Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Ferrari Life Posts: 11,881
JB- I traded a Dino 246 GT plus $5K for the Daytona in 1978, picked it up in Houston (Kurt Mocher at Monza Automobili) and drove it home to Clovis, NM, where I was flying F-111Ds. I had a bunch of Ferrari tech data I had acquired and swapped its use for a translation of the Daytona workshop manual by Angelo Wallace. He borrowed my 365 GT4/BB WSM in exchange.
The car itself was a revelation, easy to drive except at parking lot speeds, and a high speed cruiser without equal back then. I thought the oil temperature gauge was inop during the cruise back to Clovis (~750 miles), until I finally ran at very high speed for a several mile stretch and she finally came off the peg. Shifting was very good and the car cornered well, considering how much it weighed. She was still fitted with 7.5" wheels and 215/70 XWXs back then, and they were the state of the art tires fitted to Ferraris and the 911S. I later put 9" wheels from a 512 BB on the back, but never got any photos.
I built my own distributor test machine using the instructions in the WSM and could remove the distributors in about 30 seconds for setting up the points. With four sets of points, each running 3 cylinders, they needed to be correct. Accleration was, for then, unbelievable above 100 mph. Having owned a FI 63 Corvette that was souped up and a 67 427/390 that was even more souped up, the low speed acceleration was impressive, about like the Vettes. ABove 100 mph, though, it was way quicker.
All the systems on the car were very simple and easy to work on. I did all the normal maintenance like adjusting the chain tension, changing the valve shims and plugs (thank God for NGKs and then Bosch platinum tips), and setting up the timing. I do remember not having the big picture the first time I changed the oil, though. I had one of those 12 quart plastic pan/container and I flowed about 4 quarts of oil onto the garage floor. No wonder it took so long to warm th e oil, there were about 17 quarts in there
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the car and drove her for about 2 years.
To be honest, though, my 575M is a much better car, with air conditioning that really works, way higher cornering power, and much better brakes (especially since mine has Mov'It CER ceramic brakes).
The Maranello is a better car, but not necessarily a better Ferrari, an important distinction.
Boxer- I have been doing this a long time. Bought my first Ferrari in 1975 and drove it from Poughkeepsie, NY (John Romano) to Clovis, NM. Never rich, but loved flying fighters, really flying them, an experience you cannot buy, and loved Ferraris. I never could afford any of the Ferraris I owned, but if you want something badly enough...
The photos show the car just after getting back to Clovis, and I had not waxed the wheels, replaced the ugly mirror with an OEM one, or taken off the front license plate holder. Thank goodness for FAF back then.