18-19 August 2017

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Lot 126

1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona "Harrah Hot Rod"

  • Chassis no. 14169
  • Engine no. B 910

Sold for $687,500

  • The personal automobile of Bill Harrah; Nevada registration “H”
  • Fitted for Mr. Harrah with numerous competition-inspired upgrades
  • Exceptional original color scheme; powered by its original engine
  • Complete with books and tools

Since his death in 1978, Bill Harrah has become as renowned for his immense automobile collection as for his casinos. He was a reserved gentleman but inside beat major passions, few more quickly than that for fast cars, in particular Ferraris. Mr. Harrah bought his first in 1959, and by the time of his passing was the West Coast distributor, via his Modern Classic Motors of Reno. Virtually every great model built in the last 20 years had passed through his hands, with many of his personal cars receiving special touches to suit his no-holds-barred driving style.

The 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta offered here was built by the factory in Rame Metallizzato, with a Beige leather interior with Nero seat inserts, and with the U.S.-specification features of pop-up headlights, Borrani wire wheels, and Borletti air conditioning. Upon receiving it as his personal car, Harrah promptly had Francisco Mir’s Service Center in Santa Monica mount competition-style nine-inch rear wheels and fender flares, as well as, purportedly, upgrade the engine.

In a legendary story that may well be apocryphal but is too delightful not to repeat here, Mr. Harrah was reportedly once approached by a Sikorsky salesman, offering him a faster way to commute between Reno and Lake Tahoe. Typically nonplussed, Mr. Harrah commented that he would happily buy a helicopter if it could, indeed, beat him driving the Ferrari between the two Harrah’s Clubs. The race for the ages went down, whirlybird vs. Ferrari, and the Daytona, of course, won – averaging 146 mph along the way.

Harrah passed the Daytona in 1975 to A&P heir John Robertson, who damaged it in an accident, necessitating the replacement of new front and rear clips. The refinished Daytona was eventually sold by Robertson’s estate in 2002 to Peter Markowski, passing in 2006 through a dealer to John Price of Salt Lake City, Utah, the renowned collector of performance automobiles. The current owner acquired the car in 2012, and recently oversaw beautiful paint and bodywork by Glenn Roberts; a suspension and front end rebuild by Ferrari of Scottsdale; and a fresh rebuild of the matching-numbers engine, including new pistons, rods, valves, and timing chain, by Patrick Ottis, who achieved 386 horsepower.

Offered with complete concours-quality sets of books and tools, the “Harrah Hot Rod” is well known and much loved among Ferrari cognoscenti. It has the rip-roaring spirit of its original owner in every nut and bolt.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more