40,000 miles from new and 12,000 miles since comprehensive restoration 1973 Ferrari 365GTB/4 'Daytona' Spyder conversion by Autokraft Registration no. BTU 174M Chassis no. 16735 Engine no. 16735
'The Daytona has been called the last great front-engined supercar. For one who has thought about it, it is not difficult to see why; for one who has driven it, it is very easy to see why... A supercar must prove its superiority on ordinary roads; the Daytona did.' - L J K Setright, Supercar Classics, Autumn 1983.
The ultimate expression of Ferrari's fabulous line of V12 front-engined sports cars, the 365GTB/4 debuted at the Paris Salon in 1968, soon gaining the unofficial name 'Daytona' in honour of the sweeping 1, 2, 3 finish by the Ferrari 330P4 sports prototype at that circuit in 1967. Pininfarina's Leonardo Fioravanti, later the famed carrozzeria's director of research and development, was responsible for the influential shark-nosed styling, creating a package that restated the traditional 'long bonnet, small cabin, short tail' look in a manner suggesting muscular horsepower while retaining all the elegance associated with the Italian coachbuilder's work for Maranello. An unusual feature was a full-width transparent panel covering the headlamps, though this was replaced by electrically-operated pop-up lights to meet US requirements soon after the start of production in the second half of 1969. Fioravanti later revealed that the Daytona was his favourite among the many Ferrari's he designed.
In response to Lamborghini's 350GT, Ferrari's road-car V12 had gained four overhead camshafts during production of the 275GTB (cars thus equipped acquiring a '/4' suffix) and in the Daytona displaced 4,390cc. Power output was 352bhp at 7,500rpm, with maximum torque of 318lb/ft available at 5,500 revs. Dry-sump lubrication permitted a low engine installation, while a five-speed transaxle enabled 50/50, front/rear weight distribution to be achieved. The chassis embodied long-standing Ferrari practice - being comprised of oval-section tubing - the all-independent wishbone and coil-spring suspension was a more-recent development though, having originated in the preceding 275GTB.
Unlike the contemporary 365GTC/4, the Daytona was not available with power steering, a feature then deemed inappropriate for a 'real' sports car. There was, however, servo assistance for the four-wheel, ventilated disc brakes. Air conditioning - vital for the US market - was optional, but elsewhere the Daytona remained uncompromisingly focussed on delivering nothing less than superlative high performance.
Although there had been no official open-top versions of its predecessor, the favourable reception of Luigi Chinetti's 275GTB-based NART Spyder no doubt influenced Ferrari's decision to produce a convertible Daytona. Again the work of Pininfarina, the latter was first seen at the Paris Salon in 1969, deliveries commencing in 1971. Although the rear end had been extensively reworked, so successful was Pininfarina's surgery that it was hard to credit that the Daytona had not initially been conceived as a Spyder.
The most powerful two-seater, road-going GT and the world's fastest production car at the time of its launch, the Daytona was capable of over 170mph (274km/h) and is surely destined to remain a top-ranking supercar for eternity. Some 1,400 Berlinetta coupé models and 123 Spyder convertibles had been made when production ceased in 1973. Naturally, the vast majority were to left hand drive specification, with just 158 of the rarer right hand drive models produced. Of the Spyders, only 25 were built to European specification, with seven of those being right-hand drive.
Ferrari's limited production run of Daytona Spyders left many would-be customers disappointed, a situation which led, inevitably, to a number of coupés being converted, including right-hand drive chassis number '16735', the example offered here.
Sold new on 6th August 1973 via Sytner in Nottingham, the Daytona was first owned by C W J Masters & Sons (Carpets) of Brook Street, Chester. There is a letter on file dated January 1976 from Mr Masters (addressed to whom is not known) complaining that the exhausts and wheel hubs had gone rusty and that this was simply not good enough. He says he went to the Ferrari Stand at the recent motor show (Maranello Concessionaires) who said it must have been a faulty batch of chrome but alas the warranty had run out. Mr Masters sought further redress. The next document on file is an invoice - made out to Mr Masters - in November 1976 for two new exhausts; it would appear that he had no joy...
Nevertheless, Mr Masters had the satisfaction of selling the Ferrari for around 50% more than he paid for it, the purchaser being Nick Shrigley-Feigl, who acquired it in December 1977. Correspondence on file suggests that the car was converted in 1980, we understand by Autokraft but there are no records on file to substantiate this, and in January 1981 Mr Shrigley-Feigl sold the car to Sir Antony Pilkington as a 'Daytona Spyder'.
Between 1989 and 1991 the Daytona underwent extensive restoration at the hands of marque specialists DK Engineering, including a re-trim of dashboard, new carpets, seats renovated and new hood; body preparation and re-spray; new tyres; engine and drivetrain rebuild as well as work to the suspension and brakes. Circa £100,000 was spent and all related bills and correspondence are on file. Since DK's restoration the car has covered only 12,000 miles out of the genuine total from new of circa 40,550. This figure is supported by 30 past MoTs dating back to 1977 (at 12,651 miles) and is therefore warranted.
A well executed conversion to a high standard, the Spyder is finished in silver with blue leather interior and matching hood. The seat trim looks original and the bodywork is nice and straight, though there are some minor dents. Running well, this outstanding example of one of the most capable Grands Routiers of recent times comes complete with jack bag and is offered with the aforementioned, history, sundry restoration and maintenance invoices, Swansea V5 registration document and MoT/tax to Dec 2012. A rare opportunity to own and enjoy a very well sorted example of this classic supercar.