And then you stand in front of him. The Ferrari 3 65 GTB /4. The Daytona. And you know: nothing prepared you for him. Last week I was a little nervous. To get in the mood for Daytona Day, I drove to the outdoor pool in a new Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG - 612 hp, 1,000 Nm torque. But, friends, I'll tell you right away: Compared to the Daytona, a 612-hp, 1,000-Nm-SL drives itself like a Nissan Micra C + C, which is a little cranked because it accidentally got a Super Plus tank Has.
The engine roars - the heart is beating
Leonardo Fioravanti, second director at Pininfarina, forms the Berlinetta 1966 'in a moment of true and deep inspiration'. He creates one of the most beautiful sports cars of all time. Its V12 goes back to the engine that Gioacchino Colombo designed for the 125 Sport in 1947. The engine now has two camshafts per cylinder bank, a longer block due to the displacement of 4.4 liters, makes 348 hp, accelerates the Ferrari 365 GTB /4 to 274.8 km /h and gives him the title of the fastest production car.
Fritz Neuser, Head of Scuderia Neuser in Nuremberg, hands me the keys to the Photo Ferrari 365. He asks whether I can handle the car. I hear myself say 'yes' - it sounds a lot more confident than I feel. I get in and fall deep into the thin leather-covered seat shell. The backrest is flat like a deck chair and cannot be adjusted. I reach for the steering wheel and gear lever with long arms. The left foot presses against the clutch pedal. It doesn't move. 'Be careful with the starter,' warns Neuser, 'if it turns too long, it'll be gone. It costs 1,200 euros.' I notice myself smiling, while my left foot finally fights down the clutch. Only tenths of a second, then the fragile starter pulls on the V12. It needs a few large sips of high-octane to calm its nervous idling, accompanied by the rattle of valves.
Ferrari 365 GTB /4 cost 70,000 D-Marks at the time
Before it starts, Neuser is there once again my head through the window and gives me the sentence that hangs in my head like a speech bubble all day: 'There is no comprehensive insurance. You are liable for damage.' An Ferrari 365 GTB /4 always represents at least the equivalent of a house in the country. On its debut, it costs a good 70,000 D-Marks, today around a quarter of a million euros. In between, during the great Ferrari hype in the late eighties, it was worth two houses. It won't be long before he will have reached that level again. So yesterday would probably have been a good day to deal more intensively with the amounts insured and contract conditions of my private liability.
I gently pull the gear lever through the open backdrop down to the left into first gear. The V12 seething, the clutch engages, the Daytona picks up. It's difficult to guide him through town. Enormous steering and pedaling forces, dimensions that are difficult to estimate, plus a turning circle so large that a supermarket parking lot is hardly enough for a U-turn. Every bump hits my back unfiltered. Meanwhile, I have to concentrate on engaging the gears with a clean click and dodging small cars lurking in side streets to throw myself into the Daytona's track. There is hardly any capacity left to worry about the immense abstract value with which I make my way through the ebbing rush hour.
16 liters of oil on board the Ferrari 365 GTB /4
The Ferrari stays much more relaxed than me. The cooling water and the 16 liters of oil of the dry sump lubrication warm up slowly and only up to the optimum range. The four-camshaft engine pulls up easily and smoothly even from low speeds. The Ferrari 365 GTB /4 just doesn't like low-speed jerking, so it needs a steady gas kick every now and then. Then the autobahn: I accelerate bravely - and stop in third gear at 120 km /h. It would go up to just under 180.
But with 5,000 tours: How the 365 yells at me, how he wants to intimidate me, how he wants to show me that I'm too weak for him. You shouldn't really worry about it - he's like a yapping dog with baring teeth and dripping lips. Jagged after every groove, feigning weak brakes - all look, he just wants to scare me. But he succeeds. Because he yells like that.
Ferrari 365 GTB /4 in battle with an Audi TDI
Jessasmariaundjosef - how he roars! I shyly pull the gear stick into fifth. Now the Daytona doesn't yell at me anymore. Now he's laughing at me. Either I'm shaking or the rearview mirror. In any case, I can sense how a sales representative-Audi-A4-TDI with daytime running lights is preparing to overtake from behind. This shame must not happen. Coupling. Back to the third. Full throttle. When the two petrol pumps shoot the fuel into the six double carburettors, the Ferrari jerks up briefly. Then it leaps forward so quickly.
A few seconds and the Daytona is at 180. Me too, on the other hand, the A4 has given up.Probably the sound wave of the V12 alone threw it back. None of this really impressed the Daytona, but we have a deal: I don't pretend to dominate it, I can put on my rock star face and casually flaunt it with it.
Ferrari 365 GTB /4 is well-mannered
The Daytona is well-mannered and yet always remains a dramatically fast car - in 1968 twice as fast as the car average. Back then, 250 km /h still required true skill and respect. Today you step on the gas with the SL 65 AMG, and before the stereo system has picked up your favorite CD, you're already roaring across the slopes at 200 - without noticing it because the Airscarf is blowing your neck so nicely.
Ideal Gran Tourismo - if it goes straight ahead
Although it requires effort at high speeds, the Daytona is still an outstanding motorway car. Then the suspension doesn’t bolt so hard, its elaborate chassis with independent wheel suspension all around and the balanced weight distribution - 52 to 48 - ensure a driving safety that is unique in the sixties, but still passes as reasonably good today. The Ferrari GTB /4 stumbles on narrow streets because of its size. It's the opposite of a handy car. In turns he has to be forced with immense steering forces, understeer at the limit. But a tap on the gas is always enough and the rear jerks out.
With the Ferrari 365 GTB /4 to Rome or London
At some point there will be another straight. The Daytona pounces on them, devours them and hurls their remains as a distorted image in the rearview mirror. Even with it, however, it seems much more civilized and more subtle than the later mid-engine twelve-cylinder, such as the Testarossa, which is a bit rough today. We shoot into the night. Then the Daytona has to go back.
As he rushes home on the empty freeway, his folding lights cast narrow beams of light onto the asphalt. The Daytona roars again. Now he is shouting courage: We can be in Rome or London for breakfast. For a late dinner in Palermo or Edinburgh. And then you stream through the night with the Ferrari 365 GTB /4. And you know: Europe is almost too small for a whole day with the Daytona - if only you are ready for it.