Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spyder

In 1968, Ferrari unveiled its replacement for the beautiful 275 GTB/4 Berlinetta in Paris. The new 365 GTB/4 was more than a worthy replacement for its predecessor, with which it shared a chassis, suspension, 2,400 mm wheelbase and much of its layout. As the last front-engine Berlinetta, Pininfarina produced an attractive design that at once paid homage to the car’s heritage while providing clients with an exciting new look for Ferrari’s flagship road-going model. The smooth, unbroken design was accented by a crease that ran the length of the body, just below the top of the wheel wells. Up front, the small, black egg crate grille was complemented by rubber-tipped bumperettes. A matching set of bumperettes was fitted at the rear below four round taillights, a design feature that has persisted to this day. Constructed by Scaglietti, overall weight of the Daytona was reduced by utilizing aluminum for the doors, bonnet and boot lid.

Initially, the headlights were set back behind a transparent full-width plastic cover. American safety regulations required that Daytonas produced for stateside exportation be fitted with retractable headlights under two flush-fitting panels. Three-eared knock-off wheels were also replaced with plain, hexagonal-type units. By 1971, however, the concealed headlamps were adopted series-wide. In fact, about 1,285 Daytona Coupes were assembled over a production run that lasted through 1974.

Alongside the 365 GTB/4 Berlinetta, however, Ferrari also produced a small series of Spyders, which remain among the most sought-after Ferraris to date. Interestingly, those examples officially exported to the United States were stamped as “365 GTB/4” instead of “365 GTS/4” and are therefore referred to as such. The first “Daytona Spyder” was presented at the 44th Annual IAA Motor Show in Frankfurt on September 11, 1969. The example shown there was finished in yellow with the concave bodyline finished in black and featured Borrani wire wheels. It was also fitted with Perspex-covered headlights, although all further examples sported pop-up headlights. The rear wings were squared off on the top edges, losing some of the roundness of the Berlinetta and subtly altering the accent of the bodyline.

In all, Ferrari produced just 122 Daytona Spyders, including the prototype. The bulk of production, numbering 96 units, was destined for Ferrari’s most important export market, the United States, and merely 25 were built to European specifications. In addition to their folding top, the factory-built Spyders received a number of structural upgrades, particularly including strengthened bodies, chassis and windshield frames.

Given its incomparable style, the Daytona Spyder has exploded in popularity since its production closed in 1973. Consequently, many original Berlinettas have been converted into clones of the original Daytona Spyder, with varying degrees of honesty and success. As a result, the original Scaglietti-produced cars are obviously the most coveted of all by collectors and Ferrari enthusiasts.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California, in January of 2011 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona, in August of 2011 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California and in January of 2012 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.

352 bhp, 4,390 cc double overhead camshaft V-12 engine (Tipo 251), six Weber 40 DCN20 carburetors, five-speed manual gearbox, four-wheel independent suspension (Tipo 605) with unequal-length A-arms, coil springs, and Koni tubular shock absorbers, and four-wheel, servo-assisted hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 94.5"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel, Glenn Zanotti and David Arnold 

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