The mid-1960's was a remarkable period for innovation in racing and road cars from Italy. By 1968, Ferrari was looking for a replacement for its highly successful 275 GTB4 sports coupe, and contracted with the 275's designer, Pininfarina, to create its successor. Reportedly, in just seven days, the design for the new car was completed, and the body shaping duties were handed off to long-time Ferrari coachbuilder Scaglietti. The new car would continue Ferrari's traditional 12 cylinder front-mounted engine configuration, but a new rear transaxle replaced the previous front transmission design.
The year prior, Ford Racing humiliated the Ferrari team at LeMans, with a 1-2-3 victory, and to add insult to injury, a 'formation finish' was staged with all three GT40's crossing the finish line together. Later in the year, Ferrari was able to return the favor at the famous Daytona 24 hour race, where the Italians scored a hat trick of their own, with two 330 P4's and a 412 P taking the first three spots. The 'Flying Finish' was arranged as a direct thumbing of the nose to Ford.
Although Ferrari opted to refer to their new road car by its numerical designation, the consensus was that the motoring press dubbed the vehicle the 'Daytona' in honor of the racing team's dominant victory.
Meanwhile, back in Italy, Ferrari's new rival Lamborghini, unveiled a radical and exquisite mid-engined supercar called the Miura. Its utilization of a transverse V-12 configuration allowed a very aerodynamic and esthetically pleasing body to be adopted, immediately relegating the Daytona to an earlier age of car design. Despite this, the Daytona performed well in the horsepower and acceleration categories, and the impossibly long hood and truncated tail gave the car a graceful muscularity. It was also the first time fold-away headlamps were used on a Ferrari.
Time was ticking away for front-engined supercars, but the Daytona soldiered on, and by the end of its production life, 1406 units were constructed, a testament to its popularity and longevity. But it was the end of the line for the 'horse pulling the cart' philosophy at Ferrari, the next car being the rear-engined 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer.
In the mid-1980's the scale model automobile world was substantially changing as well. Italian builder Carlo Brianza, already well established in the smaller scales, introduced a new line of 1:14 scale highly detailed Ferraris, beginning with...a 365 GTB4 Daytona.
Yes, this is the first in a very long line of factory-built numbered edition 1:14 scale models, which are in fact still produced today, a full 22 years after Sr. Brianza passed away.
The body shape is quite good, revealing the purposeful lines penned by Pininfarina. The Brianza Daytona features opening doors, soft leather seats, red pile carpeting, and a fully detailed engine bay. The engine bonnet, which is nearly half the model's overall length, is a marvel of compound curves. Composed of cast resin, large body panels like this are prone to warping and distorting with time, but this particular Daytona shows very little of it. This early Brianza, serial #228, has no missing parts and is in a fine state of preservation. It is supplied with its early, light-colored wood base, but its perspex cover has long since vanished. The Brianza factory is still producing this same model today, using the original molds that our example came from. Expect however, to pay around $2500.00 US for a new one. The fact that the Daytona model is still in production is a testament to its popularity, but its current retail price makes our example an outstanding value for the discerning collector.