1969 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Spyder Conversion

People who buy a “cut” Daytona don’t plan to show it; most shows won’t
allow it on the field. The appeal is that it can be driven

Ferrari’s fabulous V12 front-engined sports car, the 365 GTB/4, debuted at the Paris Salon in 1968, soon gaining the unofficial name “Daytona” in honor of the 1-2-3 finish by the Ferrari 330 P4 at that circuit in 1967.

Pininfarina’s Leonardo Fioravanti was responsible for the influential shark-nosed styling, creating a package that restated the traditional “long bonnet, small cabin, short tail” look in a manner suggesting muscular elegance. An unusual feature was a full-width transparent panel covering the headlamps, which was replaced in the second half of 1969 by electrically-operated pop-up lights to meet U.S. requirements.

The Daytona displaced 4,390 cc with 352 hp, 318 lb-ft of torque and dry-sump lubrication. A five-speed transaxle enabled a 50/50 front/rear weight distribution. The chassis embodied the long-standing Ferrari practice of oval-section tubing. The all-independent wishbone and coil-spring suspension was more recent, having originated in the preceding 275 GTB.

The Spyder version of the Daytona was shown at the Paris Salon in 1969, with deliveries commencing in 1971. Although the rear end had been extensively reworked, the surgery was so successful that it was hard to imagine that the Daytona had not initially been conceived as a spyder.

CAPABLE OF OVER 170 MPH

The most powerful road-going GT and the world’s fastest production car of its time, the Daytona was capable of over 170 mph and is surely destined to remain a front-ranking supercar in the foreseeable future. Ferrari’s production run of just 124 Daytona Spyders left many would-be customers disappointed, which inevitably led to a number of coupes being converted to Spyders, including the example offered here, s/n 12779.

This Daytona was manufactured as a coupe in July 1969 and sold by Garage Francorchamps to Mr. André Gérard. Its next owner, a prominent private collector in Switzerland, had the car converted by ex-Scaglietti employee Egidio Brandoli of the respected Carrozzeria Brandoli in Montale near Modena. It was purchased by the vendor from German dealer Mario Bernardi (its third owner) in 2003.

Faithfully converted to the desirable Spyder configuration, this accident-free example of one of the most capable Grands Routiers of recent times is offered with partial tool kit, build/delivery authentication, sundry service records, and a roadworthiness certificate.

Steve Ahlgrim

Steve Ahlgrim - SCM Contributing Editor

Steve taught high school auto shop before moving to Atlanta, GA, where his love of sports cars led him to FAF Motorcars, the former Ferrari dealer where he served as General Manager and Vice President. He has been a self-proclaimed “one-trick pony,” coveting the Ferrari marque. He has been involved in concours judging for over 25 years and is a member of the IAC/PFA, an international committee overseeing high-level Ferrari concours judging. He is chief judge of the Celebration Exotic Car Show in Celebration, FL.

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