World’s only road-going alloy-bodied Daytona discovered in Japan

| 25 Aug 2017

The only alloy-bodied, road-going Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta in existence has been discovered after languishing in a garage in Japan for nearly 40 years. It is set to star at RM Sotheby’s Leggenda e Passione auction on 9 September, where it is expected to fetch between €1,400,000 and €1,700,000.

Though five alloy-bodied Daytonas were campaigned at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, only one road version was ever produced. Chassis 12653 is approximately the 30th car in the Daytona numbering sequence and is one of just two standard-specification Daytonas to be fitted with alloy bodywork – the other being chassis 12547, which was commissioned by Luigi Chinetti to race at Le Mans.

The car was bought by the founder and publisher of Autosprint magazine, Luciano Conti, in 1969 and passed through the hands of two more Italian owners before being exported to Japan. By 1972 it had featured in an issue of Car Graphic magazine, and after moving through a handful of owners made its way into the collection of Makoto Takai, who hid the Ferrari away for nearly 40 years. Rumours about the car’s existence circulated among a small network of collectors, but several attempts to buy the Daytona came to nothing. 

Now, after nearly 40 years locked away, the unique Ferrari will return to the open market. Marque expert Marcel Massini has inspected the car and found the engine and transaxle to have matching numbers, while the alloy body panels are stamped with proper matching Scaglietti body numbers. Though a number of cosmetic modifications were carried out by previous owners, the car is described as being ‘remarkably authentic’, with the interior in particular proving to be very original.

“What a super scarce Daytona barn find,” said Massini. “The only remaining alloy-bodied production GTB/4, sold new to Luciano Conti, a close friend of Commendatore Enzo Ferrari.”

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