Courtesy of Bonhams
  • Delivered new to the British School of Motoring
  • One of only 158 right-hand-drive models
  • Comprehensive history file
  • Ferrari Classiche certified

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona
Years Produced:1968–73
Number Produced:1,279 coupes
Original List Price:$19,500
SCM Valuation:$690,500
Tune Up Cost:$3,500
Distributor Caps:$195 reproduction, $450 OEM
Chassis Number Location:On frame above right front spring mount
Engine Number Location:Below head on rear passenger’s side of block
Club Info:Ferrari Club of America
Alternatives:1965–69 Aston Martin DB6, 1971–75 BMW CSL, 2010–11 Ferrari 599 GTO
Investment Grade:B

This car, Lot 276, sold for $538,653, including buyer’s premium, at Bonhams’ Goodwood Revival Collector’s Motor Cars and Automobilia auction in Chichester, U.K., on September 14, 2019.

The British School of Motoring, founded in 1910 by S.C.H. Roberts, is Britain’s largest driving school, with over a thousand instructors and more than a million graduates. Students arriving at the main office of the school in 1971 were greeted with a blue Ferrari Daytona coupe. The Ferrari was part of the school’s motor pool, but few students got close to the driver’s seat.

The BSM purchased the blue Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona from Colonel Ronnie Hoare’s Maranello Concessionaires Ferrari dealership in 1970. The Daytona was said to be used in the school’s high-performance driving school. Scarce information is available on the high-performance program, but I’d speculate that rather than a racing school, the school prepared students for high-speed Continental touring.

Whatever the school taught, the course was a great excuse for some executives to have a Ferrari at their disposal.

Refined rocket

Today we take breathtaking top speeds for granted, but it’s important to understand that the evolution of high-performance automobiles was slow. The Austin-Healey 100-6’s name was a brag on its ability to reach 100 mph. The Jaguar XK 120 likewise was named for its top speed.

Not that many years later, Ferrari introduced their 365 GTB/4 “Daytona” — the fastest production car in the world at the time. The Daytona was capable of a hardly imaginable 174 mph. That speed was immortalized by an iconic Road & Track magazine cover showing a Daytona speedometer indicating 174 mph and the tachometer closing in on redline.

It must have been a special experience to receive instruction in the BSM’s Daytona, but few would have had the honor. By 1972, the Daytona passed to a new owner. Today there’s no reference to a high-performance school on the BSM Web page.

The Daytona market

Daytonas are a harbinger of Ferrari values. Traditionally, they are among the first Ferraris to go up in a bull market and among the first to go down in a bear market.

To be sure, they have had a wild ride. Introduced with a list price of approximately $19,500, 1,279 Daytonas found homes — a record for any Ferrari built up to that time. As would be expected, used examples took a hit in value. Careful shoppers could have bought a nice example for as low as $14,000 in 1973.

The United States introduced increasingly stringent emission and safety standards in 1968. Ferrari found they were unable to make their 12-cylinder models compliant with the new regulations. The Daytona was discontinued in 1973, ending sales of new 12-cylinder Ferraris in the U.S.

As the inventory of new Daytonas dried up, collectors realized that the car was likely the end of the 12-cylinder line. Soon, used Daytonas began to attract serious attention. They first saw gentle gains, but by the mid-’80s, Daytonas, along with most other classic Ferraris, began a meteoric climb in value.

Daytona values jumped from $45,000 to $100,000, then $200,000, $300,000 and even as much as $600,000 without taking a breath.

Come 1990, the party was over. Prices had escalated too far, too fast, and suddenly there were no takers. Prices dropped even faster than they went up as desperate sellers tried to get out of their cars. It would take until 1994 and $150,000 asking prices before the bottom was found.

1994 was a magic year for Ferrari. Luca Cordero di Montezemolo was at the helm, with the fruits of his efforts starting to blossom. The 333SP was introduced that year, putting Ferrari on the grids and the podiums of the most prestigious GT races. Around the same time, the F355 was introduced, giving starved Ferrari enthusiasts reason to go back into dealers’ showrooms. The 456, F50 and 550 Maranello soon followed, and like nothing had happened, Ferrari was cool again.

As the new-car market recovered, so did the used-Ferrari market. By the 2000s, Ferraris were on a roll again. In 2005 it would take around $400,000 to buy a Daytona; by 2010 that number had gotten over $600,000. 2014 was the high-water mark, with SCM Platinum Auction Database noting a couple of sales in the $800,000 and $900,000 range.

A 4-cam barometer

The British School of Motoring’s Daytona has several features of note. It is one of only 158 right-hand-drive examples — a real plus in the British market.

It is an early example with the much-desired clear Plexiglas nose covering. It also has a wood steering wheel, a feature only found on the earliest cars. Quite bafflingly, a leather boot covers the Ferrari shift gate, perhaps installed to keep the driving-school students from being distracted. It also is sans air conditioning.

The Daytona’s blue paint is quite flattering and should have been a positive for potential buyers. Additionally, the 36,900 miles shown on the odometer should have been acceptable to all but the most demanding collector.

The car was presented with a Ferrari Classiche “Red Book” as well as what looks to be a full tool roll. It appears to have been nicely refurbished and prepared for sale, yet the result fell slightly short of Bonhams’ expectations and $140,000 short of its no-sale high bid at an RM Sotheby’s auction just a year before.

What do this and other recent Daytona sales tell us? Prices are down but the sky is not falling. The decline has generally been slow, with decent sales activity.

I think Brexit can be blamed for this low result. This non-a/c, right-hand-drive example is only desirable in an RHD market. That’s a positive when the U.K. economy is good, but Brits are very nervous over Brexit and it’s understandable that people aren’t fawning over expensive cars.

But as we’ve seen, Daytonas ebb and flow with the leading edge of the market. Give it a year or two and the buyer will look quite smart. ♦

(Introductory description courtesy of Bonhams.)

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