1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1965
  • Car type 
    Other
  • Lot number 
    020
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other

Description

PROVENANCE
Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, Geneva, Switzerland (acquired new in June 1965)
Freddy Mangin, France (acquired from the above in 1970)
Pierre Bardinon, Aubusson, France (acquired from the above in 1982)
David Webb, Greenwich, Connecticut (acquired from the above in 1999)
Martin Gruss, Palm Beach, Florida (acquired from the above in March 2010)
Current Owner (acquired from the above)

EXHIBITED
Greystone Mansion Concours d’Elegance, Beverly Hills, California, April 2012
Quail Motorsports Gathering, Carmel Valley, California, August 2012
XXIII Cavallino Classic, Palm Beach, Florida, January 2014 (Platinum Award)
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Pebble Beach, California, August 2014

LITERATURE
Hilary A. Raab Jr., Ferrari Serial Numbers Part I, chassis no. listed on p. 68
Bruno Alferi, Ferrari: America, Superamerica, Superfast, chassis no. listed on p. 86
Rainer W. Schlegelmich and Hartmut Lehbrink, Ferrari, pictured on pp. 180–185
Antoine Prunet, The Ferrari Legend: The Road Cars, chassis no. listed on p. 294

THIS CAR
Unveiled at the 1964 Geneva Auto Salon, the 500 Superfast was the last in a series of ultra-exclusive Ferrari road cars, built in limited numbers for the world’s elite.

Powered by a special five-liter V-12 engine, the 500 Superfast certainly lived up to the promise of its name. with 400 hp, a claimed top speed of 170 mph, effortless acceleration, and the ability to cruise comfortably at 100 mph, this rare Ferrari has long been regarded among the finest grand touring cars.

Combining the ultimate in high performance with understated Italian style, the new Ferrari featured Pininfarina coachwork that struck an ideal balance between fashionable trends and traditional elegance. A refinement of the previous 400 Superamerica Aerodynamico Coupe design, the 500 Superfast featured graceful proportions, a large airy greenhouse, and an aerodynamically effective Kamm tail reminiscent of Ferrari’s contemporary racing cars. Inside the sumptuous cabin, passengers were treated to adjustable seats upholstered in the finest Connolly hides, a spacious platform for fitted luggage, beautiful teak veneers, a top-of-the-line radio, and a variety of specialized instruments.

Between March 1964 and August 1966, Ferrari completed only 36 examples of the 500 Superfast. Production took place at the leisurely rate of just one or two cars each month, allowing Pininfarina to custom-tailor each car to its original owner’s exacting specifications. Exclusive in all respects, the 500 Superfast was the most expensive Ferrari road car of its day, commanding a price twice that of a 275 GTB and costing nearly as much as a brand-new 250 LM. Among the select few who could afford the Superfast’s extraordinary $15,000-plus asking price were famous names, such as Shah Reza Pahlevi of Iran, Barbara Hutton, and Peter Sellers.

The 500 Superfast offered here also found a prestigious first home, as it was originally sold to Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan.

Born in Paris to Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan and Princess Andrée Aga Khan, Prince Sadruddin was a gentleman of incomparable wealth, taste, and influence. Raised in Switzerland, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard in 1954 and began a lifelong career of international service, joining UNESCO in 1958. The following year, Prince Sadruddin became further involved with the United Nations and, between 1966 and 1978, served as the organization’s High Commissioner for Refugees. With his extraordinary means, he established the Bellerive Foundation, assembled a world-class collection of Islamic art, and enjoyed a succession of fine automobiles.

In fact, Prince Sadruddin was a true connoisseur when it came to automobiles, owning a number of prestigious sporting cars, from a Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback to a Maserati 5000 GT. He also had the good taste and fortune to commission a number of special Ferraris, including a 250 MM and a 400 Superamerica. His wife and former London fashion model, Princess Nina, drove her own short-wheelbase California Spider.

Prince Sadruddin’s Superfast, chassis 6049 SA, was just the 12th example completed. Despite its relatively early build, it was originally specified with many characteristics that have come to define the late-production cars, such as the updated side-vent arrangement, circular Carello turn-signal lamps, and headrests for driver and passenger. Originally finished in Grigio Argento (silver gray) with black leather upholstery, the Ferrari was intended for use in Switzerland and thus equipped as a left-hand-drive car with instruments in kilometers.

Completed in June 1965, the Superfast was sold through official Ferrari dealer Garage de Montchoisy SA and delivered to Prince Sadruddin’s home in Geneva. The Superfast remained in his care until 1970, when it was sold to Freddy Mangin, a resident of France.

In 1982, Pierre Bardinon, owner of the famed Mas du Clos racetrack in France and renowned Ferrari collector, acquired the 17-year-old 500 Superfast for his ever-expanding stable. Considering the extraordinary collection of cars that belonged to M. Bardinon – every great competition Ferrari from a 375 Plus to a 330 P4 – it is fair to say that 6049 SA was in good company. Registered in France as 500 KC 23, the elegant Ferrari was bestowed with the famous Mas du Clos insignia, which M. Bardinon placed on his preferred cars.

Since parting from the Mas du Clos collection in 1999, this 500 Superfast has benefited from the care of just three private owners, all knowledgeable American collectors. The current owner, a California-based enthusiast with a passion for the finest Italian sports cars, acquired the Superfast following a long search for an important coachbuilt Ferrari.

Although the Ferrari was in very good condition at the time of his acquisition, with just over 65,000 km (approximately 40,000 miles) from new, the consignor commissioned Wayne Obry’s renowned Motion Products, inc. (MPI), in Neenah, Wisconsin, to perform a comprehensive, show-quality restoration that would return the car to its former splendor.

During the painstaking two-year restoration, no expense was spared to ensure that 6049 SA would be a serious contender on the concours circuit. The result of the MPI restoration is truly outstanding. The Superfast, tastefully finished in dark blue with red leather upholstery, is jewel-like in every detail, from its polished Borrani wire wheels to the custom-made three-piece fitted luggage set.

Since its restoration by Obry, a foremost marque expert, 6049 SA has been shown selectively. The quality and accuracy of the presentation has garnered a Ferrari Club of America Platinum Award at the Cavallino Classic in Palm Beach, Florida, as well as an invitation to the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, where the 500 Superfast was displayed among the Ferrari Grand Touring Class in August 2014.

In keeping with its impeccable presentation, this award-winning Superfast is offered with its Ferrari Classiche Red Book, as well as a tool roll and handbooks. Additionally, 6049 SA is accompanied by a comprehensive file of supporting documentation, which includes a report produced by Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, copies of the original factory build sheets, period photos, articles, restoration progress photos, and copious invoices from leading specialists including, Terry Hoyle, GTO Engineering, Paul Russell and Company, and Motion Products, Inc. This impressive file, documenting nearly $1,000,000 in expenditures, attests to the incredible care lavished on this Ferrari over the past 15 years.

With just 28 left-hand-drive examples built, the 500 Superfast is among the most exclusive road-going Ferraris of the 1960s. These extraordinary automobiles rarely appear for sale, either at auction or privately, as most are fixtures in major collections or heirlooms in long-term family ownership.

Restored by one of the world’s leading marque specialists, certified by the Ferrari Classiche department, and counting Prince Sadruddin Aga Hhan and Pierre Bardinon among its former owners, this particular 500 Superfast possesses all the qualities one looks for in a coachbuilt Ferrari. Quite possibly the finest example of an incredibly rare breed, 6049 SA has remained an object of immense desire since its first owner took delivery in Geneva 50 years ago.