Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona #14273 was ordered by Maranello Concessionaires in October 1970 for John Cussins who was a hill climb racing driver and once owned the ex Graham Hill 4WD BRM. The car was collected by Mr Cussins and his wife from the factory in May 1970, registered JRC 40 and driven to the Monaco Grand Prix. The car was finished in Argento Auteuil 106-E-1 with black leather, charcoal grey carpets and air conditioning. The original log book shows that the car was sold in 1972 to a property company in London then in 1974 to a bank. After this the car met with a terrible accident and recovery was facilitated by wrapping huge chains around the body and dragging it up a muddy slope. Clearly this did substantial damage to the panelwork and added to the chassis damage incurred in the original accident. The wreck was then sold on, someone hacked the roof off and eventually in 1979 the car was purchased by Chris Lawrence who intended to restore it as a spyder. The photo below shows the car as Chris received it with not a useable panel in sight.
Chris Lawrence was the much revered and well known Maserati and Ferrari SWB and GTO replica builder. I got to know Chris in the year 2000 when I asked him to produce a correct GTO chassis and body for me and we became friends, even going on holiday together. He knew that I would like to have a Daytona for my wife and I to enjoy in our retirement but I could not afford a complete one, so we came to a gentlemanís agreement that when he wanted to sell his Daytona, I would be his first port of call. In the intervening period, Chris had completely dismantled the wreck and stored all the parts in various barns and workshops on his property, whilst throwing away the irrepairable body parts. Subsequently, early in 2006 Chris was diagnosed with Melanoma Cancer and he asked me if I still wanted to buy the Daytona, which I did. We managed to complete the deal and load two trailers full of parts that I had not seen, boxes, broken suspension, an engine that was stuck fast and a bent chassis, just days before he died. When I eventually surveyed my purchase, my heart sank; the engine had two holes in the sump where the front suspension pick up securing nuts had punched through the cast aluminium, the chassis had sustained damage to the driverís side front suspension area and oval tube. However, Chris had managed to purchase what he told me was a genuine Scaglietti nearly complete front body clip and this I valued very highly. I was also able to purchase fairly soon after, an entire rear body clip and roof from Maranello Concessionaires along with various missing trim panels needed to return the car to a Berlinetta that we could enjoy, driving through Continental Europe. So all I needed was someone to fix the chassis for me. In 2007, I did try a local engineer, who had a basic jig, who did his best to straighten the chassis but it eventually dawned on me that we really needed a Ferrari expert. I have a strong scientific background and an interest in automotive engineering, however my welding and bodywork abilities are those of an amateur. I enjoy paint spraying, engine building, assembly and finishing the cars off to a high standard but I do need the correct body and chassis to work from. Originality and correct original construction of a given car is important to me. So in 2007, I started looking for a genuine chassis engineer with Ferrari experience and all the right equipment to return this chassis and body to a point where I could begin the laborious but rewarding process of preparation for painting. In 2012, this car is still in restoration.