At the time Michelotto would custom build you a Spec Daytona for a flat fee. You just bought a new Daytona to them and they converted it to LM spec. This car is a 1971, and the original owner had it for 7-8 years before he took it to Michelotto. 

Gaetano Florino, who you may remember was the head of Ferrari Assistenza Clienti, oversaw the production. It was actually one of the last cars that Michelotto himself worked on.

TG: What would that have cost back then?

MW: I don’t know, lots of money! Every single aspect of the car has been changed or upgraded. Suspension. Compression ratios. Aerodynamics. Body panels. It’s an entirely different car essentially.

TG: Did he race it?

MW: He did two races in Italy, but he kept it more concourse prepped than race prepped. Like in the few events in the early 80’s, there was very little about the car when it was first built because he was a quite a private man. He kept it very quiet and took it to a few events in Italy and places like that and when he passed away in 2001 it was bought by a guy called Grahame Bryant and he’s got a son called Oliver. They went on and campaigned  it all over the world, they did the Classic Adelaide Rally and the Ferrari rounds in England and everything like that with it.

TG: At what point did it enter the Bell Classics family of cars?

MW: That’s around 2008. It was sold by the Bryant’s through one of the bigger Ferrari garages in England. Then Bell Classics bought it because they liked it, because they liked it the way it looked and everything like that and then he’s just had it sitting in storage.

TG: What’s it like to drive?

MW: It’s a beast, it’s the best way to describe it. It’s got a hard clutch in it, best part of 450 horsepower and no power brakes, no power assist anything, It’s a pure, unadultrated thoroughbred racecar.

TG: So it’s just absolutely terrifying?

MW: Yes [laughs]

TG: Are there plans to campaign the car as a mascot for Bell classics?

MW: Yes, the next year we’re going to try and get it out and get it ready for Le Mans Classic, Goodwood, etc.

TG: Who do you think will be racing it?

MW: I’m not sure yet we haven’t decided on the driver. I was thinking about it, but I’m not done many races yet so I don’t want to get ahead of myself and start racing that around. Got a 360 Challenge I’m going to start with next year.

TG: So the long term plan for this car is not necessarily have it as an investment, but to have it be the mobile mascot of Bell Classics.

MW: Bingo. It’s going to be a fantastic machine to campaign around in.

Editor’s Note: To learn more about what Bell Classics are up to in the UK, head on over to BellClassics.co.uk to learn more.

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RockdadIrisAntonella CudoneJim LevittBill Meyer Recent comment authors
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I built a 365 GTS motor about 30 years ago. It had factory race cams (hollowed out for weight reduction) and I installed a one-off nitrous and fuel injection system under the carburetors. The owner wanted a match race with a BB that beat him in a race across the Mojave Desert a while earlier. Then when the car was all complete, he chickened out and never put the pedal to the metal on the road. I have the entire nitrous/fuel injection system and all the attendant hoses and carburetor base plates in a box somewhere.


Stunningly ugly nose. European model with the chrome bumper off and the single striped headlight cover replaced with two smaller clear plastic ones.

Iris K

Maybe I just don’t understand but this model Ferrari is the ugliest Ferrari ever, and these modifications can’t fix that

Antonella Cudone
Antonella Cudone

….I used to sit in this car when I was 8…everyday back from school. It was my favourite out of my father’s collection. Good happy memories

Jim Levitt
Jim Levitt

I had a competitive Comp Daytona, (ex Francisco Mir).
We got about 410 HP after his modifications. You don’t magically find 200 hp in 4-5 years!

Bill Meyer
Bill Meyer

Who’s the shooter?? Great photos, lovely light.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

For once I find myself in agreement with GS that nearly 600bhp sounds more than a tad optimistic for a 365 engine. I’m perhaps more intrigued by the Dinoplex style boxes under the bonnet. Are they original or are they hiding some more modern engines electronics?


Good eye. That’s not a stock Magneti Marelli ignition system under the hood.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Err … factory 365GTB/4 LM’s [ Competiziones actually ] had a maximum of 450 hp . The Michelotto conversions .. 375 – 400 hp . And as any respectable Ferrari mechanic will tell you … force 500 hp or more outta the 365 motor and you’ve got yourself a Prancing Horsey Grenade just waiting to explode .

Ted Gushue
Ted Gushue

Fair point – let me ping Bell Classics to see if that was a misspeak!