This Hot Rod Ferrari Daytona Raced A Helicopter And Won


Who wouldn't want to own this?

There are two ways to modify a Ferrari: with class or without. This 1971 Ferrari 365 GT/4 Daytona is all class, and it even beat a freaking helicopter in a race from Reno to Lake Tahoe. Set to hit the auction block this August at Monterey, this Ferrari Daytona was originally purchased by Bill Harrah, the businessman who founded Harrah’s Hotel and Casinos. He was also a car guy with a particular penchant for Ferraris – and hot rods. So he figured why not combine the two?

The result is what you’re looking at. With its beige leather interior with Nero seat inserts, pop-up headlights and Borrani wire wheels, Harrah sent his Daytona to a special service center in Santa Monica, California where it received competition-style nine-inch rear wheels and fender flares and an engine upgrade. A few years later, Harrah was supposedly approached by a Sikorsky helicopter salesman who figured the casino tycoon wanted a faster travel commute between Reno and Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Harrah, as legend has it, agreed to buy a helicopter but only if it beat him driving the Ferrari between his two clubs. The race happened and the Ferrari won, averaging 146 mph during the drive.

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Harrah, who died in 1978, sold the Ferrari in 1975 and it went through a series of owners before the current owner acquired it in 2012. It has since been given a repaint, bodywork fixes, rebuilt suspension and V12 engine, which produces 186 mph. It’s being offered without reserve and we figure, based on previous (non-modified) Ferrari Daytona sales, it’ll maybe go for around a million or so. Photos courtesy of RM Auctions.