38 YEARS LATER: THE LONG ROAD TO A FERRARI DAYTONA (PART ONE)

Many thoughts race through my mind when Jack, a lifelong friend, calls and tells me: “I just sold my company—I finally have the money to buy the car of my dreams, the Ferrari Daytona.” But the first is a dark memory: I was six-years old when I destroyed Jack’s cherished Ferrari Daytona model car. I did it by driving it over a hot stove. Needless to say, I now feel obligated to help repair the emotional scarring I caused my friend.

Jack has waited his entire life for this sweet moment, so the pressure is on to find him the just-right Daytona. Sure, I always want to get my clients the perfect car, but most assignments don’t come with 38 years of friendship—and such a complicated history!

The Ferrari Daytona Quick Facts:

—For starters, you can watch this great film on the Daytona by Top Gear.

—It was designed in 1968 and was not called the Daytona by the factory; the original name was 365 GTB/4. The press actually named it the Daytona to commemorate Ferrari’s victory at the 24 hour Daytona race.

—The rumor is that the Ferrari design team styled the Daytona in under six days. No focus groups. It replaced the 275 GTB/4, which was one of Ferrari’s best cars ever.

—It’s been used in many movies, including: Gumball Rally, A Star is born, and of course there was the fake one used in Miami Vice. Jack and I would watch Miami Vice and Gumball Rally religiously. We watched a Star is born just to see the Daytona crash.

—Its got a big powerful 4.4 liter V 12 motor that belongs in a museum—and it makes a sound that any car nerd worth his salt could distinguish from a mile away.

Why the Daytona is Right for Jack

Jack is a real auto enthusiast who does not buy his cars for flash. He’s actually a bit embarrassed to admit that he wants the Ferrari. We’re both aware that gold-chain-wearing, club-going douches like to ride the prancing horse too.

But the fact remains: Even though certain Ferrari owners are terminally obnoxious, these cars generally drive better than any other sport equivalent on the road.

Jack also knows first-hand that vintage cars can be a real pain in the ass. They all come with their quirks—just like most 40 year olds. Vintage Ferraris are no exception to the rule. One such idiosyncrasy is that the Daytonas need to be driven hard in order to run well. You cannot just put-put around in them. From time to time they need the old “Italian tuneup” just to run correctly. This is where you take the car out for a “spirited drive” to clean out the carburetors. Good thing that’s how Jack drives most days.

Jack also hates new cars. He believes—and I tend to agree on some level—that most new cars look alike. We both feel that overall, pre-1973 cars were created by artists, and not by committees. There were just fewer lawyers and marketers in the early 70’s and engineers made the cars look cool. For Jack’s budget and taste the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 is the perfect choice, and it was made at the pinnacle of good car design.

Stay tuned for PART 2 tomorrow, as I reveal how we found Jack “the one.”