Off radar

Off Radar. The 1959 Ferrari 410 SA Coupe Pininfarina #1285SA

By Massimo Delbò

Photo Credit: Massimo Delbò, Cavallino Classic

It seems strange to think of a Ferrari that “went unnoticed” but, at the Cavallino Classic, in Florida, the most important competition in the world dedicated to cars made in Maranello, this too can happen. The Ferrari 410 Superamerica is one of those models that is often underestimated even by Ferrari collectors themselves. What penalizes it the most is both the lack of any sporting history – the Superamerica was not created to race but for luxury tourism – and also its large size, which makes it perfect for the highways but less ideal on winding routes. In short, the Superamerica, which doesn’t fall into that socially accepted archetype of the thoroughbred Ferrari, a car that to be tamed on the curves of the Apennines or of the racetracks across the world, occupies a secondary role in Ferrari collecting. And it’s a shame, because few cars like this represent the perfect combination of performance, style and driving comfort.

Thorough checks by the judges or pure curiosity? A little-known Ferrari model returns to the limelight

In total, 38 units were produced in 3 series, between 1956 and 1959, making it extremely rare. At Cavallino it was possible to admire the 410 Superamerica chassis #1285 SA, just out of the restoration carried out at the highest levels by Paul Russell & Co (unfortunately, without respecting the original colour). The third car of the third series, the twenty-sixth in total, fitted with fairings and bodywork by Pininfarina, was sold in July 1959 in Phoenix (AZ) USA to JA Stallings, painted in white with silver roof and black interior.

The Ferrari Superamerica 410 with chassis number #1285SA won the Honorary Judges Award at Cavallino Classic for its unequivocal characteristics of uniqueness

Quite unusual for a 410, it was timed against a stopwatch in August 1959, clocking 151.77mph (over 244 km/h) on the Bonneville salt lakes during Bonneville Speed ​​Week. Sold for the first time in 1962, it remained in the United States, with 6 different owners, until 1984 when it returned to Europe. In 2007, after 4 European owners, it went back to the USA, and was reunited with its original engine that was lost in the mid-1960s. In 2010 it was purchased by the current owner, a collector from Boston (MA) who, deciding for a complete restoration, brought it back to its original splendour, although he could resist the temptation to choose a non-original colour combination, even if it was available at the time: Shell Grey with a Smoke Grey roof. What elegance, though!

The Superamerica 410 was produced in three series for a total of 26 examples from 1956 to 1959. Chassis #1285SA is the third car from the third series