Although the Ferrari Daytona was not designed specifically for competition use, its powerful engine, refined aerodynamics and competent chassis made it a superb racing car well suited to the world’s greatest endurance races. Raced by concessionaires and privateers they proved very successful securing class victories at Le Mans in 1972, 1973, 1974 and continued racing competitively until 1979 with a successful 2nd Overall in the Daytona 24 Hour, 6 years after the end of production.
In May 1969 the Daytona Competizione prototype was completed and 15 Factory cars were built between 1971 and 1973. These were standard road cars taken from the production line and converted by the competition department. Apart from the prototype and the first 5 cars, they retained their steel bodies but fitted with alloy bonnets and boot lids, wheel arch extensions and front spoiler. The nose was modified to incorporate high intensity lights and improved cooling, and trim tabs were riveted onto the front wings for improved high-speed stability. A quick release Monza filler cap was fitted connected to the fuel tank via a larger capacity hose. Air scoops were riveted just behind the doors to provide cooling for the rear brakes, and the boot lid was secured with quick release tabs.
Chassis 13971 started life as a plexiglass headlamp cover road car delivered to Motor S. a S. di Carla Allegretti e C. of Rome, in November of 1970. The factory specification being Celeste over Pelle Nera and the first owner Mr Franco Gargano, resident in Rome. By 1972, Mr Gargano sold the vehicle to Mr Filippo Montagna, resident of Parma; having enjoyed the motorcar for 3 years, Mr Montagna sells it to Mr Giovanni Cottani, again resident of Parma, Italy. By 1977, Mr Cottani sells the motorcar to Mr Giuliano Farioli, resident of Reggio Emilia, where the motorcar is registered ‘RE 300821’. However, short lived as the motorcar is then sold by Mr Farioli a few months later to Mr Clementino Borghi resident of Casalgrande, Italy. Mr Borghi retains the motorcar for 4 years and sells it on the 18th of November 1981 to Speedy Cars S.n.c. of Aldo Cudone, resident in Padova, Italy.
Aldo Cudone, a man of great taste and passion for the automobile; owning the likes of a Ferrari 250 Lusso and a Lamborghini Miura S in his stable. Dr Cudone as referred to in Italy, was the founding president of the Ferrari Owners Club Patavium in Padova.
Now part of the Cudone collection, chassis 13971 was registered ‘PD 642000’. By 1982, Cudone known for his love of modifying requested the assistance of Gaetano Florini head of Ferrari’s ‘Assistenza Clienti’; Cudone looking to prepare his motorcar to Group IV Competizione Specifications. As Daytona Group IV’s had ended their racing careers in 1979, the works diagrams were still fresh and under Florini’s supervision the project began with factory appointed tuner Michelotto; responsible for the creation of the Ferrari 333SP, F40 LM and 308 Group IV to name a few. Bodywork entrusted to Bacchelli and Villa due to their expertise in the marque and perfection to detail.
The modifications being the ultimate one could find at the time, Giuliano Michelotto who recalls this being one of the last motorcars he worked on personally. This meant mechanically forged borgo pistons are used, 11:4:1 compression, lightened and polished connecting rods, competition valves and valve gear, modified camshaft profile, lower final drive, uprated brakes with servo and twin pumps, alloy springs and a stiffer anti-roll bar. This combination bringing power up to 450 horsepower and mated with its free-flowing side pipes, is something to witness.
Group IV bodywork meant flared arches covering the wider competition wheels, plexiglass covered headlamps, riveted front hood and wing air splitters, chin spoiler, twin exterior fuel fillers, plexiglass side and rear window, a single pantograph wiper and all the necessary competition fixtures such as hood straps, boot latches and battery/extinguisher external accessibility.
The interior naturally received the Group IV treatment with lightweight materials used on the dash and door cards, allowing for significant weight loss. The interior still looking like original leather from 1970, as well as incorporating harnesses, a brantz trip meter, fire extinguishers and a battery cut off. Every aspect of racing was thought out and with such fluidity.
Once completed, Cudone chose to exercise the motorcar on the 1985 Coppa D’Italia, then remaining in his ownership until his passing in the 1990s. By 2001, his collection was sold off at Bonhams & Brooks in Monaco. The next custodian being Mr Grahame Bryant from the United Kingdom, whom in his ownership competed in several Ferrari Classic Races, the Adelaide Classic in Australia and Tour Espana. Now registered ‘MRD 750J’, Bryant only maintained the motorcar with the likes of GTO Engineering and Moto-technique Ltd; with invoices on file for under £60,000 in race preparations within the first four years of his ownership.
By 2008, chassis 13971 changed custodian once again to Mr Steve Tandy in the United Kingdom. Tandy an avid enthusiast and racer. Under his custodianship competing at Tour Brittania, Brands Hatch, Abu Dhabi and the Nurburgring; always maintained by his friend and fellow teammate Peter Chambers.
Since Acquiring the motorcar from Tandy, Bell Classics have enjoyed local track outings such as Brands Hatch and re certified chassis 13971 with the FIA, now with a HTP expiring in 2026 and a new MSA and FIA Roll Cage fitted in 2016.
The motorcar comes with a comprehensive history file with FIA paperwork, Automobile Club D’Italia homologation, race results, side pipes and wheel spares, previous Italian documentation, Every MOT whilst residing in the United Kingdom, £80,000 in invoices for race preparations and lastly, is documented by Ferrari Historian Marcel Massini.
Chassis 13971 is still registered with its original UK registration ‘MRD 750J’, road legal with a fresh MOT and bill of health.