As the continent’s “economic miracle” took root in the mid 1950s, Europeans were once again comfortable displaying their wealth and prosperity.
Ferrari’s 250 GT was cemented as the mainstay of the company’s production and as one of the world’s most-prestigious sports cars. But for those who wanted more -- and there were many such customers on both sides of the Atlantic -- the Ferrari 410 Superamerica was the ultimate in luxury and speed.
The Ferrari 410 Superamerica was truly for
the elite, boasting both luxury and speed. See more Ferrari images.
Continuing the tradition of the Ferrari 375 America, the Ferrari 410 Superamerica had a 2800mm wheelbase and Lampredi long-block engine. The V-12’s bore increased 4mm to 88mm, the stroke remained 68mm, boosting displacement by some 400cc to 4963cc. Horsepower increased commensurately, Ferrari quoting 340 at 6000 rpm.
The Ferrari 410 Superamerica was officially introduced at 1955’s Paris Auto Show as a naked chassis. The finished car was displayed four months later at the Brussels Motor Show. Its elegant but sober body by Pinin Farina was not unlike that seen on the design house’s five Europa GT prototypes.
Among other Ferrari 410 Superamerica coachbuilders, Carrozzeria Ghia created a wild one-off with large fins and styling themes echoing those of some of its mid-1950s show cars. This was Ghia’s last Ferrari.
The 1956 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Coupe was Carrozzeria Ghia's last Ferrari.
Boano made two 410s, a coupe and a convertible, that mimicked the look of its one-off 250 GT cabriolet. And Carrozzeria Scaglietti, well-known for its race-winning forms, made an ornate Ferrari 410 Superamerica.
The balance of the Ferrari 410 Superamericas had Pinin Farina coachwork. Each was tailor-made to client specifications, using the same general styling themes seen on the first, chassis 0471 SA. Horsepower increased over the series run, topping out at 400 on several cars.
Chassis 0483 SA was the first Ferrari 410 Superamerica to use a shorter 102.3-inch (2600mm) wheelbase. This was the platform for Pinin Farina’s Superfast 1, a seminal one-off unveiled at the 1956 Paris Auto Show. Its jet-fighter styling was arresting, and the car helped usher in a number of future-Ferrari themes, covered headlamps among them.
Production of these, the most-exclusive Ferraris of the day, continued into 1959, and the list of Ferrari 410 Superamerica owners was a Who’s Who of the times -- from the Shah of Iran and Emperor Bao Dai to Italian industrialist Piero Barilla.
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