Amelia Island

14 March 2015

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Lot 145

1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet by Pinin Farina

  • Chassis no. 1945 SA
  • Engine no. 1945 SA

Sold for $6,380,000

340 bhp, 3,967 cc 60-degree V-12 engine with three Weber 46 DCF carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with double wishbones and coil springs, rear suspension with a live rear axle, semi-elliptic leaf springs, telescopic shock absorbers, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 95.25 in

  • Proceeds to benefit the owner’s foundation for the education of children
  • The third of seven short-wheelbase Superamericas
  • Fully restored to concours standards by Classic Coach and Greg Jones
  • Formerly owned by Oscar Davis
  • Matching-numbers example


In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Ferrari Superamerica was the last word in sporting elegance. It offered the very best in terms of luxury and performance and was the very best car money could buy. These cars often found their way into the garages of the world’s elite, with numerous heads of state, barons of industry, and other well-to-do individuals being the privileged first owners of Superamericas, putting them in the upper echelon of automobile enthusiasts.

The successor to the 410 Superamerica was the 400 Superamerica, and it boasted numerous improvements over its predecessor. While the engine decreased in displacement from 5.0 liters to 4.0 liters, the new unit introduced a number of benefits. The 5.0-liter V-12 was a “long-block” Lampredi-designed unit, while the new 4.0-liter engine was based on the Colombo single overhead-camshaft engine that was first utilized in the 250 Europa GT. In order to increase the capacity from 3.0 liters, the bore was enlarged to 77 millimeters and the stroke was lengthened to 71 millimeters, providing a total cubic capacity of 3,967 cubic centimeters. Furthermore, a twin coil and distributor ignition system was utilized, along with triple Weber carburetors, granting the engine an improved 340 horsepower.

The first batch of 400 Superamericas were built on a 2,420-millimeter chassis with both coupe and cabriolet coachwork, with the convertible versions being the rarer of the two. Later, a second series of Superamericas was constructed, and it boasted a wheelbase extended to 2,600 millimeters in an effort to increase interior space. Thanks to their elegant lines and notably more aggressive stance, the first-series SWB Cabriolets are considered the most desirable of all Superamericas.


According to noted Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, chassis number 1945 SA was built in mid-1960 as the third of seven short-wheelbase Superamericas built. This particular example was built with left-hand drive and fitted with open headlights. Finally, it was finished in an interesting, although unusual, color combination of Verde Bottiglia (MM 16364) over a Rosso (VM 3171) Connolly leather interior.

The coachwork was carried out by Pinin Farina and the body was completed at their factory in Turin on July 6, 1960. Later that year, it was sold to Helmut Horten, a German entrepreneur based in Croglio, Switzerland. In January 1961, the Superamerica was registered in Milan under Horten Italiana S.r.l., and it would remain in Italy for the following three years under Horten’s ownership.

Sometime thereafter, 1945 SA was owned by a Mr. Warzits in Germany, and it is believed to have been exported to the United States for a brief period of time. However, by 1985, the car, which was now wearing white paint, had returned to Europe, where it was acquired by Bernard Pfister, of Geneva, Switzerland. By 1989, Pfister had repainted the Superamerica red, and it would remain in Switzerland for the next few years, where it was displayed at the official Swiss Ferrari importer, Ferrari Suisse SA in Nyon.

The Superamerica was listed for sale in Marseille, France, in June 1997 and was purchased one month later by Scott Rosen, of Bedford Hills, New York. The car remained with him for two years before being purchased by noted sports car enthusiast Oscar Davis, of Elizabeth, New Jersey. One year later, Davis sold the car through nearby Classic Coach to its current custodian, who would also entrust them to fully restore the car to its original specifications.

Classic Coach took great care in restoring 1945 SA to its former glory and chose to refinish it in its original color combination of Verde Bottiglia over Rosso, which was a unique color scheme when the car was new. During this complete, frame-off restoration, no cost was spared to restore the 1945 SA back to a spectacular standard. Following its restoration, the car was sent to noted Ferrari specialist Greg Jones, of Stuart, Florida, who further dialed-in the car mechanically, ensuring that every facet of this wonderful Superamerica works perfectly. Receipts chronicling the extent of the restoration are in the car’s file for inspection.

Since the completion of the restoration, the car has remained with its current owner, residing alongside other vehicles from Maranello. As 1945 SA has never been shown following the completion of its restoration, it would be an ideal concours entrant at the world’s most prestigious events, where it would undoubtedly garner much attention. There is no question that it would pass the rigors of concours judging with flying colors, and it would surely impress its next owner on tour as well. After recently being driven by an RM specialist, it was noted that this Superamerica was “on the button” and runs and drives beautifully in every regard, with performance that is befitting of its immaculate cosmetic presentation.

In the realm of the Ferrari Superamerica, the 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolets have always been the most desirable. As this car features gorgeous coachwork, unrivaled luxury, the shorter wheelbase chassis, and the most potent 4.0-liter V-12 engine, it can truly be considered one of the greatest grand touring Ferraris of all time.

Furthermore, proceeds from the sale will be donated to the owner’s foundation for the education of children—an act of generosity befitting of such an incredible car.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

Cameron Smyth

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Cameron Smyth joined RM Sotheby’s as a Car Specialist in 2015, working out of our corporate office and providing assistance on c... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more