Why I'm still happy to drive my Daytona as much as possible
Why my history with the car influences how I'm willing to use it.
A question I frequently get asked about the Daytona is, "am I worried about driving such a valuable car?" It's an interesting question because I know that I probably drive my Daytona a lot more than most of the other Daytonas still in circulation. So why am I prepared to use mine on a semi-regular basis (typically around 3,000 -5,000 miles a years in non COVID times) when many of the other Daytonas, and indeed many other classic Ferraris of the same era, spend their time in dehumidified storage, maybe coming out once or twice a year?
The answer perhaps lies in my individual history with this particular car. I may now be repeating myself a bit from previous articles but bear with me. The Daytona was bought by my Father in the mid-Seventies. He paid around E7,500 pounds for it. In today's terms that sounds shockingly cheap and actually it terms of what Ferraris sell for today it is. A quick check on one of the online CPI inflation trackers says that is around £49,000 in today's terms. As I noted in my recent article on cheap Ferraris, that's about the minimum entry point for a usable Ferrari these days. Incidentally the Daytona's list price back in 1973 equates to around £130,000 today which is significantly less than even the base price of the cheapest new Ferrari now.
Could Car Trek's recent challenge be replicated in the U.K.
My Dad was fortunate he bought the car in the middle of one of the many oil crises that blighted the Seventies and thus a time when no one wanted fuel-guzzling V12 GTs or supercars. He often said that he looked at twenty different examples and brought the least rusty one. As the car is a late production example it is probably more a case of it having slightly less time for tinworm to take hold than some of the others he looked at. My dad didn't buy the car with investment in mind either, in fact for the first couple of years of ownership it was his daily driver. I'm actually not quite sure why it never got sold when it was no longer his primary car (he brought another Ferrari a 365GT4 2+2 for that) in the late Seventies, as it was a few more years before he would start to really collect cars - and maybe 10 years before they started to really appreciate in the first classic car bubble of the late Eighties.
Since then, the car has twice been repainted with some rust remediation; both times fairly early in its life with the family, and has had all the routine maintenance it should get, although the latter would be the same if it sat still, rather than got driven regularly. Overall that means the cash investment in the car excluding maintenance, but including restoration work, is probably around the same as buying a new Porsche 911. That's not a small amount of money but is certainly an amount of money many - including myself - are prepared to risk on driving and even tracking a car today.
Conversely someone who has bought a Daytona in the last eight or nine years has probably made a much bigger financial investment which will undoubtably impact the ways they are willing to use the car, or not. I would certainly think different if I paid the amounts these cars have sold for in the last few years - not that I could afford (or want to spend) that much on a car anyway.
If anything, for me the biggest risk is a sentimental one as if something happen to the car which is very much now a family heirloom and a very real connection to my late father, I would be more emotionally upset than worried about the financial impact. The current values actually give me more comfort as it is less likely that the car would ever be considered a total loss by the insurance company. Using the car is also very much in keeping with a family tradition as my father was also very much about driving his cars and not leaving them collect dust.
Now there may come a point in the future when I'm too old and decrepit to drive the car, or perhaps legal restrictions on old cars will make it more and more difficult, but until that time comes, I plan to enjoy the Daytona as much as I can, regardless of what it is worth.
I used this online inflation calculator www.inflationtool.com/british-pound/ I haven't bothered to check if the calclations are correct but they seem reasonable
All photos by me