1967-1977 Daytona and its Sister Cars

A land og history, passion and talent.

Stamped in memory

For motor racing enthusiasts Daytona is not a whatever place. Motor races connected to this town in Florida have marked the history of world motoring. For Ferrari fans Daytona is so much as linked to a unique emotion dated February, 6 1967. At the last lap of the 24 Hours Race in Daytona three Ferrari cars are ahead of all, above all ahead of Ford cars, which represent Ferrari’ antagonist par excellence and are running a home race.

The arrival is going to be an indelible event in the fans’ mind: the three Ferrari drivers line up and stage a side-by-side parade under the chequered flag, after 666 laps and 4,000 km, sanctioning the success of the Reds with the victory of Lorenzo Bandini, followed close behind by Mike Parkes and Lodovico Scarfiotti.

Lini’s stroke of genius

It is the journalist Franco Lini, who cleverly thinks up this legendary crossing of the finishing line.  At the time he has just been appointed sporting manager of the team instead of Eugenio Dragoni, to intentionally give a signal of strength and superiority to the American car manufacturers. The instant of the side-by-side parade finish along the banking, immortalized by photographers from all American press agencies, is an image that has made its way worldwide, becoming one of the most iconic picture ever in automotive history. Besides, it represents an unprecedented media success for Scuderia Ferrari, which has at the time fewer means and workers than a truly car industry giant like Ford Motor Company. The car which has made such an undertaking feasible is the 365 GTB / 4, known since then as Ferrari Daytona.

Niki Lauda

Referring to Formula 1, however, Ferrari has to wait till the late 70s before winning the World Constructors’ Championship again, when they mount the top step of the podium three times in a row between 1975 and 1977. The driver is the Austrian Niki Lauda, who carries out in these years a memorable sports contest with British James Hunt.

The Dinos and the Future of Ferrari

In recent years some Ferraris are named Dino, viz. Dino 196 S and Dino 296 S, an affectionate way for the Drake to commemorate the memory of his son Alfredo. In the coming years, cars named after Alfredo’s nickname are: Dino 246 S in 1960, Dino 206 SP in 1965, Dino 206 S in 1966 and Dino 206 GT in 1967. It is just the death of his son that forces Enzo Ferrari to reason about what future to give to the company. Starting from his assumption to die heirless (second-born son Piero Ferrari will be officially recognized as a member of the Ferrari family only in 1978), it is easily explained the reason of his crucial decision in Ferrari history: the agreement with Fiat.

The agreement between Ferrari and FIAT

If 1963 is the year of the failed agreement between Enzo Ferrari and Filmer Paradise from Ford company, 1969 is the year of the sealed deal with Fiat. In fact, Ferrari is much more interested in the great names of the Italian economy rather than in the overseas giants. Moreover, there is a pending issue with Fiat dating back to 1919. The first agreement between the two parties involves the production of 65-liter V6 engines for both Ferrari and Fiat cars. The famous Dino cars are called after the name of Enzo Ferrari’s firstborn son, who, before his untimely death, conceived and built that type of engine.

Furthermore, in the agreement negotiated in 1969, Fiat buys 50% of the Ferrari block of shares along with the pre-emptive right to take over the remaining 40% at the moment of Enzo Ferrari’s death, which will be in 1988. The 10% left behind is assigned to Piero, Enzo’s second son, who will be then in charge as vice-president. Thanks to the investment by Fiat, important changes can be worked, including the construction of the racing track in Fiorano and the enlargement of the plant in Maranello. Also the prestige of the entire Italian automotive industry is considerably increased.  In the end the Drake manages to have his professional career cross with Fiat. The first attempt goes back to 1919 when a 20-year-old Ferrari moves to Turin to work in Fiat but he is not selected. Fifty years later the score with the Italian Engine Company is finally settled at Maranello by a man who has meanwhile become a worldwide celebrated car manufacturer: Enzo Ferrari.

Sport and Culture in Maranello

While Maranello is growing as a centre, also quality of life steadily improves. In 1971 the gym and swimming pool of the Sport Centre at Via Dino Ferrari are opened to public: Enzo Ferrari helps the City administration in both their construction and in the subsequent maintenance.

In 1972 the “Dino Ferrari” school is inaugurated: today it is part of the Ferrari Maranello Comprehensive Institute at Via Claudia, whereas in 1977 the architect Tiziano Lugli designs and supervises the building of the Civic Centre on behalf of the City Council.


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