Featured: RM Auctions Ferrari Daytona Condo-Find Ready to Disco

RM Auctions Ferrari Daytona Condo-Find Ready to Disco

By Petrolicious Productions
December 8, 2014
26 comments

Photography courtesy of RM Auctions

Barn finds are the ultimate in automotive mythology. It is the equivalent of sitting in a tavern sometime in the seventeenth century and being handed a map by a rushed, shadowy figure. Should you spend days and weeks and months chasing buried treasure?

We’ve all heard stories of barn finds: Bugattis sunken in lakes to avoid taxes, neglected racecars in sheds around the world. Yet it’s hard to believe that anyone would forget about their Daytona in the garage. But that was exactly the case with this 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta, chassis number 14385.

It’s called the “condo-find Daytona” or “disco Daytona,” because of the K-Tel 8-track tape left in the player. For the last 25 years it has been hidden in plain sight, tucked away in the corner of a parking garage in downtown Toronto, up on blocks, hiding under a cover.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the Disco Daytona is that it is still owned by the original buyer! So it was never lost per se–just forgotten! It is offered through RM Auctions (at their Amelia Island sale in March) directly by its first and only owner, Patrick Sinn of Toronto, and as is often the case with someone who has owned a car since new (for 44 years!), he tells the incredible story best.

The year was 1971. I had just finished skiing in Chamonix, France, and I went to Geneva to catch a flight home. I was waiting in the airport for the flight to take off, and it was delayed, so I had the whole day to stand in the airport doing nothing. I heard about this Geneva International Motor Show, so I thought, “Why don’t I just go there and check out the new models?”

When I arrived, Ferrari had a display of two Daytonas and a 246 Dino. That was the first time I’d seen the Daytona, and I fell in love with it. I sat in the car, and walked around it a million times, and said to myself, “I want to buy one.” So I talked to the salesman at the motor show and asked him, “How can I buy the Daytona?” He said, “Well, you can go to any Ferrari dealership and place an order.” I said, “Well, since I’m in Europe, I’m not going to wait. I’m going to the factory and just order a car; that’s the quickest way, and that way I can pick the color, options, and what have you.”

So, instead of flying home from Geneva to Toronto, I canceled my flight and bought a ticket to Milan. When I got off at the Milan airport, I rented a car and drove the rental car all the way to Modena. I went into the office and told the gentleman inside that I wanted to buy a Daytona.

He introduced me to a Mr. Boni, who was the sales manager, and he showed me the list price, options, choice of color, and upholstery. I signed a contract with them to buy a Daytona, and picked Bordeaux Red with a metallic base, because I liked that color, and also picked the two-color upholstery that I like. They told me I had to come back in the summer when the car was ready, because I told them, “I want to come here, take the car out of the factory, and drive it in Europe for a while before shipping it back.” They replied, “Fine, we will fit you with an EE license plate so you can drive it anywhere in Europe.”

Approximately $18,000 U.S. later, plus a little bit more money for spare parts because I wanted some spares for tune-ups and brake work, I left Ferrari with an order.

In July of 1971, they told me that the car was ready, so I flew over to Milan and got down to the factory and took possession of the new Daytona.

When I first drove from the factory to Geneva–almost all the way on the autostrada–I stayed in the InterContinental Hotel in Geneva. While relaxing by the poolside, I was showered with admiration from strangers from all over Europe, wanting to talk with me about the shiny Daytona. It appeared to me that Europeans, in general, knew more about Ferraris than North Americans. I quickly made new friends around the pool. They liked riding in my car, and in return, they showed me around town, took me to restaurants and discos, and we all had a good time enjoying our new friendship. After that, I drove on the autobahn, to Zurich, and received a wonderful reception at the Dolder Grand Hotel.

After Europe, and about a month’s driving, I left the car at the factory for them to perform the first oil change and check out the engine before they shipped it over to North America. I drove it to Marseilles, where I was catching the QE 2, sailing from Marseilles to New York. They let me put the car on the ship and store it below-deck so that when I got off in New York, I could drive the car home to Toronto. Every couple of days, I would go below-deck and look at the Ferrari, to make sure there was no seawater damage!

Of course, at the border, they told me I could not import this car into Canada, because it did not meet all the safety and pollution requirements for an import. But they let me go anyways; I had to put up some kind of bond to clear customs, and tried to convince them it was a one-off and not really causing any environmental damage. So after haggling with them for a while, they just gave up. I guess in those days, there weren’t too many European imports, and certainly not enough for them to worry about.

In 1989, my dad passed away, and I had to rush back to Hong Kong to take over his shipping business with my two brothers. Because I had to leave in a hurry, I just put the car up on blocks, covered it, and left, thinking, “I’ll be back in a few months.” But things didn’t work out, because after the funeral, there were lots of estate matters to be resolved, so I ended up staying in Hong Kong for the next six years. I finally got back to Toronto, where I was very involved in real estate and very busy. As I already had a Mercedes-Benz 280 SL and a Ford to drive, I didn’t need to drive the Ferrari.

I have never been to a car auction in my life, but looking at the car sitting in my garage, where they wash down the floors four times a year, I noticed that the car was beginning to lose its shine. I had two choices: I could spend big money to restore it, or I could sell my beloved toy and let someone new enjoy it. I opted for the latter, realizing, at 77 years old, that I would not be enjoying the car as much as I used to, because I had other priorities in life. So why not let another Ferrari aficionado enjoy it?

I found out online that RM is the biggest auction house worldwide for antique Ferraris, followed their auctions closely for a time, and said, “Well, let me give them a call, and see what happens…”

 

The car has been returned to running condition, but will require additional mechanical reconditioning before extensive road use. Please contact an RM Auctions specialist for further information. Here’s the Ferrari Daytona, in greater detail.

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Brahms
Brahms
7 years ago

Apropos of nothing, but I’ll always remember the day at Riverside, standing in the crowded garages, when Dan Gurney came motoring through in his Daytona Spyder. We all stepped aside to let the emperor pass, and he gave me a generous thanks for moving out of his way. Quite a moment for a nineteen year old kid. I have been smitten by Ferraris since.

Todd Westlie
Todd Westlie
7 years ago

As a poor Sailor back when these cars were new, I saw one on the sales floor at Bill Harrah’s in Reno, NV. IIRC, the sticker price was less than $20K. It might as well have been $2 million given that my monthly pay amounted to around a dollar three-eighty way back then. If this car was mine, I would preserve the patina inside and out, spend whatever it took to restore the mechanical aspects to excellent or better, condition; and then use it as Enzo intended – DRIVE IT! DRIVE IT! DRIVE IT!

Ronnie M
Ronnie M
7 years ago

Is it normal to leave a car in this shape for auction? Is the dust valuable? I would think that they would at least detail it.

Frank Anigbo
Frank Anigbo
7 years ago
Reply to  Ronnie M

Unfortunately, this whole ‘Barn Find’ nonsense that’s become so fashionable of late mandates that dealers and auction houses preserve as much of the mice piss as possible to prove that the car has been laying dormant for many years, I suppose to prove that no one has messed with its originality. I agree, leaving the dust on is just plain silly — I imagine that a car or two have had the contents of a vacuum cleaner emptied on them to enhance their patina. On the other hand, if the car in question is say… a 1980s Chrysler Le Baron, leaving the dust on will significantly degrade its value; it won’t be called patina in that case, it would be called junk.

Guest
Guest
7 years ago
Reply to  Frank Anigbo

I get what you are saying, but if you want to restore the car yourself, then part of the fun is seeing it cleaned for the first time or finding a receipt for gas tucked down the side of the seat. The only thing I can compare this with is the enjoyment some people get when unboxing an expensive gadget like an Iphone for the first time. Sure they could do it in the store for you and save you a couple of minutes, but actually people generally prefer to do it themselves. So I can understand why the purchaser may want it ‘untouched’ its part of the romance.

Frank Anigbo
Frank Anigbo
7 years ago
Reply to  Guest

I see it the way you do. I guess what annoys me is that the dusty basket-case of a car has somehow been given enough reverence to justify increasingly stupid asking prices. There isn’t much romance in knowing you got screwed and there isn’t much you can do about it — if you want this car. It has come to a point where the term “barn find” just irritates me, like “avant garde” used to justify painfully meaningless art. I hope for a return of sanity, a day when this Daytona would be described as what it really is: running car in need of TLC, and priced accordingly, rather than “barn find” as if it was overtaken by monster vines and dust clouds a century ago and has just been stumbled upon by civilization.

Frank Anigbo
Frank Anigbo
7 years ago

Take a look at RM’s promo video at http://www.classicdriver.com/en/article/cars/lost-disco-daytona-back-dance-floor-after-25-years

One would be lucky to get this car for under $700k dollars, considering it actually runs and drives and is presumably unmolested. The story alone is worth $200k.

Redvers Arnold
Redvers Arnold
7 years ago

Forget all the rubbish being spouted about values and what might want doing or not to the car etc. Just enjoy the story for what it is and be pleased that finds like this are still being made, Petrolicious can report on them and we can enjoy them as part of our hobby and what a great tale to tell in the pub to friends who haven’t heard about it.

andy
andy
7 years ago

I was under the impression that the more original and un-restored the better.
The opportunity to bring this back to perfect road condition without removing its originality and patina will surely ensure it easily reach $200,000.

Stephan P
Stephan P
7 years ago

Whats wrong with the interior? I like the patina on this car. It will be interesting to see where it goes.

Andreas Lavesson
Andreas Lavesson
7 years ago

It’s sad to see such a beautiful car be treated that way. However, seeing as barn finds and the likes seem to be “the big thing” now, as mentioned by Mr. Lange, this could potentially be bringing a premium. Or, it will be looked upon as a neglected Ferrari in need of serious repair and therefore be sold “cheap”. Interesting non the less. I do realize that I’m just echoing the resident Daytona owner, so I’ll chip in with.. not really a fan of the two-tone interior.

TJ Martin
TJ Martin
7 years ago

So I’ll be daring here and make the following assumptions about this car ;

#1 Since it was purchased direct from Ferrari I’ll assume the car got then Ferraris ‘ very special ‘ treatment from nose to tail .. which is the equivalent of the ‘ very special ‘ WonTon soup that Asian restaurant will serve you after giving the waiter/waitress a difficult time … wink wink

#2 Which means like all 70’s Ferrari’s from new there’s a fair amount of unpainted body work thru out .. only more so on this one [ see #1 ] .. so the body from stem to stern is no doubt suffering from a fair amount of aluminum degradation under that patinated paint

#3 Between the rampant neglect along with the lack of maintenance … at minimum I’ll bet every seal / gasket / hose / belt / timing chain / brake line / piston ring etc etc not to mention a fair amount of the wiring will need to be replaced before this can even be considered a good ‘ driver ‘

#4 How in the ___ the interior wound up that bad is beyond my comprehension … but suffice it to say .. if you want to drive it … you’re gonna have to replace every last cowhide / carpet etc in it as its all on the verge of total self destruction

So .. with the knowledge that the above isn’t taking into consideration any serious mechanical flaws that may exist out of sight … not to mention the bodywork needed possibly being more extensive than I’m assuming ..

I’ll guess a minimum of $150,000 US … just to make it reliable , enjoyable and drivable … never mind a full ‘concours ‘ [ cough … sputter … hack … ] restoration

But probably closer to $200,000 .

So what would I … a knowledgable and well informed [former ] Ferrarista pay for this ? Oh … I’ll no doubt catch a pant load of grief for this one … but in light of the extensive financial outlay needed to just put this on the road again ?

$35,000 …. $65,000 … tops … all bets being it’ll exceed that realistic number by a healthy margin when its all said and done …. seeing as how well informed and common sense plays little or no part when it comes to todays ‘ collectable ‘ [ hack … wheeze ] Ferraris on the auction block

Yoav Gilad
Yoav Gilad
7 years ago
Reply to  TJ Martin

TJ, your usual cynicism aside, I find your comment about wonton soup and Asian restaurants particularly and unusually offensive and abrasive. It has racist undertones and has no place here. Consider this a warning.

Andy Gondorf
Andy Gondorf
7 years ago
Reply to  Yoav Gilad

Nicely done sir.
Don’t feed trolls, slap them down a peg for implied racism.
A malt whisky and ice is on the bar is ready for Mr Gilad, paid for by me.

Paul
Paul
7 years ago
Reply to  Andy Gondorf

Seconded – well done Yoav.

joseph
joseph
7 years ago
Reply to  Andy Gondorf

Hold the ice though !

David Allison
David Allison
7 years ago
Reply to  Yoav Gilad

Oh please…Racist? Get a life. Everyone is SO easily offended these days.

Alan van Bergen
Alan van Bergen
7 years ago
Reply to  David Allison

Totally agree!

Andreas Lavesson
Andreas Lavesson
7 years ago

Strangely enough, I only see white men using the “oh, you’re so sensitive card” against those who call out others for comments with racist undertones or comments that are blatantly racist. That aside, when you keep toeing the line and little by little turn it up a notch, you will eventually reach a point where people have had enough.

Now, I’ve said my part on the matter and I will not discuss this further. The forum has hade enough of this bullshit already, if you excuse my language. However, seeing as it’s unfair to come from behind and leave before people get a chance to answer. Know that if you choose to further comment, I will read it. But as previously stated, I won’t keep adding fuel to this ugly fire, at least not on this forum.

Alan van Bergen
Alan van Bergen
7 years ago

I just re-read the comment in question; I was too fast with my response. My apologies, I take back my previous response…

Wayne
Wayne
7 years ago
Reply to  TJ Martin

If this were to go for $35,000 to $65,000 I would buy it just to have it for art’s sake. There is no way on god’s green earth that this will sell for less than $200,000, in my opinion the story is worth that much.

Guest
Guest
7 years ago
Reply to  TJ Martin

The way you price cars is delusional

Kuroneko
Kuroneko
7 years ago
Reply to  TJ Martin

Wow! Talk about putting your massive ignorance on show to the world. What type of restaurant is ‘Asian’ anyway? Does the same special treatment thing happen in ‘European’ restaurants when you order tartiflette? Or ‘American’ restaurants with the pao de queijo? Or, is this special brand of service only expected from us in ‘Asia’?

Such comments on well-provided site ref classic cars shows an ill-judged view of the world, and unfortunately of your opinion on [i]anything[/i]. I hope that when I am a bitter old bigoted lonely fart unable to use correct punctuation, at least I am able to maintain a sensible view of the world… Neko.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
7 years ago

Will be interested to see the estimate for this and what it finally sells for? On the one hand it has the allure of a barn or car park find in this case, which seems to hold a lot of appeal in the market. On the flip side even if the new owner wants to leave the patina on the body and interior, the mechanicals, and fuel tanks are almost certainly going to need a lot of expensive refurbishment to make the car useful.

TJ Martin
TJ Martin
7 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

For me Matthew … this is more a case of a ” Series of Unfortunate Events ” leading up to a serious [ and somewhat avoidable ] amount of neglect and not a ‘ Barn Find ‘ what so ever . What’ll it go for you ask ? Well … I think we both know Daytona’s like all ‘ classic ‘ Ferraris [ I hate the fact that Mr Sinn used the word ‘ antique ‘ when telling the tale ] are to say the least very over priced at present * . And … my guess is that manufactured Myth will trump Reality as to what this car really is .. so … I’ll guess one very hefty price tag once the gavel had fallen .

Realistically though ? This should go for a ( relatively speaking ) bargain basement price when it comes to current 365GTB/4 values … but a bit of alcohol induced addling along with a healthy amount of Auction Mania , over inflated egos and peer pressure will no doubt inflate the price well beyond the actual value I’ll bet you and I would agree its worth

* To be clear Matthew … I’m still dumbfounded how much someone was willing to pay for my non numbers matching 356GTC/4 [ as well as the prices the 246 and the FIAT Dino brought in ] Pazzo if you ask me !

Guest
Guest
7 years ago
Reply to  TJ Martin

No one cares what you think and no one asked you