/ daytona genesis - Winston Goodfellow
To discover the real story behind the birth of the Daytona, WINSTON GOODFELLOW put his questions directly to the men responsible for its creation thirty years ago..
FERRARI'S 365 GTB/4 DAYTONA was the result of a chance encounter. "The idea came to me when I saw for the first timem in Torino a completed rolling Ferrari chasis," states Leonardo Fioravanti, Pininfarina's chief of design at the time. "It was a 330 GTC-GTS, and the chasis struck me as soething really unique." Inspired, the talented designer enthusiastically put pen to the proverbial blank sheet of paper, his imagination the only constraint. Once he had something concrete, it would be presented to Sergio Pininfarina. Of key importance was the car's general proportions. "I wanted to faithfully follow the shape and dimensions of the mechanical underpinnings," the stylist recalls today, "and with extreme attention paid to the aerodynamics."
As he started conceptualizing, Fioravanti was unaware that Pininfarina and Ferrari were actively discussing a new high-performance model with a centrally-mounted engine. "The problem of creating such a car was debated at length," Sergio Pininfarina recalls today, "and I was between the two schools of thought. There wre thouse who strongly believed that in a car destined to have extreme performance, a mid-engined layout was necessary. GBut Enzo Ferrari was reluctant to follow this path for the reason that he was afraid it would be dangerous in his customers' hands. This is the reason for the Daytona being born with its engine up front."
Another reason, according to Fioravanti, was his superiors' reactions to the ideas he presented to them: "The first drafts, and the more specific sketches I made later, really pleased Sergio Pininfarina. He was so positive that he decided to present them to Commendatore Ferrari, even though at that moment the 275 GTB/4's replacement had not yet been discussed."
"The fundamental objective we set for ourselves was to obtain a thin; svelte car like a mid-engine design, even though we were at a disadvantage," Pininfarina notes. "With the exhaust pipes below the body, it made the car higher. The whole design was really a search for this sense of lightness and rake-what could be referred to as a slender look. This is evident in the shape of the side section, which runs the length of the car."
Fioravanti' s formal renderings for "a berlinetta on a 330 chassis" were executed in December, 1966. "The inspiration was always the same," he observes today, "with only minor detail changes. Study 109E had a smaller quarter-light, an upper part of the tail that was more rounded, and a more pronounced flex point, as well as a line drawn along the mid-broadside that formed a dihedral angle.
"In Study 109F," the designer continues, 11 the quarter light was bigger, and the upper part of the tail straighter. The area near the door handle was treated like two of my other designs-the 206 Dino and the P5. The line running along the mid-broadside was resolved with a chaser's gouge." With drawings completed, Pininfarina informed Maranello that they had an idea to share with the Commendatore. "\When Enzo Ferrari ran the company, the method of developing a new car was almost always the same", Pininfarina recalls. "We built models in wood or resin, and Ferrari came to Turin to examine them and give us his opinions and suggestions." Such meetings often caused spirited exchanges. "We would decide together on the necessary technical alterations," Pininfarina notes. "More than once, these caused difficulties and contingencies. We then went on to build a prototype."
The Daytona was no different. With Study 109F chosen, Fioravanti went to work on the "form plan," a type of blueprint drawing Pininfarina says "served as the beginning for the construction of first the model and then the prototype." The stylist completed the form plan on January 14, 1967. "The only difference between it and Study 109F was the form plan's more conventional door handle area," Fioravanti points out. "After the official go-ahead from Ferrari, contacts between us and Maranello were continuous. In particular, we frequently spoke with Angelo Bellei, Ferrari's design department head, and Sergio Scaglietti, the owner of Carrozzeria Scaglietti."
According to the book "365 GTB/4 Daytona" by Gerald Roush and Pat Braden, this form plan was identified as a nuova berlinetta Scaglietti-a new berlinetta design-to be constructed by the Modenese coachbuilder. At the time, Sergio Scaglietti's role had changed from the one he played in the Fifties. No longer did he personally design and fabricate bodies for competition cars and one-off street machines, but instead constructed bodies to the shape established by Pininfarina. Still, styling boiled in Scaglietti's blood. With a twinkle in his eye, the smiling coachbuilder today says that he couldn't resist putting his personal touches on the designs, of course incorporated only after conversations with Pininfarina personnel.
Making the Daytona's construction memorable for Scaglietti was Enzo Ferrari's reaction: It was the first and only time he saw his famouse friend lose his temper - twice. Modenese coachbuilder recalls, "he came to the works and he didn't like what he saw. He went completely crazy. So we changed the front to something similar to what we would have done, something typical of our style. Later, Ferrari's technical team felt that the car was too narrow. That didn't go over well, either. So we cut it right down the middle, adding another 4-5 cm." Although Scaglietti's claim of having changed the frontal appearance remains unconfirmed at this point, Fioravanti recalls that the width was indeed increased: "After he examined the wood model, the only modification granted by Commendatore Ferrari was the widening of the front and rear track. Scaglietti built this car, and it remained the only prototype to look this way …."
The final result was Ferrari s/n 10287, a striking one-off that Roush and Braden estimate was built "some time during the third quarter of 1967." Forward of the front wheels, the two-seat berlinetta bears a striking resemblance to the 275 GTB/4, while from the A-pillar to the tail the production Daytona's surface development, profile, and greenhouse are easily seen. While traditionalist Sergio Pininfarina feels that s/n 10287 "is not the first Daytona prototype; rather, it is a Daytona with the frontal section of a 275 GTB," Fioravanti proudly calls the car ,'my first Daytona prototype," pointing out that "it represents the form plan done on January 14, 1967." Beneath its unique skin was a 275 GTB/4's welded steel tube frame. Front and rear suspensions were independent, with unequal-length A-arms, coil springs, telescopic shocks, and anti-roll bars. The engine, on the other hand, was anything but a stock 4-cam. Roush's Ferrari Market Letter states that s/n 10287 had a one-off 4380 cc Tipo 243 engine: a Tipo 209 (330) block fitted with three-valve, twin-plug heads and a dual ignition system.
How much actual development and testing s/n 10287 underwent is unclear, for in early 1968 another, similar prototype was built, s/n 11 001-our feature car. Like its predecessor, I 1001 also utilized a 275 GTB/4 chassis, this time powered by a proper 3.3 liter, Tipo 226 DOHC engine.
Unlike s/n 10287, 11001 remains the mystery link in the Daytona chain, for none of the stylists/coachbuilders we interviewed recall it. "I don't remember a second Daytona prototype being built with the form plan's front type, or appearing like s/n 10287," Fioravanti says. "I can only observe that the difference between s/n 11001 and 10287 is caused by the headlight fairings." The two Sergios -Pininfarina and Scaglietti- are much more direct: While Scaglietti says he doesn't recall constructing the car, the main man in Turin flatly declares "the Ferrari believed to be the second Daytona prototype is not the second prototype. Pininfarina did not build it, and it doesn't carry our badges."
Yet the June, 1968, issue of Italy's Quattroroute magazine carries a drawing of s/n 1100 1 under the headline Ferrari Daytona with Royale Motor. "During a recent exhibition held in Rome the text states, "a new Ferrari berlinetta was exposed Daytona, designed by Pininfarina and constructed at Scaglietti. The coachwork's general lines are much like the GTB/4, save the very round and sweeping tail."
In August 1968, s/n 1100 1 became news in America. "(The) Gran Turismo Tipo Daytona seen on test at Modena's track is a mystery car based on the 275 GTB/4," a photo caption read in Road & Track. "It is not known whether it is a production prototype or one-off for a private client. The square-tailed body is probably by Pininfarina." That same month, Quattroroute offered its readers more precise information. Under the headline Daytona: The Next Ferrari GT, the editors used the same side-view photo, plus drawings of the front and rear (the latter featuring six tail lights). "Three views of the prototype Ferrari Daytona," the text proclaimed, "the Gran Turismo designed by Pininfarina that will enter production at Maranello, constructed at the Scaglietti carrozzeria. With slender, graceful lines ... the definitive edition's front will differ from this prototype, having a less classical solution."
That "less classical" solution came straight from Turin and Maranello: the production 365 GTB/4's appearance had to look forward, not backward. "Both Ferrari and Pininfarina decided that with the overall lines of the car being very innovative, a more advanced frontal design should be developed," Fioravanti says. "The aesthetic proposal that defined the Daytona was created by Pininfarina through the construction of three prototypes. If I recall right, one was metallic red (s/n 11795), another was metallic white (s/n 11929), and yet another was metallic blue (s/n 12037). All featured a more ingenious front end: headlights partially covered by a transverse Plexiglas strip. With its use of smaller and lighter bumpers of a shape that closely mimicked those at the rear, this new design actually inspired all the following Ferraris up to and including the 348 model."
The "Man in Modena" section of England's Motor (October 5 issue) featured a roadside photograph taken in September of what is most likely the white prototype (s/n 11929) that Fioravanti refers to. "The prototype Ferrari Daytona GT has been tested extensively the past few months," correspondent Peter Coltrin reported, "...(and) has been described as 'a real man's car' as far as performance is concerned .... The car pictured here is not the finalized version, however. The definitive Pininfarina design will be seen at the Paris Salon and will have somewhat smoother lines and a P6-like frontal treatment and headlight layout."
That particular 365 GTB/4 less the "Daytona" moniker, did indeed make its public debut at Paris. According to the authors of "Ferrari: The Sports and Gran Turismo Cars," the "Daytona" name came from Ferrari's 1-2-3 sweep of the race in 1967, but was dropped when it was inadvertently leaked to the press.
The Pininfarina display showcar, s/n 11795, was a resplendent red with a red and black interior featuring unique "ribbed" seats. Its headlight treatment and grille were subtly different from s/n 11929, the test hack photographed by Coltrin. The Parisian beauty subsequently illustrated Ferrari's first 365 GTB/4 brochure.
The press lauded the design. Typical was Motor Trend's reaction: "Sheer numbers, infinite funds and plenty of time win races, just like sheer numbers, infinite funds and plenty of time wins wars. But they don't make progress. Only genius does that ... genius like we keep seeing in every new Ferrari-Pininfarina design exercise such as the new 365 GTB/4 ... It began as a study in aerodynamics, but by the grace of this
combination of talents, it comes off exceedingly virile, unlike most aerodynamic exercises." Road & Track was more succinct: "The Pininfarina-Dino coupe standing nearby," Cyril Posthumous noted, "just looked old-fashioned in comparison."
© WINSTON GOODFELLOW via Michael Sheehan