1955 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Series I
As the most expensive Ferrari available, the 410 Superamerica replaced the 375 America after only eleven examples had been made. Both cars belonged to Ferrari’s ‘flagship’ America series that offered the highest levels of sophistication, exclusivity and performance. Built as the ultimate grand tourer, each car was custom ordered to receive unique bodies and many were made for auto shows or Ferrari’s best clients.
Even though the Superamerica was named to promote the American market, it was still a very European design with a high attention to detail. While the craftsmanship was much better than typical American work, many American styling elements such as rear fender fins were used on a few cars.
The first 410 appeared at the 1955 Paris Auto Show as naked chassis that exposed the ‘long block’ Type 126 Lampredi 60° V12. This was a single-plug variant of the same Lampredi-designed engine that powered Ferrari’s biggest and baddest racecars of the period. Thus the 410 was easily capable of moving any grand touring body at imposing speeds.
Shortly after its debut, onlookers didn’t have to imagine anymore as first individually crafted body and interior were displayed on chassis #0423SA at the 1956 Brussels Show. This featured a Pinin Farina body which was basically the same style as the 250 GT Boano with more ornamentation. The Superamerica added a hood scoop, kicked up rear fenders and larger fender vents to the design. Inside the cars were well appointed as well with fussy details such as leather trimmed glove boxes.
Most of the Pinin Farina cars shared similar lines, however, a small group were extremely unique and celebrated their own style. The most notorious of these was the individually-titled 410 Superfast which sported prominent tail fins like the American cars of the era. Both Ghia and Boano crafted a body for the Series I chassis as well, bringing the total to 16.
The 410 Superamerica was upgraded several times throughout three distinct series of production. While all trace their engineering back to the same 340/375 America platform, their ladder-type frames were enlarged, included stronger bracing and front coil springs instead of the 375’s transverse leaf springs. During the transition from first to second series, wheelbase changed from a 2800mm to 2600mm and the final third series produced until 1959 featured relocated spark plugs. While these changes seem minimal, Ferrari purists still list each series as a different car.
Despite the 410’s heavy weight and luxurious demeanor, it still performed impressively thanks to an enormously powerful engine. Road & Track reached zero to sixty 6.6 seconds while Sports Car Illustrated reach the same speed in 5.6 seconds. These figures were especially good for the late fifties and had to be some of the fastest times ever achieved by the magazines.
After 1959, the 410 was replaced by the smaller-engined 400 Superamerica which was built on the exact same design principles.
See full 1955 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Series I Gallery here
|submitted by||Richard Owen|
|type||Limited Production Car|
|production years||1955 – 1955|
|released at||1955 Paris Motor Show|
|built at||Modena, Italy|
|price $||$ 16,800|
|predeccesor||1953 Ferrari 375 America|
|succeccesor||1956 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Series II|
|engine||Type 126 Lampredi 60° V12|
|valvetrain||SOHC 2 Valves / Cyl|
|fuel feed||Weber DCF3s|
|displacement||4961 cc / 302.7 in³|
|bore||88 mm / 3.46 in|
|stroke||68 mm / 2.68 in|
|power||253.5 kw / 340 bhp @ 6000 rpm|
|specific output||68.53 bhp per litre|
|bhp/weight||234.32 bhp per tonne|
|body / frame||Steel Body over Steel Tube Frame|
|front brakes||Hydraulic Drums|
|rear brakes||Hydraulic Drums|
|front wheels||F 40.6 x 15.2 cm / 16 x 6 in|
|rear wheels||R 40.6 x 15.2 cm / 16 x 6 in|
|steering||Worm & Wheel|
|f suspension||Double Wishbones w/Transverse Lower Leaf Spring, Telescopic Shock Absorbers|
|r suspension||Live Axle w/Locating Arms, Semi-Elliptic Leaf Springs, Telescopic Shock Absorbers|
|curb weight||1451 kg / 3200 lbs|
|wheelbase||2800 mm / 110.2 in|
|front track||1455 mm / 57.3 in|
|rear track||1450 mm / 57.1 in|
|top speed||~241.4 kph / 150.0 mph|
|0 – 60 mph||~6.0 seconds|
|0 – 1/4 mile||~14.0 seconds|
|fuel capacity||100 litres or 26.40 gal.|