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1959 Ferrari 410 Superamerica

RM Sotheby's

1959 Ferrari 410 Superamerica
RM Sotheby's
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SH ID

23-0724006

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FEATURED BY SPEEDHOLICS

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Sold

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United Kingdom

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Description

Engine 1305 SA

 

Gearbox 4 SA

 

Rear Axle 56 SA

 

The fourth of 12 Series III examples built, and one of only seven cars factory-equipped with covered headlights

 

The only covered-headlight example delivered new in Nero Tropicale IVI

 

Certified by a Ferrari Classiche Red Book to retain its matching-numbers engine, gearbox, and rear differential

 

Restored by RM Auto Restoration from 2017–2020

 

Featured in Dyke Ridgley’s specialist monograph, Ferrari 410 Superamerica Series III

 

Documented with factory build sheet copies, restoration invoices, excerpt from Ridgley’s model-specific book, and history by marque expert Marcel Massini

 

Platinum Award-winner at the 2021 Cavallino Classic, class-winner at the 2020 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, and best of show-winner at the 2023 Cavallino Modena and the 2023 Concours d’Elegance Suisse

 

Features the most highly developed version of the Lampredi tall-block racing engine

 

Immaculately presented example of Maranello’s rare and powerful third-series SA

Like a fine wine or a mellowed whiskey, some car models only improve with age. Such is the case with the Ferrari Superamerica, which developed through two iterations before a third series was introduced at the 1958 Paris Salon. Substantially different than the first two variants, the Series III Superamerica was built on a revised 2,600-millimeter wheelbase chassis with a widened track, designated as the type 514A. Into this athletic frame, Maranello’s engineers dropped a further development of Aurelio Lampredi’s Le Mans-winning tall-block 4.9-liter V-12, now classified as the type 126A/58. This retuned engine was equipped with outside spark plugs (predating the more famous outside-plug 250 GT engine by some six months), huge racing-specification Weber 46 DCF/3 carburetors, and polished billet connecting rods (a feature only found elsewhere on the 250 Testa Rossa and 250 GTO racecars). Now developing 400 horsepower, 40 horsepower more than the outgoing Series II cars, the revised engine was capable of propelling the Series III to an extraordinary top speed of 165 mph. Such power required further mechanical refinement, so the Series III SA received a revised gearbox and massive 15.7-inch diameter Alfin front brake drums. Borrowed from the Scuderia racecars, these were the largest drums ever featured on a grand touring Ferrari. But despite all these mechanical advances, the most striking difference between the latest Superamerica and its predecessors was the new model’s updated Pinin Farina coachwork. Commencing with a covered-headlamp front-end treatment reminiscent of the concurrent 250 GT California Spider, including a decorated hood scoop and elongated finned fender vents, the design proceeded through an airy cabin with triple-vent sail panels suggestive of the 250 GT Tour de France berlinettas, and concluded in a formal tail reminiscent of the 250 GT Pinin Farina Coupe. This unique combination of Pinin Farina design cues firmly eschewed the prior SA’s dated 1950s styling while foreshadowing the coachwork motifs that would appear across Maranello’s model range during the early 1960s. Just 12 examples of the final 410 Superamerica were built before the model was replaced by the 400 Superamerica (which featured a redesigned, smaller-displacement engine, making the Series III 410 SA the most highly developed version of the legendary Lampredi racing engine). As such, the third-series 410 examples represent the ultimate development of Maranello’s vintage large-displacement luxury touring cars, encapsulating bespoke exclusivity and top-shelf performance. CHASSIS NUMBER 1305 SA: A VIRTUAL ONE-OFF Claiming rarity, important ownership history, and a top-quality restoration performed by RM Auto Restoration, this stunning third-series 410 Superamerica is one of the finest examples one could hope to encounter. According to factory build sheet copies and the research of marque expert Marcel Massini, chassis number 1305 SA is the fourth of 12 examples built, and one of only seven cars fitted with covered headlights. The chassis was dispatched to Pinin Farina’s workshop in February 1959 to be clothed with a unique expression of the third-series coachwork that included covered headlights and special tail lamps requiring differently shaped fenders (a taillamp design believed to be shared with only one other car). Completed in May 1959, the Ferrari was finished in the unusual shade of Nero Tropicale IVI over an interior of Naturale 3218 Connolly leather upholstery. The car is the only covered-headlamp example to be painted in this elegant color. After being distributed to Garage de Montchoisy SA, an official Ferrari dealer in Switzerland, the Superamerica was sold in June 1959 to an American residing in Geneva named Griffin. The owner only mildly used the 410 through 11 years of ownership, eventually selling the car in 1970 to Hans Maag of Renens. Later that year the Swiss dealer and motoring author Rob de la Rive Box purchased 1305 SA, and he brokered a deal in 1971 to the respected American Ferrari connoisseur and FCA co-founder Richard Merritt of Bethesda, Maryland. Merritt sold the Superamerica a year later to Wisconsin resident Tom Viltner, who retained possession for four years. In 1976 the Ferrari was acquired by John Hajduk, whose well-known shop Motorkraft, in Bensenville, Illinois, was one of the most esteemed American Ferrari restoration specialists of the era. Mr. Hajduk conducted a full refurbishment of the Superamerica, including a repaint in dark green with yellow striping. After passing through two additional caretakers, the Superamerica was sold in 1982 to George and Rosella Wamser of Bloomington, Illinois, longtime members of the local Ferrari Club of America chapter. The Wamsers enjoyed the 410 for nearly two decades, frequently presenting the car at Midwestern FCA meets through the 1980s and early 1990s, and during this period the car was also featured in Dyke Ridgley’s 1983 monograph Ferrari 410 Superamerica Series III, an essential source on these rare Ferraris. A digital copy of the book is included in the car’s documentation. After passing in the late 1990s to enthusiast Dennis Machul of Oak Brook, Illinois, 1305 SA was sold to a major international collector who kept the car domiciled for nearly two decades before offering it for sale in August 2017. Acquired then by the consignor, the Ferrari was treated to a comprehensive restoration to original specifications by the Pebble Beach-winning RM Auto Restoration of Blenheim, Canada. The engine was sympathetically freshened after being tested and deemed to not require a full teardown, while all the major running-gear systems were rebuilt as needed. The coachwork was refinished in the factory-correct shade of Nero Tropicale, and the interior was properly re-trimmed in beige Naturale leather, returning the car to its original color combination. In a testament to the SA’s highly authentic state of originality, Pinin Farina body number markings were discovered on numerous components throughout the car, including the bumpers, behind the door panels, and on various trim pieces. On the back of the fastidious restoration, the Superamerica won its class at the 2020 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Nine months later the 410 was certified with a Ferrari Classiche Red Book that testifies to the continued presence of the matching-numbers engine, gearbox, and rear axle, demonstrating the car’s highly desirable mechanical authenticity. Concours success continued at the 2021 Cavallino Classic, where the SA received a Platinum Award as well as the Robert Tallgren Memorial Elegance Cup for the finest coach-built Ferrari, and the Honorary Judges’ Cup for the finest judged Ferrari selected by the Honorary Judges. The Superamerica’s exquisite state of correct presentation was further confirmed with a 100-point score and best of show at the 2023 Cavallino Modena, and best of show at the Concours d’Elegance Suisse held at the Chateau in Coppet, Switzerland. As one of just 12 Series III cars built, 1305 SA is as rare as it is elegant—a striking, luxurious, and muscular machine that would complement even the most nuanced sports car collection. Further distinguished as one of just seven cars fitted with covered headlamps, and the only example among these finished in Nero Tropicale IVI, this Series III Superamerica is a quintessential example of Ferrari’s flagship model, representing the finest cross-section of competition-developed engineering and luxurious grand touring sensibilities. The timelessly elegant Italian thoroughbred is ideal for further display at major concours and marque gatherings, or it may be privately enjoyed for its powerful acceleration and exquisite curves, a breathtaking jewel to be admired and driven.