The Ferrari America was a grand tourer produced between 1951 and 1967. The first model was the 340 America, which came with the new Lampredi V-12 developed for use in Formula 1 racing. Following the 340 was the 342 and the 375, with the 410 Superamerica first introduced in 1955. Finally, in 1959, Ferrari released the 400 Superamerica in both coupe and roadster body styles. Only 47 total were produced.

Now, over a half-century later, the Ferrari 400 Superamerica is considered one of the greatest grand touring Ferraris of all time, and consequently, one of the most collectible classic sports cars in the world. This past weekend, RM Auctions put one up on the auction block for the European Sports-Touring cars sale at Amelia Island, Florida.

The particular example before you, a 1960 SWB Cabriolet, is exceptionally rare, sporting chassis number 1945 SA and complete with an unusual and highly desirable interior/exterior color scheme combination. It’s passed between a succession of respected car collectors, including Oscar Davis. The car recently underwent a no-expense-spared expert restoration, and is presented in factory-perfect condition both visually and mechanically.

Click Continue Reading to learn more about the 1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet by Pininfarina.

  • 1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet by Pininfarina
  • Year:
    1960
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V12
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    340 @ 7000
  • Torque @ RPM:
    235 @ 4500
  • 0-60 time:
    9.2 sec.
  • Price:
    6000000
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet by Pininfarina High Resolution Exterior
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1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet by Pininfarina High Resolution Exterior
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1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet by Pininfarina High Resolution Exterior
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It’s been fitted with left-hand drive and open headlights, while the paint is Verde Bottiglia green (MM 16364).

When it was first introduced, the Ferrari Superamerica was world-renowned for combining luxurious style with sporty performance. Only the wealthiest and most influential individuals had the means to put one in their stable, and that’s even more true today.

Visually, this particular 400 offers custom Pininfarina coachwork, completed in the independent designer’s Turin-based factory on July 6, 1960. According to Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, chassis number 1945 SA was the third of only seven short-wheelbase Superamericas created. It’s been fitted with left-hand drive and open headlights, while the paint is Verde Bottiglia green (MM 16364). Unique details include chrome trim in the hood and flush-mounted door handles.

This Superamerica hails from the first batch of 400s ever built, which used a 95.28-inch chassis for both the coupe and cabriolet, with the cabriolet being the rarer body style. Afterward, a second batch of Superamericas was built using an extended 102.36-inch wheelbase for more interior space, thus making the SWB convertible the rarest iteration of the line.

The car recently saw a complete restoration by Classic Coach, including a return to the original green paint after several previous owners had the car redone in both white and red.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase 2,420 MM / 95.3 Inches
Front track 1,359 MM / 53.5 Inches
Rear track 1,350 MM / 53.1 Inches
Length 4,300 MM / 169.3 Inches
Width 1,778 MM / 70.0 Inches
Height 1,300 MM / 51.2 Inches

Interior

1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet by Pininfarina Interior
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Part of the unusual color combination for this vehicle is the red Rosso Connolly (VW 3171) leather interior. Other features include a large, thin-rimmed wood steering wheel, chrome-trimmed gauges and a long shifter. The odometer is showing 48,578 km (30,185 miles), while a period-correct spare wheel is mounted in the trunk. Above all that crimson leather is unlimited headroom.

Drivetrain

1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet by Pininfarina Drivetrain
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A twin coil and distributor ignition system was also added, while triple Weber carburetors improved fuel delivery.

The 400 Superamerica came from the factory with a 4.0-liter Colombo V-12 powerplant. While smaller than the 5.0-liter V-12 found in the 410 Superamerica that came before it, this engine boasted the same 340 horsepower. Unlike the 5.0-liter “long-block,” the 4.0-liter was based on the Colombo 3.0-liter, single-overhead-cam engine first utilized in the 250 Europa GT. Capacity was increased by enlarging bore to 77 millimeters (3.03 inches), while stroke was lengthened to 71 millimeters (2.8 inches), thus yielding a total capacity of 3,967 cubic centimeters (242.08 cubic inches). A twin coil and distributor ignition system was also added, while triple Weber carburetors improved fuel delivery. Also new for the 400 was the installation of four-wheel disc brakes.

With Classic Coach taking care of the exterior, Ferrari specialist Greg Jones of Stuart, Florida, was responsible for the mechanical bits. Receipts chronicling the extent of the restoration are on file for inspection. After a stint behind the wheel, Gord Duff, Car Specialist with RM Auctions, said that he could attest to the vehicle’s claim as “a fantastic, turnkey driving example.”

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine Type 163 Columbo,60° V12
Position Front Longitudinal
Bore 77 mm / 3.03 in
Stroke 71 mm / 2.8 in
Compression 8.8:1
Power 340 HP @ 7,000 RPM
Torque 235 LB-FT @ 4,500 RPM
Top speed 174 MPH
0 - 60 mph 9.2 seconds

Prices

1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet by Pininfarina Emblems and Logo Exterior
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This particular Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet went up for auction on March 14, 2015, as Lot 145 at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. The winning bid was $6.38 million. Proceeds from the car’s sale went to support the previous owner’s foundation for the education of children.

Competition

Ferrari 250 GTO

1962 - 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO
- image 112097

When talking about classic Ferraris that fetch a high price at auction, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention the 250 GTO. Only 36 were built (39 if you count all the special variants), one of which sold for $38.11 million last year at the Bonham’s Quail Lodge Auction in Carmel, California. Another example changed hands in a private sale in 2013 for $52 million.

Produced between 1962 and 1964, the GTO was created as part of homologation for the FIA Group 3 Grand Touring Car category. The car originally came with a Tipo 168/62 Comp. 3.0-liter V-12, which boasted an all-alloy design, dry sump and six Weber carburetors. Output was rated at 300 horsepower. The transmission was a new five-speed with Porsche-type syncromesh. The suspension used A-arms in the front, a live-axle with Watt’s linkage in the back, disc brakes, and Borrani wire wheels.

1955 Jaguar D-Type

1955 Jaguar D-Type Auctioned High Resolution Exterior
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The second-most expensive car sold at Amelia Island this year was this 1955 Jaguar D-Type, Lot 135. Like the Ferrari, this British classic is world-renowned for winning the Le Mans 24 Hour Endurance race three times. Only 54 iterations were built for private customers, with this particular example used for ice racing by Curt Lincoln.

The body was penned by Michael Sayer, a former employee at the Bristol Aeroplane Company, lending design cues all the way back to World War II-era warplanes. The aerodynamics are sleek but bulging, dominated by a single stabilizing fin behind the driver’s head.

Under the hood is a 3.8-liter DOHC inline-six that produces 300 horsepower. Routing this to the rear wheels is a four-speed manual transmission, yielding a 0-to-60 time of 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 160 mph. There are disc brakes, a live rear axle with trailing links and a transverse torsion bar.

Final price at the gavel’s fall was $3.67 million.

Conclusion

1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet by Pininfarina High Resolution Exterior
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When it comes to desirability in the classic sports car arena, there are a few very important boxes to tick, including factory originality, rarity, prestige and provenance. This Ferrari hits each of those areas with gusto, and thus, the high selling price.

“It’s an absolute privilege to have been entrusted with the sale of 1945 SA at our upcoming Amelia Island sale,” said Gord Duff, Car Specialist at RM Auctions. “As our recent Arizona sale showed, there’s a continued strong appetite for great open-top Ferraris, and this 400 SA is certainly among the best of its breed. The true definition of sporting elegance, 1945 SA combines stunning design with high performance. Visually, it is beautiful in every respect.”

As the market for cars like this continues its upswing, we can only expect prices to appreciate. Not only is this one of the best Ferrari grand tourers ever made, it’s also one of the most rare, a fact exemplified by the short wheelbase and unusual color combination. And it’s that kind of mixture that keeps collectors coming back, time and again.

  • Leave it
    • * Gut-punching price
    • * Several different owners
    • * Has been repainted several times
    • * Will never be driven

Press Release

Fresh on the heels of its record Arizona sale, RM Auctions, the official auction house of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, announces an exceptional series of European Sports-Touring cars for its Amelia Island, Florida, sale, March 14 at the Ritz-Carlton. Headlined by one of the most valuable automobiles ever offered during the Amelia Island weekend, the sale will present a carefully curated selection of more than 90 blue-chip automobiles – a field that represents RM’s finest offering in the event’s 17-year history.

1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet by Pininfarina High Resolution Exterior
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Top billing at this year’s sale goes to one of the greatest grand touring Ferraris of all time: a rare, matching-numbers 1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet, chassis no. 1945 SA. Powered by a potent 4.0-liter V-12 engine producing 340 bhp and sporting stunning Pinin Farina coachwork, the example on offer is the third of only seven short wheelbase Superamericas built. A left-hand-drive example and fitted with open headlights, it was finished in the unique color combination of Verde Bottiglia over a Rosso Connolly leather interior – an unusual color scheme the car still wears today. Over the years, 1945 SA has passed through a string of respected collectors, including noted sports car enthusiast, Oscar Davis. Its current owner commissioned a full, no-expense-spared restoration by marque experts, resulting in an exceptional, flawless presentation and rendering the car on-the-button mechanically. It has yet to be shown following the completion of its restoration, making 1945 SA an ideal entrant for the world’s most prestigious events. Significantly, proceeds from the car’s sale will support the owner’s foundation for the education of children (Est. $6,000,000 - $7,000,000).

“It’s an absolute privilege to have been entrusted with the sale of 1945 SA at our upcoming Amelia Island sale. As our recent Arizona sale showed, there’s a continued strong appetite for great open-top Ferraris, and this 400 SA is certainly among the best of its breed,” says Gord Duff, Car Specialist, RM Auctions. “The true definition of sporting elegance, 1945 SA combines stunning design with high performance. Visually, it is beautiful in every respect. Its unusual and striking color combination helps distinguish it from its peers, enhancing its desirability, not to mention its various other unique details, from the chrome trim on the hood to its flush-mounted door handles. I’ve had the pleasure of driving the car and can attest it is a fantastic, turnkey driving example.”

1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet by Pininfarina High Resolution Exterior
- image 614367

The Superamerica is joined by another superlative example of Italian design, a handsome 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Spider, chassis no. 10814313. With stunning coachwork by Zagato, this particular Alfa Romeo is a correct, fifth-series example with matching body stampings throughout. Like the Superamerica, it also benefits from a comprehensive restoration, completed in 2009 – an exercise that left the car exceptional in every respect. Imported to the United States for first time in 2011 and exhibited the following year at Pebble Beach, its offering presents a unique opportunity to purchase a superb example one of the most important sports touring cars from the early 1930s (Est. $2,300,000 - $2,600,000).

A more recent offering slated for RM’s Amelia podium is a stunning 1970 Aston Martin DB6 Mk II, chassis no DB6MK2/4214/LC. A Canadian example and one of 71 original Vantage-specification DB6s constructed, it was picked up by the original owner from the factory and was a treasured part of his collection in the Toronto area for some 45 years, during which time it was regularly exercised and carefully preserved. This highly original example, including its original interior and matching numbers drivetrain, features numerous optional accessories, including rare factory air-conditioning (Est. $650,000 - $850,000). The DB6 Mk II joins the previously announced 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 “Condo Find” Daytona, chassis no. 14385, also offered fresh to the market following single Canadian ownership from new (Est. $600,000 - $750,000).

“In today’s market, vehicles boasting single ownership from new are the epitome of automotive connoisseurship,” comments Duff. “These vehicles are often purchased new by individuals for whom it is love at first sight. It’s quite easy to understand why the Aston DB6 has been treasured by its current owner for more than four decades. Combining great looks with comfort and performance, it is the ultimate iteration of the DB6 platform, checking all the boxes.”

1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet by Pininfarina High Resolution Exterior
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Additional highlights recently secured for the official auction of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance include:

a one-of-a-kind 1930 Duesenberg Model J ’Sweep Panel’ Dual-Cowl Phaeton, engine no. J-487, the one and only long-wheelbase LeBaron ‘Sweep-Panel’ Dual-Cowl Phaeton built and boasting outstanding provenance, including some of the greatest names in modern collecting (Est. $1,200,000 – $1,400,000);

a highly original 1955 Austin-Healey 100S, chassis no. AHS-3504, one of only 50 competition Healey 100s, was built specifically for Hollywood actor/director Jackie Cooper (Est. $975,000 - $1,375,000); and,

an authentic, well-known 1927 Stutz Vertical Eight Black Hawk Custom Two-Passenger Speedster, chassis AA-C18-86501, one of the most important Stutzes extant and the fastest American-built production car of 1927, formerly part of the Harrah Collection with extensively documented history (Est. $400,000 - $550,000).

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