A roundup of the latest news with the Daytona.
The time when the winter weather requires the Daytona to go into hibernation is fast approaching, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been using it recently.
You may have seen the picture of the Daytona in the car park for the Goodwood Revival in Drive Cult's galleries of the event. When I had booked the tickets I was informed that despite my particular Daytona being registered in September 1973 and therefore not strictly eligible, it would still be allowed into the pre-1973 car park. For our international readers, January 1973 is an important date for UK classic car owners, as cars built before then are exempt from the annual road tax, and carry a slightly different tax disc to prove this.
Following my own advice in Drive Cult’s Goodwood Revival Spectator guide I left early and was treated to a very pleasant drive down to the circuit with surprisingly little traffic. The England rugby game on at the same time may have had something to do with this, but I was very happy to able to drive straight into the car park without any queue at all. On arrival the parking marshalls were checking tax discs and decided my car was ineligible for the pre-1973 parking, and directed me to what seemed to be an unofficial area for cars built between 1973 and 1975, which included a Dino 246GT (which missed the cut-off by one month) a couple of V12 E-Types, a Triumph TR6 and a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, all sporting L, M and N suffix registrations. Since this location was right next to the main route into pre-'73 car park, our cars formed a kind of honour guard to that area. It was also a very handy location to get away at the end of the day too, so I wasn't too unhappy at being asked to park there!
As you probably know, the Sunday at Goodwood featured a lot of rain showers, so for the third trip out in a row the Daytona got a soaking. As mentioned on the Chelsea Auto Legends trip, the cockpit of the car is not completely watertight and again there were telltale signs of water ingress, particularly through the quarter-light on the drivers side. This may be due to the lever used to open and close the quarter light having parted company with the window earlier in the year, a very common Daytona problem as a result of a design that glues metal onto glass. To date there doesn't seem to be an adhesive that will retain adhesion for very long.
On leaving the event, the car was clearly not enjoying the rain. It took several extra turns of the starter motor to get the big V12 to fire, and even as I got going the car was spluttering for a few miles until some heat began to percolate through. That said, the wipers were working perfectly for once! I slipped away from the event after the main TT race had finished, and a little before the worst of the traffic. As I cleared Petworth the rain stopped and the sun came out, making the remaining journey rather more pleasant.
A couple of weeks later, and taking advantage of the Indian summer that the South of England has recently basked in, I gave the Daytona an overdue clean. It didn't take much work to wipe away the grime and bring the shine back to the paint and chrome, although I still need to do some work on the slightly tired-looking interior.
During the cleaning I noticed that the front of the car had collected quite a number of stone chips, including one quite large one just ahead of the left-hand light pod. Not wanting for them to get any worse, these were touched up. The touch-up paint is not an exact match for the Rosso Chiaro paint colour, but close enough to past muster for general use, if not for concours preparation. In general, the paint is in good enough condition not to require a respray, although it's something I think about every now and then. I'm quite tempted to return the car to its original Dino blue metallic colour, as illustrated by the example in the Goodwood Earls Court Exhibition (photo courtesy of Simonscarspots). My wife prefers the red paint, though, so I can see that being a little debate over the next couple of years. As always, any thoughts or comments on which colour is best, or other questions on the Daytona are always welcome.
The cleaning also revealed that water was not running out of one of the drain holes under the bonnet properly. Using a thin wire, the blockage was cleared, although it looks like there was once a rubber tube through the drain hole, which must have rotted away. I’m not sure if this blocked drain was contributing to some of the water ingress into the passenger footwell, but we’ll see.
Post-cleaning, what better way to dry the brakes than to take the car for a short drive? Although it was only for a few miles, it felt good to get back behind the wheel in good weather! The engine felt much happier in the dry conditions too, pulling a lot more cleanly than it had on the previous journey back from Goodwood.
Away from the car itself, these reports on the Daytona have attracted the attention of some of the other motoring blogs. Ben and Jerry from RockyRoadBog.com contacted me to ask if I would like to do an interview about the car. You can read the results here.
I recently wrote about the Daytona market and wondered how the various Daytonas for sale at the Monterey auctions would fare. Both RM and Gooding & Co were able to sell the low mileage coupes for $354,000 and $393,000 respectively, while Mecum shifted the Spider conversion for $300,000. The Mecum barn find Daytona failed to find a buyer despite what seems to a me an unrealistically high bid of $324,000. Coys recently had a no sale at its Blenheim Palace sale too, on a RHD Daytona with a high bid of around £140,000.
With this in mind the latest edition of Classic & Sportscar magazine has tipped the Daytona as one of the top ten blue chip investment buys at the moment. I think this may be true of the very best low mileage cars, but for cars that have been used (and why shouldn’t they be?), the market is rather more stagnant in my opinion
As the winter approaches, my mechanic Vince is suggesting that perhaps an engine-out overhaul is in order. There's a small oil leak from one of the seals at the back of the engine that cannot be accessed with the engine in place, and this needs sorting. At the same time, it would be a good opportunity to replace the valves, which are the original hollow items and can be prone to cracking with old age, leading to rather unpleasant and expensive consequences as I'm sure you can imagine.
I'll update with more news on this overhaul during the winter.
Still I hope to get a few more drives out of the Daytona before winter arrives, I just need the weather to hold.