Ever wonder what cars bosses drive? Here is one answer. Had he not owned the company, Enzo Ferrari would have had a difficult time obtaining the display car. Very few Ferrari dealers were authorized to sell the 400 Superamerica, and customers had to wait an eternity for delivery.
The 400 Superamerica had its public debut at the Brussels Automobile Salon in February 1960 as a Pininfarina cabriolet. At the Turin show that year Ferrari showed the cabriolet but the real showstopper was at Pininfarina’s own stand: a “coupe aerodynamica” that the coachbuilder had built for himself. It set the style for the car you see here. Just fourteen Coupe Aerodynamicas would be built.
Because each customer was given choice of color, upholstery, hardware, arrangement of instrument panel, even configuration of the car’s nose, every 400 Superamerica was different. Ferrari, however, was unique. Serial numbers tell the story. The engine was originally fitted to his personal 250GTE prototype which apparently served as test bed for the new Columbo-designed four liter engine boasting more displacement than any previous small-block Ferrari. Subsequently the engine was removed to join chassis 4031SA/3097SA and Pininfarina body No. 99518 to provide Il Commendatore smart – and fast – new wheels. His son, Piero Ferrari, testifies to being “terrified” as a child riding beside him. Never one to pass up a dime, Ferrari reconditioned 3097 into a “new” car, 4031SA, and sold it through his normal dealer channels in Italy. Serial numbers do tell the story.
The display car has never been restored. The only changes from original were those Enzo Ferrari made. He elected at some point to change the interior (from Peugeot beige leather and cloth), and he had the nose resprayed to cover chips made by small rocks – probably put there during fast drives in the countryside.
Photos – Peter Harholdt
Briggs Cunningham imported the first Ferrari to race in the US and you can see it in the museum. Learn more