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The Legendary Ferrari Daytona From Miami Vice Wasn't A Ferrari At All
During the first two seasons of “Miami Vice,” it was not uncommon to see Crockett driving Tubbs in a black 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder, but there was one small problem — it wasn’t actually a Ferrari. At the time, the luxury Italian sports cars were not only costly, but the ‘72 Spyder was very rare.
More significantly, the North American division of Ferrari flatly refused to provide the show with any genuine Ferraris, so Al Mardekian, a "gray-market" importer of exotic cars, sold two replica Ferraris to the production company, costing $49,000 each. One was labeled "Car 4," while the other, "Car 1," became the stunt vehicle after the pilot episode.
According to Volo Auto Museum, "Car 1" was a 1976 Corvette chassis, and "Car 4" was from a 1981 Chevrolet Corvette C3. Customized fiberglass body panels built by Tom McBurnie from specialty car manufacturer McBurnie Coachcraft were attached to make them look like a Daytona Spyder.
Ferrari ended up suing Universal Studios and Tom McBurnie for using a replica Spyder, and as part of the settlement, the look-alike Spyder met its explosive end in Season 3 and never returned to the show. However, this conciliatory act paved the way for the Italian car company to give Universal two brand-new 1986 Ferrari Testarossas to use in the show.