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 Ferrari 410 Superamerica photo

1955 Ferrari 410 Superamerica

History

An ultra-rare, extremely expensive, very fast vehicle, the Superamerica featured a low grille opening and covered headlights. With a long sloping rear deck combine with the double curvature of the windshield and rear window, the car had a taut, muscular look in keeping with its performance capability. Built as if for a king, the inside of the Ferrari 400 Superamerica features a lavish interior with thickly bolstered seats and sumptuous Italian hides.

Introduced in 1959, the Ferrari 400 Superamerica featured a Colombo V12 that displaced 3,967 cc. A first for Ferrari road vehicles, the Superamerica also boasted disc brakes. Only 47 units in two series, short and long wheelbase were ever constructed during the Superamerica's five-year production run.

Built to order, the vehicles featured a very demanding clientele that had the option of a wide choice of finishing details on their cars. The Superamerica was built only according to the specifications of the individual. An entirely European concept, the vehicle was a kind of luxury item that only few could afford. In accordance, no two Ferrari 400 Superamerica vehicles are ever exactly alike. These vehicles have been produced for elite owners such as Aga Khan, Gianni Agnelli, Enzo Ferrari and Nelson Rochefeller.

One of the rarest examples of the Ferrari 400 Superamerica is the 5029 SA, the Series II long-wheelbase, which was delivered new in Italy. Finished in elegant silver gray; Grigio Argento, with an exquisite red leather interior. Sold in 1998 in Switzerland, the 5029 SA was restored fully by some of the most respected European specialists.

Still recovering from World War II during the late 1940s and early 1950's, while Europe struggled with the scarcity of fuel, cash, and raw materials, Enzo Ferrari sensed that there was a market for a high-powered GT. The 340 America was introduced in 1950 as the first attempt to put a powerful Lampredi V12 engine in a Ferrari GT. Trying to associate the name with America's ‘bigger is better' culture, Ferrari also sought to make the Americans aware of this new Italian marque.

Popular hits, the 340, 342 and 375 America's were featured in an assortment of beautiful bodies from Italy's most talented carrozezrias, and powered by Ferrari's legendary Lampredi engines. The Ferrari's 250 series had changed the company from a manufacturer of short runs of rapidly evolving models to a series-production-based manufacturer by the mid 1950's. Feeling that it was time to move up-market, Enzo Ferrari moved on to produce a GT model that would satisfy his most demanding and affluent customers. This new model would share a common drivetrain and chassis, but would allow the customers the discretion in the choice of features, tune and coachwork. A step above the previous ‘America', this new model was aptly called the Superamerica.

The 410 Superamerica debuted in 1956 following the ‘more power is better' theme of the earlier ‘America's, while featuring a near-5-liter Lampredi V12 and offered in tuning levels up to 400 horsepower. Reportedly able to spin the rear wheels in third gear, a total of around 35 examples were produced in vastly different configurations as both cabriolets and coupes.
Following the 410, the 400 Superamerica was an impressive automobile, but unfortunately fell short of the 410. The refined Colombo-designed V12 was a more reliable and less expensive alternative to the Lampredi, and a 4-liter version of the Colombo engine was developed for the 400 Superamerica. Rated at 340 horsepower, the new V12 was sadly 60 less than the very powerful 410 engine.

On the other hand, the coachwork options were more impressive. An impressive array of coupe and cabriolet models in both LWB and SWB variations were commissioned, and four show cars called Superfast I, II, III and IV were produced during the 410/400 Superamerica's production run. Featuring Superamerica mechanicals and are apart of the Superamerica family, they are classified by their Superfast chassis number.

The 500 Superfast was introduced in 1964 as the newest car to the ‘America' series and followed the ultra-premium ‘America' theme, though only offered with one engine and body configuration. A total of 36 500 Superfast models were produced.

By Jessica Donaldson
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.

A Colombo engine provided the muscle for the GT version. It featured a 60-degree, single-overhead-cam, 'vee' type 12-cylinder, with aluminum alloy block and heads and cast-iron cylinder liners. The power produced by this engine was in the 220-260 hp range. The 410 SuperAmeria had a 60-degree, single-overhead-cam, 'vee' type 12-cylinder, with aluminum alloy block and heads. It was produced by Lambredi. The horsepower was significantly greater. The Series I had 340 horsepower, the Series II had 360 hp, and the Series III had 400 hp. Depending on the series of the vehicle, three or six Weber two-barrel carburetors were used.

The 410 models were heavy, powerful, elegant, and luxurious automobiles that could race from zero-to-sixty in under six seconds. These cars were well suited for the American market and were never really put into serious production, with about one being produced per month during its production lifespan.


By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2008

1955 Vehicle Profiles

1955 Ferrari 410 Superamerica vehicle information

Coupe
Coachwork: Pininfarina

In 1955 this was the most expensive Ferrari available; the 410 Superamerica replaced the 375 America after just only eleven examples had been made. Both cars belonged to Ferrari's flagship America series, offering the highest levels of sophistication....[continue reading]

Coupe by Pininfarina
 

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$1,070-$16,800
1955 410 Superamerica
1955 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Base Price : $16,800

Other 1955 Ferrari Models

410 SuperAmerica

Year
Production
Wheelbase
Engine
Prices
110.20 in.
12 cyl., 302.74 CID., 380.00hp
$16,800 - $16,800
110.24 in.
12 cyl., 302.00 CID., 340.00hp
$16,795 - $16,795

Industry Production

#1#2#3Ferrari
1960Chevrolet (1,653,168)Ford (1,439,370)Toyota (1,068,321)
1959Chevrolet (1,462,140)Ford (1,450,953)Volkswagen (575,407)
1958Chevrolet (1,142,460)Ford (987,945)Volkswagen (451,526)
1957Ford (1,676,449)Chevrolet (1,505,910)Plymouth (726,009)
1956Chevrolet (1,567,117)Ford (1,408,478)Buick (572,024)
1955Chevrolet (1,704,667)Ford (1,451,157)Buick (738,814)
1954Ford (1,165,942)Chevrolet (1,143,561)Plymouth (463,148)
1953Chevrolet (1,346,475)Ford (1,247,542)Plymouth (650,451)
1952Chevrolet (818,142)Ford (671,733)Plymouth (396,000)
1951Chevrolet (1,229,986)Ford (1,013,381)Plymouth (611,000)
1950Chevrolet (1,498,590)Ford (1,208,912)Plymouth (610,954)

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