Lot 134

Monterey 2023

1956 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Coupe Series I by Pinin Farina

Offered from the Lost & Found Collection


$2,810,000 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
0497 SA
Engine No.
0497 SA
US Title
  • The 10th of only 12 Pinin Farina-bodied Series I 410 Superamerica coupes
  • Displayed by Ferrari at the 1956 Paris Salon
  • Originally finished in the uber-rare paint color Blu Artico
  • Brief ownership by Swedish/Swiss racing legend Joakim Bonnier
  • Emerging from nearly 50 years of current ownership
  • Retains numbers-matching engine; an intriguing project worthy of full restoration
  • Beguiling example of one of Maranello’s most iconic models


From very early in its history, Ferrari conducted a multi-tiered production strategy wherein the company primarily focused on crafting race-winners, while secondarily funding these machines with the sale of elite road cars. These road cars in turn featured advanced technologies developed in competition. While the 166 and ensuing 212 models were powered by the “Colombo” short-block V-12, the company soon introduced a flagship road car model built around the highly successful Lampredi tall-block racing engine.

This strategy commenced with the 340 America and the succeeding 342 America models, ultimately culminating in the 375 America, all of which rather obviously were positioned with interest in the United States market. Following Ferrari’s 1954 Le Mans win with the 375 Plus, Maranello’s engineers set to work on an even more awe-inspiring top-shelf road car.

The continuously developed Lampredi engine was further bored for an increased displacement of 4,963 cubic centimeters and fitted with triple 42-millimeter Weber carburetors for an output of 340 horsepower. This prodigious Tipo 126 motor was dropped into a newly reinforced 2,800-millimeter-wheelbase chassis, the Tipo 514. This had a widened track and was fitted with huge drum brakes and a coil-sprung independent front suspension, establishing an unprecedented performance metric for a flagship luxury model.

Pinin Farina was selected to create coachwork for the new touring machine, and the firm pounded out a high-waisted, low-roof coupe with a wraparound rear windscreen. The design was very consistent with the concurrent 250 GT coupe, although it was expanded in scale due to the model’s longer wheelbase, and often featured decorative chromed fender vents and a chromed hood vent aperture. The splendid harmony of such a beautiful exterior and the powerful drivetrain was complemented by a luxurious interior that was fully upholstered in leather.

The resulting Ferrari 410 Superamerica was introduced in January 1956 at the Brussels Motor Show with chassis number 0423 SA, and 15 chassis were built before the model was updated with a second series. As with most prestige models of this era, 410 Superamerica examples were individually built to client order with varying details, implying that no two cars were exactly alike.

Ultimately built in three discrete series before a change of specifications brought about the updated 400 model, the 410 Superamerica captured the popular imagination with its impossible combination of performance and luxury. It soon became the ride of choice for numerous period jetsetters in all walks of life, ranging from American industrialists and businessmen like Bob Wilkie, William Doheny, and Bill Harrah; to royals like the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlevi, Prince Bernhardt of the Netherlands, and Vietnamese Emperor Bao Dai; to wealthy Italian clientele like “Pasta King” Pietro Barilla and Johnnie Walker whiskey importer Dottore Enrico Wax. The Superamerica instantly encapsulated the purest expression of boutique luxurious performance, and it has today evolved into one of Maranello’s most iconic and celebrated models, akin to such fellow 1950s legends as the Testa Rossa and the California Spider.


Indubitably rare, this enchanting 410 Superamerica is the 10th of 12 Series I examples bodied by Pinin Farina. According to the research of marque expert Marcel Massini, chassis number 0497 SA entered the Pinin Farina workshop in May 1956, and the coachwork was finished in Blu Artico paint over an interior of Naturale vaumol leather from Connolly. Blu Artico is one of the rarest paint colors to be found on a vintage Ferrari, which therefore endows this car with a very special build provenance.

In October 1956 the Ferrari experienced its most prominent brush with grandeur when it was displayed on the manufacturer’s stand at the Paris Salon. As depicted in a period photograph, the Superamerica and a 250 GT Berlinetta flanked the Superfast concept car, brilliantly conveying the marque’s focal points of competition, luxury, and advanced design.

Following this auspicious debut, the 410 was sold new to Samuel Norman, a resident of Geneva, Switzerland. In 1958 the Superamerica was imported to Sweden by the well-known marque distributor Tore Bjurström, and in April 1958 the car was sold to Växjö resident Sven Esmark. Six months later, for reasons unknown the Ferrari was returned to Bjurström.

In 1959 the Superamerica was offered by the famed Swedish racing driver Joakim Bonnier, who had made a home in Rougemont, Switzerland. Bonnier was reportedly unable to find a European buyer for the 410, and it was eventually exported to the United States and sold into American ownership.

During the 1960s the Ferrari came into the care of the well-known marque collector Carl de Bickero, who resided in Illinois at the time. About a decade later the 410 was sold to racing enthusiast Pete Sherman of Maitland, Florida, by which time the cosmetics had been refreshed in the current color combination of rosso over black leather.

Acquired by Walter Medlin in 1974, the Ferrari went on to enjoy a long sabbatical—49 years of warehouse storage—during which time the car was unfortunately compromised in August 2004 by the brute strength of Hurricane Charley. Despite the car’s current condition, however, it is interesting to note the presence of so many authentic details, like the Talbot side mirror, Marchal lamps, Veglia gauges, and the huge Weber 42 DCZ 3 carburetors.

For the future caretaker seeking to steward an important prestige car through the challenges of a faithful restoration, the Lost & Found Collection’s 0497 SA offers a tremendous opportunity. In particular, the rare color combination of Blu Artico over Naturale leather would greatly distinguish this car at concours d’elegance and marque gatherings. As a remarkably original blank slate that has enjoyed single ownership for 49 years, this flagship Maranello supercar is poised for a potential return to the collectable Ferrari niche, where it might capitalize on its important identity as one of the marque’s unique 1956 Paris Salon show cars—and a progenitor of the Superamerica legend.