©2013 Pawel Litwinski, courtesy of RM Auctions
©2013 Pawel Litwinski, courtesy of RM Auctions

 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta

Chassis 15569 An original sales invoice indicates chassis number 15569 was sold new by Luigi Chinetti Motors to Verby Equipment Company in New York. Ensuing maintenance invoices extending to 1976 demonstrate that Mr. Verby conscientiously serviced his Ferrari at the famous Greenwich importer. Mr. Verby kept the Daytona for close to 30 years and just 27,000 miles before passing it along to a couple of owners. It landed with well-known collector Lawrence Simon in 2007. Mr. Simon submitted the car for judging at the Ferrari Club of America’s International Meet at Corning, NY, in August 2007, where it won a Platinum Award, then at the Le Belle Macchine d’Italia — where the car received second place — and the Newport Concours d’Elegance (third place). The following year, 15569 was presented at the 2008 Cavallino Classic, where it garnered a third Platinum Award, as well as honorable mention in the Preservation Class. Other than the body having been repainted in its original shade of Rosso Ferrari, chassis 15569 remains overwhelmingly original. The heater, windows, radio, lights, horn and gauges all function properly, and the interior is completely original, including the trunk lining and the mouse-hair dashboard surface. Importantly, the exhaust system, the original smog equipment and the original suspension remain in pristine condition overall. Chassis 15569, accompanied by its original factory manuals and tools, as well as period documentation from Chinetti Motors, offers a rare opportunity to acquire a near time-capsule 365 GTB/4 that has been sympathetically preserved, modestly driven, and well maintained its entire life. This car, Lot 176, sold for $781,000 at RM’s Amelia Island auction on March 8, 2014.

1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta

Chassis 15741 The 365 GTB/4 Berlinetta presented here, chassis 15741, was completed as a North American-spec, left-hand-drive model, equipped with air-conditioning and finished in the classic sporting combination of Rosso Bordeaux over a black leather interior, which is what 15741 sports today. The Daytona was sold new by Canadian importer Luigi Della Grotta to Thurman Manufacturing in Columbus. In 1974, it was advertised in the United States with 3,800 miles on the odometer. The next owner purchased the car with 4,378 miles and used it sparingly over 12 years of stewardship. As of 1987, the Ferrari had been driven only 6,671 miles. The well-preserved Daytona was subsequently sold again in the early 2000s, then again in 2009. Paul Russell and Company was contracted to cosmetically refresh the car while preserving as much of its originality as possible. It received a bare-metal repaint in the original Rosso Bordeaux as well as the repair of two small flaws in the original upholstery. Most recently, this superb Daytona has been Red Book certified by the Ferrari Classiche department, confirming its originality and further elevating its status as one of the finest Daytonas extant. Displaying just under 11,000 original miles at the time of cataloging, this remarkable Ferrari has survived under thoughtful, expert care with its integrity intact. In addition to its inherent qualities and impressive file of receipts, a history report produced by Marcel Massini, the original factory books, tool roll, and the Classiche Red Book are offered with the sale of this car. This car, Lot 34, sold for $770,000 at Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island auction on March 7, 2014.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:Amelia Island 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytonas
Number Produced:1,279 coupes
Original List Price:$19,500
Tune Up Cost:$3,500
Chassis Number Location:On frame above right front spring mount
Club Info:Ferrari Club of America
Investment Grade:B

The Daytona was introduced with much controversy in the automotive community. The mid-engine migration was in full swing during the period, with Lamborghini, DeTomaso, Lotus and Ferrari already fielding mid-engine models. It was expected that Ferrari’s newest flagship would follow suit, but instead they stayed with the front-engine Berlinetta design that had been so successful for them. It turns out Ferrari knew best, as the Daytona has proven to be one of the greatest cars of all times.

Leonardo Fioravanti was a stylist at Pininfarina and not yet 30 years old when he was given the honor of designing the Daytona. He had already created a masterpiece in the 206 Dino, so trusting him with the new Berlinetta was not much of a risk. It’s said that he designed the car in just seven days. He would later go on to style the Berlinetta Boxer, F40, and 308 among many other classics that received his touches.

A high-speed gem

Mechanically the Daytona was a refinement of traditional components rather than groundbreaking technology. The 300-horsepower, 6-carb, 4-OHC, 3.3-liter V12 used in the 275 GTB/4 was juiced up to 4.4 liter and 352 horsepower. Power was transmitted through a 275-style rear- mounted transaxle. The chassis also retained the 275’s independent wishbones all around.

Considering the era, the Daytona’s performance is spectacular. For example, 0–60 mph is reached in just 5.4 seconds on the way to a top speed of 174 mph. While rightly criticized for heavy-handed urban manners, they are simply spectacular on the open road. Normal highway speeds are absolutely effortless. Crossing 100 mph and continuing upward, they pull like a locomotive, pinning you against the seat as the scenery turns into a blur.

At upper speeds, the steering that feels ponderous around town comes into its own — confirming that Ferrari traded easy parallel parking for confident, high-speed touring. Driving a Daytona at speed should be on the bucket list of all enthusiasts.

Dueling Amelia Island Daytonas

It is interesting how similar our subject cars are. They are both low mileage and have good ownership history. They both have books and tools. They both have good history. They both are a rare, deep off-red color. They both are quite original despite having been cosmetically refurbished. RM’s car has a beige interior with wire wheels, and Gooding’s has a black interior with mags, but otherwise they’re pretty equal.

The similarities extend to the sale prices of $781,000 for RM’s car and $770,000 for Gooding’s — a negligible 1.4% variation. In the fickle world of auto auctions, where ego often trumps common sense, these are pretty sensible results both in the amount and consistency.

Train kept a rolling….

The concept of the Ferrari market being on an upswing is well known to any enthusiast with a pulse. The prevailing logic is that you can’t pay too much; you can only buy too early. That’s a dangerous course that devastated a lot of speculators in the late 1980s. I’m constantly hearing that the market’s sound and the 1980s won’t happen again.

Fair warning: When you hear me buy into that idea, sell everything you have because the cards are falling.

There was no great drama in these sales. Daytonas sold for $649,000 and $550,000 at Scottsdale several weeks before. The Amelia cars were better cars and great colors, so higher prices were expected. The Gooding car, with its lower mileage, name-brand restoration and Classiche certification, should have been the top sale, but RM’s beige interior, wire wheels and well-attended Saturday auction sealed the deal.

If $781,000 wasn’t a record price for a Daytona, it had to be close. I’m already hearing $800,000 asking prices for ultra-low-mile cars, and I suspect that Monterey will push the bar higher.

There’s not a bone in my body that feels these cars were good buys, but I know it won’t be long before we will be lamenting about when we could have bought a Daytona in the $700k range. Slap me hard for saying so, but I’ll call both sales a fair deal for all. The Ferrari express has left the station, and I don’t see anything slowing it down. ♦

(Introductory descriptions courtesy of RM Auctions and Gooding & Company.)

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