Ferrari Daytona of royal, Top Gear provenance up for auction at Brooklands

1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona chassis #16531 – Click above for high-res image gallery

With examples from the 250 series fetching earth-shattering prices, the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 "Daytona" is quickly becoming a classic favorite. The wedge-shaped GT from the late 60s and early 70s was a clear separation from the bulbous models that proceeded it, and is today regarded as one of the definitive classic Ferraris of all time. But even among the 1,400+ built, some are more special than others.

For starters, this particular example – which is going up for auction in May under the auspices of Historics at Brooklands – is one of only 158 right-hand-drive models. But chassis #16531 is set apart from the other 157 by its fate once arriving in the UK.

Its first owner was HRH Charles, Prince of Wales, who only drove it for about a week before selling it. A few owners of varied stature owned the car since, until it appeared on the BBC's ever-popular car show Top Gear. You may recall the episode (twelfth in the fifth season) when James May set sail for Saint-Tropez from Portofino in a speedboat, while Richard Hammond took the coastal road in a Daytona? Well this is that very same car.

Resplendent in metallic blue, tan leather interior and Borrani wire wheels, this 365 GTB/4 has only 26,281 miles on the odometer, and was verified on the dyno shortly before the Top Gear filming to have lost none of the 352 horsepower with which it left the factory. It's a beauty. Details in the press release after the jump.

[Source: Historics at Brooklands]
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Famed Ferrari with Royal resume to attract 'Princely' sum

A 1973 Ferrari Daytona festooned with a host of eclectic connections including HRH The Prince of Wales, is set to create a stir when it goes under the hammer at Historics forthcoming sale on Wednesday May 18th, at Brooklands in Surrey.

One of just 158 right-hand-drive 365 GTB/4's – which adopted the Daytona moniker following Ferrari's 1-2-3 success in the 1967 Daytona 24-Hour race – the Pininfarina designed Gran Turismo was ordered new by Maranello Concessionaires Ltd. in 1973, as a UK demonstrator model.

Soon after its arrival from Italy however, the iconic GT was loaned to Prince Charles for a week, before subsequently being sold for a seemingly modest sum of £9,250 later that year.

The fastest production road car of its time, this Daytona was purchased in the late 1980's by John Coombs, the famed 'patron' of the 1960's and 1970's racing Jaguars and Ferraris, before Modena Engineering Ltd. acquired the car in 1988.

In November 2008, fans of BBC TV's Top Gear programme witnessed the car take centre stage in a race from Portofino to Saint-Tropez. Episode five from the twelfth series of the popular motoring entertainment show, ultimately saw James May in an XSR 48 powerboat overcome Richard Hammond in the Daytona, but Hammond was left in no doubt which he would rather travel in, commenting; "The Daytona is the absolute essence of pure European supercar."

Demonstrating the enduring quality of the Ferrari Daytona and in particular this model, with just 26,281 miles covered the car was tested on a dynamometer before appearing on Top Gear, in August 2008, and recorded an output of 352 bhp, identical to that claimed by the factory at the time of its launch.

Prices for the Daytona are once again on the rise, and with such an intriguing and appealing history, which also includes numerous magazine features, Chassis 16531 with its Blue Ribot metallic coachwork over full tan hide interior and Borrani wire wheels, is expected to fetch offers in the region of £180,000 - £210,000.

For more information, and to attend the Historics at Brooklands auction on the afternoon of Wednesday May 18th, call 0800 988 3838, e-mail:, or see the website, Entry by catalogue only, available prior to, or on the day of the auction.

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