There is little doubt that the Ferrari 400 Superamerica was one of the most tailor made Ferraris of all time. It was a car that showed the attention that the Italian company gave to its customers and their demands. Apart from customers getting to choose from the choice of interiors, upholstery and hardware (all the way to the instrument panels), the buyer of the 400 Superamerica also had an option to choose a different design for the car’s nose. Due to this unique way that the car could be customised, none of the 400 Superamericas that were ever made are similar, each leaving behind a unique taste of it’s original owner.
The Ferrari 400 Superamerica came in as a replacement for the company’s outgoing 410 model, where the 400 claimed to improve its predecessor’s flaws of being heavy and having quite an unrelenting suspension and chassis setup. For the 400 Superamerica, Ferrari improved on the chassis and the handling of the machine, and to make it lighter used a bored out small-block V12 from the Ferrari 250 GT. This new 4.0-litre engine produced 340 horsepower, setting up a better power-to-weight ratio. The car was also fitted with better brakes. Replacing the 410’s drum brakes at the rear, the Ferrari 400 Superamerica had all Dunlop disc brakes on all four corners. Adding a overdrive to the transmission increased the top end ratio by 28%.
The Ferrari 400 Superamerica was the perfect blend of performance and style, something it does not fall short of even today. Over the years several versions of the 400 Superamerica were created, out of which this particular car is the Series II variant that sported a longer wheelbase. Officially called the LWB 400 Superamerica Coupé Aerodinamico, only 14 of these specials created by Pininfarina were ever made, out of which this particular model with chassis no. 3931 SA goes into sale at the RM Sotheby’s Paris Auction on February 3, 2016.
Photos © Tim Scott for RM Sotheby’s