1966 Ferrari 500 Superfast

The Shah of Iran was so impressed with his 500 Superfast that he bought a second one.


The high-performance, luxury gran tursimo was a new automotive idiom in the prosperous years following World War II. Powerful, limited-production GT’s supplanted the great cars from Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes-Benz, and the grandes routieres of France, which had ruled European highways in the 1930s. GTs became the cars of choice for royalty, celebrities and successful industrialists. Combining powerful engines and competent chassis, they were equipped to the highest standards and trimmed with the finest materials. Ferrari’s gran tursimo was the Superamerica, which later gave way to the 500 Superfast.

Featuring Pininfarina coachwork, the Superfast was equally impressive in style, speed and grace. Thin, almost delicate pillars set off a large and airy cockpit, while the steeply raked backlight blended smoothly into the gently sloping rear deck. A subtly truncated tail balances the traditional oval Ferrari air intake. Fine leather and wood trim coddle the driver, whose space is perfectly arranged for comfort and high-speed motoring.

The 500 Superfast offered here is one of 12 second-series examples built. Fitted with many of the available options, this example has circular Carello lights, air conditioning, power windows, radio, and three-panel side vents. Its powerful engine and Marelli transistorized electrical system handle the powered options quite well.

The car was originally ordered by Joseph Bettendorf of Miami, FL. Originally delivered in Azzurro Italver (silver-blue) with beige interior, S/N 8739 was repainted red during the 1970s. It shows a nice patina and honesty that comes with cars having few owners. It is ready to be driven or shown proudly at the most exclusive events.

Steve Ahlgrim

Steve Ahlgrim - SCM Contributing Editor - %%page%%

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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