“The 365 GTS/4 was, therefore, a sort of official successor to the NART Spyder” – Antoine Prunet in his standard book on the marque, The Ferrari Legend, The Road Cars
“How do you go from this tranquillity to that violence?” – “I usually take the Ferrari….” – an exchange between Detective ‘Sonny’ Crockett and his architect girlfriend Brenda in Miami Vice
The mighty 365 GTS/4 ‘Daytona’ Spyder, built to order in small batches by Scaglietti over a four-year period, was one of the world’s most desirable convertibles, a regular sight in sunny hot-spots from Beverley Hills to St Tropez.
It was the first convertible V12 from Maranello since the 365 GTS and also, unlike the ten NART 275 GTB/4s, produced with the full backing of Ferrari and sold through its worldwide dealer network. Only 121 examples, plus one prototype, were ever made.
The Ferrari 365 GTS/4 ‘Daytona’ Spyder
With hindsight, perhaps, the 1969 Frankfurt Motor Show was an odd choice of venue to launch such a gorgeous open-top car intended primarily for the North American market. A yellow car was presented on Pininfarina’s stand in Germany and it was a stunning variation on the potent berlinetta, effortlessly blending the lines of the now flat rear deck with the top profile of the rear panel and the wide, but intimate cabin for two.
As a mark of its status as a fully catalogued model, Ferrari gave it an official designation: ‘365 GTS/4’. ‘Daytona’, as always, was an informality, never used officially by the factory.
Although intended for a more sybaritic clientele, the ‘Daytona’ Spyder nevertheless packed all the ferocious performance of the coupé, a model starting to be seen on the race circuits that year. Underneath the bonnet sat a 352bhp, 4390cc, four-cam V12. This was mated to a five-speed transaxle, the combination good enough to give 160mph+ performance and searing acceleration.
The fortunate few to be offered the new car could choose Borrani wire wheels or regular-fit alloys, either coming with tall Michelin XWX tyres. The soft top was fabric, and although the prototype carried Plexiglas headlights, all production cars were ‘pop-ups’. The colour palette ranged from traditional red, vibrant Rosso Dino and very period Oro Metallizzato to the exceptionally stylish Grigio Ferro metallizzato you see here.
Air-conditioning was an option.
Like the berlinetta, a separate model with special ‘anti-smog’ emissions equipment on the engine was offered in North America. These cars also have distinctive repeater lights, no ‘ears’ on the wheel spinners and other minor changes such as seat-belt warning buzzers. Ninety-six of the 121 cars were to this specification.
The ‘Daytona’ Spyder remained in production throughout the life of the berlinetta, with the last cars delivered in 1973. After the 275 GTB/4 NART Spyder, it remains one of the most coveted regular production Ferrari convertibles.