As the echoes of World War II austerity faded in Europe, it occurred to Enzo Ferrari that his wealthiest clients were ready for a super-fast, road-going gran turismo. The result was a series of exclusive Ferraris built with especially powerful engines wrapped in elegant bodies from the finest Italian coachbuilders. Each car was individually tailored to its owner’s requests, blisteringly fast, and sophisticated enough to transport a royal. One model in the series was the 400 Superamerica.
Enzo Ferrari drove a 400 Superamerica, as did the Aga Khan, Gianni Agnelli, European royalty, and major Hollywood stars. No doubt, they were impressed by the top speed of 160 mph and its acceleration from 0 to 100 mph in 18 seconds, figures that remain impressive in an era of variable valve timing and sophisticated direct fuel injection.
The car offered here, 3559SA, was built to the most desirable specification. It is a covered headlight Coupé Aerodinamico built on a short-wheelbase chassis, finished in Blu Sera with Blu leather. Originally delivered to Luigi Chinetti Motors in Greenwich, CT, in 1962, it was supplied new to C.O. Marshall, of Toledo, OH, who showed it at the fifth annual Ferrari Club of America meet in Greenwich in March 1968, winning the Judge’s Choice Award.
It passed through only a few owners before coming into the ownership of its present caretaker, legendary racing driver Skip Barber. Almost all of the owners enjoyed sharing the car with others, and 3559SA has been seen at events throughout North America and Europe.
Mr. Barber continued the sharing tradition. He contracted noted Prancing Horse specialist Greg Jones to prepare the car for the 2012 Cavallino Classic event, where it won a coveted Platinum Award. Jones also facilitated Ferrari Classiche certification for the car.
With the ride-ranging travels and religious maintenance, this covered-headlight SWB 400 Superamerica stands as among the bluest of the blue-chip Ferraris. It ranks among the finest examples of its type that RM has ever had the pleasure of offering.