Summer Events for the Ferrari 365 Daytona

Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona
The Daytona at the Silverstone Classic (image courtesy of Harrisonkcars)

The Daytona heads out to a couple of summer shows, but are the journeys trouble-free?

When I finished the last update on life with the Daytona I was planning a trip up to the annual concours of the Ferrari Owners Club GB. As it turned out this event was held on one of the hottest days of the year, and the Daytona is not the ideal car to drive in intense heat. This is not so much because of reliability but because of the toll it can take on the driver. The 4.4 V12 engine puts out a lot of heat and most of it soaks into the cockpit. This, combined with leather seats and weak air conditioning (to put it mildly!), means it gets more than a little toasty in the cockpit.

In order to avoid the worst of the heat and traffic I left home at a rather uncivilised hour and rendezvoused with Mark Shannon who was taking Dad’s 550 Maranello (which incidentally has now been sold). We headed out on the 90-mile route to the event at Walton Hall near Stratford upon Avon.

Both thirsty V12s were in need of topping up with V Power unleaded, and we stopped at Beaconsfield services to fill the tanks. We lined the two cars up side by side at the pumps but it was the Daytona that attracted far more attention than the much newer 550. Perhaps this was due to the shiny red paint on the Daytona standing out more than the subtle Grigio Titanico shade on the Maranello, but it was nice to see the older and now less well-known car getting some appreciation.

Back on the road and the M40 was nearly empty of traffic. As we headed north I noticed the amp meter on the car was giving a slightly odd reading. Under normal running with all of the electrical ancillaries turned off the needle points straight up. On this journey, however, the needle was oscillating slightly between charge and discharge. There didn’t seem to be any other problems though, so I continued on. I spoke to some other owners at the Concours, and it seems that this is not uncommon and doesn’t seem to indicate any other problems.

I've created a gallery of my pictures from the show, and as always it was great to see some of the older cars out on display. Parked outside the front of the hall, but not competing in the councours, was a 330GTC that my Dad used to own and has the distinction of being the first Ferrari I ever drove on the road. It was a lovely and largely original Ferrari when Dad owned it, but the current owner has seen fit to 'hot rod' the car, fitting cowled headlamps, a louvred bonnet, big bore exhaust and I am told a later 365 engine. Shame.

On my way home from the councours, another small problem occurred. I’m not sure if it was the heat but the driver's sun visor began to slip down from its nested position, into my line of sight. Pushing it back up didn’t help and I stopped to investigate. There is a single Phillips screw on the visor and a quarter of a turn of this tightened the visor back up and I was back on my way.

Approaching the M25 from the M40, I noticed a Mazda 6 very close behind me driving a little erratically. The driver was steering one-handed while attempting to take a picture of the Daytona with his camera phone. In general I have no objection to people taking pictures of the car as long as it's safe and legal to do so, neither of which was the case here. I squeezed the throttle and increased the gap between us from a couple of metres to a couple of hundred, which was enough to discourage the would-be car paparazzi!

Two weeks later and the Daytona and I were again heading back up the M40, this time to the Silverstone Classic. I was not impressed with this event last year, mainly because of the concrete jungle that Silverstone has unfortunately become. I wasn’t going to bother this year, but the offer of free tickets courtesy of Silverstone Auctions and a display pass courtesy of Toby Bovingdon at the Paragon car club persuaded me to give it another try. 

On arrival there was some confusion on the part of the parking marshalls, and I was directed into the Ferrari Owners Club area and parked with the other classic Ferraris. It seems that the articles about the Daytona here on Drive Cult and in other media has made it a minor motoring celebrity. Almost as soon as I parked up, people were coming up to say hello and mention that they had already seen and read about the car. Among them, it was great to meet up with Twitter friends Matt Biggs and Michael Olsson, and later I had a chance to catch up with Jon Kay and Stella Fuja of the Gentleman Drivers Club, which has now rebranded as Club Mullholland.

The weather forecast for the event wasn't great and I was prepared for rain, but fortunately it turned out to be dry and sunny for most of the day and I actually got a little sunburnt! Heading home there was a brief rain shower but the coat of Perfection Valet wax had the water beading off the Daytona's paintwork without the slightest trace of water marks. Fortunately I managed to get the car home before the heavens really opened.

In the last few weeks the Daytona has had reasonably regular use, including a run down to the Goodwood Revival, where I was able to get the Daytona into the forward parking area for classic cars for the first time.

As we approach winter this would normally be the time to think about the car's winter hibernation, but a rather interesting invite has come my way and the Daytona with be transporting my wife and I onto the continent in a few weeks' time. More about that in my next update.