Unique Ferrari Daytona estate car is worth a million


A remarkable one-off Ferrari Daytona shooting brake conversion from the mid-Seventies is expected to fetch £1,000,000 at auction

Paul Hudson

HERE’S something you don’t see every day. In fact you’ll never see anything like it unless you visit next weekend’s Salon Privé classic and supercar show at Blenheim Palace, where anyone with a million pounds burning a hole in their pocket can bid to buy it at auction.

It’s a Ferrari Daytona, the quintessential desirable classic car, but this one has been treated to a bespoke body and interior to turn the hairy-chested coupé into a shooting brake. Sacrilege? Not for me to say, but after driving it I’m more convinced than ever that its unique bodywork takes nothing away from the brawny Daytona yet brings with it a healthy dose of practicality. At a price, of course.

This was the 805th Daytona – more correctly named the 365 GTB/4 – and left the factory in 1972 bound for the USA.

According to research by Silverstone Auctions, which is selling the car on September 4, the car was conceived when architect Bob Gittleman strolled into Chinetti Motors asking for something a bit different — and Luigi “Coco” Chinetti, the son of the famed US Ferrari importer, was only too happy to oblige. Chinetti claimed it was completely his design, but where would it be built?

Chinetti said: “We were distributors for Panther Cars in those days. We’d been over there and it was a nice high quality shop. I said: ‘Why don’t we make the first Ferrari made in England?’”
Working to a design by Chinetti Jr. and freelance auto designer Gene Garfinkle, Panther Westwinds modified the Daytona into a striking shooting brake, which retained very little of the original exterior except the bonnet, doors and the windscreen pillars. Unlike traditional shooting brakes this Daytona estate avoided a traditional rear tailgate by having gullwing-style rear side windows for access to the cargo deck. The interior was also substantially new, with the instruments mounted centrally in an opulent, wood-trimmed dashboard. Even the cargo load floor featured wooden decking.

The front resembled the standard Daytona, with a more pronounced snout, while a strip of orange around the front echoes the original’s Plexiglass cover for the lights. This has the pop-up headlights of later Daytonas.

It was delivered to Gittleman during the winter of 1975/1976 but he sold it in 1980. It has changed hands many times since, but still has fewer than 4,000 miles. It was acquired last year by Hexagon Classics, which set about a complete restoration while ensuring total authenticity, using many of the craftsmen who had worked on it at Panther.

Under the unique body it remains every inch a Daytona, with that marvellous, 4.4-litre V12 under the bonnet and a five-speed transaxle at the rear. Like the standard car, the steering is extremely heavy when manoeuvring but turns finger-light once you reach 20mph. Unlike the standard car, the view out the back is excellent – in fact it’s unnerving to look in the mirror and not see any bodywork. Needless to say, the interior is also more airy due to the large side windows, which hinge upwards to provide access to the load bay.
Silverstone Auctions has four other Ferraris at its Salon Privé sale. Chief among these is a 1962 250 GTE Series II 2+2 Coupé, which was delivered straight from the factory to the Paris motor show. Its vast history file even featuring pictures of it in the exhibition hall.

It’s been fully restored since 2013 and comes with Ferrari Classiche certification confirming the originality of its engine, gearbox and chassis. It has an estimate of £300,000 to £350,000.

Another elegant Ferrari four-seater with a vast history is a 330 GT 2+2 Series I from 1964 and one of only 49 right-hand drive examples. Purchased by Mohamed Al Fayed in 1989, it received £30,000-worth of expenditure during his ownership and, in the hands of another custodian, has been sympathetically renovated. It carries a guide price of £190,000-£220,000.

The successor to the 330 GT, the 365 GT 2+2, debuted at the Paris motor show in October 1967 and Silverstone Auctions is selling a 1970, right-hand drive example at Salon Privé. Only 801 of this type were built between 1968 to 1970 and only 52 with right-hand drive. This one is estimated at £145,000-£165,000.

All the way from New York is a silver 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 “Daytona” with original features such as the correct Cromodora alloy wheels, it appears cheap for this model at £500,000-£550,000. It’s pictured above next to the extraordinary shooting brake.

Nick Whale, managing director of Silverstone Auctions, said: “These four Ferraris all feature fascinating histories and have been cherished throughout their lives, with detailed maintenance records and fabulous original colour combinations. It is so rare to find such high quality cars.”

But it’s not all Ferraris. Eclipsing the Italian cars is a 1963, right-hand-drive Aston Martin DB4 Series V Vantage, believed to be one of only 50 built. According to Silverstone Auctions, recent restoration and upgrades by specialist Aston Martin preparers have maximised and enhanced the driving experience. It’s estimated to fetch £675,000-£775,000.

Aston Martin produced the DB4 from October 1958 to June 1963 and in that time made five variants. The Series V cars were built between September 1962 and June 1963 and had a longer wheelbase, creating increased legroom and space for luggage, making them superb grand touring machines.

Finished in its original Goodwood Green paint and red leather interior, this DB4 is one of only three Series V Vantages fitted as standard with a Borg Warner automatic gearbox. It’s also one of the last DB4s made before production of the DB5 commenced.

The sale also includes some low-mileage cars from a collection in Germany. There’s an as-new 1986 Porsche 911 Supersport with 743km on the clock and a 1985 Mercedes-Benz 280SE with 5,700km, alongside a rare manual Mercedes-Benz 280SLC from 1975 with 16,500km. All are being offered without reserve. -Telegraph.co.uk