2023 |Amelia Island Auctions
1964 Ferrari 500 Superfast
Coachwork by Pininfarina
$2,000,000 - $2,500,000
An Extremely Rare Ferrari, with Just 36 Built in Total
Built Expressly for Famed Businessman Lord James Edward Hanson, Who Maintained Ownership for 36 Years
Presented in Its Unique Original Colors of Verde Scuro over Nero
Offered with a Wealth of Fascinating Original Correspondence and Documents
Matching-Numbers Example per Ferrari Classiche Red Book
Enzo Ferrari’s Last Bespoke, Extremely Limited-Production Model
4,961 CC SOHC V-12 Engine
Three Weber 40 DCZ6 Twin-Choke Carburetors
400 BHP at 6,500 RPM
5-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Dunlop Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Front Independent Coil-Spring Suspension with KONI Shock Absorbers
Rear Live Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs and KONI Shock Absorbers
Lord James Edward Hanson, London, UK (acquired new with Factory Delivery via Maranello Concessionaires)
Edgar Schermerhorn, Well, Limburg, The Netherlands (acquired from the above in 2000)
Martin Gruss, Palm Beach, Florida (acquired from the above in 2009)
Private Collection, Virginia (acquired from the above)
Current Owner (acquired from the above)
Concours d’Elegance Paleis Het Loo, The Netherlands, 2001 (Best of Show)
Louis Vuitton Bagatelle Concours d’Elegance, France, 2001 (Exhibited)
MEC Show, Maastricht, Holland, 2002 (Exhibited)
European Concours d’Elegance, Castle Schwetzingen, Germany, 2002 (Exhibited)
XIX Cavallino Classic, Florida, 2010 (Exhibited)
Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, Florida, 2011 (Exhibited)
Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, Italy, 2011 (Exhibited)
Italia Classica Ferrari Gran Tour to Venzia, 2011 (Participant)
Louis Vuitton Classic Monte Carlo-Serenissima Run, 2012 (Participant)
The hands-down headline attraction among the 15 new designs exhibited by Pininfarina at the March 1964 Geneva Motor Show was the Ferrari 500 Superfast, which debuted as a larger, more powerful, and even more luxurious replacement for the 400 Superamerica. Based on its speed, power, and extreme cost, it captured the public’s imagination in a manner unseen since the long-lost grandeur of Bugatti’s Type 41 Royale. The new model’s handsomely streamlined coachwork was directly influenced by Pininfarina’s 400 Superfast Aerodinamico coupes, which were largely the work of the Torinese coachbuilder’s longtime master designer, Aldo Brovarone.
Powering the 500 Superfast was the ultimate variation of the SOHC V-12 engine, rooted in some of Ferrari’s most glorious racing cars. Designated tipo 208, the engine displaced nearly five liters, fed by triple 40 mm Weber twin-choke carburetors, and was rated at 400 hp. The 500 Superfast shared its basic chassis layout, 2.65-meter wheelbase, suspension, dual-circuit, servo-assisted Dunlop disc brakes, and gearbox with the contemporary 330 GT. As one of the most powerful production cars of its day, the 500 Superfast was advertised by Ferrari as capable of 175 mph.
Bodies were built by Pininfarina’s renowned craftsmen with exceptional care, and many were finished with special features that catered to the whims of their first owners. Production was completed over two series, with 36 in all, including 24 first-series cars followed by a dozen second-series examples. Production was unhurried at a rate of roughly one 500 Superfast per month and buyers formed a tightly focused list of the era’s most influential, powerful, and wealthy, including Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, heiress Barbara Hutton, and actor Peter Sellers.
Benefiting from the loving care of just a few discerning owner-collectors from new, this left-hand-drive Series I 1964 Ferrari 500 Superfast carries fascinating and exceptionally well-documented history. Bearing chassis 6043, it is the 11th of the scant 36 examples built. Lavishly wealthy Lord James Edward Hanson, the famed British business magnate who courted both Joan Collins and Audrey Hepburn, ordered this Ferrari to his precise specifications. Having just attended the Geneva salon, where the 500 Superfast was unveiled, Lord Hanson was duly impressed with the exclusive new Ferrari model and made detailed handwritten notes on the Pininfarina information packet for the car, which are on file. Within his notes, he expressed his desire for special features including a Verde Scuro (Dark Green) paint finish over Black leather upholstery – it would be the only Superfast to be finished in this elegant combination. Befitting his station in life, the invoice for Lord Hanson’s new Ferrari totaled over 12,000,000 lire, about $20,000, more than double the price of a new Rolls-Royce, and the most expensive car offered at that time by any manufacturer.
Remarkably, Lord Hanson retained ownership of his beloved Superfast from 1965 to 2000, easily making him the longest-term original owner of the model. He domiciled the car at Pininfarina’s Torino, facilities for his use on the continent during much of the 1965 to 1972 period; however, his business and travel commitments kept him from driving and the car registered less than 10,000 miles during his ownership. When he realized that most of the mileage being added in the ensuing years was solely in pursuit of the car’s annual MOT inspection, he decided in 2000, at long last, to offer it for sale.
That December, 6043, then showing just 12,288 miles, was acquired by noted Dutch coachbuilt Ferrari collector Edgar Schermerhorn. Documented outings included the 3rd Concours d’Elegance Paleis Het Loo, held in September 2001, with the Ferrari awarded a well-deserved Best of Show, followed by exhibition at the Louis Vuitton Bagatelle Concours d’Elegance held in Paris. Subsequent exhibitions included the January 2002 MEC Show in Maastricht, Holland, and the 2nd European Concours d’Elegance held that July at Castle Schwetzingen near Heidelberg, Germany. During Mr. Schermerhorn’s tenure, 6043 was also featured in Sports Car Market magazine publisher Keith Martin’s 2004 book, Keith Martin on Collecting Ferrari, as well as the June/July 2005 issue of Cavallino magazine, and the December 2005 edition of the German magazine, Ferrari World.
Just prior to its acquisition by noted collector Martin Gruss in May 2009, the Superfast was accorded Ferrari Classiche certification, and its Red Book was issued. During 2009–2010, the Ferrari was serviced for Mr. Gruss by the marque experts at Paul Russell and Company. Further displays at top venues include the 2010 XIX Cavallino Classic, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, and the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, both in 2011, followed by participation in the 2011 Italia Classica Ferrari Gran Tour to Venezia and 2012 Louis Vuitton Classic Monte Carlo-Serenissima Run. As offered, 6043 benefits most handsomely from the knowledgeable ownership it has enjoyed from new, including proper care and sparing use. Desirable upgrades include fitment of air-conditioning, an auxiliary cooling fan, a matched pair of Heuer Rally timers mounted to the wooden dash, and electric power steering for touring enjoyment. Just 20,065 miles were displayed at the time of cataloguing.
Accompanying the sale of 6043 is a wealth of assorted rare spare parts and original items, including original interior components that were removed to allow expert fitment of the air-conditioning system, plus the Ferrari’s original wooden dashboard. Other desirable accompanying items include license plates, a tool roll, roadside jack, original radio and amplifier, car cover, and Ferrari Classiche Red Book, which confirms its matching-numbers engine, specially fitted five-speed gearbox, and other factory original components. The offering of 6043 includes a large historical file including original pre-purchase and purchase documents, an owner’s manual, registration history, service receipts, import documents, and a chronological history compiled by noted Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, plus photographs, and feature articles. Perhaps most notably, within the history file are several personal letters between Lord Hanson and delivering agent Colonel R.J. Hoare, C.B.E., of Maranello Concessionaires, which chronicle the progress of the Superfast’s construction in Maranello, and for years after its delivery, each with a formality of communication style no longer seen.
International event eligibility for this Superfast is exceptional and is augmented by the corresponding FIVA Identity Card issued in April 2010, and included with the sale. Built exclusively for the supremely wealthy, the powerful, and the royal, the 500 Superfast is the last, true low-production, coachbuilt luxury gran turismo to be offered by Ferrari, and the remarkable history and preservation of 6043 make it a truly electrifying find, and an opportunity not to be missed.