Ferrari America

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Ferrari America
340, 375, 410, 400, 500, 365
Automotive industryFerrari
Production1951-1967
Car classificationGrand tourer
Automobile layoutFR layout
340 America
Production1950—1952
Car body style2-door Coupe
2-door Roadster
Internal combustion engine4.1 L V12
375 America
375 America
Production1952-1955
Car body style2-door Coupe
2-door Roadster
Internal combustion engine4.5 L V12
410 Superamerica
410 Superamerica
Production1955-1959
Car body style2-door Coupe
2-door Roadster
Internal combustion engine5.0 L V12
400 Superamerica
Production1959—1964
Car body style2-door Coupe
2-door Roadster
Internal combustion engine4.0 L V12
500 Superfast
1966 Ferrari 500 Superfast Coupe.
Production1964—1966
37 produced
Car body style2-door Coupe
Internal combustion engine5.0 L V12
365 California
Production1966—1967
14 produced
Car body style2-door Roadster
Internal combustion engine4.4 L V12
See also the 340 F1 and 375 F1 Formula 1 racers

A Ferrari America is one of a series of top-end Ferrari models built in the 1950s and 1960s. They were large Grand tourer with the largest V12 engines and often had custom bodywork. All America models used a Live axle in the rear, were FR layout, and had Worm and sector steering.

The America series was based on a series of Concept car which bore the Superfast name. Therefore, the final true member of the America production family finally bore that name instead: The 500 Superfast.

Contents

340 America


The first America cars were the 340. Using the new Lampredi V12 developed for Formula 1 racing, the 340 America could produce over 200 hp. Only 23 copies were built: 11 by Vignale, eight by Carrozzeria Touring, and four by Carrozzeria Ghia.[1] The 340 was produced between 1950 and 1952, replaced by its larger-engined brother, the 375 America.

375 America


Another Pinin Farina and Vignale car, the 375 used the new 4.5 L Lampredi engine with up to 300 hp (224 kW). The 340 and 375 were expensive and exclusive - only about 40 were built from late 1951 through 1955.

375 MM "Ingrid Bergman"

Sergio Scaglietti and his Carrozzeria Scaglietti were commissioned by director Roberto Rossellini to custom build a one-off version of the 375 MM with custom bodywork for his wife, actress Ingrid Bergman. This design later became the inspiration for the car which would be named after Scaglietti himself, the Ferrari 612.

Ms. Bergman wasn't too fond of the car, or of Rossellini's love for Ferraris in general.

As a curiosity, the colour that was chosen for this amazing masterpiece was unique and not available for the other Ferrari models. It was the intention of Roberto Rossellini to utilize a colour that could be compared to that of Ingrid Bergman's eyes. This colour is now available for all production Ferraris under the name "Grigio Ingrid."

410 Superamerica


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 hp (254 kW) available. A 1957 Superamerica III had triple Weber carburetor 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 USD16,800, 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 a few (14 to 35) were built when the series ended in 1959.

400 Superamerica

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 brake were a new addition. 50 400s had been built when the 400 stepped aside in 1964.

500 Superfast

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 hp (298 kW) available now, pushing the car to 170 mph (274 km/h). The engine had the same dimensions as the Lampredi "long-block" engines of the 410 Superamerica. The chassis was based on the contemporary 330 GT 2+2, and bodywork was again done by Pininfarina. 37 cars were made to 1966, including 12 "series II" models with an updated 5-speed transmission. Only coupes were made and no Superfast roadsters were available.

365 California

The 1966 365 California was a stepchild model. It used the America's chassis, with its 2650 mm wheelbase and Live axle rear suspension, but had the 4.4 L Colombo V12 from the other 365 cars. Just 14 of the open roadsters were built (including 2 in right hand drive), production ended in 1967.

Notes

  1. Thorson, Thor (September 2008), "1951 Ferrari 340 America Coupe", Sports Car Market 20 (9): 44 

References

  • Buckley, Martin & Rees, Chris (1998). World Encyclopedia of Cars. London: Anness Publishing. ISBN 1-84038-083-7. 
Preceded by
Mercedes-Benz 300SL
Fastest production car
261 km/h
Succeeded by
Mercedes-Benz 300SLR
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