Ex-Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny,1972 Ferrari 365GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ Spyder Conversion  Chassis no. 14995

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 227
Ex-Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny, 1972 Ferrari 365GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ Spyder Conversion
Chassis no. 14995

Sold for CHF 251,700 (US$ 254,019) inc. premium
Ex-Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny
1972 Ferrari 365GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ Spyder Conversion
Coachwork by Pininfarina/Straman

Chassis no. 14995
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 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 Ferraris he designed.

Although there had been no official open-top version 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 and is surely destined to remain a front-ranking supercar for the foreseeable future. Just 1,300 Berlinetta models and 123 Spyder convertibles had been made when production ceased in 1973.

Ferrari's production run of just 123 Daytona Spyders left many would-be customers disappointed, a situation which led, inevitably, to a number of coupés being converted. This example of what is still one of the fastest, and rarest, open two-seaters in existence was converted to Spyder specification by recognised specialists in the field, Richard Straman Classic Auto Restoration, of Costa Mesa, CA. Chassis number ‘14995’ previously formed part of the celebrated Ferrari collection belonging to father-and-son team, Mel and Noel Blanc, and was purchased by the current owner in 2000, the Blancs’ collection having been dispersed circa 1997.

Mel Blanc was the famous voice of countless Warner Brothers cartoon characters including such favourites as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Foghorn Leghorn and Sylvester the cat. The Blancs began assembling their collection in the early 1980s, concentrating mainly on exceptional Ferraris. The cars were housed in a purpose-built, air-conditioned and dust free facility at Noel’s Beverley Hills home, where each was meticulously maintained and regularly exercised, usually on local trips, to ensure that they remained in working order. Whenever any restoration work was required, only the top specialists were employed.

The Blancs acquired this Daytona from a collector in Florida in 1982, at which time it displayed a total of 24,800 miles on the odometer. Early work included servicing at Ferrari specialists Targa Florio, of Van Nuys, CA and the installation of an Alpine stereo system costing over $3,000, while from 1984 onwards the car was looked after by the highly respected Modena Sports Cars Inc in Los Angeles. In 1984, at circa 27,400 miles, the engine was fully rebuilt to a higher specification, incorporating high-compression pistons, and then in 1988 the transmission was overhauled, the mileage by this time having risen to 31,100. When the Blancs’ collection was sold, the Daytona had covered only 8,500 miles in the preceding 15 years and a mere 6,000 since the engine rebuild.

Bought by the current owner in 2000, the Daytona was imported to Switzerland that same year and is Swiss registered. The car was re-commissioned shortly after acquisition at a cost of 25,000 Swiss francs, the work being carried out by Garage Automobile Németh AG, an official Ferrari and Maserati workshop. An enthusiastic Ferraristi, the current vendor has carefully looked after his Daytona Spyder, which has been serviced by Modena Cars SA in Geneva throughout his ownership. The car has covered fewer than 2,000 kilometres in the past eight years and on a recent test drive performed most impressively. It is presented in very good working order, finished in the beautiful colour combination of black with cream/black Daytona interior - the latter equipped with air conditioning - and black convertible hood. A copy of its old US title deed (in the name of Noel Blanc) and current Swiss Permis de Circulation comes with the car.

Virtually indistinguishable from a genuine factory Spyder, ‘14995’ is believed to be one of the earliest converted by Richard Straman. The car is presented in lovely condition and represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a well maintained and little used soft-top Daytona at a fraction of the cost of an original.
Ex-Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny,1972 Ferrari 365GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ Spyder Conversion  Chassis no. 14995
Ex-Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny,1972 Ferrari 365GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ Spyder Conversion  Chassis no. 14995
Ex-Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny,1972 Ferrari 365GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ Spyder Conversion  Chassis no. 14995
Ex-Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny,1972 Ferrari 365GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ Spyder Conversion  Chassis no. 14995
Ex-Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny,1972 Ferrari 365GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ Spyder Conversion  Chassis no. 14995
Ex-Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny,1972 Ferrari 365GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ Spyder Conversion  Chassis no. 14995
Ex-Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny,1972 Ferrari 365GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ Spyder Conversion  Chassis no. 14995
Ex-Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny,1972 Ferrari 365GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ Spyder Conversion  Chassis no. 14995
Ex-Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny,1972 Ferrari 365GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ Spyder Conversion  Chassis no. 14995
Ex-Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny,1972 Ferrari 365GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ Spyder Conversion  Chassis no. 14995
Ex-Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny,1972 Ferrari 365GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ Spyder Conversion  Chassis no. 14995
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

Like the vast majority of auctioneers Bonhams charge what is known as a Buyer's Premium. Buyer's Premium on all Automobilia lots will adhere to Bonhams group policy:

25% up to £50,000 of hammer price,
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 of hammer price,
and 12% on the balance thereafter. This applies to each lot purchased and is subject to VAT.

For Motor Cars and Motorcycles a 15% Buyer's Premium is payable on the first £50,000 of the final Hammer Price of each Lot, and 12% on any amount by which the Hammer Price exceeds £50,000. VAT at the standard rate is payable on the Premium by all Buyers, unless otherwise stated.

Some lots may be subject to VAT on the Hammer Price. These lots will be clearly marked with the relevant symbol printed beside the lot number in the catalog.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.