In its day, the 500 Superfast represented the pinnacle of Ferrari ownership. Offering 400 horsepower from its 4.9-liter V12 and capable of exceeding 170 mph, the ultra-exclusive 500 SF attracted Ferrari’s most elite clients. The 500 Superfast was impossibly powerful, beautiful, unbelievably expensive and perfectly suited to high-speed Continental trips in true GT fashion. The 500 Superfast was a logical evolution not only of the 410/400 Superamerica but also the one-off Superfast II styling/engineering exercise of 1960. It was built in a run of only 36 cars typically divided into two series, the first having 24 cars and the second 12. Generally, the differences between the two series involve gearboxes, pedal configurations, clutches and power steering, but, as with all things Ferrari, these distinctions are not always set in stone. The stunning 500 Superfast offered here, chassis 6659SF, is the 22nd Series I car built, and one of only eight right-hand-drive cars. All 500 SFs are, of course, special, but 6659SF is the only one with rear seats. The car features Grigio Argento paint, Rosso Franzi leather and three-duct front wings. It was sold to a client in London for £11,518, a staggering 32,250 1965 U.S. dollars. Later, it was sold to a succession of enthusiasts in Australia, U.K., South Africa and then back to England, where 6659SF received a refurbishment by GTO Engineering. The indicated mileage stands at fewer than 13,200 miles, which is believed to be accurate. A recent inspection confirms that 6659SF is a wellsorted example that remains most impressive today. The paintwork is near-perfect and boot fits are good. The glass appears to be original, blemish-free and excellent. The interior is original and excellent, with a nice patina and minimum wear to both the driver’s and passenger’s seat bolsters. The walnut wood interior trim is exceptional. The engine bay is detailed, but not overly so. The chrome is very good all around, as are the window trims. When starting the car, one instantly knows that there is serious power underfoot. The engine has a deeper burble than the normal Ferrari V12s, and a small blip of the throttle moves the whole car. However, as powerful as it is, the 500 SF feels controllable and well-mannered. In essence, this is the ultimate gentleman’s GT. Driving impressions are excellent. The light clutch inspires confidence, and its larger proportions are not bothersome. The interior is luxurious. The seats are larger than a 275’s, you sink into them, and the view across the wooden dash, with its big Nardi wheel, is simply magnificent. The difference in a Superfast over another contemporary 1960s Ferrari is immediately evident. The sheer size of it takes you back in time, and the beautiful aerodynamic shape looks fast even while standing still. These cars are rarely offered at auction. The offering of one of this caliber is a rare occurrence and a unique opportunity for the true connoisseur. Blessed with completely matching numbers, retaining the original 2+2 interior and certified by Ferrari Classiche, this Superfast combines all the required elements of desirability. In the realm of ultra-exclusive Ferrari ownership, it represents perhaps the crowning achievement of Ferrari Gran Turismo production.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast
Number Produced:36
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.

Torque galore

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.)

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