Historic million dollar Ferrari hits the Track: a car lovers dream

Ferrari
Historic million dollar Ferrari hits the Track: a car lovers dream
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About the Author

R. G. Beltzner

R. G. Beltzner

A long time automobile enthusiast, and competitive race driver, Rainer Beltzner provides performance driving and racing instruction for Porsche, BMW, and Ferrari owners and clubs. He's been doing this for over 25 years. Often, Rainer is found driving/teaching on one of the Canadian Tire Motorsport, Shannonville or Watkins Glen tracks. During the “off-season”, Rainer spends his spare time driving and evaluating a broad range of vehicles. Follow Rainer on Twitter @redy2rol.

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The local Ferrari Club had their annual track day on July 30th on the big track at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Mosport). I was among a number of experienced performance and racing drivers recruited by the club’s chief instructor Derek Hanson, to coach car owners that had little or no experience driving this track.

Much to my delight, I was assigned to a gentleman who had recently purchased a rare historic, million dollar Ferrari – a 1971 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta Competizione.

History

Just how expensive is this car and where did it come from?

This car was originally delivered to Luigi Chinetti, the first importer of Ferrari cars to the United States. Among his many accomplishments, Luigi drove in 12 consecutive 24 hours of Le Mans, winning three times. He also won the Spa 24 Hours race twice. It was Luigi who with a number of other Ferrari distributors, recognized the potential of this car for serious racing.

Of the 1,383 cars manufactured by Ferrari, only 15 were actually prepared for competition by the factory with another nine converted for competition. The Daytona proved to be an excellent and reliable choice for long distance endurance racing finishing 2nd and 3rd in class at Sebring and 2nd and 5th in class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

This Daytona (Chassis 14115) was ordered by Gordon Tatum, a racer and Ferrari dealer, on behalf of a client, Gregory Richter, who intended to keep the car for himself as a road car. What Richter did not know was that Tatum had the car delivered through Luigi Chinetti with the intention of racing it at Sebring. When the car arrived in the United States, Tatum failed to notify his client and actually started to prepare the car to race competitively.

The Daytona Ferrari included:

  1. 352 bhp, 4,390 cc DOHC V-12 engine with six Weber 42 DCNF carburetors
  2. Five-speed manual transaxle
  3. Front and rear independent upper and lower wishbone coil-spring suspension
  4. Four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes.
  5. Wheelbase: 94.5 in.
  6. N.A.R.T. livery
  7. Side exhaust pipes
  8. Rollbar
  9. Racing harnesses
  10. Plexiglas headlight covers

Needless to say, Richter was not happy when he eventually found out and this began a long series of legal proceedings. As a result, the car never saw a day on the track – that is, until now.

Richter eventually sold the car and after a succession of USA owners. It was purchased in 2004 and imported to Canada by Kevan Dutchak of Toronto. Restored over a period of five years, the car was included in a March 11, 2017 RM/Sotheby’s auction for an estimated price of $1,250,000 – $1,500,000.

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Had it actually been raced, the price may well have been in the $5-6 million range. The current owner (my “student”) told me that he took possession of the car last November and that this was the first time the car would be on a track.

Ferrari

1971 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta Competizione; Photo Credit: R.G. Beltzner

Track performance

I have been in and driven a number of Ferrari models, but never one with such a history and price tag. The owner offered to let me drive the car but that was unfortunately impossible with my 6’6” frame. This model was made for “normal” sized humans.

With full competition race gear (suit, helmet, etc) I did manage to squeeze into the passenger seat and buckle up the four-point harness.

As we left pit lane onto the track, the engine revved near redline, treating us to that wonderful and very loud Ferrari exhaust. As the morning passed, we worked on fine tuning a few corners and my “student” soon became comfortable with the car’s handling.

Before long, the car attained decent lap times along with good speed up the track’s back straight. While definitely not the quickest Ferrari on the track that day, it was the most unique and enjoyable. A great experience!

For more automotive insights, follow me on Twitter @redy2rol

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