Year of manufacture1971
Number of seats2
1971 Ferrari 365GTS/4 'Daytona' Spider
Coachwork by Pininfarina
Registration no. NRX 665K
Chassis no. 14543
Engine no. B1152
'It's a hard muscled thoroughbred, the Daytona - easily the most awesome and yet disciplined road-going Ferrari in that firm's brilliant quarter century of existence. The Daytona isn't fast it's blinding. It will eat up a quarter-mile of asphalt in 13.2 seconds at 110mph and scream out to 175mph - or it will slug through traffic at 1,500rpm with the Sunday manners of a FIAT. It is the perfect extension of its driver. You can cut and weave through shuffling traffic with the agility of a halfback, or lope down the freeway with the piece of mind that comes from knowing you can contend with anyone's incompetence. To say, after you've driven it, that the Daytona is desirable doesn't begin to sum up your feelings - you would sell your soul for it.' - Car & Driver, January 1970.
Every Ferrari is, to a greater or lesser extent, a 'landmark' car, but few of Maranello's road models have captured the imagination of Ferraristi like the 365GTB/4. The ultimate expression of Ferrari's fabulous line of V12 front-engined sports cars, the 365GTB/4 debuted at the Paris Salon in 1968, soon gaining the unofficial name 'Daytona' in honour of the sweeping 1, 2, 3 finish by the Ferrari 330P4 at that circuit in 1967. Pininfarina's Leonardo Fioravanti, later 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.
An unusual feature was a full-width transparent panel covering the headlamps, though this was replaced by electrically-operated pop-up lights to meet US requirements soon after the start of production in the second half of 1969. Fioravanti later revealed that the Daytona was his favourite among the many Ferraris he designed.
Although the prototype had been styled and built by Pininfarina in Turin, manufacture of the production version was entrusted to Ferrari's subsidiary Scaglietti in Modena. The Daytona's all-alloy, four-cam, V12 engine displaced 4,390cc and produced its maximum output of 352bhp at 7,500rpm, with 318lb/ft of torque available at 5,500 revs. Dry-sump lubrication enabled it to be installed low in the oval-tube chassis, while shifting the gearbox to the rear in the form of a five-speed transaxle meant 50/50 weight distribution could be achieved. The all-independent wishbone and coil-spring suspension was a recent development, having originated in the preceding 275GTB. Unlike the contemporary 365GTC/4, the Daytona was not available with power steering, a feature then deemed inappropriate for a 'real' sports car. There was, however, servo assistance for the four-wheel ventilated disc brakes. Air conditioning was optional, but elsewhere the Daytona remained uncompromisingly focussed on delivering nothing less than superlative high performance.
Although there had been no official open-top version of its predecessor, the favourable reception of Luigi Chinetti's 275GTB-based NART Spider 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. Although the rear end had been extensively reworked, so successful was Pininfarina's surgery that it was hard to credit that the Daytona had not initially been conceived as a spider.
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 170mph and is surely destined to remain a front-ranking supercar for the foreseeable future. Only 1,300 Berlinetta models and 121 Spider convertibles had been made when production ceased in 1973.
The 18th of the 121 original Daytona Spiders built, left-hand drive chassis number '14543' was completed by the factory in August 1971 and delivered finished in Bianco Polo with Nero leather interior. It was constructed to US specification and equipped with air conditioning, Voxson radio, instruments in miles, and seats with red inserts. '14543' was sent by train from Maranello to Bremen, Germany and then shipped to San Francisco, California.
Ordered by casino owner and car collector William F Harrah of Reno, Nevada, the Ferrari was kept by Harrah as part of his personal fleet until 1976 and then sold to the second owner, Action Performance, the exotic-car dealership owned by another enthusiastic collector, Dr Jack F Frost, resident in St Donatus and Dubuque, Indiana. There were just 2,509 miles showing on the odometer at that time.
The Daytona joined Frost's 50-strong collection where it would remain for the next 30-plus years, kept in a climate-controlled warehouse. During Dr Frost's ownership, '14543' was pictured in the publications 'Ferrari Owners Club Monterey 1984' (page 66) and 'California Ferraris' by Alfred S Cosentino (page 135).
Repainted in its original livery in the late 1980s, the Daytona still belonged to Dr Frost when he died in December 2006. The car was then offered for sale by his estate, with a recorded mileage of 3,692, passing via a dealer to its third owner, Wayne Davis of Southlake, Texas. A sympathetic re-commission ensued, replacing as few original items as possible, to return the Spider to full roadworthiness. Ferrari Classiche certification was obtained in 2009, recognising the car's outstandingly original condition, which included the factory-fitted Michelin XWX tyres.
In August 2010, '14543' was sold at auction in the USA to Italian collector Davide Parmegiani, resident in Lugano, Switzerland. Mr Parmegiani showed the Daytona at the Palm Beach Cavallino Classic in January 2011 and subsequently commissioned a full restoration to concours standard, which included removal of the US-specification side marker lights, a repaint in black, and an interior re-trim in red leather by Luppi. The car was then registered in the UK as 'NRX 665K'.
The Daytona was upgraded subsequently by Joe Macari, receiving adjustable damping and ride height; electrical power assisted steering; electronic ignition; and a bespoke stainless steel sports exhaust system. In September 2014, the Ferrari was offered for sale at a UK auction where it was purchased by Chris Evans. By this time it had covered only 3,946 miles. Earlier this year the Daytona featured at Chris' CarFest North charity event as part of the 'Dirty Dozen'.
Offered with a comprehensive history file, this low-mileage, few-owner car is arguably the finest Daytona Spider currently on the open market. Only infrequently offered for sale, genuine Ferrari Daytona Spiders are extremely rare, and even more so in this condition, making this pristine example all the more collectible.