Since his death in 1978, Bill Harrah has become as renowned for his immense car collection as for his casinos. He was a reserved gentleman but had a passion for fast cars, in particular Ferraris. 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.
This 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta was built by the factory in Rame Metallizzato, with a Beige leather interior with Nero seat inserts, and with the US-specification features of pop-up headlights, Borrani wheels, and air conditioning. Upon receiving it as his personal car, Harrah promptly had competition-style nine-inch rear wheels and flared arches fitted, as well as, purportedly, upgrading the engine.
In a legendary story that well may 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, helicopter vs. Ferrari, and the Daytona, of course, won – averaging 146 mph along the way.
RM Sotheby's will be offering this special car at their upcoming Monterey auction between the 18-19th August. For more information on this and other vehicles at the sale, click on the link below. Photos: Robin Adams ©2017 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's.