1964 Ferrari 500 Superfast by Pininfarina
$2,250,000 - $2,500,000
- Ferrari’s flagship model—a grand touring car with unparalleled performance, prestige, and style
- The 11th of just 36 examples built; notable for its factory five-speed transmission, typically found on later cars
- Special ordered by Lord James Hanson, finished in the exclusive shade of Verde Scuro
- Benefits from dedicated care by three owners, including a 35-year ownership by a British lord
- Displayed at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, Cavallino Classic, and the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este
- Featured in Cavallino and Forza magazines
- Documented with original sales invoice and order details, prior registrations, ACI papers, service invoices, history by Marcel Massini, and Ferrari Classiche certification
Please note that this lot is titled as a 1965.
Initially deployed on a series of show cars and concepts, Ferrari’s “Superfast” nomenclature was first applied to a production vehicle with the introduction of the 500 Superfast. A final evolution of Ferrari’s premium 400 Superamerica model it was, owing to its 4,963-cc Tipo 208 V-12 and sleek, aerodynamic body, designed from the start to be a luxurious, exclusive grand tourer that would more than live up to its evocative name.
Clothed with an evolution of Pininfarina’s Aerodinamico coupe coachwork, with its distinctive sloping rear fastback and generous rear glass (though generally eschewing covered headlamps), the 500 Superfast was unveiled at the 1964 Geneva Salon on chassis no. 5951 SF. Luxury amenities included a sumptuous leather interior and teak-accented dashboard. As the latest in Ferrari’s renowned line of exclusive flagship grand tourers, the 500 Superfast enjoyed the preferred ownership of jet-set luminaries such as the Aga Khan, Barbara Hutton, the Shah of Iran, and Peter Sellers.
Just 24 examples were built before cosmetic and mechanical alterations were made on a second series of 12 cars, bringing total production to 36 examples through late 1966. Claiming rarity and unprecedented road car performance due to its prodigious 395-hp 4.9-liter engine, the 500 Superfast was the ultimate expression of the company’s flagship Superamerica series. The highly collectible cars are now found at the center of some of the world’s most exclusive and respected collections.
Benefiting from minimal use and dedicated care by just three owners during its lifetime, this 500 Superfast is a particularly desirable example. Chassis number 6043 SF was ordered new in May 1964 by Lord James Edward Hanson, a British industrialist based in Yorkshire. Lord Hanson was reportedly a friend of Sergio Pininfarina, and he inquired with the coachbuilder about purchasing a 400 Superamerica while seeing one during a stay at the Hotel du Cap near Antibes. When told that the Superamerica was no longer available, Lord Hanson opted instead for the recently introduced 500 Superfast.
According to the research of marque authority Marcel Massini, this Superfast is the 11th example built, and was completed by Pininfarina in March 1965. Finished in Verde Scuro over a Nero Franzi leather interior, the car was fitted with triple air ducts, circular Carello turn signal lamps, and left-hand drive, as Lord Hanson intended to use the car for continental touring. Notably, 6043 was fitted from new with a five-speed transmission (rather than the four-speed gearbox typical of the first series of 24 500 Superfasts).
The owner also requested a number of bespoke features, including a longer and lower passenger seat, seatbelts, special positioning for the ashtray and window switches, a Blaupunkt Köln radio with electric antenna, a passenger’s footrest and padded seat cover, and deletion of both the small parcel tray between the seats and the rear Superfast badging.
After a certificate of origin was issued in April 1965, this Superfast was registered with Modena tags in the name of Lord Hanson, and a factory delivery note dated 29 May 1965, was signed by Enzo Ferrari, himself. According to Marcel Massini's history report, service records from Ferrari’s Assistenza Clienti in Modena demonstrate three bouts of factory-supervised maintenance, respectively in June 1966, July 1967, and October 1971. By that last service, the car had accrued 7,710 miles. Through 1972 the Ferrari remained in Italy for Lord Hanson’s use, during which time the car was largely stored at Pininfarina’s facility in Turin.
In 1972, Superfast 6043 was imported to Great Britain, but given Lord Hanson’s demanding business travel schedule, the Ferrari experienced very little use over the ensuing years. When he finally offered the well-maintained car for sale in late 2000, after 35 years of ownership, the odometer still displayed only 12,288 miles.
In December 2000 Lord Hanson sold the Superfast to Edgar Schermerhorn, a collector based in The Netherlands who went on to show the car a number of times. In 2001 the Ferrari won best of show at the Concours Paleis Het Loo and was displayed at the Louis Vuitton Concours d’Elegance, also being shown at the MECC Show in Mastricht in January 2002. It was a two-time class winner at the European Concours d’Elegance, at both the second edition at Castle Schwetzingen near Heidelberg, Germany, in July 2002, and at the fourth annual event at the Galopprennbahn near Düsseldorf two years later. During this ownership the car was also featured in Keith Martin’s 2004 book Collecting Ferrari, as well as the June/July 2005 issue of Cavallino magazine, and the German magazine Ferrari World in December 2005.
In May 2009, Mr. Schermerhorn sold the Ferrari at RM’s Leggenda e Passione sale in Maranello to the current owner, a highly discerning collector of fine vintage European sports cars. Next displayed at the Cavallino Classic in January 2010, the Superfast was the subject of a feature article in the February 2010 issue of Forza. A month later the car was presented at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance before traveling to Europe for exhibition at the prestigious Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on Lake Como in April 2010. The owner subsequently enjoyed a brief tour of Monaco before returning the car to the United States.
In September 2011, 6043 was shipped to Marcel Massini in Switzerland for preparation prior to being transported to Ferrari’s headquarters for participation in the Italia Classica, a factory-sponsored round-trip tour from Maranello to Venice. Seven months later the Ferrari was driven in the Louis Vuitton Classic Serenissima Run.
Continuing to display the benefits of doting care by just three dedicated enthusiasts over the course of its life, this rare and beautiful 500 Superfast retains the bespoke characteristics with which it first left Maranello and with which it received Ferrari Classiche Certification in 2009. Beyond these, the current owner has further enhanced the touring comfort by adding air conditioning specially engineered and installed by Paul Russell. Electric power steering was subsequently installed. All original components replaced in the upgrade process have been retained and will accompany the car.
Noteworthy among the 500 Superfast population is that 6043 has never been painted red, has never hosted a different engine, and, most importantly, has never been derelict. It has spent more time touring and at significant world events than at auctions.
Occasionally there is a car that, with its aura and sound, effortlessly recalls the Enzo Ferrari era—a time of elegance, of glamor, and of carefree continental touring. It takes a special sort of vehicle to transport you to that bygone period; no modern supercar is up to the task, even if it is painted Verde Scuro.
500 Superfast 6043 is one such machine. If anything, it has only grown more appealing and exclusive than in the years since Lord Hanson took initial delivery; it will greatly enhance the next collection it joins.