The Forgotten Ferrari That Outraced a Helicopter

It began with a bet. It ended in humiliation.

By Evan Bleier

The Forgotten Ferrari That Outraced a Helicopter
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07 June 2017

Considering he owned the first gaming company publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, it’s no surprise that William Harrah — the founder of Harrah's casinos — was a gambler.

The man also loved cars. So much, in fact, the casino magnate had a collection of more than 1,400 collectible whips, including a Jeep/Ferarri hybrid called a Jerrari

As legend has it, a salesman from the commercial aircraft company Sikorsky (now owned by Lockheed Martin) tried selling Hannah a chopper during the ‘70s. As Jalopnik recounted, the man argued, "you have a casino in Reno and one in Lake Tahoe; of course you need a helicopter." 

Harrah Ferrari (8 images)

Harrah wasn’t convinced, but did agree to pay full price for a Sikorsky bird if the salesman could travel between his two Nevada clubs faster than he could in his ‘71 Ferrari.

That Ferrari — a 365 GTB/4 Daytona that had been blessed with numerous competition-inspired upgrades at Harrah’s request — ended up winning. It's worth mentioning it averaged 146 MPH en route.

And now, the custom Daytona — fresh off an extensive yet nearly unnoticeable restoration — is hitting the block. Offered without reserve by RM Sotheby's in Monterey this August, the Ferrari may fetch $1M.

Actually, you can bet on it. 

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