Words: Matthew Barker
Hidden from view for 40 years, a unique Ferrari went under the hammer at Maranello
All of us have done it, left a pair of shoes or a book to gather dust in the corner of a barn or garage, then totally forgotten about them. But a car? And not just any old car, a hugely rare, one-off Ferrari. That takes some doing.
Last weekend, the only ever aluminium-bodied road version of the fabled 365 GTB/4, known around the world as the Daytona, was presented as part of auction house RM Sotheby's “Leggenda e Passione” sale. The special event was held at Maranello as part of the Company’s 70th Anniversary celebrations and featured Ferrari models past and present.
Chassis number 12653 and completed in June 1969, the Daytona is Rosso Chiaro with black leather interiors. Having criss-crossed between various Italian owners in the early 1970s, it was imported to Japan where it again passed several hands before being bought by Makoto Takai, who duly hid the car away in a garage where it sat untouched for the best part of 40 years.
Rumours began to circulate over the next few decades claiming that the car never actually existed, or that it had been lost forever. In June of this year, news came through that a team from Maranello had inspected the car and verified its authenticity, complete with matching Scaglietti body numbers and an unused spare wheel.
The Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta Alloy, to give the car its full title, was presented at auction unrestored and in its exact state, with barely a wipe on its windscreen.
However, the gorgeous lines and intricate detailing of the car’s interior and exterior, not to mention its immaculate heritage and prized one-off value, were obvious to the large audience of bidders, both in person at the event and following proceedings online.
The car eventually became the most valuable Daytona coupé ever to be sold at public auction, going to one lucky collector for €1,807,000. Cleaning bill not included.