1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder

{vsig}1997-10_1623{/vsig}

Ferrari’s fabulous fourcam V12 front-engined Berlinetta concept evolved during 1967 when the 3.3-liter fourcam 275GTB/4 model was just being introduced to the high performance car market. What would become the 365 GTB/4 “Daytona” was developed with the rapidity typical of Maranello, and subsequently made its public debut at the Paris Salon in October 1968. The car was an immediate success, and the press adopted the nickname “Daytona” for this new Ferrari in honor of the marque’s outright victory in the American 24 hour race.

Its Tipo 251 4.4-liter hemispherical-head V12 engine was based upon a specially lengthened cylinder block, and its bore and stroke dimensions settled at 81 mm x 7 mm, power output with an imposing rack of no less than six Weber 40DCN twin-choke carburetors parading along the valley of the vee produced an impressive 355 bhp at 7,500 rpm. Torque was also majestic, being quoted as peaking at 44 m/kg at 5,500 rpm. Production of the Daytona ended in 1974, with a total number of about 1,400 ever made.

The only variation on the Daytona Coupe was the magnificent 365 GTS/4 Spyder presented by Pininfarina at the 1969 Frankfurt Motor Show. The aesthetics of the Spyder design by Pininfarina and built by Scagiletti are to this day still considered the most elegant of all open top cars, and harmonized perfectly with the Coupe design. Only the Borrani wire spiked wheels which replace the alloy ones were different; otherwise the specification is the same as the Coupe. The Spyder is a very rare vehicle and only around 120 were built.

This original Daytona convertible is one of only 96 U.S. specification cars built and is finished in red with a silver nose band. It has beautiful red and black upholstery, red carpeting with black piping and black carpets with the Prancing Horse emblem. This Spyder was once owned by the former repair shop owner and Ferrari race car driver, Joseph Crevier, who was forced to sell his cars in a Santa Ana bankruptcy auction in 1983. Crevier spent 20 days jailed on Terminal Island the prior year for refusing to tell the Bankruptcy Court the whereabouts of his Ferraris. According to Crevier, this Daytona appeared in two movies, the 1976 version of “A Star Is Born” starring Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand, and the 1976 movie “Gumball Rally” starring Raul Julia and Gary Busey.

This Ferrari joined the Mel and Noel Blanc collection in 1983, directly from Walt McCune who purchased the car from the bankruptcy auction. Reputedly the car had been much restored by Crevier a short while before. Mel and Noel Blanc very rarely drove this car and in the past fourteen years, it has covered less than 1,000 miles and of course has been living in their specially constructed air sealed garage.

This car has been driven around three times a year within the Beverly Hills city limits in order to keep the engine, transmission and brakes in full working order. Most of the service work and road tests were undertaken by Luciano at Modena Ferrari on La Brea Avenue. The car was painted in the correct shade of red by Bill De Carr and Junior’s House of Color, while Tony Nancy, the well-known upholstery specialist, finished the interior in black with red inserts in the seats. The total recorded mileage on this fine example is a little over 14,700 miles and is believed to be from new. We are told that this Spyder also has the desirable high-performance specification engine.

This is a genuine Spyder with low mileage, but is also a car that can be driven moderately without losing the edge of its current level of restoration.

{analysis} There were three Daytonas from the Blanc Collection at Christie’s Pebble Beach this year. A concours example made $486,500, a Straman “cut” car came in at $145,500 and this car was sold at $380,000.

All of the prices made should be considered in line with the current market, given the condition of the cars. Daytona Spyders have been percolating in the $350,000-$450,000 range for some time. Excellent cars sell with some rapidity, dogs take longer.

SCM has long maintained that “cut” cars should be valued the same as the underlying coupe they were bastardized from. The sale of the chop job, at $145,500, backs up this point, as a coupe restored to the same level as this pseudo-spyder could command the same price.

Daytona Spyders are good long-term investments at current prices. They are handsome, there were few made, and they will rise at the forefront of the market. – ED.
{/analysis}