Ferrari 410 Superamerica
If you are a niche Italian sports car producer how do you sell more exotic Italian sports cars across the Atlantic? Make them bigger, more luxurious… and call them ‘America’ of course.
That was Ferrari’s plan anyway, back in 1955, when it launched a series of V12-powered Touring sports cars that lasted into the sixties.
The epitome of this series was the 410 Superamerica, which had even more power than the already very rapid Americas. It was correspondingly super-expensive too. In fact the 410 was almost double the price of a Mercedes Gull-Wing 300SL, and three times the cost of a Corvette.
The list of 410 owners reflected this price tag – the Shah of Iran, Emperor Bao Dai of Vietnam and US casino baron Bill Harrah all owned one.
What they got was a car that would still be considered very fast today. In the late fifties its performance seemed mind-boggling. One owner said: “"When you put your foot down, you hope the road goes where the car is going.”
Its V12 5-litre engine produced up to 400bhp and it could do 0-60mph in 6.6 seconds. Top speed was 165mph (265kph).