The Most Talked-About Iconic 1970 Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona

The Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona is one of the most epochal cars of the late 1960s and early ’70s – a model so unlike any Ferrari before it, but also so universally admired. Despite being a road car, it took its name from Scuderia Ferrari’s one-two-three at the 1967 Daytona 12 Hours, and went on to become the most talked-about machine at the 1968 Paris Salon de l’Auto.

It was a much-needed rival for the Lamborghini Miura, with a thumping 4.4-litre V12 under the bonnet and a rear transaxle arrangement to allow optimal weight distribution. Although arguably not as advanced as the mid-engined Lamborghini, it was in many ways, a car ahead of its time. It was also the first Ferrari to be constructed under Fiat ownership, and with that it brought in a whole new direction for the brand. 

The last of the classical Ferraris, the 275GTB/4, followed a well trodden path. The new GTB/4, by contrast, took Ferrari into a brave new world of styling – the coupé lines and plexiglass-covered headlamps were the work of Pininfarina stylist Leonardo Fioravanti.

Its acceptance was vital for Ferrari, which had a line of even more controversial designs planned out – including the 1973 512BB and the equally wedge-shaped 308. But it was the Daytona that led the company down an all-new path. It was offered as both a convertible and a coupé – or Berlinetta, hence the GTB designation. The latter model was considered the prettier of the two and is today the most collectible, despite being more affordable when new.

This example, photoed at Concours of Elegance 2020, painted the delightfully unusual hue of Viola (read: purple) with subtle black leather trim, is an extremely well known car. It is one of only 11 finished in the distinctive colour scheme, and is regularly used for long-distance blasts across Europe by its enthusiastic long-term owner, who is familiar on the historic motor sport and concours circuits. It may be a striking and beautifully presented car, but it’s also well used and thoroughly enjoyed.


4.4-litre, V12, DOHC, 325bhp


Front engine, rear-wheel drive, monocoque, five-speed manual transmission with transaxle arrangement, double wishbones and coil springs, disc brakes


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