Journal: Falling In Love In London With A Street-Parked Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona

Falling In Love In London With A Street-Parked Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona

By Minol Patrice
April 13, 2018

Photography by Patrice Minol

When Enzo and co. introduced the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 “Daytona” to the world and the crowds at the 1968 Paris Motor Show it was put forth as the fastest production car of the day. In the 50 years that followed it has fallen ever further down the rankings of speed, but why wouldn’t it? Our consistent technological chug forward has unlocked more potential than Maranello could ever have imagined in the late 1960s, but the Daytona’s aesthetics have only appreciated as they’ve aged.

I love these front-engined V12 GTs from this bygone era of luxury touring that was lighter on the luxury and heavier on the accelerator. It’s 350 horsepower V12 is nothing to scoff at, back then or in 2018, but even seeing one silent and static is a treat. We all know it’s more fun to find a car “in the wild” rather than lost amidst a sea of its gleaming car-show-ready peers, and I recently had the pleasure of almost literally stumbling over this gorgeous red Daytona on a sunny Sunday afternoon in London.

Though it would seem unlikely given its condition, a bit of research tells me that this car has counted many years of regular driving and parking in such a manner; perhaps not the best way to protect the investment I’ll give you that, but perhaps it isn’t thought of in such terms. It’s hard to say what the story is when we make these chance encounters and I think that’s part of what makes these finds so enjoyable; we get to tap into our powers of imagination to create whatever backstory we please. I know it’s not a getaway car waiting to be given the beans by a bunch of gangsters, but who cares if we indulge in a little Hollywood in our head?

What is decidedly real is the beauty of this rather oddly shaped piece of Italian steel. From a traditional perspective, the proportions of the car are a bit bizarre; the driver is practically leaning against the rear wheel well, and the striking rake of the A-pillar doesn’t even begin until a few feet behind the ones up front, and the angle is so aggressive it barely makes a kink between hood and windshield. It’s almost a caricature of the big front-engined two-seater design that it built upon and evolved.

Tying it to the company’s designs to follow, the Daytona also has a line in the middle that goes all the way around the car before splitting up in the back a la 288 GTO and F40. Another feature on the Daytona that blends a bit of the new and the old are the five-spoke knock-offs (not in the replica sense of course). Borrani wire wheels and knock-off fasteners were the preferred shoes of Prancing Horses in the ‘60s, but sports cars were moving toward more substantial looking designs with fewer elements; this wheel artfully blends the two.

The Pininfarina bodywork also helped to define a new and sharper design language for the brand, the Daytona being a wider and longer form than the 275 it replaced, and while the rear end is more of an evolution of previous Ferrari tails, the leading edge of the Daytona is very much that, a leading edge. The sharp nose, the long expansive plane of a hood, the bold amber lenses defining the eyes rather the hidden-away headlights—it was a radical look, and its beauty has proven to be a timeless one.

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Jim Levitt
Jim Levitt(@jrl1194)
3 years ago

Can’t argue with the article, I owned four of them!
I only have pictures of two of them, my 1st Ferrari, the white 71 and my Comp. after racing retirement with a street paint job. The other two were a 73 Red/tan Spyder and a burgundy, VERY late production 1974 Coupe, (now Fly Yellow and a show winner).

Daniel Schmitt & Co.
Daniel Schmitt & Co.(@daniel_schmitt_co_)
3 years ago

Beautiful car

Sotirios Bakaimis
Sotirios Bakaimis(@sotbak)
3 years ago

mint condition. Good article with interesting details.

Sergio Brasesco
Sergio Brasesco
3 years ago

@wing nut & @Chad C. and that is what it is all about.
some cars you own…others you are the stewards too. and when we share these cars its amazing to see people’s reactions…kudos to you both.

wing nut
wing nut
3 years ago

A young lad once told me something that has stuck with me for years. I was adding a few gallons of petrol to my GT 40 at a petrol station and he thanked me for taking the car out on the road so people like him got a chance to see these cars in “the wild.” Admittedly I’d never thought of it that way. I enjoy the car all the time whether it’s sitting in my garage or is being thrashed on the road. But when, as owners, we take these cars out others get to see and enjoy them probably more then we do. The Daytona in this piece was driven to this location by a loving owner who probably never thought of how much joy he’s giving others just by seeing the car out and about… the author of this wonderful piece.

Alexandre Goncalves
Alexandre Goncalves(@cacem)
3 years ago

Most beautiful Ferrari ever! Period!

Chad C.
Chad C.(@chad-c)
3 years ago

That’s quite a sight to see in a mundane setting. The classic street-parked car (especially those of this caliber) cause me to spend a few minutes looking over it, whereas the modern exotics will only cause me to stare for a moment.

Last week, within one work day, I saw a modern Maserati GT, an F-type Jaguar, a Ferrari so modern I wasn’t sure which it was, a Lamborghini of the same description, and two modern Nissan GTRs.

A fantastic day for car spotting within the affluent university district I work in, but it’s the classics that really gather my reverence. It’s something about them having been preserved or redeemed as/after they stood the test of time. I guess it’s also about knowing that I share a similar appreciation with whomever parked the car there, as I have essentially no petrolhead friends.

I once let a complete stranger drive my Alfa Spider because I found him staring lovingly at it as I approached my car. He was a vintage Japanese car enthusiast who had never driven an Italian car. I like to think I changed his life ; )

3 years ago