The Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona was released in 1968 as an answer to the ground-breaking Lamborghini Miura, which had been released to huge public acclaim two years earlier in 1966.

The story of how Lamborghini came to make cars instead of sticking with tractor production is the thing of legend – Ferruccio Lamborghini had been a Ferrari owner who hadn’t been entirely happy with his car. He explained his issues with the car directly to Enzo Ferrari, a man with a short fuse at the best of times, who angrily told him to stick to building his tractors and leave the sports car building to him.

As it played out, Ferruccio did the exact opposite. He began building his own sports cars, and the release of the mid-engined Miura was a body blow to Ferrari. The fastest car in the world was now built by another Italian, and it’s safe to say that Enzo would have been less than pleased.

Development work at Ferrari headquarters in Maranello began immediately. To reduce development time it was decided to use the same platform as the current 275 GTB/4, with upgrades throughout including a totally revamped engine. Capacity was increased from 3.3 litres to 4.4 litres, and it retained its DOHC and 6 Weber carburettors. Power was now 352 bhp, up from 300 bhp in the 275 GTB/4.

A new body was designed by long-time Ferrari partner Pininfarina, the new shape was a revolutionary departure from Ferrari’s back catalogue, and it was developed to take aim squarely at the Miura.

The all-important top speed of the new 365 GTB/4 was 2 mph faster than the Lamborghini, a deliberate move to reclaim the crown that Enzo felt rightly belonged to his company.

The press almost immediately dubbed the new Ferrari the “Daytona”, as a hat tip to the 1-2-3 finish enjoyed by the marque at the 1967 Daytona 24-Hour race. Enzo was apparently never a fan of the nickname, and even now Ferrari rarely refer to the 365 GTB/4 using its popular moniker.

The Daytona has always been a sought after model from Ferrari, and in recent years its popularity has surged further, with values for good matching-number examples now approaching the million USD mark. The tidy, all-original Ferrari 365 GTB/4 you see here is likely to sell for between $700,000 and $850,000 USD when it rolls across the auction block with RM Sotheby’s on the 19th of January, if you’d like to read more or register to bid you can click here to visit the official listing.

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Photo Credits: Robin Adams ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s