While its most serious Italian competition, Lamborghini, opted to produce mid-engine supercars, such as the Miura, Ferrari took a different path. It introduced the 1967 Ferrari Daytona, so named because of the marque’s win at the famous 24 hour race. While many fans were dismayed by Ferrari’s selection of a front-engine, conventional layout, few could argue the quality of the styling. Straight from the pen of Pininfarina, the Daytona had sweeping, flowing lines that were still somewhat bulky – in a good way. In any case, it left no one indifferent. The Daytona also had beautiful road manners, thanks to its disc brakes and all-around double wishbone suspension. Although it was quite heavy at first, higher speeds would soon lighten the steering and let this big GT roar and soar.
Under the Daytona’s hood was its heart, a 4.4-liter, quadruple overhead camshaft V12 that developed a smooth 352 horsepower. Paired to a five-speed manual transmission, the Daytona could achieve a top speed of 174 miles per hour, and accelerate to 0-60 in 5.4 seconds, truly exceptional numbers for the time – even for today.
The 1967 Ferrari Daytona remained in production for 6 years, until 1973. When it was retired, it was to be the last high-performance, front-engine cars Ferrari produced until the advent of the 456GT in 1992.