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Coachwork by Pinin Farina
A World Auction Record for a Ferrari 410 Superamerica Series 1 Coupe at $3,300,000From the McBride Collection The 1956 New York Auto Show Car
Constructed during winter 1955, 0475 SA was the fourth of only 16 Series I 410 Superamericas built on the 2,800 mm wheelbase. Finished in the understated color scheme of beige with natural Connolly hides, the Superamerica was equipped with Marchal fog lights mounted in the grille and outfitted with Pirelli tires and Abarth exhaust. The car carried a very period-appropriate and tasteful finish, yet retained the impressive appearance of the 410. On March 4, 1956, the 410 Superamerica was given its final check-over at the factory before being shipped to Luigi Chinetti in New York City. Later that month, the brand-new 410 Superamerica was seen in the spectator parking lot at the 12 Hours of Sebring – where the Scuderia Ferrari 860 Monzas finished 1st and 2nd overall.
Possibly the first 410 in the US, 0475 SA was included in the Chinetti Motors display at the New York International Auto Show – held at the newly completed New York Coliseum on Columbus Circle from April 28 through May 6, 1956. The striking 410 shared the display alongside the one-off Boano-bodied 250 GT Cabriolet and a four-cylinder sports racer. The Superamerica was no doubt impressive as Ferrari’s new Pinin Farina-bodied flagship GT.
Shortly after the car’s promotional duties had concluded, 0475 SA was sold new to its first owner, DuPont heir William Kemble Carpenter of Montchanin, Delaware. William’s father, Robert Ruliph Morgan Carpenter, was a successful executive who served on the board of directors for DuPont for 35 years and, in 1943, purchased the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team. William Carpenter was a true sportsman who enjoyed international expeditions, yachts, and fine automobiles but made his name in sport fishing. He won first place in the prestigious Cat Cay Tuna Tournament on seven separate occasions and is considered one of the great bluefin tuna anglers. Carpenter also sat as president and board of trustees member for the International Game Fishing Association, and was later inducted into the Fishing Hall of Fame.
By 1961, Carpenter sold his Superamerica to Lauren and Hazel Dennen, proprietors of the famed Heritage House Inn in Little River, California, a charming and sprawling inn just south of Mendocino made famous by its inclusion in the 1978 feature film Same Time Next Year. The couple retained the Ferrari for four years until February 1965, when 0475 SA was sold to Dr. George L. Kerrigan of Orinda, California.
In the late 1960s, the 410 Superamerica was purchased by Seattle resident Stan Baker. Baker was a well-known gunsmith in addition to one of the Pacific Northwest’s early car collectors. During his decades of collecting, Baker went on to own a 250 Europa (0351 EU) as well as a 300 SL Gullwing in addition to other Italian sports cars and American classics. During Baker’s stewardship, the 410 was repainted dark red and the original interior was dyed tan.
On July 25, 1982, the Ferrari was displayed at the Concours d’Elegance at the Village Green Resort and, two years later, 0475 SA was shown at the Ferrari Club of America International Meeting and Concours held in Carmel Valley, California, in August 1984, where it received First in Class. Baker then brought the Superamerica to the 34th Annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance where it was shown in Class L – Postwar European Custom Coachwork Through 1960.
After nearly three decades of ownership, Baker brought the 410 to the 1994 FCA International Concours in Monterey and Concorso Italiano, held at Quail Lodge. In September 1997, Baker invited his friend, Seattle collector Bob Lukarel, to join him on the Colorado Grand where they shared driving duties of the Ferrari. In 2000, Baker passed away and the collection was slowly sold.
As a friend of both Baker and Lukarel, Ken McBride was quite familiar with the 410 and had always expressed his desire to acquire the car for his growing collection. In 2002, after decades of single ownership, McBride was able to purchase 0475 SA from the Baker estate. During McBride’s early ownership, both mechanical and cosmetic work was undertaken including the manufacture of two new front seats to preserve the originals. The car was maintained in the McBride collection and, in 2007, Ken and Patty McBride took the 410 on the Colorado Grand.
The 410 remained a staple of the McBride collection, and was the choice and favored Ferrari when both a 275 GTB/4 and a 250 SWB came and went. The 410 was quite possibly McBride’s favorite car and was surely one he sought for the majority of his years collecting.
Today, 0475 SA benefits from limited ownership in the hands of individuals who were keen to preserve its originality. The car retains the red paint applied during Baker’s ownership, which shows some cracking and checking. The interior boasts significant originality, having had materials replaced only as needed and the leather having been dyed.
The 410 is superbly complete, offered with an original factory brochure, original tools and tool roll, the original front seats, a spare set of wheels, and a file that dates back to the early 1960s that includes show placards, archival photos, copies of the factory build sheets, and a history report compiled by Marcel Massini.
Suitable for countless high-level international gatherings, 0475 SA offers the next owner the opportunity to use the car on driving events, after minor preparation, or the perfect basis for a high-level restoration.
So few coachbuilt Ferraris remain today in an unrestored state, and given this 410’s wonderful as-delivered specifications and rich history, it is certainly a unique restoration candidate.
410 Superamericas were among the most powerful, expensive, and prestigious Ferraris of the 1950s – a car of kings. A car of this caliber is an entry for the best events in the world, including the top lawn at the Cavallino Classic, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.
These cars are fixtures in some of the world’s most important Ferrari collections and rarely trade hands – let alone at auction. This is unquestionably a significant opportunity.
The 410 Superamerica
Among the short list of exclusive coachbuilt Ferraris, few are as magnificent as the 410 Superamerica. Introduced in 1955 as a replacement for the 375 America, the 410 Superamerica was the latest thoroughbred from Maranello built upon the qualities that made the Lampredi-powered Ferraris automotive legends: extraordinary power, fashionable designs, and unmatched exclusivity.
Compared with its predecessor, the new top- of-the-line Ferrari was a much more refined road car and benefitted from a strengthened chassis, independent coil-spring front suspension, and Porsche-type synchromesh. At the heart of the 410 Superamerica was Ferrari’s ultraexotic 4.9-liter Lampredi V-12 – a lightly detuned version of the engine found in the 375 Plus, the legendary 175 mph sports racer that won Le Mans and the Carrera Panamericana in 1954. With some 335 bhp and tremendous low-end torque, the 410 Superamerica was the fastest road-going car of its day, capable of speeds in excess of 150 mph.
Pinin Farina was the predominant coachbuilder of these mighty Ferraris and a limited series of bodies were executed, with each example receiving subtle bespoke details. The coachbuilder’s efforts for the 410 Superamerica were based largely on the contemporary 250 GT, but are immediately distinguished by their increased scale, decorative flourishes, and one-off features. Boano, Ghia, and Scaglietti each produced a single body for the prestigious 410 Superamerica chassis, each firm seemingly outdoing the other with extravagant dream-car- inspired designs.
During its limited production run, the 410 Superamerica had no direct competitor and was truly in a class of its own. The asking price represented a tremendous sum for the period and, although pricing was established “in accordance to specifications,” most examples approached $17,000 – significantly more than the most expensive 250 GT.
The car’s staggering price ensured that it catered to an elite clientele, and it is no surprise that Renato Bialetti, Emperor Bao-Dai, Fred Lip, Pietro Barilla, and Count Somsky were among the first to place orders for the Superamerica.
In the minds of many Ferrari aficionados, the 410 Superamericas were the last of the great large-displacement road cars. While the later 400 Superamerica and 500 Superfast occupied a similar role, they lacked the 410’s magnificent Lampredi V-12 – an engine that defined the sound, character, and performance of Ferrari during the 1950s.