1956-1966 Ferrari Superamerica and Superfast

1956 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Body
The Ghia-designed 1956 Ferrari Superamerica featured astonishingly high rear fins.
The Ghia-designed 1956 Ferrari Superamerica featured astonishingly high rear fins.

One 1956 Ferrari 410 Superamerica body was created by Ghia -- a creation of chief designer Mario Savonuzzi, who had penned the Chrysler "Gilda" and "Dart" show cars and to which the Ghia 410 bore a strong resemblance.

Unfortunately, it was not generally regarded as one of the better-looking Ferrari Superamericas because of its sharply pointed fins that towered almost a foot and a half above the rear fender line. Its massive rear bumper, which looked as though it came straight out of Detroit, didn't help either.

The car also featured a wraparound windshield, as was the vogue in the mid-1950s, complete with a lower rear corner dogleg that bruised many a drivers' knees.

The Ghia-designed Superamerica had a wraparound windshield and distinctive nose shape.

A newly established carrozzeria in Turin, Italy, built two bodies for the 410 -- a coupe and a convertible coupe. The firm was founded by Mario Boano and his son Gian Paolo, both of whom had recently left Ghia.

Their designs for the 410 also smacked of 1950s American car styling and wore the then-fashionable rear fender fins. While not as high as those on the Ghia car, they curved dramatically outward at the rear like the wake of a speedboat.

The coupe even featured a split rear window, this some seven years before Corvette adopted one for the 1963 Sting Ray, although the Boano design was on a notchback rather than a fastback.

The Boano-designed 1956 Ferrari Superamerica body took inspiration from mid-1950s Detroit.

Pinin Farina stole the show at the Paris Salon in 1956 with his 410 Superfast design. He covered the headlights with plastic fairings and adorned the rear fenders with fins that ended in sharp points at the rear.

The front fender air outlets were simplified by having no grille work, and the top had no windshield pillars. Front and rear protection was furnished only by a pair of vertical bumperettes with rubber inserts.

The chassis of the car measured eight inches shorter than the other 410s, though the shortening wasn't particularly obvious. The car made the rounds at the more important European auto shows that season, then was sold to American oil man Bill Doheny, but not before windshield posts were added to support the front of the roof.

See the next page for information about the 1957 and 1958 Ferrari Superamerica and Superfast.

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