Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Prototype

The first of the six prototypes Ferrari built for the 365 GTB/4 Daytona will be offered for sale by RM Sotheby’s next month, after spending two decades with the same family. The significant piece of Ferrari history was displayed at Museo Ferrari between 2015 and 2016 and is Ferrari Classiche certified as having the original engine and chassis.

The Ferrari 365 GTB/4, also known as the Daytona, is a two-seat grand tourer that was produced by Ferrari from 1968 to 1973. It replaced the 275 GTB/4 and featured a larger 4.4-liter V12 engine that could reach a top speed of 170 mph. The Daytona was Ferrari’s response to the Lamborghini Miura and was an important car for Enzo Ferrari to make a statement to the upstart Lamborghini, although it was to be the end of the era of front-engined V12-powered Ferraris.

The 1967 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Prototype to be offered by RM Sotheby’s still retains styling elements from the previous-generation 275 GTB/4 with the covered headlights and a bulge in the hood very reminiscent of a 275. The engine under the hood is a unique V12, not equipped in any other road-going Ferrari of the time. It featured three valve heads instead of the more common four, twin spark plugs per cylinder, and is equipped with six Weber DCN18 carburetors. The engine is based on one from a 330 GT, but was bored to 4,380 cc. It’s very similar to the engines that powered Ferrari’s 330 P4 race cars that took victory at the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona.

This car was first registered in May of 1968, about five months before the 365 GTB/4 was introduced at the 1968 Paris Auto Salon. Its first owner outside of Ferrari was a world champion powerboat racer. Originally having ordered a new 365 GTB/4, he learned that a spider model was to be released and ended up borrowing chassis 10287 until his Daytona Spider was delivered.

In the early 1970s the car found its way into the US, landing in the hands of Victor N. Goulet of Chicago by 1978. He owned the car until 1989, when it was returned to Europe and took up residence in Switzerland. It changed hands again sometime in the early 1990s and another sale isn’t noted until 2003, when the family selling the car purchased it and brought it home to the Netherlands. At the time he bought the car, he was unaware of its importance but quickly became fascinated with his car and wanted to know everything about its history.

The car was restored to the exact specifications as when it first left the factory by a team of Ferrari experts in the Netherlands. Once the restoration was completed the car made its debut at the Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza in 2012. Following that showing the car was featured in a number of automotive publications.

The Ferrari Classiche certification lead to the discovery that this car left the factory with six small Carello taillights, rather than the usual four that’s standard for a 365 GTB/4, another of its unique features. Once it received the Classiche certification the car was displayed in the Museo Ferrari until March 2016. Later that same year it was awarded Best of Show at the Concours d’Elegance Paleis Het Loo Apeldoorn in the Netherlands. Since 2017 the car has rarely been seen in public, but was well-maintained.

This car being offered by RM Sotheby’s, chassis 10287, is the missing link between the 275 GTB/4 and the 365 GTB/4 Daytona. Being the first of the prototypes built gives it a very special place in automotive history and although it’s a shame to not see this car on a physical auction block, the bidding should further emphasize how significant and unique this 1967 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Prototype really is when the auction opens on May 22, 2023.