1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast

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.

Steve Ahlgrim

Steve Ahlgrim - SCM Contributing Editor

Steve taught high school auto shop before moving to Atlanta, GA, where his love of sports cars led him to FAF Motorcars, the former Ferrari dealer where he served as General Manager and Vice President. He has been a self-proclaimed “one-trick pony,” coveting the Ferrari marque. He has been involved in concours judging for over 25 years and is a member of the IAC/PFA, an international committee overseeing high-level Ferrari concours judging. He is chief judge of the Celebration Exotic Car Show in Celebration, FL.

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