The ultimate expression of Ferrari’s fabulous line of V12 front-engined sports cars, the 365 GTB/4 debuted at the Paris Salon in 1968, soon gaining the unofficial name Daytona in honor of the sweeping 1, 2, 3 finish by the Ferrari 330P4 at that circuit in 1967. Pininfarina’s Leonardo Fioravanti, the famed carrozzeria’s director of research and development, 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 horsepower while retaining all the elegance associated with the Italian coachbuilder’s work for Maranello.

The favorable reception of Luigi Chinetti’s 275 GTB-based NART Spyder no doubt influenced Ferrari’s decision to produce a convertible Daytona. Again the work of Pininfarina, the latter was first seen at the Paris Salon in 1969, deliveries commencing in 1971. The rear end needed to be extensively reworked, but the result was so successful it was hard to tell that the Daytona had not initially been conceived as a Spyder.

The most powerful two-seater, road-going GT and the world’s fastest production car at the time of its launch, the Daytona was capable of over 170 mph.
One of only 25 Daytona Spyders built for the European market, left-hand-drive chassis number 14605 was delivered finished in Blu Dino with silver side stripes and beige leather interior. The car was sold new via Luigi Chinetti Motors to a customer in France. In 1976, Chinetti imported the Daytona to the USA. Subsequently, the Ferrari was repainted in red and the engine changed.

In June 2000, this car was auctioned at the Petersen Automotive Museum, where it was bought by the current vendor and imported to the U.K. Reading 11,300 at time of purchase, the odometer total currently stands at circa 14,000. Described as in excellent condition, the car comes complete with tool roll. Ferrari Daytona Spyders are extremely rare, and even more so in European specification.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder
Number Produced:121
Original List Price:$25,000
Tune Up Cost:$3,500
Chassis Number Location:On frame above right front spring mount
Club Info:Ferrari Club of America

This car, Lot 228, sold for $941,000, including buyer’s premium, at Bonhams’ Goodwood Revival, Collectors’ Motor Cars and Automobilia auction on September 16, 2011.

The 365 GTS/4, as the Daytona Spyder is officially known, is an icon of the Ferrari world. The graceful shape, serious performance, small production and high prices have made it a model that even casual Ferrari enthusiasts are familiar with — and lust after.

Most major Ferrari collections either have one or have had one in the past. The lure is so great that one collector actually had three of them at the same time. The Daytona Spyder market is particularly active, with cars trading hands like million-dollar baseball trading cards. Speculators buy up the cheap ones and sell them to well-heeled collectors. The collectors’ tastes change, and the cars go back on the market again.

When collectors get a Daytona Spyder, it is not unusual for them to pull out all stops to make it the best possible. Tens of thousands of dollars get spent on nice cars to eliminate any indication that the car had ever been driven. This is ironic, as the car’s major virtue is throwing back the top and going for a drive.
The proud owner takes his freshly restored gem to the next show and learns the brutal lesson that perfectly restored Daytona Spyders have made the rounds for decades. Everyone will compliment the car, but the judges have seen them before, and the top prize will likely go to something a bit more interesting. Disillusionment sets in, and this is often the start of another journey to market.

Easy to find, but volatile prices

Despite the small production and a good demand for the model, finding one is not difficult. Every major auction seems to have one, and there seems to always be one available in the broker market. Just this year, there were two at the January Arizona auctions, one at Amelia, two at the Monterey sales plus this one at a U.K. sale. At least two other Daytona Spyders were being offered by brokers at Monterey, with at least two private sales over the summer.

Daytona Spyders are as close as you get to a commodity in the Ferrari world. The are not for the faint of heart. They are a leading indicator of the health of the Ferrari market. They sold for more than a million dollars in 1990 and were down in the $200k to $300k range ten years later. The Ferrari Market Letter’s Asking Price Index has them up 3% from two years ago — but down 20% from three years ago. Value swings of $100k are not unusual.

Color changes and engine swaps

Our subject car has a well-known history — with a couple of unfortunate blemishes. The car had a color change from blue to red, the interior color was changed from beige to black, and it had an engine swap. Few stories help the value of a car, and these stories are no exception.

Unless you’ve got a Mary Kay pink car, a color change is not a good idea. Daytonas do not have matching chassis and engines numbers, so theoretically an engine swap should have little effect on a Daytona’s value. Unless someone has the build sheets or extensive knowledge of a Daytona’s history, no one would ever know a Daytona has had a swapped engine. Of course, when a million-dollar car hits the market, an engine swap does matter, and a car should be discounted accordingly.

In 2000, this Daytona was sold at Christie’s Petersen Museum auction. The sale price was $259,000, which was one of the lowest in the past 20 years. Weak market conditions at the time made overall prices low, but the color change and engine probably reduced the sale by 20%.

The two Spyders at this year’s Monterey auction bid to $931,000 and $1,020,000. Other recent offerings have been in this same range. Bonhams’ $940,011 sale of 14605 was the top sale of their auction and respectable by all accounts. Having bought this car for $259,000 at the Christie’s sale, this seller should be happy.

Given its stories, I believe the car was probably sold slightly high. The buyer must have decided the stories didn’t matter, and the under bidder apparently agreed. The buyer is the proud new owner of a Ferrari icon, and I’m sure he’s pleased. I’m also sure he’s reading each copy of SCM to see if his faith in the Daytona Spyder market was well placed.

(Introductory description courtesy of Bonhams.)

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