The culmination of a series of ultra-aerodynamic and high performance grand tourers by Pininfarina, the Ferrari 500 Superfast was produced in very limited numbers following its debut a the 1964 Geneva Show.
The culmination of a series of ultra-aerodynamic and high performance grand tourers by Pininfarina, the Ferrari 500 Superfast was produced in very limited numbers following its debut a the 1964 Geneva Show. An evolution of the 410 and 400 Superamerica, the origins of which date back to the Superfasts shown at the 1956 Paris, 1961 Turin and 1962 Geneva Shows, it was considered the ultimate grand tourer of its day. And by virtue not only of its production run of just 36 cars, but also its price tag of almost $18,000 - making it the most expensive car in the world when a Rolls-Royce Phantom V cost a mere $12,000 - its exclusivity was guaranteed. Notable owners included the Aga Khan, Peter Sellers, Prince Bernard of the Netherlands, the Shah of Iran and British Ferrari importer Colonel Ronnie Hoare.
With unequal-length wishbones and coil springs at the front end and a semi-elliptically sprung live rear sxle with parallel traling arms at the rear, the evocatively and elegantly styled 500 Superfast had the roadholding to match the performance of the Colombo-designed 5-liter engine at its heart. Behind the wide Borrani wire wheels the all-round disc brakes were also suitably capable.
Producing a mighty 400 bhp at 6,500 rpm and 351 lb.ft. of torque at 4,750 rpm, the glorious Tipo 208 V12 provided this stunning Ferrari with a top speed of 175 mph.
|Vehicle:||Ferrari 500 Superfast|
Chassis 6673 SF, pictured here, was offered for sale by Coys of Kensington on 9 December, 1992. It had been delivered new on 22 July 1965 to well-known British entrepreneur Harry Hyams, who hit the headlines at that time in connection with the Centre Point scandal (see below). Hyams later sold the car (to replace it with its successor, the 365 California) to Eric Hurst of the Brook Street Bureau, who sold it eight years later to Ken Bradshaw, secretary of the Ferrari Owners Club, when it was registered as KSF 500.
Another eight years later saw the Superfast pass to Dan Gidwaney, a prominent Rolls-Royce collector, who had a mechaincal and body restoration (including the color change from blue to dark metallic red) carried out by DK Engineering during 1982. The current and fifth owner, a fastidious Ferrari aficianado who has owned 16 of the finest examples of the marque, acquired it in September 1985. He also has spent a considerable amount of money maintaining the car to its customary high standard, hence its pristine condition complete with full documented history. coys termed this a “rare opportunity” to acquire an all-time great car, one which has come to be known over the years as “The Bugatti Royale of Ferraris.”
Simon Kidston of Coys has this to say about the Superfast:
Regarding 500 Superfasts, I must admit that I have always had a soft spot for these (it was the first Ferrari I ever drove) although nobody else seems to. To be honest, they are big, heavy, old lumps with far more power than they can handle, but have great long legs that make them superb long distance cars.
Most people have always said of them “difficult to buy, difficult to sell,” which is very true. Most SF owners know every conceivable thing about them, but nobody else really cares! One thing I can add to the knowledge base is that you should not divide Series I four-speed and Series 2 five-speed cars, as there was no precise dividing line: the so-called Series 1 in our last auction was a five-speeder.
Anyway, times have changed since we sold chassis number 8897, which was the last Superfast made, for $502,500 in December 1988. The burgundy car you have described above, which was admittedly pretty average, ground to a halt at $105,000 against a $150,000 reserve. It is still unsold even now.
A concours five-speed Superfast would probably be worth $180,000-$195,000, whereas a rough car is worth $60,000-$82,500, a huge difference which reflects the high cost of restoration. In-between cars of any category are hard to move today.
Mind you, not even the nastiest Superfast can compare to the biggest lemon to emerge from Maranello’s portals, the 365 California.
Regarding our scandalous friend Harry Hyams, the former owner of the burgundy Superfast, he was a high-profile property developing entrepreneur in the 1960s who built a super-high-rise office block in the center of London known as Centre Point. Apart from the complaints about its height, and being a blot on the landscape, there was an uproar when it stood empty once completed since Labour government taxes made it more profitable to rent it out. Housing groups, and others, were not impressed. Hyams was very wealthy, and a big-time car buyer, too.