We've all had several classic dream cars that passed through our lives, but the one that brings back the most memories for me was a 1972 Ferrari 365GTS Spyder, commonly known as The "Daytona Spyder". I had always been passionately involved with classic cars and had the opportunity while still in in my late 20s and early 30s to cross the bridge into “Prancing Horse Land”. My first Ferrari was purchased from a small Specialty Car Dealer in Boca Raton, Florida where a 1967 Ferrari 330GTC caught my eye in the back corner of the warehouse. It was Colorado Brown with Saddle Leather and Factory Green (ugh) carpets. Once it started and I heard the purr of that Colombo V-12 motor and multiple carburetion with 5- speed gearbox and air conditioning (!)...I was in love. I bought it for an incredible $11,750.00 and proudly drove it home. It came from a fellow by the name of Jay Commodore in Palm Beach, had seen very few miles and the best life ever under his care.
But, in the early 70's this model wasn't respected, overshadowed by 275 GTB's, and much more exciting collectibles ~ worth very little. I sold the car to one of my very best friends for $18,000. Humorously, he never even finished paying me for the car. He offered me a $10 Gold Piece as final late payment and I took it thinking he never would pay me the balance anyhow. I returned to Waldron Motors in Boca and this time they sold me a 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB Coupe with low mileage. This was another Palm Beach car owned by millionaire Mr. Clarke of Kimberly-Clarke. He had an obsession with frogs and dark green cars so my second Ferrari was Emerald Green with Saddle Leather. This is a beast of a car. Like driving a 427/425 hp Vette, but more radical and worth a whole lot more. I never could get used to the brutality of driving this car…or the color, so I traded it for a '70 Mercedes 600 Limo in 904 Dark Blue with Parchment Leather.
Needless to say, I was the hit of the rock concerts, especially with the Peter Max drapes my first wife created. Next, I was lucky enough to buy a ultra-low mileage Silver Corniche Convertible, purchased from Tom Lester (Lester Tires), but it was too over-the-top for me so I swapped it even to a fellow in California for a 365 BB 'Boxer' Ferrari with 9,000 miles. I made the mistake of taking the radiator cap off to replenish the drooling antifreeze after it overheated in summer traffic and then not bleeding the cooling system before continuing my journey. That little mistake caused an air pocket and "peww"…the head gasket to blow. Since the Ferrari Daytona was a love/hate, okay LOVE relationship I started my search for another one.
One of the automobile trade magazines at the time had a small 3/4" ad in the back for a 1972 Daytona Convertible for sale by a doctor in Georgia. So I flew up, rented a car and drove out to the hospital where he worked. There, in the undersized medical center parking lot, sat the Car of My Dreams...a beautiful Daytona Spyder. The mileage was characteristically low but the doors were full of dents from other cars hitting the aluminum sides while attempting to park. All of the chrome Borrani Wire wheels were intact, it ran like a scalded ape, the leather was perfect, but the mufflers were bad. I broke down and paid him (by memory) $40,500, turned in my rent-a-car and drove it home.
I'll never forget the trip back to South Florida. Most gas station attendants had never seen a Ferrari and I had a hard time even making bathroom or refreshment stops as the car was mobbed each time I came out. I still have an antique Camel Cigarette thermometer I acquired at one of those pit stops (I asked if it was for sale and the attendant said "NO". I took a shot and offered him $20...he couldn't rip it off the wall fast enough). The ride home was like sitting inside a rocket. Those cars are brutally fast, heavy to steer, rock solid and suck gas faster than an oil drum with a 1" hole. But, it's all part of the addictive charm in owning one. The sound of four exhaust pipes, five gears, six barrel carbs, and 12 cylinders cannot be duplicated. I brought the car home took it to a high-end body shop and they fixed the doors (before Dr.Dent existed) and put on a new muffler system from a Ferrari parts house in Georgia. Several weeks later I received a call exclaiming "the car had never been hit and was remarkably straight!"
Like any foolish young guy, two years later I met a beautiful blonde whom I fell head over heels for, and she talked me into selling the Ferrari to buy a 40' Endeavor sloop..."so we could sail to the Virgin Islands". Like a dope, I sold the car (for $82,000) and then the boat, followed by a divorce after just two years. As most of your readers know, Enzo only made 98 Ferrari Daytona Spyders and history states they climbed to heights of $1.5 mil and more. So, whenever someone asks about cars you wish you never sold, I just say...... "shut-up" (LOL).