Presented by RM Sotheby’s – Images by Robin Adams – Immediately lauded by Ferrari enthusiasts, the new 365 GTB/4 was dubbed the “Daytona” after Ferrari’s 1-2-3 win at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1967. Ferrari’s already impressive V-12 engine gained four overhead camshafts, putting displacement at 4,390 cubic centimeters. With a staggering power output of 352 horsepower, the Daytona dethroned the Miura as the fastest production car. Dry-sump lubrication enabled a low engine installation, while a five-speed transaxle allowed for a 50/50 weight distribution. The chassis was classic Ferrari, made up of oval-section tubing, and the recently developed all-wheel independent suspension allowed for better handling and tire contact. Four-wheel disc brakes rounded out a superb all-around package.
Despite the factory not originally planning for an open-top version, between Scaglietti and Pininfarina, designs were created, and a prototype was approved. Launched at the 1969 Frankfurt Auto Show, the 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider was produced for both the European and American markets, meeting an inundation of requests for an open-top model of the new gran turismo.
Finished in the brilliant shade of Giallo Fly (20-Y-191) over Pelle Nera (VM 8500), this 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider left the factory in December 1971 and was the 36th of just 121 Spiders produced. A left-hand-drive example destined for the United States, it was equipped with instrumentation in miles and air conditioning. In February 1972 it was delivered to Luigi Chinetti’s Motors in Greenwich, Connecticut and was shown at the New York International Auto Show two months later.
On 28 April 1972, just a few weeks removed from the International New York Auto Show, the Ferrari was sold to banker and long-time Ferrari client Alfredo Ducato of Hillsborough, California. A dedicated tifosi, Mr. Ducato ordered his first new Ferrari in 1951 and over the years developed a close personal relationship with Enzo Ferrari. Mr. Ducato and Enzo Ferrari regularly wrote to each other through the years and the Daytona Spider remained in Mr. Ducato’s collection until his death in 1987. Three years after her husband’s death, Mrs. Ducato sold the car through Walnut Creek Ferrari and Brandon Lawrence to Herb Boyer of Burlingame, California. In 1997 Mr. Boyer decided it was time to freshen the appearance of the car and had it repainted in its original shade of Giallo Fly by Bob Potts and the interior retrimmed in factory-correct Nero leather by Ken Neminick. In 2000, with fewer than 10,000 original miles on the odometer, the car was sold to Tom Knudsen of San Francisco, California. It was subsequently sold in August of 2005 to noted collector James L. Page of Boca Raton, Florida.
In January 2008, the Ferrari was offered for sale having covered just 12,775 miles from new. It was subsequently purchased by Charles Yassky of New York, New York. On 26 January 2008 Mr. Yassky showed the Daytona Spider at the Cavallino Classic Concours d’Elegance in Palm Beach, Florida where it took home the coveted Platinum Award at the highly competitive event. In April of 2008, the Daytona Spider received its Ferrari Classiche Red Book certification, proving the car was true to its original specification. Following certification, Mr. Yassky partook in the Ferrari Factory 40th Anniversary Daytona tour from Maranello to Mugello, Italy.
In 2008, with 13,020 miles, the Daytona Spider was sold to current ownership where it has remained in a meticulously maintained Ferrari collection. Today, the odometer displays just 13,442 miles from new at time of cataloguing. It is a rare opportunity to acquire any Daytona Spider, let alone one with such low original mileage, a Classiche Certified, Platinum award-winning example, with as interesting provenance as this. Although now over two decades old, the paint and interior remain remarkably fresh in appearance and the car has clearly been well cared for throughout its life. A recent compression and leak down test by Norbert Hofer of Gran Touring Classics confirmed the engine is in good mechanical order. The Daytona Spider is accompanied by manuals with pouch, tool roll with jack and bag, and restoration photos.
This Daytona Spider is ready for decades more top-down excitement for its next owner, exactly how Enzo Ferrari intended.
This vehicle will be offered at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island auction, taking place 22 May during the world-renowned Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. In-person and remote bidding options are available; contact RM Sotheby’s to register to bid.