400 Superamerica LWB Aerodinamico
The 400 Superamerica series of cars were the successors to the 410 Superamerica models and were produced between 1959 and 1964. The 400-designation referred to their total cubic capacity of 4 litres. The engine was a short block motor based on the famous Colombo SOHC per bank design used in the 250 GT series producing 340 bhp. The first example was a one-off specially made for Fiat boss Gianni Agnelli in late 1959. With prices exceeding those of Rolls Royce at the time, individual clients were able to have them personalised to their taste, thus, no two cars were the same. One of the most recognizable options was the choice between open and covered headlights. The coupe Aerodinamica of the 400 Superamerica evolved from a design study shown by Pininfarina at the Turin Salon in 1960. It earned the name Aerodinamico due to the long and low flowing curved lines which created a streamlined look. The second iteration of the Superamerica was shown at the Geneva Salon in March 1962. The car featured a revised cabin glass area with new slimmer C-pillars and larger rear quarter windows. The examples built until the middle of 1962 had a 2420 mm wheelbase and those built later were sitting on a longer wheelbase of 2600 mm. In total, only 35 400 Superamerica coupes were made, with chassis numbers ranging from 1517SA to 5139SA.
OUR 400 Superamerica
Our Ferrari 400 Superamerica Aerodinamico Series II LWB is chassis #5139SA, the last of 18 LWB’s ever made and one of only 14 with covered headlights. The car started life in 1964 in the classy color combination of Grigio Argento over Nero VM 8500 Connolly with red carpets. It was sold new to the company FIN-EUR Finanziaria Commerciale Europea S.p.A. located in Rome, Italy, in 1964. The car was registered in March of that year and wore the plates ROMA 836179. The same plates with which the car would be featured in the Italian Drama movie „il Tigre“ („The tiger and the pussycat“ in english), starring actors Vittorio Gassman and Ann-Margaret. Chassis #5139SA would then change hands in February of 1968 for the sum of 2,275,000 Italian Lira. Its new owner, Giancarlo Sabbatini Bettazzi, would own the car for a few months before selling it through Roberto Goldoni to American attorney and car dealer Edwin K. Niles from Los Angeles in September 1968. Our Superamerica was shipped to California on the Vessel „SS Paolo D’Amico“ from Livorno, Italy, in 1968. Ed Niles decided to paint the car in red in 1970 then advertised it for sale with Meridian LTD. for H I S T O R Y $6750. Ralli Dimitrius acquired the car for $6300 in January 1971. He entrusted California-based Classic European Restorations in 1995 with the restoration of the car. The Superamerica stayed in his personal collection out of public sight for almost 50 years until his death in 2020.
The Superamerica retains its original engine and gearbox and is fully matching numbers. The car has clearly been cherished and well cared after at the hands of Ralli Dimitrius over the span of five decades. Still, we decided to bring the SA’s quality to a higher level, as we like to do with any of our cars. The 400 has spent several months with Auto Toni in Maranello and has been updated mechanically and cosmetically, now sporting the incredible shade of Rosso Cina. After a visit to Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and a fresh Ferrari Classiche Certification that confirms the fully matching numbers status of the car, the Superamerica is looking for a new caretaker who appreciates this Ferrari’s unusual and stunning history. The 400 is very well documented, with several pictures of the restoration works carried out in the US as well as plenty of invoices including those of the recent works carried out at Toni Auto in Maranello. In addition to the film “il Tigre”, we have several period pictures of 5139SA while in Rome and some in the USA as well when the car was repainted in Rosso.