MILESTONE: FERRARI’S GTB/4 DAYTONA TURNS 50

Ferrari Daytona

So, we know the 2009 Ferrari California is the predecessor to the newly released Portofino. But there was another California; the 365 California of 1966 which succeeded the 500 Superfast, final member of the Ferrari America range.


All the America models were front-engined, rear-driven GT cars with large V12 engines, and this leads us to another 365-derivative – officially designated the GTB/4 (GTS/4 for the Spyder versions), but unofficially named the Daytona.

Introduced in 1968 the Daytona celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and besides being one of the greatest and most delectable Ferraris ever, the Daytona gained fame in 1971 when American racing drivers Dan Gurney and Brock Yates drove one to victory in the second Cannonball Run, officially known as the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash.

The pair won the Run with an average speed of 129 km/h, completing the 4,628 km from New York City to California in 35 hours 54 minutes, and Gurney was later quoted as saying “We never once exceeded 175 miles per hour…”
The run started at the Red Ball Garage on East 31st Street, NYC, and its final destination was… the Portofino Inn in Redondo Beach, California. If ever there was a fated link between the 365 California, the 365 GTB/4, the California (the first front-engined V8 Ferrari) and Portofino, this undoubtedly is it.

Report by FERDI DE VOS | Images © ALEXANDRE PRÉVOT/SUPPLIED