1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica LWB Coupé Aerodinamico by Pininfarina
Documents: German Fahrzeugbrief
- 1962 Earls Court and Chicago Motor Show car
- The first of only 18 second-series long-wheelbase examples
- Previously of the renowned Yoshiho Matsuda Collection
- Fully restored in 2008 by Berlinetta Motors in St. Ingbert, Germany
- Beautifully presented in its original colour combination of Grigio Argento over Nero
- Matching-numbers example; a grand touring Ferrari par excellence
THE 400 SUPERAMERICA AERODINAMICO
By the 1950s, Ferrari had established itself not only as a world-class manufacturer of sports racing cars but also as a manufacturer of the world’s best grand touring cars for the road. Enzo Ferrari had come to fully realise that, in order to continue the success of his racing program, he needed to be able to create, market, and sell equally exceptional road cars. Throughout the decade, the Ferrari GT car had evolved immensely into a top-shelf luxury touring car, namely the 342 America and the 410 Superamerica, which became the last word in sporting luxury. However, these cars were known as heavy and unforgiving to drive, and many believed that such a prestigious automobile should have more refined driving dynamics.
To address these changes, Ferrari introduced the 400 Superamerica at the Turin Motor Show in 1959. The 400 SA incorporated a number of changes from its predecessor, chief amongst which was a new Colombo short-block V-12 engine. The new powerplant was bored from its 250 GT dimensions of 3.0-litres to almost 4.0, and it was fitted with the outside-plug arrangement that had proven to be so effective in the Testa Rossa sports racers. This new Superamerica also benefitted from Dunlop disc brakes at all four corners, which replaced the drum brakes on the 410 Superamerica, and an overdrive that increased the top end ratio by 28 percent. These changes markedly improved the car’s performance and road manners and brought its driving characteristics in line with the car’s outstanding level of luxury.
The earliest 400 Superamericas were constructed on Ferrari’s shorter, 2,420-millimetre wheelbase and clothed in open coachwork by Pinin Farina. When chassis 2207 SA, dubbed the Superfast II, was introduced at Turin in November 1960, it featured coachwork that had never before been seen on a Superamerica, and it stunned the crowd. The car’s body featured a pointed open-mouth nose leading to a slippery roof and belt lines converging into a delicately swooped fastback tail that catered toward aerodynamics, helping the Superamerica cut through the air.
Two years later, at the London Motor Show in September 1962, Ferrari introduced a second-series 400 Superamerica. This car retained the distinctive Aerodinamico coachwork of its predecessors, but it now rode on the 250 GTE’s 2,600-millimetre chassis, which eventually replaced the earlier and shorter-wheelbase chassis. Approximately 18 long-wheelbase Coupé Aerodinamicos were constructed when production came to a close in 1964, adding to a total of 35 Series II examples, which also included the earlier SWB Superamericas.
CHASSIS NUMBER 3931 SA
Chassis 3931 SA was built by Ferrari as the first Series II car with a longer wheelbase and was sent to the Pininfarina works on July 18, 1962. Pininfarina worked on the car for over two months, creating a truly beautiful body, and it was completed on September 29, 1962. This car was quickly taken to London where it was unveiled at the Earls Court Motor Show, with Ferrari also noting that it was then displayed at the Chicago Motor Show. Originally delivered in Grigio Argento with Nero interior, the same combination it is presented in today, 3931 SA was one of only 14 Series II LWB cars to feature the desirable covered headlamps.
Once its debut at the Earls Court Motor Show was over, chassis 3931 SA was exported to Luigi Chinetti Motors in New York for $13,017, where it was then shown at the Chicago Motor Show. During the 1970s, the car was owned by Gary Wasserman who resided in San Francisco. In 1975, the car also appeared in Stan Grayson’s book Ferrari, The Man, The Machines.
In the early 1980s, the car was completely restored by Terry York Motor Cars before being sold to Yoshijuki Hayashi in Tokyo, where it was registered on Japanese license plate 72 45. On January 9, 1995, chassis 3931 SA became part of the renowned Yoshiho Matsuda Collection, and it was displayed at the 1995 Matsuda Ferrari Museum of Art. In the early 2000s, the car was imported back to the USA where it was used sparingly before returning to Europe. Subsequently, the car was completely restored from 2003 to 2008 by Berlinetta Motors in St. Ingbert, Germany.
The 400 Superamerica is often considered to be the grandest of Ferrari’s grand touring automobiles, as it is utterly uncompromising in every sense. The Superamerica offered its owners nothing but the finest in terms of automotive technology, with cutting-edge design, performance, and luxury. This particular Ferrari is one of the most important examples constructed, and it is truly capable of anything its next owner desires.