In 1967, the year before the marque debuted its 365 GTB/4 production cars, Ferrari did the unthinkable by taking the top 3 spots at the 24 Hours of Daytona, stripping the crown from Ford who had been looking to three-peat. The victory earned the next year’s models the unofficial moniker of “Daytona”, which Enzo Ferrari was rumored to have detested. However, there may have been some evidence of the company’s love for the name after all.
Prior to the 365 GTB/4 getting unveiled at the Paris Salon in October 1968, three prototypes were made that better showed the gap between the new model and its predecessor, the 275 GTB/4. What’s more, paperwork found in the files of Luigi Chinetti — the exclusive Ferrari importer at the time — referred to the prototypes as “Daytona” months before the production version was introduced.
Next month, the second of three Daytona prototypes is being auctioned off through RM Sotheby’s. This example, chassis 11001, has matching engine numbers and is being presented in the original factory colors of silver with black bucket seats on the inside. Although a progenitor of the 365 GTB/4, its powertrain is guided more by the 275, with the same 3.3L four-cam Type 226 engine and a front end that sports the ovular grill and covered headlamps — no sweeping shark nose here. However, the rear end definitely shows early signs of what would become the 365, with a squared-off fastback and quad taillamps.
You’ll have your chance to bid on this magnificent 1968 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Prototype when it crosses the auction block August 18 through 20 in Monterey, California. Head over to RM Sotheby’s to find out how you can register.