Prior to the introduction of the Ferrari Roma Spider in 2023, the last fabric-topped, front-engined GT to wear the emblem of the Prancing Horse was built more than half a century ago. That car was the 365 GTS4 (as named by Ferrari), or “Daytona Spider,” as the model is much more commonly known. Debuted at the 1969 Frankfurt Motor Show, it was followed by only 121 examples, made from 1971 through 1973. That convertible was derived from Ferrari’s potent 365 GTB4, a berlinetta introduced in 1968, with a total of 1,284 built through 1973.
According to historians, the model’s original name was to be Daytona, in recognition of Ferrari’s 1-2-3 victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona in February of 1967. As that moniker was likely leaked by the press, Ferrari reverted to its traditional model designation, but “Daytona” stuck, nonetheless. Top or no top, the Daytona has remained a favorite of Ferrari collectors for decades, through fads and falls. It would take until 1996 for a front-engined, V-12-powered Ferrari to return, which it did in the form of the 550 Maranello.
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A note about real versus aftermarket spider conversions is now in order. During the 1980s and 1990s, a number of perfectly beautiful Daytona berlinettas were butchered by Sawzall-wielding chop shops to create close replicas of the original spiders. Back then, Daytonas were just used sports cars, albeit relatively expensive ones. Today, these conversions command a fraction of the price of an authentic example. The irony is that many of those conversions have since been returned (reconverted) to their original berlinetta configuration, which, also suffering from not being original coupes, are worth less in turn. If there is a lesson in any of this, perhaps it’s that a car—like a person—should be comfortable in its own skin.
Part of the conversion mania was the public’s fascination with the Daytona Spider, which co-starred in such films as The Gumball Rally and A Star is Born, both released in 1976. The heart of the Daytona is its Colombo-designed, 4.4-liter V-12 engine, topped by six 40 DCN/20 Weber carburetors. Making close to 350 hp—at 7,700 rpm—and about 318 ft lbs of torque, the Daytona was a real performer in the day, capable of a zero-to-60 mph time of 5.4 seconds and a top speed of 174 mph. The transmission is a five-speed transaxle, its rear placement chosen to optimize weight distribution. Pininfarina’s Leonardo Fioravanti styled the car, and Scaglietti built the steel bodies which sat atop a tubular steel chassis.
Gooding & Company brings an exceptional example of this particular Prancing Horse to its Amelia Island Auctions, being held at Florida’s Omni Amelia Island Resort from February 29 through March 1. The 44th Daytona Spider built, chassis No. 15277 is a U.S.-spec car, and was imported and sold by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Concerning this specific vehicle, Gooding & Company’s David Brynan explains that it differs from others of the model in that “unlike many delivered in Red or Fly Yellow, this car is finished in Verde Bahram, a very rare and distinctive color that is original to this car.” He goes on to add that “its provenance is also noteworthy, being owned new by driver Buck Fulp of Ferrari’s North American Racing Team, with only a few known owners since. And then, its condition is outstanding—it has just over 7,800 miles and remains largely original and intact.”
It’s likely the only metallic green Daytona Spider with a beige interior, a sumptuous combination by any measure. That interior is remarkably original, retaining its leather upholstery, carpets, and “mouse fur” dashboard flocking from the factory. The engine bay is also original and unrestored. The car’s overall fine condition is likely a testament to its sparing use over the decades.
The vehicle is accompanied by tools, manuals, and documentation that includes a history report compiled by Ferrari historian Marcel Massini. An estimated value range of $2.5 million to $3 million is right in line with the best of the Daytona Spiders, and for lovers of the color, the price of admission certainly constitutes a worthwhile exchange of green for green.
Click here for more photos of this 1972 Ferrari Daytona Spider.
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