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Legendary lost Ferrari discovered in Japanese barn after 40 years

A one-of-a-kind vintage Ferrari will be offered for sale at RM Sotheby’s next week, after being lost for almost 40 years.

The 1969 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta was recently discovered, hidden beneath layers of dust in a Japanese barn where it had remained untouched for decades.

Chassis 12653 is the only street version of the car ever built using an alloy body, making it completely unique. Prior to its rediscovery, only a handful of Ferrari experts even knew of its existence.

The car is now expected to fetch €1.4 – €1.7 million when it goes up for sale as part of RM Sotheby’s ‘Ferrari – Leggenda e Passione’ auction in Maranello, Italy on September 9.

From 1969 to 1973, Ferrari produced more than 1,200 examples of the 365 GTB/4 Daytona, along with five lightweight alloy-bodied cars designed specifically for the racetrack.

Whilst these five cars went on to dominate the 24 Hours of Daytona (from which the car gets its unofficial name), they were never road legal.

Just one street version of the competition car was ever built, and its original owner was Luciano Conti, the founder and publisher of Autosprint magazine and a close friend of Enzo Ferrari himself.

Having passed between Italian collectors, the car was then shipped to Japan, and featured in the January 1972 issue of Car Graphic, a Japanese enthusiast magazine.

Once more it changed hands several times until 1980, when it landed in the collection of Makoto Takai, who left it gathering dust in an outbuilding for 37 years.

The small handful of collectors who knew about the car’s existence made several attempts to purchase it from Mr Takai, but to no avail.

The time capsule Ferrari now comes to auction for the first time, in completely untouched barn-find condition.

According to the auction house, the Daytona is “a sure-fire standout in any Ferrari collection as the only example of its kind and a car many thought did not exist, bearing the hallmarks of collectability in every regard.

“A unique car that no other collector can claim ownership to, there is no better Daytona for the discerning connoisseur, as it offers limitless opportunities for enjoyment.”

Just Collecting