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Lot 451: Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spyder Conversion

Collectors' Motorcars and Automobilia, Bonhams (3 June 2012)

It is often said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The beauty of a Daytona Coupe to Spyder conversion is that it has every ingredient of an original, only a price ticket that is so much more appealing! This is one of approximately 28 cars completed by Michael Sheehan's European Auto Restoration of Costa Mesa, in the late 1970s/early 1980s. It's worth bearing in mind that at the time that this and other conversions were done, commercially this was good business, while today, the modest upside of conversions over coupes and the cost of restoration/conversion is prohibitive. So the fact that cars such as this exist today, is its own snapshot on a period in the market which has long since passed. The car was completed at the factory on May 22, 1973. It was delivered new to Jacques Swater's Garage Francorchamps SA in Brussels, Belgium, and finished in Marrone Mettallizzato paintwork the color most commonly known for being that of Steve McQueen's famed 250 GT Lusso, this being offset by a beige leather interior. According to information supplied by renowned Ferrari Historian Marcel Massini, within 3 years the Daytona was exported to America and it is known to have been with Sheehan in 1978. The car would have been fresh from its conversion when offered for sale by O'Gara Coach of Beverly Hills, CA in April 1980. For the most part it has resided on the West Coast ever since, in the mid-1980s it was owned by Joe Kisella of Sausalito, later it was restored by Sheehan and then sold to Susan and David Livingston of Seattle, WA. It would become the property of Beverly Hills based Rock legend, Rod Stewart in 1998. The ever popular Stewart, who in recent years has received much acclaim for his interpretations of the 'Great American Songbook', is one of a handful of celebrities afflicted with the same passion as the rest of us mere mortal car collectors. Over the course of his career he has owned numerous high performance sports cars, many of them Italian. One Lamborghini Miura he had was bought new and graced his stable until 1985, numerous Ferraris are said to have followed. So it's no surprise that the beautiful Daytona Spyder caught his eye, particularly since it dates from the era of his early career successes when 'Maggie May' and 'Stay with Me' were big hits. Late in 1999, after its Stewart ownership the car was advertised as having covered just 2,000 miles since a complete restoration, and by now it had received its current red with black inserts interior as well as power steering from a 365 GTC/4. 5 years ago it crossed the country into Florida ownership and has remained on this coast since then. To view the car today, it is clear that it was a well executed conversion, many say Sheehan used factory spare rear clips for these cars and the detail features are similarly extremely good, being consistent with the quality of an original Spyder. Ever since its completion, the car has been well maintained and serviced with some regularity by known experts, while its mileage has been relatively modest. It is shod with desirable Borrani wires, complete with spare and retains its air-conditioning. There aren't too many collectible Ferraris that one can experience at this price point, let alone a convertible, and as such these cars make ideal entries for road tours, which can be truly enjoyed without the caution which one might have if behind the wheel of one of the 124 original $1million plus Spyders. This is a great example of its breed, with its known history from new including former celebrity ownership, and very clean presentation. It is reported to be driving well and ready to be enjoyed in the coming Summer months.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motorcars and Automobilia
Bonhams, Greenwich, Connecticut
Lot Number451
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$322500
Hammer Price (inc premium)$330000
Condition rating1
Registration number
Chassis number16639
Engine number16639
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors