1972 Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona Spider Conversion
To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION WITHOUT RESERVE at RM Sothebys' The Elkhart Collection event, 23 - 24 October 2020.
- Single ownership for the past seventeen years
- High-quality spider conversion by Michael Sheehan’s European Auto
- Factory Borletti air-conditioning and radio
- Retains its matching-numbers engine and gearbox
- Showing only 20,375 miles at time of cataloguing
- A favorite of the Elkhart Collection to drive and enjoy
Without a doubt, the 365 GTS/4 spider holds a unique cachet among Ferrari’s vintage front-engined V-12 convertibles, combining rarity and beautiful design with an important perch in the manufacturer’s genealogy.
Ferrari announced the 365 GTB/4 berlinetta in 1968, introducing Leonardo Fioravanti’s famed shark-nose design in a stopgap effort while the forthcoming rear-engined flat-12 remained a work in progress. That the model was nicknamed “Daytona” in honor of the company’s dominating 1-2-3 finish at the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona has become a point of legend, even if the name was not officially sanctioned by Enzo Ferrari.
The Daytona, the marque’s first 4.3-liter dual-overhead-cam road car, took on a particularly handsome visage when the top was removed. The striking GTS/4 spider was introduced at the 1969 Frankfurt Salon. Endowed with a purity of line and stance, the new spider’s collectability was instantly assured when only 121 examples were produced. As the final front-engined open Ferrari to feature a derivation of Gioacchino Colombo’s classic short-block V-12, the Daytona spider was the ultimate evolution of 20 years of development, the final hereditary successor of a generation of vintage Ferraris.
This Daytona, chassis number 14849, was originally delivered by Carl A. Haas Automobile Imports of Highland Park, Illinois, in the spring of 1972. It is believed to have been originally finished in Grigio Argento over Nero VM 8500 leather interior, with factory air-conditioning and a radio. In 1986 its original owner sent the car to Michael Sheehan’s European Auto of Costa Mesa, California, where it was converted to a spider. It was a very professional and competently executed job, one of the best of the many performed on Daytonas in this period. At this time, the car was also finished in a champagne color and fitted with a tan interior.
The car next passed in 1988 to Howard W. Diechen of San Antonio, Texas, from whom it was offered by European Auto in 1994, now with 17,200 miles. It was sold that May to Don Coggiola of Columbia, South Carolina, and following a reported “engine out” major service in 1996, the car was refinished in the current shade of Rosso Corsa in 2001. The Ferrari was acquired by the current collection in 2002—where it has been well maintained and regularly driven for the last 18 years.
The spider remains in fine driver-quality condition throughout, with its refinish in classic Rosso Corsa remaining quite presentable. The tan leather interior is believed to be that installed at the time of the spider conversion and is nicely broken in and delightfully comfortable, though the “mouse hair” dashboard shows some significant fading. Underneath, the car shows the patina of enjoyable use but not neglect. Both the engine and gearbox numbers appear to be the original units for this car. Further, the car retains the original air-conditioning system, though the radio has been upgraded with an aftermarket unit at some point.
A wonderful and economical alternative to an original 365 GTS/4 spider, this expert conversion, now with 20,375 miles, would be ideal for driving enjoyment in warmer climes, the kind of locale for which a beautiful open-top Ferrari was meant!To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/el20.