Daytona - 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4-A
History of the Car
The 'Daytona' name was unofficial, bestowed by the press in honour of Ferrari's crushing victory at that circuit's 24-Hour Race in 1967.
Responding to the challenge from Lamborghini, Ferrari had introduced its first road-car V12 engine with four overhead camshafts on the preceding 275GTB/4 and this superior type of valve gear was retained for the Daytona. The latter's engine though, was considerably enlarged, displacing 4.4 as opposed to 3.3 litres, in part to compensate for the Daytona's increased weight but more importantly to guarantee Miura-beating performance; its 352bhp and 318lb/ft of torque ensuring that these targets were met. Dry-sump lubrication enabled the engine to be installed low in the multi-tubular chassis, which featured all-independent wishbone and coil-spring suspension first seen in the 275GTB, while a five-speed rear transaxle enabled 50/50 front/rear weight distribution to be achieved.
One of Pininfarina's countless masterpieces, the influential shark-nosed body style combined muscularity and elegance in equal measure. An unusual feature of early Daytonas was a full-width transparent Plexiglas panel covering the headlamps, replaced by electrically operated pop-up lights towards the end of 1970. At the time of its introduction in 1968 the Daytona was the most expensive production Ferrari ever and, with a top speed in excess of 170mph was also the world's fastest production car. Deliveries commenced in the second half of 1969 and the Daytona would be manufactured for just four years; not until the arrival of the 456GT in 1992 would Ferrari build anything like it again.
14725 was the only 365GTB/4 to compete in South East Asia. It was imported new from Ferrari into Singapore in 1972 by Mr. Yeo Kian Peng (the owner) of main dealer Wing Ming Auto, Jurong, agents for Ferrari and Lamborghini in the 1960s and early 1970s.
The car was not first registered for the road with the Singapore Registry of Vehicles until 23 Feb 1979, running on trade plates before then as it was used primarily for racing and display under Mr Yeo’s ownership.
14725 was raced through the Singapore Motor Sports Club at the Kallang sprint, Dover Kilo and similar events, driven by Ivor Thevathasan as well as Mr Peng and others in the 1970’s. There were no Group IV events in SE Asia at the time, so 14725 remained in standard cosmetic trim during its early competition years.
Motoring and property tycoon Peter Kwee* owned 14725 after KP Yeo and maintained it unused in his existing collection before selling it to Stanley Leong, a noted race car owner in the region, in 1986. Mr Leong campaigned several cars in the 60’s and early 70’s and continued to campaign 14725 through the end of the 1990’s through the MSVCR and the SMSA.
Nick Leong has confirmed that 14725 was raced under his father’s ownership through the Johor Motor Club at various events and the Classic Car Club of Hong Kong at the Kelab Motor Johor circuit. This included the PCHK/CCCHK Championships (driven by Nick Leong), HKPCMC Events and the FIA sanctioned SEATCZC/HKAA race meetings (driven by Stanley Leong). Race sheets for these events are included in the history file.
James W.F. Leong (no relation) of Ah Chow Motor Co. has confirmed that they did the Group IV bodywork modifications as per the homologation specs in or about 1996 so the car could compete in other events.
In 2001, 14725 was sent to GTO Engineering in the UK for extensive mechanical refurbishment, including a full engine rebuild. The car was returned to Singapore in Apr 2003. This coincided with the death of Mr Leong and the car became part of the estate probate on its arrival.
14725 then spent the period between then and 2011 unused, until it arrived in the UK in early 2012, where it was purchased by Paul Coombes of SVS Ltd, who was the first to register it in the UK, in Jul 2012. It was subsequently sold on in Nov 2012.
The mileage remains an impressively low 19,500 due to the primary race history.
Many of those involved with 14725 throughout its history are still living in South East Asia and have become invaluable sources of first hand confirmation of the information included here. As they are all senior members of the motorsport community in their own right and/or regional representatives of FIVA in various capacities through the MSVCR, they are aware of their responsibility to ensure that the information they provide is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge.
The Restoration Process
14725 is now undergoing an exhaustive and sympathetic restoration to return it to how it was when new in 1972. The gallery below will offer some insight into these efforts, with further detail available on Twitter and Facebook. The car was displayed at Salon Prive, were the quality and extent of the work was admired by visitors and exhibitors alike.