Ferarri 400 Superamerica in 1961

Unlike Ferrari's sports cars, the Superamerica (SA) was big, quick and luxurious. The 400 series replaced the outgoing 410 type and continued Ferrari's tradition of custom supercars. At the time, it one of the most exclusive road-going and its price limited production to around 50 cars. Each was especially built for their first owner and no two were alike.

Unlike the Ferrari 410 Superamerica Series III, the 400 Superamerica used a version of the Colombo short-block V12. Typically found in the 250 GT, this unit was enlarged to four-liters and could produce a very ample 340 horsepower.

The first 400 Superamerica appeared at the 1960 Brussels motor show and ensured Ferrari could produce cars at the top of the GT market. Pininfarina prepared chassis 1611SA as dramatic roadster that appeared like a more elaborate version of the Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series I.

1611SA laid the foundation for 50 more cars in either Coupé or Cabriolet form. Pininfarina was responsible for almost all these cars including the Aerodynamico Coupé which was fitted on more than 30 of them. All the cars varied in trim, interior and color.

Ferrari produced two series of 400 Superamerica based on wheelbase. The first cars used a chassis with a wheelbase of 2,420 mm while the later cars had 2,600 mm. Despite the change in size, the body designs between the two were largely identical.

Chassis & Sales

3309SA-Sold at a price of €2,800,000 at RM Auctions Sporting Classics of Monaco sale on May 1, 2010. Described as "the last created of only six SWB 400 SA cabriolets bodied by Pininfarina (as the company was now known). As such, it was built as Ferrari’s star car for the Geneva Salon and New York Auto Show of 1962 and included many special features. For example, it is the only one of the six which displays the covered headlights so coveted on California Spyders. Extra brightwork is also abundant, including an attractive wide stainless steel panel along the sills, a chrome trim line across the side of the car, and chromed wheel arch and bonnet scoop accents completing the show detailing. There is further brightwork noticeable in the door openings and under the bonnet.

3309 SA was sold to Phoenix, Arizona Ferrari dealer J.A. Stallings off the show stand in New York by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Wasting no time before enjoying its sparkling performance, Mr. Stallings used the car for hillclimbs before taking it to the Bonneville Speed Trials in 1962, where he was officially recorded reaching speeds over 145 mph, as featured in the November 1962 issue of Road & Track documenting the event. (An album with numerous photographic prints from Bonneville, along with copies of the original timing sheets, is included with the sale.)

In 1964, 3309 SA was acquired by well known GT racer Bob Grossman (a colour photocopy of a print of him with the car, believed to be from Virginia International Raceway, is included in the file), after which he traded it back to Chinetti in 1967. It was subsequently sold to well known Ferrariste Norman Silver of High Point, North Carolina. Mr. Silver kept the car until 1973, whereupon it was sold with the assistance of Tom Meade to Charles Robert of Nogent-sur-Marne and Paris, France.

Following his acquisition, and with further assistance from Mr. Meade, Mr. Robert had the car restored by Carrozzeria Fantuzzi in Modena. It was repainted a more stately maroon and fitted with a tan interior, altering the original colour scheme of Rosso Metallizzato Speciale (metallic red) with Avorio (ivory) upholstery.

In 2005, the Ferrari returned to the U.S., whereupon its current keeper embarked on a meticulously researched, no-expense-spared total concours restoration by marque specialists. Patrick Ottis of Berkeley, California managed the project and restored all the mechanicals, including digging deeply into his trove of NOS parts for this favoured client. The striking and flawless body, black paint and trim were lovingly attended to by Brian Hoyt of Perfect Reflections. Finally, the luscious red leather interior was done by Ken Nemanic. Each of these restorers is an award-winning artisan of his respective craft.

In its first show outing at the XVIII Cavallino Classic in 2009, 3309 SA was awarded Platinum Status by Ferrari Club of America judges and featured in the April/May 2009 issue of Cavallino magazine."

Story by Supercars.net