Sydney Pollack’s Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider Is For Sale

This 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider has a fascinating history – it belonged to Sydney Pollack for a number of years in the 1970s, an Academy Award-winning director best known for his films Out of Africa (1985), Three Days of the Condor (1975), and The Firm (1993).

Later in its life the car was involved in a cross-border ownership dispute between Mexico and the United States that included nefarious characters linked to the then-president of Mexico, José López Portillo.

Fast Facts – A Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider

  • This is the 31st of the 121 examples of the Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider that were ever built, and it’s one of just 14 finished in Argento Metallizzato.
  • The Ferrari 365 GTB/4 was released in 1968 and was almost immediately nicknamed the “Daytona” as a reference to Ferrari’s 1-2-3 finish in the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona. Ferrari have never officially adopted the name and only use it sparingly.
  • The Daytona is powered by a 4.4 liter version of the legendary Colombo V12 engine, producing 347 hp at 7,500 rpm and 318 lb ft of torque at 5,500 rpm. The car can do the 0-60 mph dash in 5.4 seconds onto a top speed of 174 mph.
  • The Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Spider you see here was owned by Academy Award-winning director Sydney Pollack in the 1970s for a number of years, it’s now now being presented for sale beautifully restored in the original factory color combination.

Daytona – The Car Built To Beat The Miura

When Lamborghini unveiled their new mid-engined Miura at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show it sent shockwaves around the world. It has (controversially) been called the world’s first supercar and much to the chagrin of Ferrari, it was faster than any road car they had in production at the time.

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The beautifully appointed interior is instantly recognizable as the work of Ferrari, even before you see that distinctive Prancing Horse on the steering wheel.

The program to develop the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 was kicked into high gear as a result, the final production car would be unveiled in 1968. Interestingly it still used a front mounted engine rather than the mid-mounted transverse engine of the Miura, but critically the Ferrari would be faster – by just 3 mph.

A Daytona was chosen by Dan Gurney and Brock Yates as their entry into the first ever Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash in 1971. The two men won with an average speed of 80.1 mph and a total elapsed time of 35 hours and 54 minutes between New York City and Los Angeles.

The general public still know the Daytona best for its frequent on-screen appearances in the first two seasons of the original Miami Vice TV series. The two cars used during filming were actually replicas with fiberglass bodies based on C3 Corvette chassis.

Ferrari eventually sued, the faux Daytona was destroyed by a Stinger missile in the episode “When Irish Eyes Are Crying,” it was replaced for series three by an authentic Ferrari Testarossa donated by the Italian automaker.

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The Daytona is powered by a 4.4 liter version of the famous Colombo V12, it’s a 60º V12 engine with a single overhead cam per bank, two valves per cylinder, an alloy block and heads, and it produces 347 hp at 7,500 rpm.

The 1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Spider Shown Here

The car you see here is a particularly notable Daytona, not least for the fact that it’s one of just 122 spiders (convertibles) that were built by Ferrari.

Over 1,400 Daytonas would be built in total though the vast majority were the berlinetta hardtop coupes – many of these were later converted into convertibles however they’re not considered as desirable as a factory-original spider.

This car was bought new by H.J. Hoff who displayed it in the paddock at Road America during a Trans-Am race in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. In 1975 he would sell the car onto an already well-known film director named Sydney Pollack.

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Though it was originally designed by Pininfarina’s Leonardo Fioravanti as a coupe, the convertible (spider) version released in 1971 looks like it was always designed to have a drop top.

The car was later bought by Alberto Amezcua of Mexico City who lost the car in 1981 when he was forced to sign over the title due to strong-arm tactics by a powerful local pawn shop owner with ties to the Mexican president José López Portillo.

A few years later Amezcua would see the car advertised for sale in the United States, he managed to regain ownership, then kept the car for ten more years – lavishing it with attention and displaying it at the 1993 FCA Vintage Ferrari Concours d’Elegance at the Quail Lodge, and the 1996 Vintage Ferrari Concours d’Elegance, held in concert with Concorso Italiano.

In 1999 a new owner bought the car and commissioned a show-quality restoration by Vantage Motor Works. The car is now being offered for sale by RM Sotheby’s by its current owner, it has just 40,150 miles on the odometer, and it comes with the correct tool roll and owner’s manuals.

If you’d like to read more about this car or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing, it’s due to cross the auction block on the 27th of January with a price guide of $2,400,000 – $2,800,000 USD.

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Images: Robin Adams ©2021 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Ferrari 365 GTS 4 Daytona Spider

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