The glories of the past are an inexhaustible source of inspiration for any car brand, but when it comes to an iconic, world-famous manufacturer like Ferrari, history becomes a source of pride and a beacon.

So it's no coincidence that the Ferrari Style Centre headed by Flavio Manzoni has decided to pay tribute, with the new 12Cilindri, to such a famous and historic model as the Ferrari 365 GTB/4, better known by its unofficial name of 'Daytona'.

The reference to the Daytona and the fact that the 12Cilindri was exceptionally unveiled in Florida and not in Italy are also a tribute to the largest Ferrari market in the world, the United States.

A front end inspired by the past

The reference to the historic Daytona is not explicitly mentioned by the prancing-horse manufacturer, but it is undeniable that the Ferrari 12Cilindri takes its styling cues from the front of the coupé presented at the 1968 Paris Motor Show.

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, the front view
Ferrari 12 Cilindri, the front view

The similarity lies particularly in the treatment of the pointed 'nose', which features a wide, smooth black band between the headlamps with the Ferrari logo in the centre. More specifically, the new Ferrari 12Cilindri sports a gloss black front end between the slim LED headlamp clusters, while the four round headlamps of the first Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona were concealed behind a clear acrylic panel on a black background.

The modernity of concealed headlights

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, the front view

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, the front view

Ferrari 12Cilindri, the front view

Ferrari 12Cilindri, the front view

It should be remembered that this configuration of covered headlights, known to some as Daytona 'plexiglass', was only used by the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 in its early years, from 1968 to 1971. In order to comply with US regulations prohibiting headlamp covers, the Daytona switched to the more conventional retractable headlamps with the 1971 restyling and until the end of production in 1973.

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, the three-quarter front view
Ferrari 12-Cylinder, the three-quarter front view

Close examination of the transparent panel typical of the first Daytonas also reveals the presence of thin vertical silver stripes on the plastic material, on which is printed the name of Scaglietti, the Modena coachbuilder who also assembled the bodies for this Ferrari.

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, detail of the front end

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, detail of the front end

The black panel on the front of the new Ferrari is rather smooth and in practice serves as a decoration to complete the front end, which thus offers a wraparound band on the lower mouth.

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, the detail of the front
Ferrari 12-Cylinder, the detail of the front

Similar proportions

Even the side view of the two Ferrari coupés, then and now, shows a continuous stylistic evolution that continues the theme of the Italian sports car with a V12 engine at the front and rear-wheel drive.

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, the side view
Ferrari 12-Cylinder, the side view

The proportions are curiously similar, with a long front bonnet, set-back cabin and rather short rear end, but the technological evolution of tuning, aerodynamics, tyres and driving characteristics is a long way apart.

Even the dimensions are very different, as the 4.42 metre length of the historic 1968 Daytona contrasts with the 4.73 metre length of the 12Cilindri, which is however much wider and slightly higher.

  Ferrari 365 GTB/4 "Daytona Ferrari 12Cilindri
Length 4.42 m 4.73 m
Width 1.76 m 2.17 m
Height 1.24 m 1.29 m
Wheelbase 2.40 m 2.70 m

Inside and out, everything changes

The same significant difference in style, technology and equipment can be appreciated by comparing the rear or even the interior of the two 12-cylinder Ferraris.

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, the three-quarter rear view
Ferrari 12-Cylinder, the three-quarter rear view

In particular, the interior of the Ferrari 12Cilindri stands out for the three screens dedicated to instrumentation, infotainment and the passenger, as well as the small control for the eight-speed double-clutch transmission (DCT) that contrasts with the long lever of the historic five-speed manual transmission.

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, the interiors
Ferrari 12-Cylinder, the interiors

In memory of the American triumph at Daytona

Finally, it's worth remembering that the name Daytona, although never officially adopted by Ferrari for its 365 GTB/4, derives from the name given to the Maranello coupé by the press when it was born in October 1968.

Indeed, more than a year had passed since Ferrari's legendary parade victory at the Daytona 24 Hours in February 1967, with three cars lining up on the finish line at the Florida circuit.

The Ferrari parade at the finish line of the 1967 Daytona 24 Hours

The Ferrari parade at the finish line of the 1967 Daytona 24 Hours

According to journalist and author Doug Nye, the name Daytona was the model's development name and was to become the official name of the production 365 GTB/4. However, the name was leaked to the press as a result of an indiscretion, which is why Enzo Ferrari himself decided to drop it.

[PHOTOS: Ferrari and RM Sotheby's]

Gallery: Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona vs Ferrari 12Clilindri