Italy in the late 1960s was a hotbed of creative energy in the automobile industry. A group of ambitious young engineers at Lamborghini caused a stir with the introduction of the radical, mid-engine Miura, spurring on a supercar war between Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini. Despite the sensation caused by the Miura, Enzo Ferrari (ever the staunch traditionalist) stuck to his proven formulae, as the front-mounted V12 layout had proven so successful for many years. It was to form the foundation of the next Ferrari supercar, even in the face of the mid-engine revolution from their Italian rivals and even from within their own competition department.
Pininfarina’s design chief, Leonardo Fiavoranti, admitted that he was never a huge fan of the 275 GTB/4, and while that car was still relatively new, he was inspired to take a bare chassis and engine from the floor and mock-up a new design – all in his spare time. The new shape was more modern than the 275, being wider all round, with its crisp edges and a signature Plexiglas band across the nose. The design impressed Enzo Ferrari who gave his blessing for production. Named for Ferrari’s 1-2-3 sweep at the 1967 Daytona 24 Hour Race, the 365GTB/4 “Daytona” was judged as a being conservatively styled compared of the Miura. But on its own, Fiavoranti’s styling work was exquisite; modern, fresh and elegant with an understated muscular presence. The Daytona was the sophisticated counterpoint to the outrageous Miura, yet it came to performance, the Daytona was every bit as exciting, delivering a 0-100 mph sprint in 12.6 second on the way to a thundering 174mph top speed.
Like the 275GTB/4 before it, American importer Luigi Chinetti lobbied the factory to offer a convertible version of the Daytona for the American market. The Daytona shape lends itself well to being a convertible, though just 122 examples were officially offered by the factory. Over the years a number of coupes have been converted into Spyders to varying degrees of success. Far and away, the most respected shop to perform such conversions was that owned by Richard Straman. A talented engineer and coachbuilder, Straman has built numerous convertible conversions for Ferraris ranging from the 275 GTB to the 550 Maranello. His work his highly regarded for its quality engineering and factory-grade finish work, often employing original parts when possible. As such, any open-topped Ferrari to carry the Straman name is given a blessing by collectors and experts alike.
We are very pleased to feature chassis number 13933, a 1971 365 GTB/4 Daytona “Plexi” originally delivered in European Specification to the Canadian dealer Clarke Simpkins. The subsequent history of 13933 is well documented: In the late 1970s, the car was in the possession of Carl Cantera, a highly-respected Ferrari aficionado and collector. Early in Mr. Cantera’s long tenure with the car, it was entrusted to Richard Straman for conversion to open Spyder configuration and a change to its current livery of black over tan. Included receipts show Mr. Cantera enjoyed and maintained the car through the 80s and 90s before it was consigned to the legendary Ferrari dealer, Algar of Philadelphia in the early 2000’s. Subsequent owners would continue to cherish and enjoy this Daytona on the road and in casual shows.
In 2016 and in the hands of its most recent owner, S/N 13933 was treated to a comprehensive restoration performed by the respected marque experts Automotive Restorations, Inc. of Stratford, CT. The work included a bare-metal respray in black, as well as extensive detailing of the engine and chassis. In addition, the interior was retrimmed in tan leather with black “Daytona” inserts, fresh carpets, a recovered dash in correct mouse-hair material and a fully retrimmed trunk compartment as correct. It retains its factory-optional air conditioning for comfortable cruising in all conditions. The top was replaced with a new one in Haartz Stayfast canvas, custom made to original specification and precisely fitted.
In the short time since the restoration was completed, 13933 has seen light and careful use and remains in outstanding order. The black paint is beautifully presented with crisp, straight reflections and excellent panel fit. We are particularly fond of the black livery which suits the muscular styling perfectly - particularly in “Plexi-nose” form and with this car’s gorgeous polished Borrani wire wheels on proper Michelin XWX rubber.
Engine presentation extremely tidy with correct hoses, fittings, clamps and hardware. Correct silver quilted insulation is in place under the hood and most importantly, this Daytona runs and drives exceedingly well. The chassis feels very well-sorted and the big V12 pulls with the intensity of train, emanating a magnificent bark from the quad Ansa exhaust tips.
This is an outstanding opportunity to acquire a freshly and expertly prepared Daytona Spyder in desirable Plexi-nose spec with solid provenance and outstanding cosmetics. Recently having taken Best in Class at the 2017 Boca Raton Concours, this Daytona is an exquisite example of Ferrari’s seminal 1970’s supercar that is suitable for show, touring and events. S/N 13933 is certain to bring great pleasure to its next keeper for years to come.