There were Ferraris … and then there were Ferraris. Enzo Ferrari always wanted to build a few very exclusive grand touring models for very famous and ultra-wealthy clientele. Constructed in several series, in very limited numbers and most frequently bodied by Ferrari’s favorite carrozzeria, Pinin Farina (known as Pininfarina after 1959), along with Mario Boano and Ghia, the Superamericas were truly the ultimate Ferraris and were nearly all coupes, attracting an exclusive client list.
Noted American industrialists and businessmen like Bob Wilkie, William Doheny and Bill Harrah were Superamerica owners. Royal customers included the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlevi, Prince Bernhardt of the Netherlands and Emperor Bao Dai. Wealthy Italian clientele like ‘Pasta King’ Pietro Barilla and Johnny Walker spirits importer Dottore Enrico Wax headed a list of prominent Europeans who favored the unique and prestigious cars from Modena.
Individually tailored, as Ferrari historian Dean Batchelor said, they incorporated “many detail differences which enhanced their exclusivity.” Traveling in a Superamerica was traveling in style, Batchelor wrote. “The owners knew it, and all who saw the car knew it, which is what the owners wanted them to know.” The 410 Superamerica was essentially a modern coachbuilt car with a powerful, 4.9-liter, 340-bhp, race-derived, Lampredi V-12 engine.
Sergio Scaglietti, who recently passed away in November 2011 at 91 years of age, was a metalworking genius whose designs, including the 250 Testa Rossa, the 250 GTO and the 500 Mondial, are not only among the most coveted Ferraris ever built but also comprise some of the world’s most expensive cars in existence today. Scaglietti, an old Ferrari friend and an immensely imaginative man, built most of his custom bodies without using sketches or drawings. After devising designs in his head, he and his craftsmen fabricated an armature of small steel tubes to establish each body’s framework. Lightweight aluminum panels were then hand-formed and carefully hammered and finished to perfection. The result was a masterpiece in metal.
Just 34 410 Superamericas were built, in three Series, nearly all with bodywork by Pininfarina. While some of these special models looked somewhat alike, no two were exactly the same. By virtue of their rarity, the four most exclusive 410s consisted of a single Ghia-bodied example, a coupe and a convertible by Boano and s/n 0671 SA, this stunning, one-of-a-kind coupe by Scaglietti.