2022 | Pebble Beach Auctions
1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Series I Coupé Aerodinamico
Coachwork by Pininfarina
$4,000,000 - $5,000,000
Covered-Headlight SWB Superamerica; The Ultimate Coachbuilt Ferrari of Its Era
Custom Built for Count Volpi, Founder of Scuderia Serenissima
Uniquely Outfitted with Lightweight Aluminum Coachwork and Bespoke Features
Well-Preserved Unrestored Condition with Irreplaceable Patina and Just 24,000 Km
Pebble Beach, Cavallino Classic, and FCA Concours Award Winner
Offered with Ferrari Classiche Red Book and Extensive Documentation
3,967 CC Tipo 163 SOHC 60º V-12 Engine
Three Weber 40 DCZ6 Carburetors
320 BHP at 6,600 RPM
4-Speed Manual Gearbox with Electric Overdrive
4-Wheel Vacuum-Assisted Dunlop Disc Brakes
Front Independent Suspension with Coil Springs and Shock Absorbers
Rear Live Axle with Radius Arms, Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs, and Shock Absorbers
Count Giovanni Volpi di Misurata, Venice, Italy (acquired new in 1961)
Angelo Salamini, Parma, Italy (acquired from the above in 1962)
Alfonso Pappalardo, Naples, Italy (acquired from the above in 1965)
Guido Romano, Parma, Italy (acquired from the above in 1968)
Lea Boccolari, Modena, Italy (acquired from the above in 1987)
Umberto Camellini, Modena, Italy (acquired from the above in 1987)
Dr. Richard Workman, Windermere, Florida (acquired from the above in 2015)
Current Owner (acquired from the above)
XV Concorso d’Eleganza di Rimini, 1961 (Best of Show)
Genova Autostory, 1993
Genova Autostory, 1996
Ferrari 60th Anniversary Concours d’Elegance, 2007
Casa Natale Enzo Ferrari, Le Grandi Sfide Ferrari Maserati, October 2012–March 2013
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, August 2015 (Second in Class)
FCA International Meet Concours, August 2015 (Preservation Platinum Award, Gold Award)
FCA International Meet Concours, June 2016 (Luigi Chinetti Memorial Award, Preservation Platinum Award)
Ferrari Mondial Finale Concours d’Elegance, December 2016
Ferrari 70th Anniversary at Casa Ferrari, California, 2017
Cavallino Classic, 2019 (Preservation Cup)
Cavallino Classic, 2020
Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, Italy, 2021
Ferrari’s “America” series of custom-bodied, large-displacement grand touring cars were built for a most elite clientele – discerning motorists to whom cost was no object, so long as the ultimate in exclusivity and performance was assured. Original owners of these cars included royals such as Shah Reza Pahlavi of Iran and Emperor Bao Dai of Vietnam, as well as leading Italian industrialists like Gianni Agnelli, Renato Bialetti, Pietro Barilla, and Dott. Enrico Wax, and American sportsmen including Bill Harrah, Tony Parravano, and Robert Wilke.
Included among the customers who favored these limited-production Ferraris was Count Giovanni Volpi di Misurata, the Italian nobleman who founded Scuderia Serenissima, one of the top privateer racing teams of the early 1960s. Born into an immensely wealthy and influential Venetian family, Giovanni Volpi first entered the world of motor racing as a young man in the late 1950s. By 1961, he had formally established his own racing team, Scuderia Serenissima, which entered Ferraris and Maseratis in European sports car races and Grand Prix cars in Formula 1 events. Count Volpi quickly became one of Ferrari’s most prolific clients, purchasing no fewer than 15 different road and racing cars in a matter of years.
In 1962, following the famous palace revolt, several key Scuderia Ferrari employees, including engineers Carlo Chiti and Giotto Bizzarrini, left to join Volpi’s team, which had been renamed Scuderia SSS Republica di Venezia. With Volpi’s backing, they formed Automobili Turismo e Sport (ATS) and developed the 2500 GT sports car and Tipo 100 Grand Prix. Following ATS’ disastrous 1963 Formula 1 season, Volpi left to form his own company, Automobili Serenissima, which produced several one-off racing cars through 1970. Most were powered by a proprietary three-liter V-8 developed by Alberto Massimino.
Given his extraordinary means and passions for the finest high-performance machinery, it is only fitting that Count Volpi was among the first customers to place an order for a 400 Superamerica, Ferrari’s latest and most expensive gran turismo, a new model which had only recently been introduced to the public.
Volpi’s 400 Superamerica, chassis 2809 SA, was one of the first examples produced to wear the new Coupé Aerodinamico body style, which was inspired by Pininfarina’s sensational Superfast II show car. Among the most extraordinary road-going Ferraris ever produced, these luxurious, streamlined coupes incorporated the show car’s most memorable design cues and were hand built in extremely limited numbers.
In total, Pininfarina built just 14 examples on the original short-wheelbase chassis exclusive to the 400 Superamerica Series I. Of these, seven were completed with the desirable covered-headlamp treatment and even fewer were fitted with rear wheel spats. This body, no. 99513, is especially noteworthy, as it was the sole example built from lightweight aluminum rather than steel.
Not content to own the only aluminum-bodied 400 Superamerica Coupé Aerodinamico, Count Volpi also ordered his car in the striking, one-off color scheme of Nero Tropicale over Tobacco Connolly leather. He also submitted a long list of special features for Pininfarina to incorporate into the build, including detachable headrests, lockable interior storage compartments, seatback pockets, Klippan seat belts, Blaupunkt radio, map light, headlight flasher pedal, and a second battery in the trunk.
Upon its completion in August 1961, this magnificent Coupé Aerodinamico was photographed by Pininfarina for promotional purposes; these photos have since been reproduced in countless books and magazine articles about the 400 Superamerica model. That same month, it was exhibited at the Concorso d’Eleganza di Rimini, where it was entered by Umberto Camellini, the son of Ferrari’s official sales agent in Modena, and awarded Best of Show.
On September 1, 1961, Count Volpi took delivery of his bespoke Ferrari Superamerica and registered it under the name Scuderia Serenissima S.r.l. in Modena. Almost immediately, he returned the car to Ferrari to be reupholstered, as it was finished with light tan leather rather than the richer Tobacco color he had specified. He then used 2809 SA until December 1962, when it was sold, via Scuderia Serenissima team manager Nello Ugolini, to a Parma resident named Angelo Salamini.
In 1965, the Ferrari passed to an owner in Naples, Italy; however, it returned to Parma, three years later, when it was sold to Guido Romano. Sig. Romano kept the 400 Superamerica until 1987, when it was acquired, in a remarkable twist of fate, by Umberto Camellini of Modena, the very man who had shown it at the Rimini Concours 26 years earlier.
Throughout his 28-year ownership, Sig. Camellini always maintained his prized Ferrari in good running order and displayed it on rare occasions. In 1993, 2809 SA took part in the Ferrari-Pininfarina celebration that was featured at the Genova Autostory salon. In June 2007, it appeared at the official Ferrari 60th Anniversary gathering in Maranello and, more recently, was showcased in the Le Grandi Sfide Ferrari Maserati exhibit at the Casa Natale Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena, held from October 2012 to March 2013. While in his ownership, Sig. Camellini also applied for and received Ferrari Classiche certification, which confirms that 2809 SA retains its original chassis, body, engine, gearbox, rear end, and other important components.
In 2015, Sig. Umberto Camellini finally decided to part with his beloved 400 Superamerica and sold it to well-known American Ferrari collector Dr. Richard Workman, the car’s first-ever owner outside of Italy. Following a careful preservation-minded detailing, Dr. Workman debuted 2809 SA at that year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® and placed second in the special Ferrari Preservation class. From there, the one-of-a-kind 400 Superamerica went on to capture several prestigious trophies including the Luigi Chinetti Memorial Award, two Preservation Platinum Awards, and a Gold Award at the FCA International Meet Concours in 2015 and 2016, as well as the Preservation Cup at the Cavallino Classic in 2019. The current caretaker, an East Coast collector with a passion for highly original, unrestored sports cars, acquired 2809 SA from Dr. Workman and has shown the Ferrari only on one occasion during his ownership, at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in October 2021.
Today, 2809 SA remains in well-preserved, largely unrestored condition, still showing less than 25,000 km at the time of cataloguing. Sensational in appearance and possessing a wonderful, consistent patina, this Ferrari is sure to captivate any collector with a reverence for preservation-quality automobiles. In keeping with its exceptional presentation, the Ferrari is accompanied by a proper tool kit and jack, as well as an exhaustive documentation file, which includes the Ferrari Classiche Red Book, a history report produced by Marcel Massini, copies of the factory build sheets, Automobile Club d’Italia registration records, period photographs, articles, and correspondence.
One of only seven covered-headlight, short-wheelbase Coupé Aerodinamicos ever produced – and the one and only example built in aluminum – this 400 Superamerica must be considered among the most important coachbuilt Ferraris in existence, based on its specification alone. Consider then that it was custom-built for Count Volpi, one of the most important figures in the history of postwar Italian motorsport, finished in a one-off color scheme and equipped with a long list of bespoke equipment, and you have a truly singular machine. Since leaving his ownership, 2809 SA has benefited from a limited roster of owners, including two long-term Italian caretakers and two discerning American collectors. All have recognized this car’s significance and endeavored to preserve it in unrestored condition, such that it still bears the irreplaceable traces of its maker.
Not only is 2809 SA utterly unique among 400 Superamericas, but it is also perhaps the finest original and best-preserved example extant. A Concours d’Elegance winner in 1961 and today, magnificently preserved, comprehensively documented, and certified by Ferrari Classiche, this is a masterpiece fit for the connoisseur.