One of One: Japan-Found Ferrari Daytona Alloy

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

When it comes to barn finds, we don’t necessarily think of Japan as a source of untouched exotics or rotting classics. However, an exceedingly rare 1969 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta Alloy has been discovered there, quite literally a 1-of-1 find. The Daytona is the only road-going version of Ferrari’s lightweight aluminum-bodied competition cars, of which five were made. It is in astoundingly good condition despite being laid up for 40 years. Find it here on RM Auctions website, and watch for its no reserve sale on September 9. 

The Daytona was ordered with the desirable Plexiglass headlights, along with power windows. It has never been significantly altered, or even torn down for that matter, representing a literal once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. While auctioneer speak can sometimes be over-the-top, in this instance the possibilities as to what direction to take this car are seemingly limitless. Restore or preserve are the two forks in the road, and either will yield a car with immense value and historical significance. The Daytona shows mileage of 36,390 kilometers, which is believed to be genuine based on the car’s underlying condition.

The lightweight Daytona shuffled between several Italian owners before it was exported by a Japanese dealer. It changed hands several more times before ending up with its last owner of four decades. The Daytona was known to a handful of collectors but its immense obscurity meant its existence was sometimes cast aside as folklore, and among those who knew it was stashed in a remote barn in Japan, they encountered an owner that batted away their offers. Marque experts have examined the car extensively, confirming that all numbers match and the aluminum bodywork bears the correct stampings.

Looking at the trail of owners, its safe to say the last caretaker of the Ferrari probably paid the least for the car and will now realize the biggest payoff. Whether that was his intent we’ll never know, but the gravity of this find does reinforce the notion they’re still out there – a sentiment sometimes challenged when it seems like the most recent discovery of significant automobiles couldn’t possibly be topped. This factory-commissioned lightweight Daytona again raises the bar, while also giving the rest of us hope of finding a new project with slightly fewer zeroes in the asking price.

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Comments

  1. Rick

    And how many more millions to get it road worthy? Looks like a lot of undercarriage rust from sitting on a dirt floor, aftermarket a/c unit and who knows what the varmints have done to the wiring. Way out of my league, but some of those photos are going to be used as a desktop screensaver!

    1+

    • Magnus Bloodhammer

      Bah. Scrub it up with some Dutch cleanser, new battery, wash the windshield and it’s ready to go.

      0

  2. fogline

    I can hear it now, “TWO millllion dollars…”

    5+

  3. jaymes

    i’d so love to detail it!

    3+

  4. Dave Wright

    At least it isn’t a right hand drive…………….

    4+

  5. Madmatt

    I agree with jaymes,I would love to make it
    beautiful again,with a few days work,it could be
    “standing tall”again!A wealthy mans toy for sure!

    1+

  6. Jeffro

    23000 miles. Someone needs a foot to a$$. Absolutely beautiful car. I agree with rest of yall…going to take some big money to get it back where it deserves to be.

    2+

  7. Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

    Amazing! I guess when the car in your barn is a 365 GTB, and not a ’69 Chevelle, you don’t have the problem of your neighbors scavenging parts off it to put on *their* 365 GTB. Though I guess the same could be said of a ’69 Chevelle in Japan. lol

    8+

  8. Gunner

    Amazing find and a rare Ferrari at that. Regardless of condition, it is still a relatively original, unmolested car. Will it take a lot of money to bring it back to pristine? Yes, but if you can afford to own it, you can afford to restore it. A one of one Daytona. Wow, even now these rare and highly sought after European classics still surface. A dream car in any condition for most of us. I love stories like this, and would love to hear the history of this beautiful automobile.

    12+

  9. jw454

    I spent a considerable amount of time in Japan during the nineties on work related assignments. I traveled to many cities which allowed me to see quite a bit of the country. I spotted dozens of European, and, American cars just sitting looking abandoned. I was told that during the seventies and eighties there was very little support for parts for foreign makes. Therefore, most cars were left to sit with just a minor failure.
    Of course this one wasn’t abandoned but, to see a foreign car just sitting for long periods of time in Japan isn’t a uncommon occurrence to them.

    3+

  10. angliagt

    I actually got to drive a Daytona,when I detailed one
    for it’s owner.Not overly impressive to drive around town,but I could
    only imagine driving it,at speed on the open road.
    Also,he was going to make a killing on it – bought it for
    $10K,& was going to sell it for $12- $13K !

    1+

  11. Milt

    What kind of pigeons were sh!ting on it? Kinda important to get that documented so to enhance the barn find claim.

    4+

  12. Rock On

    Time to pull out the Miami Vice DVDs again!

    3+

  13. Pa Tina

    Now I truly have seen everything! In 40 years, not one person thought about putting a cover on it? Criminal.

    1+

  14. sparkster

    Why didn’t Wayne Carrini find this ?

    3+

  15. Dolphin Dolphin Staff

    Of all the Ferraris to come to light now after 40 years of hiding this is probably the least likely. Any alloy bodied ‘street’ Ferrari is rare, and usually has some competition connection. This 1-of-a-kind Ferrari will be bid almost certainly to between 1.5 to 2 million US$. The question is, will it actually sell? If anyone can do it, RM can.

    Ferrari Daytonas were successful class winners at Daytona—no surprise there, that’s why they are called Daytonas—and LeMans when new, and most but not all of those were alloy bodied cars. This one is unique in being the only alloy Daytona made for the street and not raced.

    The reason for the alloy bodies on the raced Daytonas was that Daytonas were big and heavy for a Ferrari, and especially for a competition car—well over 3000 pounds. When I drove one at Mosport it didn’t accelerate as fast as an E36 M3. But Daytonas weren’t made for 0 to 60 times. They were made for cruising on the Autostrada to Monaco with your girlfriend for a weekend getaway. And cruise they could, with a top speed of 173 MPH—confirmed by road tests when new. That set the top speed record for a street car, and the Daytona held it for a couple of decades. And that was done with only a 4.4 liter 2-valve engine…in a big heavy car. I was once passed by a Daytona on a highway in Canada….like I was standing still, which relatively speaking, I was.

    This auction will be watched very closely by vintage Ferrari fans.

    7+

    • Thayer

      They were also made to look good, which they did…in spades.

      3+

  16. Rich

    I used to drive by a Plum Crazy Hemi Cuda sitting in a field outside of Suzuka while I was in Japan. Always wanted to jump the fence and take a peek but my gf would always scold me against such improper behaviour over there. Such a waste.

    1+

  17. Andre

    I admittedly know zilch about vintage Ferraris .. but this thing is gorgeous. What a beautiful car.

    It looks like it’s going 174 standing still (and covered in sh*t)

    2+

  18. Jeffrey Platt

    Who ever owned that car had way more money than brains. That’s like burning the Mona Lisa.

    2+

  19. BiggYinn

    I’de say usually these are rich peoples play things ..but no denying these are pretty cars even in thus state …it’ll take sone fixing more so if the underside is rotten …as its only the body panels that are aluminium

    1+

  20. Mr. Bond

    It almost looks like it’s been through a Tsunami or something.

    0

  21. Peter

    40 odd years back I came across a Daytona in a showroom in Salisbury, Rhodesia (Now called Harare, Zimbabwe) for sale, where I was on training as an engineer. I love the looks, but to me it was second best (in looks) to what I really wanted – a Dino. I haggled with the dealer for a trade in on my Cooper S and quickly realized I was going to end up sleeping on my buddies couch and eating bread and butter sandwiches for years to afford it. But in my insatiable madness I actually contemplated it for a day or so………..
    Looking back, those bread and butter sandwiches sound attractive as a penance for owning it.
    To me the Daytona and the Dino represent the two greatest Ferraris produced, but then my sense of taste is biased …………

    2+

  22. peter

    Forget the Ferrari. Imagine how much a barn in Japan must be worth!

    5+

  23. Bob Hess

    Had a customer with a black steel body car that came from the factory yellow. Either way, the morning coffee in the shop was drunk standing around that car and just looking at it…

    2+

  24. Sam

    Ditto to all comments but the seats/leather is killer…would love to duplicate those in a different vehicle…Opel GT, Miata, etc that a “average” guy could afford.

    0

  25. Mark

    The lean to shed roof appears to be made out of “super six” asbestos sheets. It could get interesting……

    2+

  26. Bob in Bexley Member

    Change the oil & filter, flush the fuel system, check the coolant & hoses, flush brake fluid & fire it up ! Car to get buried in.

    1+

  27. Jimmy

    I can not understand for the life of me why people just let cars like this go!! There have been so many barnfinds that I’ve seen that just boil my blood seeing these works of art just left to deteriorate! Pa Tina said it right…this is criminal. If you can’t take care of something and don’t have what it takes to do so then let someone else do it! When you abuse animals, you go to jail. Where is the justice for things like this? Sad sad sad…(breathe Jim…breathe..go take your blood pressure medicine…)

    4+

  28. Dt 1

    It’s definitely a classic beautiful car but the interior shot who knows what else it would probably cost you 40 or 50,000 just to get it in decent condition

    0

  29. TechnoHippie

    I think it’s going to go for a lot more than 2 million – hell if I had the money I would pay more for it than that. I suspect there will be quite a few car collectors with big bucks that will want it. All it takes of 2 of them that want it really bad and it can end up being over 4 million real quick.

    0

  30. James

    That’s probably a $10,000 tool roll in the trunk. Way cool find.

    0

  31. ed loeffler

    I keep studying the first 2 images and they look like detailed art work to me not photos. Is that just me?

    0

  32. Luki

    When I was growing up in rural eastern Pennsylvania in the early 70s my next door neighbor’s uncle had one of these.
    I can remember him installing a tow bar on the back and pulling his 250 GTO to the local race in New Jersey track with it. One evening when returning home from the track the brakes went out and the whole rig went into the Delaware river. The insurance company paid him out on it and left it there.I think it’s probably still there as it was never recovered as far as I know.

    0

    • mark

      I heard that the cars were salvaged in the dead of night by the insurance assessor who wrote them off. Bad move, as it was mob insurance scam and the assessor later on wound up dead in a suitcase in the same river. Apparently the GTO engine wound up in some mobsters’ ski boat and the Daytona was swapped for a “hangar find”, as new, WWII Mustang P51 fighter which subsequently went down somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle. The Daytona is now considered to be cursed and is once again languishing in a barn in Texas, unloved and unwanted.

      0

  33. Pa Tina

    This car is featured on the “Petrolicious” website. The 2 mil estimate seems to be the estimated sales price. 2 mil also seems to be the restoration price to have Ferrari clean it up.

    0

  34. the chucker

    I aspire to be the old curmudgeon with a barn full of forgotten treasures like this one day.

    0

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