There are rare ones, and there are rare ones. Then there is the rarity with exceptional provenance, which is where this 1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Series I Coupe Aerodinamico fits in.
The Ferrari The “America” series was created for the company’s most affluent customers. Made with large displacement engines, in this case a 3,967 cc V12 with 320 hp. (239 kW/324 hp), they were custom-made for the Shahs and Counts.
The 400 Superamerica Series I in particular was inspired from Pininfarinasensational Superfast II show car and featured some of the most extreme design cues. Only 14 were put into production, and of those, only half had the aerodynamic headlights that can be seen on this example.
But this model is even rarer. This is the only series I made a car from lightweight aluminumsomething its owner insists on, a man who helps fill in the other half of this car’s rarity story: the provenance.
The new car was commissioned by Count Giovanni Volpi di Misurata, who came from a very influential Venetian family. Born into great wealth, he naturally developed a taste for motor racing.
In fact, just a year after receiving this machine by several members Scuderia Ferrari the racing team left and some joined the Volpi racing team, Scuderia SSS Republica di Venezia. He also helped found the legendary Automobili Turismo e Sport (ATS) and later founded Automobili Serenissima, which produced several racing cars in the 70s.
It is therefore not surprising that, due to his interest in racing, Volpi insisted on making his car out of lightweight material. Count was as moody as he was different, and sold Superamerica in 1962.
It has been owned by a small handful of people since then, but has driven less than 25,000 km (15,534 miles). Its condition is less than pristine, but it is clear that it has been cared for throughout its life. Largely unrestored, it is now for sale at Gooding and CompanyPebble Beach Auction. It is expected to sell for $4-5 million.
Photo by Gooding & Company