There were only ever two 500 Superfasts that were displayed at American auto shows. One of those was put on display at the 57th Annual Chicago Auto show. That particular 1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast Series 1 by Pininfarina was recently offered for auction by RM Sotheby’s, and it pulled in $2.75 million.
Produced between 1964 and 1966, the Superfast was the last generation of original Ferrari supercoupes. The car featured Pininfarina coachwork. The tapered nose had a dart-like appearance, and the rounded tail marked a new look for Ferrari. The Superfast cars were expensive for their time, selling for well over $14,000. The price was warranted, however, as each Superfast was individually hand-built. Only small numbers of each model were made (there were only about 36 500 Superfasts manufactured), and each featured many bespoke features. A select clientele bought the 500 Superfast, including two members of the Aga Khan; Peter Livanos, who would go on to own Aston Martin; film star Peter Sellers; the heiress of the Woolworth fortune, Barbara Hutton; and John von Neumann, the famed racing driver.
While other companies were manufacturing two-passenger coupes, none could keep up with Ferrari. The 500 Superfast were indeed just that, super fast. The cars were built around an original Ferrari Colombo V12. The engine displaced five liters, and could produce 395 horsepower that was channeled into a four-speed manual transmission. With a top speed of 175 miles per hour, the 500 Superfast had few if any rivals on the track in 1964. The engine also featured three Weber twin-choke carburetors as well as independent front suspension with A-arms and coil springs. The rear axle had parallel training arms and semi-elliptical leaf springs. Stopping power came by way of four-wheel hydraulic disk brakes.
The Superfast sold by RM Sotheby’s had several distinguishing features, including 11-slot vents and floor-hinged pedals. A four-speed synchromesh transmission with a mechanical clutch and an electronic overdrive helped the driver tap into the car’s impressive power. The car was sold with its original interior and sports all matching numbers. It’s little wonder that this fantastic car pulled in such a kingly sum.