|Vehicle:||1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast|
|Original List Price:||$29,300|
|Tune Up Cost:||$3,000|
|Chassis Number Location:||Left frame member by steering box|
|Engine Number Location:||Right rear above motor mount|
|Club Info:||Ferrari Club of America, P.O. Box 720597, Atlanta, GA 30358|
This car sold for $1,036,840, including buyer’s premium, at RM’s London auction on October 26, 2011.
Ferraris are admired for being dressed in the finest fashion by the best Italian coachbuilders, but it is the engine that makes a Ferrari a Ferrari. Starting from their first cars, it was the engines that made the cars win on Sunday, and it was the sound, feel and look of the engines that sold Ferraris on Monday.
It has been said that when Colin Chapman was redefining racing with lightweight cars that flew through the corners, Enzo Ferrari declared, “Let the English pass us on the corners, we will motor past them in the straight.” Ferrari’s engines have been built in 4-, 6-, 8- and 12-cylinder configurations. They have been supercharged and turbocharged, but, in the end, it is the normally aspirated V12 that fascinates the enthusiasts and fuels the Ferrari legend.
Colombo vs. Lampredi
There are two basic Ferrari 12-cylinder engine designs: the “Colombo,” which was designed by Gioacchino Colombo, a former Alfa engineer who joined Ferrari in the earliest days of the car company, and the “Lampredi,” which was designed by Aurelio Lampredi, an accomplished designer of scooter, aircraft and automobile engines, who joined Ferrari in 1946.
Each engine design is distinctive, and Colombos are compact, light and feature removable heads. Lampredi motors, also known as long blocks for their extreme length, are heavier, with huge torque and complicated cylinders that screwed into the heads. The relationship between bores and strokes gave each engine unique characteristics of power, sound and enthusiastic followings.
There are many features that make the 500 Superfast special, from the driver’s side passenger’s door release to the beautiful crafted rear window molding, but it was the engine that elevates it from the crowd. A mixture of Colombo’s construction and Lampredi’s ratios produced a 5-liter, 400-hp V12 that made the 500 Superfast the baddest GT on the streets. Need a little extra power to pass another car? There’s no need to downshift, just feed a little throttle, as the Superfast has torque at all rpms.
The 500 Superfast is one of the blue-chip investments of the Ferrari world. Ignoring some spikes in their value, SCM’s Platinum Auction Database plots a consistent price rise from the $70,000 range in 1983 to the million-dollar mark today. There is credible reasoning that the top of today’s market may be as much as $1,500,000, but $900,000 to $1,200,000 seems to be the sweet spot. Compared with most financial instruments of 1983, the Superfast would have been a better bet.
Low miles a plus, but not enough La Dolce Vita
On the good side, Superfast 6659SF is possibly the lowest mileage of all the 500 Superfasts. The restoration work has been done by top shops, and Ferrari Classiche certification is a good assurance of authenticity.
The car features a 5-speed gearbox and air conditioning. Not so good are the righthand- drive configuration and the one-off rear seats.
There are only about 58 right-hand-drive markets in the world, and most of them are small former British territories. The market for RHD Ferraris is far smaller than LHD examples, which equates to lower value. A back seat is a nice feature for a family car, but it doesn’t help 6659. Superfasts are the embodiment of La Dolce Vita. They are for spirited drives down the coast or escorting beautiful women to the casino. Picking up kids from soccer practice doesn’t fit the dream.
RM’s car was estimated to bring roughly $925,000 to $1,050,000. It sold for $1,037,000, which reflects the strong market for high-end Ferraris and the excellent condition of the car. The seller got as much as could be expected, and the buyer bought in at fair market value. Barring any serious change in the world economy, the next time we see 6659SF, it will be at a higher value. ? (Introductory description courtesy of RM Auctions.)