Ferrari America

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Ferrari America
340, 342, 375, 410, 400
500 Superfast, 365 California
Overview
Manufacturer Ferrari
Production 1951-1967
Body and chassis
Class Grand tourer
Layout FR layout

Ferrari America is a series of top-end Ferrari models built in the 1950s and 1960s. They were large touring cars with the largest V12 engines and often had custom bodywork. All America models used a live axle in the rear, were front-engined, and had worm and sector steering.

Two of the series, the 400 and the 410, were called Superamerica. The final member of the America production family was called the 500 Superfast. The series also includes the 365 California.

340 America[edit]

340 America
Ferrari 340 America Spyder Vignale at Mille Miglia 2012.jpg
Ferrari 340 America Spyder Vignale
Overview
Production 1950—1952
23 produced
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door coupe
2-door roadster
Powertrain
Engine 4.1 L V12

The first America cars were the 340, produced between 1950 and 1952. Using the new Lampredi V12 developed for Formula One racing, the 340 America could produce over 200 PS (147 kW; 197 hp). Only 23 copies were built: 11 by Vignale, eight by Touring, and four by Ghia.[1] Giovanni Michelotti designed Coupé and 2+2 Coupé for Ghia and Coupé and Spider for Vignale.

The 340 America was replaced by its larger-engined brother, the 375 America.

342 America[edit]

342 America
Monterey Historics 2011-10-66 - Flickr - Moto@Club4AG.jpg
Ferrari 342 America Pinin Farina Coupé
Overview
Production 1952
6 produced
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door coupe
2-door convertible
Powertrain
Engine 4.1 L V12
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,650 mm (104 in)
Curb weight 1,200 kg (2,646 lb)

Only 6 made: Vignale Cabriolet (designed by Giovanni Michelotti), 2 Pinin Farina Cabriolets and 3 Pinin Farina Coupes. Using same Lampredi-designed engine as in 340 America with different carburettor air filter arrangement. Both 340/342 Americas used even chassis numbering of a race cars, while 375 America and later used odd chassis numbering of a road cars. Black Pinin Farina Cabriolet was owned by King Leopold III of Belgium.

375 America[edit]

See also: Ferrari 375 F1
375 America
Overview
Production 1953-1954
11 produced
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door coupe
2-door roadster
Powertrain
Engine 4.5 L V12
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,800 mm (110 in)
Curb weight 1,150 kg (2,535 lb)

Another Pinin Farina and Vignale bodied Americas, the 375 used the new 4.5 L Lampredi engine with up to 300 PS (221 kW; 296 hp). The 375 were expensive and exclusive - only about 11 were built from late 1953 through 1954. 3 Vignale Coupés were designed by Giovanni Michelotti.

410 Superamerica[edit]

410 Superamerica
1959 Ferrari 410 Superamerica.jpg
Series III 410 Supeamerica Pinin Farina Coupé
Overview
Production 1955-1959
35 produced
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door coupe
2-door roadster
Powertrain
Engine 5.0 L V12
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,800 mm (110 in)
Curb weight 1,200 kg (2,646 lb)

As if the custom, low-volume America was not fast enough, Ferrari produced another line of America cars, beginning with the 1955 410 Superamerica. The engine was now up to 5.0 L with 340 PS (250 kW; 335 hp) available. A 1957 Superamerica III had triple Weber carburetors for even more power.

Each 410 Superamerica had custom bodywork, with a few by Boano and Ghia but most by Ferrari stalwart, Pinin Farina. The price was extremely high — at US$16,800, the 410 Superamerica offered at the New York Auto Show by importer Luigi Chinetti was more than twice as expensive as the Mercedes-Benz 300SL "Gullwing" exhibited by Max Hoffman. Just 35 were built when the series ended in 1959.[2] First 2 series of Pinin Farina coupés were very similar with only 3rd series radically redesigned with non-panoramic rear window, different side-line, lower front grille and more recessed headlights, some covered. While most 3rd series PF coupés had 3 louvres behind side-windows, some have this space glassed over. Series III cars were introduced in 1958.

410 Superfast Pinin Farina Speciale[edit]

Also known as "Superfast I", made on 410 Superamerica chassis with 24-plug racing engine, prominent tailfins and bi-coloured body. It was unveiled at the 1956 Paris Auto Show. Wheelbase was shorter at 2,600mm.

250 GT Pinin Farina Coupé Speciale[edit]

In 1956, 4 cars made on type 513 chassis, with series I 410 Superamerica-style bodies and type 128, 3.0 V12 engines. Although chassis numbers are in the middle of Boano 250 GT Coupé-run they don't share the same chassis type.

400 Superamerica[edit]

400 Superamerica
1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Aerodinamico - Flickr - exfordy.jpg
Series I Ferrari 400 Superamerica Aerodinamico Coupé
Overview
Production 1959—1964
47 produced
Designer Aldo Brovarone at Pininfarina (coupé aerodinamico)
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door coupe
2-door roadster
Powertrain
Engine 4.0 L V12
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,420 mm (95 in)(series I)
2,420 mm (95 in)(series II)
Curb weight 1,250 kg (2,756 lb) (coupé)

The 400 Superamerica had a smaller 4.0 L Colombo engine, but produced as much power as its predecessor. It debuted in 1959 as 410 production ended, and was available as a coupe, spider, or cabriolet with custom Pinin Farina bodywork. Four-wheel disc brakes were a new addition. 47 Ferrari 400s had been built, along 2 series, when the 400 stepped aside in 1964, of which 32 were coupé aerodinamico variant. Series I coupés aerodinamico had open hood air scoop while series II cars had covered scoop and slightly longer wheelbase.

400 Superamerica Pinin Farina Coupé Speciale[edit]

Special one-off version of 400 Superamerica built in 1959 for Gianni Agnelli. This car was also the very first of 400 Superamericas. Worth note is the fact that very similar body was used on Maserati 5000 GT also built for Sig. Agnelli.

Ferrari 400 Superamerica PF Coupé Speciale for Gianni Agnelli

400 Superamerica Superfast II-IV[edit]

Originally built as series I Ferrari 400 Superamerica Aerodinamico Pinin Farina Coupé, chassis no. 2207SA, was bodied and presented as Superfast II at Torino Motor Show in 1960 and 1961. In 1961 rebodied into Superfast III and presented at 1962 Geneva Motor Show. Same year redesigned another, final, time as Superfast IV. It was a styling concept for the upcoming 500 Superfast model.

500 Superfast[edit]

500 Superfast
1966 Ferrari 500 Superfast Coupe.jpg
Overview
Production 1964—1966
36 produced
Designer Pininfarina
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door coupe
Powertrain
Engine 5.0 L Tipo 208 V12
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,650 mm (104 in)
Length 4,820 mm (190 in)
Width 1,730 mm (68 in)
Height 1,280 mm (50 in)
Curb weight 1,400 kg (3,086 lb)

The end of the top-line America series was the 1964 500 Superfast. Early in development, and even into production, these cars were to be called "Superamericas", but the decision was made at the last moment to use "Superfast" instead. The engine was a 5.0 L Ferrari Colombo V12 engine, with 400 PS (294 kW; 395 hp) available, now pushing the car to 275 km/h (171 mph). The engine had the same dimensions as the Lampredi "long-block" engines of the 410 Superamerica, otherwise the design was based on the original Colombo 'short' block. The chassis was very similar in construction to the contemporary 330 GT 2+2, and bodywork was again done by Pininfarina. When leaving the factory the 500 Superfast originally fitted Pirelli Cinturato 205VR15 tyres (CN72). 36 cars were made to 1966, including 12 "series II" models with an updated 5-speed transmission. Production total excludes a one-off 330 GT 2+2 produced with a Superfast-style body for HRH Prince Bernhard of The Netherlands. Only coupes were made and no Superfast roadsters were available.

365 California[edit]

365 California
Overview
Production 1966–1967
14 produced
Designer Tom Tjaarda at Pininfarina[3]
Body and chassis
Body style convertible
Powertrain
Engine 4.4 L Colombo Tipo 217B V12
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,650 mm (104 in)
Length 4,900 mm (193 in)
Width 1,780 mm (70 in)
Height 1,330 mm (52 in)
Curb weight 1,320 kg (2,910 lb)

The 365 California replaced the 500 Superfast for 1966. It was the first 365 model, with its 4.4 L (4390 cc/267 in³) V12 based on the 330's 4.0 L Colombo unit but with an 81 mm bore. The 365 California used the same chassis as the 500 Superfast but with an evolutionary cabriolet body by Pininfarina. Debuting at the Geneva Motor Show in 1966, just 14 examples were produced (including 2 in right hand drive) before production ended in 1967. Whilst the prototype was built on a 330 GT 2+2 type 571 chassis, production cars featured type 598 chassis. Chassis' were sent to Pininfarina's Grugliasco plant to be bodied and trimmed which were later returned to Ferrari for fitment of the mechanical components. It was presented at the 1966 Geneva Salon.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Thorson, Thor (September 2008). "1951 Ferrari 340 America Coupe". Sports Car Market 20 (9): 44. 
  2. ^ Ahlgrim, Steve (April 2012). "1957 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Coupe". Sports Car Market 24 (4): 46–47. 
  3. ^ "Cars by Tom Tjaarda". tom-tjaarda.net. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 

References[edit]

  • Buckley, Martin & Rees, Chris (1998). World Encyclopedia of Cars. London: Anness Publishing. ISBN 1-84038-083-7.