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Debuted in Paris in 1968, the 365 GTB/4 succeeded the 275 GTB/4 as Ferrari’s new top-of-the-line, two-seat gran turismo. Almost immediately, it was unofficially known as the “Daytona” in honor of Ferrari’s podium sweep at the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona, and it stands as the last front-engine, V-12 GT model designed before Fiat’s takeover of Ferrari road car production in 1969.

Continuing to utilize the general chassis layout, wheelbase, independent suspension, and rear-mounted transaxle of its predecessor, the 365 GTB/4 differed dramatically in its bold styling, penned by Pininfarina’s Leonardo Fioravanti, and rendered in steel and aluminum by Carrozzeria Scaglietti. Power was delivered by an enlarged version of the six-carb, four-cam, dry sump V-12 engine, now displacing 4.4 liters and delivering 352 bhp at 7,500 rpm. Capable of accelerating from 0–100 mph in just 12.8 seconds, and continuing to a top speed in excess of 170 mph, the Daytona was the fastest production sports car of its day. Period road testers were effusive, with Car and Driver declaring: “It isn’t fast – it’s blinding.” Le Mans-winning driver Paul Frère, who reached 176 mph on the Italian Autostrada during his test for Autocar, described the Daytona as “a Grand Touring car par excellence.”

While intended as a fast road car, the 365 GTB/4 remained competitive long after most others retired. Between 1970 and 1979, 18 Ferrari Daytonas contested their namesake 24-hour race, resulting in five Top 10 finishes and two 2nd Place podiums, with the last including the 1979 GTO class win scored by John Morton and Tony Adamowicz. Class wins were scored at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1972, 1973, and 1974) along with an outright victory at the 1972 Tour de France.

At the 1969 Frankfurt Motor Show, about a year after the model’s debut, Ferrari unveiled the prototype for a Spider version of the Daytona. The model was enthusiastically received and soon entered production at Scaglietti, which, working in collaboration with Pininfarina and Ferrari, toiled to achieve the car’s stunning production-ready appearance while ensuring that the open car was as strong and rigid as its berlinetta sibling.

The most exclusive of the road-going Daytonas, the Spider had a very limited production run. Only 121 production examples were built, with the vast majority destined for the all-important US market. Whereas the 365 GTB/4 Berlinetta achieved fame on the road and racetrack, the Daytona Spider earned its status as a pop culture icon, thanks to notable appearances in films like The Gumball Rally and A Star Is Born.

The Daytona Spider presented here, chassis 15277, is the 44th of the 121 cars built by the factory. Completed in June 1972, and specified for the US market, 15277 is notable as it is one of just five examples originally finished in green.

Factory records refer to the car’s original color simply as Verde Scuro (Dark Green), while Luigi Chinetti Motors notes the more specific shade of Verde Bahram, a dark metallic green named after the thoroughbred racehorse. It is possible that this Daytona Spider is the only example originally delivered in this striking metallic green over beige leather color scheme.

Like most Daytona Spiders, this car was destined for the North American market and equipped with optional Borrani wire wheels, Borletti air-conditioning, and instrumentation in miles. Imported into the US by official distributor Luigi Chinetti Motors in Greenwich, Connecticut, the Ferrari was originally delivered to one of the North American Racing Team (NART) drivers, John “Buck” Fulp Jr. of Anderson, South Carolina.

After inheriting a fortune from his family’s textile business in the late 1950s, Buck Fulp indulged in his passion for exotic sports cars, acquiring a pontoon-fender Testa Rossa and several top-of-the-line road cars, including a Series I Pinin Farina Cabriolet and a Series III 410 Superamerica. He began his professional racing career in 1959 and, throughout the 1960s, drove the latest prototype and GT cars for Chinetti’s NART at major international venues, including Le Mans, Daytona, Sebring, and Nassau. By the time he purchased the new Daytona Spider in 1972, Fulp had retired from racing and spent his leisure time in Anderson, South Carolina, building a world-class collection of rifles and guitars – interests shared with his friend Elvis Presley.

After just a few years with the green Daytona Spider, Fulp traded it back to Chinetti, who resold 15277 to a customer on Long Island, New York. The Ferrari’s new owner immediately sent it to Italian car specialist Joe Nastasi for a repaint in black. The Daytona Spider saw limited use over the next four decades and remained in the hands of its second owner until 2014, when it joined a prominent Greenwich-based collection.

After learning of the car’s distinctive original color, the third owner made the decision to return the Daytona Spider to its original Verde Bahram livery, as it was otherwise in outstanding, unrestored condition, having covered a mere 7,000 miles from new. Correct lacquer paint was sourced in Italy, and the Scaglietti body was prepared and refinished in the original green, all while taking care to preserve the car’s original finishes.

Since this work was completed in 2015, the Daytona Spider has been shown selectively – appearing at that year’s Greenwich Concours d’Elegance and, more recently, at The Bridge on Long Island.

Presented today in its attractive, factory-delivered color scheme, and equipped with desirable options, this Daytona Spider showed just 7,819 miles at the time of cataloguing – a figure believed to represent the original mileage from new. The exceptional condition of the unrestored interior, which features original leather upholstery, carpets, and “mouse fur” dashboard flocking, is consistent with the car’s low mileage and limited roster of owners. Likewise, the engine bay, trunk, and undercarriage remain in superb original order, providing an insight into the construction methods and finishes utilized by Ferrari in 1972.

An unusually correct and complete example, 15277 is offered with important and valuable accessories such as its original tool roll and owner’s handbooks, including the owner’s manual, parts catalogue and dealer directory. Additionally, the car is accompanied by a history report compiled by Ferrari historian Marcel Massini.

Classic 12-cylinder Ferraris with open coachwork, disc brakes, independent suspension, and the refined torque-tube driveline are quite rare, comprised of just three models: the 275 GTS/4 NART Spider, 330/365 GTS, and 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider. The combined total production of these models is just over 250 individual cars.

Of these three landmark Ferrari models, the Daytona Spider is easily the fastest and most powerful, with bold, modern Pininfarina styling recognized by enthusiasts the world over. Even today, it remains among the most sought-after sports cars of its era, as it is one of the few genuine front-engine V-12 supercars that can provide the incomparable thrill of open-air motoring.

Fast, beautiful, and rare, these Ferraris embody the finest qualities of thoroughbred Italian sports cars. Given its distinctive original color scheme, low mileage, and outstanding provenance, this highly original Daytona Spider is particularly appealing – among the very best of an exclusive breed.

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