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.
In 1964 at the Geneva Salon Ferrari brought the 500 Superfast. The car is a continuation of the 400 SuperAmerica, but they were built on a longer wheelbase, were more powerful and faster. As a result Ferrari decided to drop the SuperAmerica in favor of the "Superfast" one. Until 1966 when the car was discontinued, Ferrari produced only 37 units (produced in two different series), all of them in coupe version. The Superfast was the last in the line of luxury GT.
The body was designed by Pininfarina, and bore striking similarities to the 400 SA Coupé Aerodinamico. It had a large, shallow oval radiator grille opening, with open headlights in deep wing recesses as standard, although two examples received Plexiglass covers.
A long sweeping bonnet ran into an airy cabin section with slim roof pillars, from which the rear screen flowed into the boot line, terminating in a neat shallow oval Kamm tail. The tail lights were horizontal, bullet-shaped assemblies with three individual circular lenses to each unit, unique to this model. Wrap-around chrome-plated quarter bumpers were fitted front and rear: those at the front with shallow recesses for the circular side/turn lights (apart from the first car in the series which had shallow elliptical flush lights above the bumper).
In 1959 at the Turin Motorshow, Ferrari unveiled the 400 SuperAmerica, the replacement for the 410 SuperAmerica. The model came with a shorter wheelbase, but also with a new engine. It was again designed by Pininfarina and was offered in both spyder and berlinetta versions. Ferrari built 46 units of the new 400 SuperAmerica.
This was the first time with a production road car that Ferrari deviated from the path of the model type number denoting the swept volume of a single-cylinder. The ’400’ designation referred to their total cubic capacity of four liters.
It was built on a 2420mm chassis featuring a pair of large section, oval longitudinal tubes passing over the rear axle and substantial cross bracing, plus a built-up front cross-member. Similarly, the suspension was independent at the front, via wishbones with individual coil springs and shock absorbers, whilst the rigid rear axle was supported on semi-elliptic leaf springs, and fitted with radius arms, whilst hydraulic shock absorbers were provided to each wheel.
As the 375 America was the most expensive Ferrari on the market, was to be expected to be very soon replaced. And it happened only after eleven units sold. In 1955 at the Paris Auto Show Ferrari unveiled the 410 Superamerica as a naked chassis, followed by the complete car at the Brussels Salon early in 1956. Ferrari built three different 410 SuperAmerica Series.
The first series was built on a 2800mm long wheelbase and were designed by Pininfarina, with the design very similar to the 250 GT coupe one. They were finished in a white over pale metallic blue color scheme, split by a chrome trim that circumnavigated the car from either side of the wide oval radiator grille.
The Series II SuperAmerica were revealed in 1957. They were built on a wheelbase reduced by 200mm, while the Lampredi’s V12 engine delivered up to 360bhp. Ferrari built only six Series II 410 SuperAmerica: four were designed by Pinin Farina, one being designed and built by Scaglietti while the other was a custom Pinin Farina creation for Jan de Vroom.
In 1953 at the Paris Salon Ferrari unveiled the 375 America. It was a coupe model designed by Pininfarina, featuring a duo tone paint finish, the shape of which was a refinement of that seen on 212 Inter models. The car was exclusive and expensive, with one unit being designed by Pininfarina for King Leopold of Belgium - a two-seater cabriolet.
The 375 America was built on a 2800mm wheelbase chassis - the longest Ferrari used at that time. The majority were fitted with either a Pinin Farina three or five window coupe body. Three examples had a Vignale coupe bodies, whilst there was also a single Vignale cabriolet, and the very last example produced had a very special, and unusual, Pinin Farina coupe body with a wrap around front screen, vertical radiator grille, and buttresses running from the roofline into the tail panel, which was built specially for Gianni Agnelli, the head of Fiat, and displayed at the 1954 Turin Salon.
The 375 America was powered by a 4522cc "long" block V12 engine with a bore and stroke of 84mm x 68mm, fitted with a bank of three twin choke Weber 40 DCZ or DCF carburettors, twin coil and distributor ignition, to produce a claimed 300bhp. Coupled to a four-speed manual gearbox, the engine sprinted the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 7 seconds, while the top speed went up to 150 mph.
In the spring of 1951 at the Turin show Ferrari unveiled the 342 America. However before it, in 1950 Ferrari unveiled the 340 America, a model built in just a few units and powered by a “long-block” V-12 engine designed by Aurelio Lampredi. For this engine the distance between adjacent cylinders was some 20mm greater than in the Colombo V-12 (this is where the “long-block” name come from).
First used in a grand prix competition, the this 340-hp 4.5-liter engine was detuned to 4.1 liters and placed in the 340 America. The 340 America were fitted with a surprising array of different coachwork, ranging from a development of the classic barchetta body style by Carrozzeria Touring, to quite staid three-box 2+2 coupés from the house of Ghia, with a selection of Vignale interpretations thrown in along the way. A Vignale-bodied 340 America berlinetta won the 1950 Mille Miglia driven by Villoresi/Cassani. Vignale also produced a unique 340 America cabriolet that unfortunately no longer exists in its original form, as its body was cut up and disposed of as part of an attempted insurance fraud a few years ago, which led to the remains of the car being fitted with a body in the style of a Vignale spider.
The 342 America was produced for a relatively short period during late 1952, with only six examples made, one with a Vignale cabriolet body, and the remainder with a fairly homogeneous Pininfarina body in either coupe or cabriolet form. They were built on a 2650 mm wheelbase, tubular steel chassis, as opposed to the 2420 mm wheelbase of the 340 America, and also featured slightly wider front and rear track.