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Ferrari and the Daytona 24

Posted by Noel Alderman on

The 24 Hours of Daytona, currently known as the Rolex 24 At Daytona  is held annually at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Since its inception, it has been held on the last weekend of January or first weekend of February, and it is the first major automobile race of the year in the United States.

In 1962, a few years after the track was built, a 3-hour sports car race was introduced.

In 1964, the event was expanded to 2,000 km (1,240 mi), doubling the classic 1000 km distance of races at Nürburgring, Spa and Monza. Starting in 1966, the Daytona race was extended to the same 24-hour length as Le Mans. Unlike Le Mans, the race is held in wintertime, when nights are at their longest.

The first 24 Hour event in 1966 was won by Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby driving a Ford Mk. II. After having lost in 1966 at Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans to the Fords, the Ferrari P series prototypes staged a 1–2–3 side-by-side parade finish at the banked finish line in 1967.

Ferrari 1967 24 hours of Daytona

Due to the release of the car in 1968, a year after Ferrari’s 1-2-3 finish at the February 1967 24 Hours of Daytona, the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 road car was given the unofficial name Ferrari Daytona in celebration of this victory. To this day Ferrari still only uses the name Daytona sparingly and always notes that it’s an unofficial title

Ferrari Daytona

In the 1980s, a Daytona was prominently featured on the first two seasons of NBC's hit television series Miami Vice. The black car seen in early episodes was a replica built on a Corvette C3 chassis. Altogether, two nearly identical cars were used simultaneously in the production of the TV series. Ferrari execs were not pleased that their company and one of their products was represented on TV by an imitation car and sued the manufacturer of the kit for trademark infringement and trademark dilution. The Daytona replicas were retired at the beginning of the show's third season and replaced by two Ferrari-donated Testarossas, the company's flagship model at the time.


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