Achingly beautiful Ferrari Daytona rarity for sale, no reserve
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What is Ferrari's most beautiful masterpiece?
It's a question that gets asked all the time — as is the custom for a brand with as rich a tapestry as Italy's 'prancing horse' possesses. The answers generally tend to be their older machines, with the occasional 'Magnum PI', 355, or 458 nomination thrown in for good measure.
Me? I'm a Daytona guy through and through.
Depicted in a perfectly vintage 'Rame Metallizzato' copper metallic, this 1971 Daytona Berlinetta (or '365 GTB/4, if you're of an anorak leaning) is a supermodel. Its svelte, minimalist shape is complemented by competition-inspird sharp wheel arches that jut out from the bodywork, and nine-inch rear wheels that give the Daytona a foreshadowing raked stance.
This particular example resides in the US, and will go under the hammer at this upcoming RM Auctions Monterey event with no reserve. And, like a lot of pristine vintage Ferraris, it's got a pearler of a story to tell.
It was once owned by a bloke named Bill Harrah — a household name in the US for his role as a national casino magnate who knew how to live, so to speak. Unsurprisingly he also had a heck of a car collection, which included the Daytona and a host of other Ferraris. In fact, he was said to have owned almost every 'great' model of Ferrari before his death in 1978.
Harrah didn't just like owning fast cars; he also enjoyed thrashing them. And subsequently a lot of them came with various performance upgrades along with visual ones. On the Daytona these included the aforementioned rear wheels and arches, along with an upgrade to the V12 engine according to certain rumours...
And those weren't the only stories connected to the Daytona. So says RM Sothebys; “In a legendary story that well may be apocryphal but is too delightful not to repeat here, Mr. Harrah was reportedly once approached by a Sikorsky salesman, offering him a faster way to commute between Reno and Lake Tahoe. Typically nonplussed, Mr. Harrah commented that he would happily buy a helicopter if it could, indeed, beat him driving the Ferrari between the two Harrah’s Clubs. The race for the ages went down, whirlybird vs. Ferrari, and the Daytona, of course, won – averaging 146 mph along the way.”
Got to love how people did business in the '70s.
Anyway, The Daytona has lived a markedly less glamorous life since it left Harrah's garage. The second owner crashed it, then eventually sold it to an estate in 2002. Two changes of ownership later and it arrived in the hands of its current owner, who led a restoration of sorts to the suspension and front end, paint and body, and an engine rebuild. The singing V12 now spits out almost 300kW.
This Ferrari earned the nickname, 'the Harrah Hot Rod' — more than fitting.