Skip to content

Restore or relish?

For classic car enthusiasts there is one debate which rules discussion like no other – to restore a period-correct vehicle to like-new, or leave it how it sits as worn by time.

The “barn find” culture of preserving vehicles untouched for decades has boomed in recent years, as fascination with examples of desirable cars are uncovered, as time capsules of another era.

Debate will surely rage over this 1969 Ferrari 365 GTB/4, found recently in Japan having been put in storage since 1980. What makes the decision to restore or not is made harder by the fact this car is the only road-going example to ever be built with lightweight alloy bodywork.


The 365 GTB/4 was Ferrari’s last supercar to have one of their legendary V12 engines in the front (instead of the middle like later cars), and it became known as the “Daytona” thanks to the massive success the five racing examples had at the famous 24-hour sports car race held at the Florida track.

What makes this car, chassis #12653, so special is it is the only road-going Daytona built using the same alloy body as the race cars. Regular production Daytonas had steel bodies, while racing models needed lighter panels to improve performance.


Built in 1969 it went through three owners in Italy before being exported to Japan in 1971. The car, the 30th Daytona built, then ran through several owners before it was parked in 1980 and left.

This means that although the car has only done 37,000km since 1969 it will need to have a large amount of mechanical “recommissioning” work done to suspension, drivetrain and the engine just to be able to be started or driven. After so many years not being used many of these parts will be toast and have to be replaced as they cannot be repaired.

So while many would want to take the car back to how fresh and shiny it looked when it was built in 1969, there is a counterview.

The school of thought to preserve survivor cars is that these examples are only original once. As soon as you paint it, or retrim the interior, or replace body parts, then it is no longer original.


RM Sotheby’s are selling the car in September, and it is expected to fetch more than $2.5 million, even in the current condition.

Which begs the question; would you restore or leave it?

For more information, check out the Sotheby’s site ––leggenda-e-passione/lots/1969-ferrari-365-gtb-4-daytona-berlinetta-alloy-by-scaglietti/1704895

Iain "Marv" Kelly View All

G'day guys, my name is Iain but most people know me as "Marv", mainly because it is easier than explaining why my parents spelled "Ian" with two i's. I'm a journalist from Sydney, Australia who loves cars, dogs, making "things" and spinning yarns. The real thrill for me, however, is the story behind the object or person. I have a background in automotive journalism across vehicles new and old, stock, modified, and hand-built, and I love the whole process of making magazines. I am also a fan of diving into history and discovering the amazing things humans have done in the past. This blog will tell the tales of rad people who make cool stuff.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: