1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica

The 500 Superfast was the last in a line of luxury Ferrari GT's. Introduced in 1964, production continued until 1966 with just 37 examples being produced.

Production of luxury Ferrari GT's began during the early 1950's with the introduction of the 342 America. Based on the 340 America, it featured a chassis that had been extended to provide ample interior space. The mechanics were similar, outfitted with a derivative of the Lampredi's 'long block' engine.

Next in line were the 250 Europa and 375 America. The Ferrari 375 was introduced at the Paris Salon in 1953. During its production run which lasted until May of 1954, less than 45 examples of the 375 America were produced. The car was constructed for Ferrari's clientele who had the means to afford one of these beautiful creations. Since they were produced in limited numbers, the production took far longer than volume models. Power was provided by a 4.5-liter Lampredi designed V-12 engine with either three twin choke Weber 40 DCZ or DCF downdraughts, resulting in 300 horsepower. On all four corners were drum brakes, Borrani wire wheels accented the exterior of the vehicle, and a leaf spring suspension was used in the front and the rear. With the four-speed manual gearbox, the car could achieve a top speed of 150 mph and could race from zero to sixty in less than seven seconds.

In regards to the 375, Pinin Farina was tasked with building the bodywork for many of the models. The Pinin Farina design shared a similarity with the 250 Europa's. The dimensions of several automobiles were similar but their interiors, wings, bumpers and detailing were all unique.

In 1955, Enzo Ferrari displayed a polished chassis #0423 SA at the Paris Salon. The completed version of the 410, crafted by the Italian coachbuilder Pinin Farina, was displayed at the Brussels Salon in January of 1956. As was the style of Ferrari, many variations of this vehicle were built. This is due to the fact that Ferrari used different coachbuilders during the vehicles assembly. Coachbuilders such as Boano, Ghia, and Scaglietti produced versions such as the Testa Rossa, Series I, II and III, and Superfast. This included Coupes and cabriolet versions. Mario Boano produced two, one by Ghia, one by Scaglietti, and the remaining thirty were by Pinin Farina.

The 410 came as a replacement for the 375 America. There were three series for this model but only a total of 38 were produced from 1956-1959.

Although similar to some of the earlier models produced by Ferrari, this one had a few styling changes. The 410 featured side vents located behind the front wheels. These have become a signature of the Superamerica series.

The 410 was given a larger engine and bigger brakes. Coil spring suspensions were used in the front. As with most of the Ferrari's from this era, Pinin Farina produced most of the bodies. From 1956-1958, a 110.2 inch wheelbase was used. In 1958 the size of the wheelbase was decreased to 102.3.

In 1959 Ferrari ceased production of the Lampredi engine. Instead, a Colombo deigned 'short block' V-12 engine would provide the power for the next iteration of Ferrari Luxury GT's, the 400 SuperAmerica. A few years later, the four-liter engine was enlarged to five and the final increment of the Luxury GT's was introduced: the Ferrari 500 Superfast. The five liter engine was capable of producing 400 horsepower. The aerodynamic bodies complimented its engine and did glory to the Superfast name. Top speed was achieved at 175 mph. The chassis was multi-tubular. A four-speed manual gearbox with overdrive provided power to the rear wheels. Later, the four-speed was replaced by a all-synchromesh five-speed unit.

These special-order vehicles were customizable. Their dimensions, colors, upholstery, carpets, etc were selected by the owner. Because of this, the specifications vary.

The 500 Superfast was Ferrari's fastest, most expensive, most exclusive, and most powerful vehicle at the time. With production only reaching 37 units, their exclusivity is guaranteed in modern times.


By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2011

Vehicle Profiles

Coupe Aerodynamica
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: 3559 SA

Born from the Superfast series of concept cars, the first model America to be produced was the 340. Born at a time when people were trying to finally emerge from the ruin of the Second World War and were ready to spend money and enjoy life, Ferrari d....[continue reading]

Coupe Aerodynamica
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: 4251SA

Ferrari 400 Superamerica Coupe Aerodiamico with chassis number 4241SA is a left hand drive vehicle and the 1963 New York Show Car. It was purchased by a Chicago resident through Chinetti Motors and since that time, has passed through various owners.....[continue reading]

Coupe Aerodynamica
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: 4031SA
Engine Num: 1287A

This 1962 Superamerica Coupe Aerodynamica by Pininfarina has chassis number 4031SA and engine number 1287A. The 3967cc engine is a 12-cylinder vee with overhead cam and develops 340 horsepower riding on a 102.3-inch wheelbase and weighs 2750 pounds.....[continue reading]

Coupe
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: 3309 SA

First shown in Brussels in 1960, the 400 Superamerica featured a four-liter version of Gioachino Colombo's 'short block' V12 engine. It was the enlarged version of the three-liter V12 unit, the most powerful Ferrari road car engine of its day, that s....[continue reading]

Coupe Aerodynamica
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: 3221SA
Engine Num: 3221SA

The legendary America, Superamerica and Superfast series of cars built by Ferrari from 1951 to 1966 totaled just 162 units. These were exclusive and special creations. The Superfast II was the prototype for the magnificnet 400 Superamerica Coupe Aero....[continue reading]

Coupe Aerodynamica
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: 3949 SA
Engine Num: 163

Ferrari's new top-of-the-line gran turismo was introduced at the 1960 Brussels Motor Show. The new 400 retained the 'Superamerica' moniker of the 410 and it shared little with its immediate predecessor. The 400 SA was based largely on the well....[continue reading]

Coupe Aerodynamica by Pininfarina
Chassis #: 3559 SA 
Coupe Aerodynamica by Pininfarina
Chassis #: 4251SA 
Coupe Aerodynamica by Pininfarina
Chassis #: 4031SA 
Coupe by Pininfarina
Chassis #: 3309 SA 
Coupe Aerodynamica by Pininfarina
Chassis #: 3221SA 
Coupe Aerodynamica by Pininfarina
Chassis #: 3949 SA 

History

The 400 Superamerica was produced between 1959 and 1962 with 25 examples produced. They had varying bodywork styles by Pininfarina and Scaglietti and all rested on a short wheelbase. The first example was put on display at the Torino Motor Show in 1959. The 400 was replaced by the 410.

The 400 Superamerica was Ferrari's first road model to not be named by the volume of a single cylinder. The 400 designation referred to the total engine capacity. The 400 Superamerica (SA) were luxurious machines and one of the most exclusive road-going cars of its era. They commanded a very high price which helped ensure their exclusivity.

Powering the 400 SA was a version of the Colombo short-block V12 engine. The engine had an enlarged four-liter capacity and coupe produce 340 horsepower.


By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2010

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