Ferrari had a big problem with its 400 series when it debuted in 1959. Sure, the car packed a racing V-12 and all the gravitas a Ferrari badge can bring, but its brutal style made the front-engine 2+2 GT car a tough sell in one of Ferrari’s fastest-growing markets: the United States.
An emergency refresh was undertaken. Gone was the 400’s square grille and quad headlamp setup, replaced by Ferrari’s delicious oval slatted grille and single round headlamps under glass at each corner. Suddenly, the 400 Superamerica SWB Coupé Aerodinamico was as gorgeous as its two-seat siblings.
This very car, one of 36 built, is owned by famed driving instructor Skip Barber and is set for auction this weekend on May 25th by RM Auctions in Lake Cuomo, Italy. The pre-sale estimate is between $2.4 and $3 million, but the bidding could well reach $5 million before the dust settles.
Beneath the Superamerica Aerodinamico’s sumptuous bodywork lies the vanguard of Ferrari tech at the time, much like the Ferrari 456GT and current FF . Part of the “America” series of cars that included the 330 GT and 365 GTC , the plan in Modena was to leverage the flexibility offered by their small-scale Pininfarina bodywork team to create unique shells that would sell cars in crucial markets, like New York and Los Angeles, as well as Firenzi and Roma.
Click past the jump for the full review and photo gallery of this timeless classic, the 400 Superamerica Coupe SWB Aerodinamico.
A 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica has been auctioned this past weekend for an impressive $3.5 million, the highest price ever paid for a Ferrari Superamerica, but also a little lower than they had originally anticipated . At the same RM’s Sporting Classics auction in Monaco, a 1960 Maserati Tipo 61 "Birdcage" was sold for over $3.3 million. It’s a shame we are desensitized to these outrageous prices, especially after the 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic sold for $30-$40 million.
The 400 SuperAmerica was powered by a 4.0-liter Gioachino designed V12 engine that delivered 340 hp at 7000 rpm. The engine was coupled to a 4-speed, all synchromesh gearbox, fitted with an electronic overdrive unit on top gear, driving through a universally jointed propeller shaft to a rigid rear axle. The 0 to 60 mph sprint was made in 9.2 seconds, while top speed went up to 174 mph.
TheFerrari was able to fetch such an impressive price due to the history behind it. The Ferrari Superamerica was one of only a handful of “short-wheelbase” 400 cabriolets ever built with a 95-inch wheelbase. It was sold in Arizona back in 1962 where it was immediately to the Bonneville Speed Trials.
Hit the jump for a video displaying this beauty inch by inch.
The Ferrari 400 SuperAmerica was originally unveiled in 1959 at the Turin Motor Show in Italy as a more powerful replacement for the outgoing 410. During the new car’s lifetime only 46 examples were built, with only six being short wheelbase convertibles. This particular model that will roll across the auction block on May 1st just so happens to be the last one ever constructed and adding even more to its classic car’s collectibility is that it is the only to featuring a set of sport style covered headlights and is expected to be sold for around $5,000,000.
The 400 SuperAmerica is powered by a 4.0 Liter Gioachino designed Ferrari V12 that produced 340 HP at a screaming 7000 RPM and could accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in 9.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 174 MPH. The auction will take place at The Grimaldi Forum in Monaco and is part of the RM Auction circuit.
The first automatic Ferrari model was unveiled in 1976 at the Paris Salon. Called 400 Automatic (or 400A), it replaced the 365 GT4 2+2 and stayed into production until November 1979, during which time 355 examples were produced. Like its predecessor, the model number referred to the swept volume of a single cylinder.
The car was built and fully trimmed at the Pininfarina works in Turin, and then shipped to the Ferrari factory in Maranello for the installation of the mechanical components. Iy was available in both left and right hand drive configuration, with no USA market version was made.
The Ferrari 400 Automatic was powered by a 4.8 L (4823 cc) V12 that delivered 340 hp. Mounted in front and driving the rear wheels, the traditional GT car layout allowed Ferrari to fit four seats in the stylish coupe. With a weight of 1700 kg, the model could hit a top speed of 240 km/h (149mph).
In 1976 at the Paris Auto Salon Ferrari revealed the manual version of the 400 Automatic. Called 400 GT, the new model replaced the famous 365 GT4 2+2 model and stayed into production until November 1979, during which time 147 examples were produced, in both right or left hand drive steering, with power assistance as standard. No USA market version was made.
As with the 365 variant, the model number referred to the swept volume of a single cylinder. The 4.8 liters V12 engine now delivered 340 hp. The engine was mated to a five speed plus reverse gearbox, which transmitted power through a propeller shaft to a limited slip differential, and from there via half shafts to the independently suspended rear wheels with hydraulic self levelling units. Top speed went up to 152 mph.
In November 1979 Ferrari replaced the 400 Automatic with the 400 Automatic i, "i" suffix in the model name standing for "injection", as a fuel injection system replaced the two banks of three side draught Weber carburettors. The car stayed into production until 1985, during which time 883 examples were constructed, in right or left hand drive steering.
The adoption of fuel injection was to satisfy ever more stringent worldwide emission legislation, and it dropped the claimed power output to 310bhp. The engine was a V12 unit with a bore and stroke of 81mm x 78mm giving a total capacity of 4823cc, with factory type reference number F 101 D 070, coupled to a Borg Warner 3 speed automatic gearbox. This transmitted power through a propeller shaft to a limited slip differential, and from there via half shafts to the independently suspended rear wheels with hydraulic self levelling units.
The engine delivered 310 hp and sprinted the car to a top speed of 149 mph.
As for the 400 Automatic, the 4000 GT also got an "i" version in 1979. The "i" suffix in the model name standing for "injection", as a fuel injection system replaced the two banks of three side draught Weber carburettors. The 400 GTi stayed in production from 1979 to 1985, with 422 units produced in both right and left drive steering configuration, but with no USA market version was available.
Under the hood Ferrari placed a V12 unit with a bore and stroke of 81mm x 78mm giving a total capacity of 4823cc, with factory type reference number F 101 D 010, coupled to a Borg Warner 3 speed automatic gearbox. This transmitted power through a propeller shaft to a limited slip differential, and from there via half shafts to the independently suspended rear wheels with hydraulic self levelling units. The engine delivered 310 HP, while top speed went up to 152 mph.
The 400 GTi was initially visually identical to its predecessor both internally and externally apart from the addition of an "i" to the tail badge. In late 1982 some mechanical and cosmetic changes took place to the model. The engine received revised profile camshafts and new exhaust manifolds, which upped the power output by about 5 HP, and the hydraulic self levelling rear suspension changed to a gas filled system, coupled to new metric rim wheels with lower profile tyres.
Revealed in the spring of 1985, the 412 model was the last one in the 400 series and also the final evolution of the Pininfarina designed 2+2 series, that had started with the 365 GT4 2+2 in 1973. The 412 stayed into production until 1989 with 576 units produced.
The difference between the 412 and the 400i which it replaced was made by a higher boot line, along with a deeper front spoiler to improve the car’s aerodynamics. Pininfarina’s other interventions included re-designed sill panels, body-colored bumper inserts, a modified alloy wheel design, clear indicator lenses and black windscreen and window surrounds.
The 412 model designation referred to the swept volume of a single cylinder, thus the V12 engine had been increased in size to 4943cc.