Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione : A name so lengthy, it requires an extra breath to pronounce, yet it represents an immensely valued sports car within the Ferrari family.
This particular model of Ferrari was crafted to dominate the most esteemed and rigorous track races, quickly earning a reputation as a frontrunner in its class.
The road version of this vehicle was designed with a clear ambition: to surpass the rapidly rising popularity of Lamborghini. The 1966 debut of the Lamborghini Miura, Italy's fastest car at the time, fueled Ferrari's drive to outdo its primary competitor with its new creation.
The Ferrari 365 GTB/4 was clearly aimed at challenging Lamborghini's status in the automotive world. The surprise element was the relatively conventional design of the Lamborghini model, with its front-axle adjacent engine and rear-wheel drive – a practical and safe choice, especially when compared to the more exotic mid-engine layout of its counterpart, the Miura. This design choice by Ferrari, while seemingly conservative, had its own logical reasoning behind it.
Enzo Ferrari's new car was designed to cater to both seasoned and novice drivers. Its traditional design not only favors those who are more interested in the prestige associated with owning a Ferrari than its actual capabilities, but also makes it more approachable for beginners. Additionally, this design choice contributed to achieving an ideal balance of weight distribution between the front and rear axles, proving it to be a well-thought-out decision.
The Ferrari's twelve-cylinder engine, a staple beneath its elongated hood, wasn't a novel feature but was integral to its dominance in races. The rationale was simple: if the engine was unbeatable, why replace it? This renowned V12 engine was utilized by Ferrari until 1988. The Competizione versions, specifically tailored for racing, were produced from 1970 to 1973. Ferrari maintained a strict limit of no more than 15 of these race cars, with just five per year. These Competizione models boasted lighter bodies, organic glass windscreens (except the front one), more potent engines, and broader wheel arches for wider tires.
Ferrari chose not to directly involve these cars in international motorsport competitions. Instead, they were entrusted to private racing teams, where they achieved impressive results.
The Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione achieved remarkable success in the Le Mans 24-Hour race, finishing fifth overall in 1971 and dominating the GT class for three consecutive years from 1972 to 1974. In the 1972 Le Mans, it notably secured five first-place finishes in the GT class.
The final Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione made a significant impact in 1979. Even as a six-year-old race car, it impressively led its class in the 24 Hours of Daytona, an extraordinary feat considering its age in the fast-evolving world of motorsports.