1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4

The Italian auto industry in the late 1960s was a hotbed of creative energy. The sense of unbridled optimism bore a string of increasingly powerful and exotic super sports cars from Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati. Ferrari’s new rival Lamborghini had tossed convention aside for their radical new Miura, with its sophisticated transverse-rear-engine layout and lightweight sheet-steel chassis. Ferrari, however, remained steadfast in their commitment to the front-mounted V12-powered road cars, even as the Scuderia fielded rear-engine racing cars. The Miura’s arrival signaled alarm bells for many within Ferrari, as the new kid from Sant’Agata made Ferrari’s 275 GTB/4 look a bit old-fashioned.

Pininfarina’s design chief, Leonardo Fioravanti, had never been entirely satisfied with the 275 GTB/4 and was eager for a new model that reflected the spirit of the times. Shortly into 275 GTB/4 production, he “borrowed” a bare chassis and engine from the assembly floor, which he used to mock-up its potential replacement. He created a modern and muscular shape far removed from the 275, defined by crisp lines and a bullet-like profile. Enzo Ferrari was so impressed with Fioravanti’s experiment that he immediately green-lit the car for production. The new 365 GTB/4 “Daytona” was introduced at the 1968 Paris Salon, boasting a quad-cam V12 engine of 4.4-liters, giving a top speed of 174 mph. At the Frankfurt Auto Show in September 1969, Ferrari unveiled the open-topped companion to the coupe, known as the 365 GTS/4. The Daytona’s gorgeous lines adapted gracefully to the convertible version, and thanks to strategic strengthening, the performance remained as sharp as ever. Just 122 were produced for the world, and it was instantly one of the most eminently desirable Ferraris of the period.

According to a comprehensive history report compiled by marque historian Marcel Massini, S/N 16455 is number 68 of the coveted 122 official works 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spiders produced by Scaglietti. Production records indicate 16455 left the gates of Maranello finished in Grigio Ferro over Rosso Connolly hides. It left Modena in 1972, destined for William F. Harrah’s west coast Ferrari distributorship, Modern Classic Motors of Reno, Nevada. From there, it went on to Service & Diagnosis of Santa Monica, California – the official dealership of longtime Ferrari family friend Francisco “Frank” Mir. Later in 1972, Mr. Lanvin of Los Angeles became the first official owner, and he kept the Daytona through 1976. Further records show it was briefly in the care of a New York resident before being sold in 1979 to Allan Jerry Siemons of Malibu, CA.

Mr. Siemons was the first long-term custodian of 16455, keeping the car in his care from 1979 to 1991, during which time it was resprayed in its current metallic gunmetal gray and treated to an engine rebuild in 1983. Subsequent owners are well documented through the 1990s and early 2000s, including a brief stint with notorious Dutch drug smuggler and Ferrari enthusiast Charles Zwolsman, Sr. Finally, in 2005, the Daytona was acquired by the most recent owner and has been quietly maintained in their extensive private collection ever since.

As offered, 16455 remains in highly original condition save for one respray, displays just over 35,000 miles, retains its original engine, and is presented with an appealing character earned through years of attentive care and enjoyment. The gray paintwork is consistently finished and attractive while the underlying coachwork is crisp and well-defined, with exterior trim in excellent order all around. Borrani wire wheels are correct per the build records and shod with proper Michelin XWX radial tires. Supportive form-hugging bucket seats are trimmed in Rosso 3171 Connolly leather with contrasting black accents, as originally specified in the build sheets. The seats are exceptionally well preserved, and much of the interior soft trim appears to be original. The original “mouse hair” dash exhibits slight discoloration appropriate for the age, though it remains free of significant flaws with no apparent shrinking or pulling. Original equipment includes desirable air conditioning, electric windows, instruments in miles, a Becker Mexico stereo cassette player, and an original jack/bag.

Beneath the bonnet sits Ferrari’s legendary 4.4-liter, four-cam V12, topped with a sextet of downdraft Weber Carburetors. The mighty ‘twelve is the original unit, as confirmed by Ferrari Classiche. It is well-presented with an honest character and authentic detailing appropriate for a preserved, and unmolested car such as this. It sends 350 Italian thoroughbreds rearward to a 5-speed transaxle, capable of pushing the Daytona to a heady 170 mph top speed.

Offering storming performance, gorgeous lines, and guaranteed exclusivity, the 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider sits in the upper echelon of the Ferrari hierarchy. This extraordinarily well-preserved, well-documented example is offered publically for the first time in over 15 years, now ready for a new passionate custodian.

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