1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast Series 1
- Built for clients looking for uncompromising performance in a luxury car — the ultimate Ferrari of its day
- One of only eight RHD Ferrari 500 Superfasts
- Fabulously restored by marque specialist Bob Houghton from 2014 to 2015
- The last low-volume production coupé boasting 400 bhp and a five-speed gearbox produced by Ferrari
- Twice as expensive as the more sporting 275 GTB — these cars were seldom ordered and only produced at a rate of two per month by Pininfarina
The Ferrari 500 Superfast
The successor to the hugely popular 410 Superamerica was this, the 500 Superfast, which was unveiled at the 1964 Geneva Motor Show. This was the ultimate in front-engined Ferraris for those who appreciated comfort and performance.
These highly exclusive, beautifully elegant hand-built cars were a must-have for the rich and famous and were bought by the likes of racing driver John von Neumann, Price Aga Khan in Geneva, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, The Shah of Iran, British actor Peter Sellers, future Aston Martin company owner Peter Livanos in Greece, playboy Gunter Sachs and Woolworths heiress Barbara Hutton! With an asking price of £10,932, the 500 Superfast was nearly double the price of the 250 GT/L ‘Lusso’ or 275 GTB.
Ferrari and Pininfarina made sure the 500 Superfast was seen by all, showing examples at the Geneva, Turin, Brussels, Chicago and New York motor shows! The aerodynamic ancestry was clear, with this being the final development of the original Ferrari super-coupés. However, it was not just the bodywork that had evolved, the 5.0-litre V12 was also developed and could now produce 400 bhp, with a top speed in excess of 280 km/h / 170 mph!
Of the mere 36 Ferrari 500 Superfasts built, only eight were right-hand drive, making this, without question, one of the rarest front-engined V12 Ferrari coupés of all time! Interestingly, this is also the last low-volume production coupé produced by Ferrari, in a series that had started with the America and Superamerica in the 1950s. Despite the increased sale price of the low-volume production cars, Ferrari was finding that the cost of tooling necessary for small series runs was becoming less viable, making this car all the more significant in Ferrari history.
Ferrari’s flagship grand tourer of the 1960s offered the wealthy everything — it was the car to be seen in, whilst also providing the driver all the enjoyment a front-engined, 400 bhp, V12, 170-mph coupé could! Thanks to its comfortable and spacious Connolly leather interior, large powerful engine and unparalleled exclusivity, the 500 Superamerica was Ferrari’s king of the road. It took Ferrari nearly 20 years before they produced a more powerful production road car, the V8 turbo-charged 288 GTO in 1984!
This Ferrari 500 Superfast
The Ferrari 500 Superfast we see before us today entered the famed Carrozzeria Pininfarina factory in Turin in October 1964, before being completed in June the following year. At the same time in the UK, stockbroker and future sponsor of Rob Walker’s Formula 1 team Mr Jack S. Dulacher had expressed interest in Ferrari’s latest and greatest grand touring coupé. Dulacher placed an order with Maranello Concessionaires, the UK’s sole Ferrari importer and distributor, through his preferred dealer, John Coombs and Sons Ltd in Guildford. John Coombs was most noted for his connection with Jaguars in competition, with particular involvement in the Jaguar E-Type Lightweight.
The history file accompanying 6661 is astonishing and contains copies of vast amounts of period documentation between Maranello Concessionaires, Coombs and Sons and Mr Jack Dulacher himself. As a result of this thorough file, we are able to see that this car was invoiced by Ferrari to Maranello Concessionaires on 6 July 1965, with its Italian export certificate being issued the following day. On 8 July, the car was invoiced to John Coombs and Sons before being delivered to Mr Jack Dulacher at the end of the month. The car was finished in Bleu Chiaro with a Pelle Beige interior, carpets and headlining. A great feature of this car, confirming it was built to serve the wealthy and famous, is a small lever to the left of the steering column: a release for the passenger door!
Interestingly, this car was also fitted new with the later five-speed gearbox, as confirmed in the Ferrari Classiche Red Binder. The five-speed gearbox was a much more desirable unit, fitted to only a handful of Series 1 cars, often referred to as Series 1.5, whilst also being standard fitment for the Series 2 500 Superfasts. The Series 1 cars also tended to be fitted with 11-slot engine bay exhaust vents in the front wings, with the Series 2 cars being fitted with the triple louvred assembly, as fitted to this car from new. Several Series 1 cars were fitted with commonly accepted Series 2 features from new by the Ferrari factory, showing that Ferrari was doing everything possible to ensure they met the requirements of their most important clients.
Upon delivery, Mr Dulacher chose not to accept the car, writing to Colonel Hoare to explain how he felt that the price he paid was not reflected in the car he was delivered. Despite much communication between the two, a compromise was not found, and Maranello Concessionaires instead sold the car new to Mr George Tsakiroglou, a Greek shipping tycoon living in London. The car was then registered with the UK license ‘JJJ 9D’, with the history file containing a colour image of the car from this period!
Thanks to the superbly detailed history file, we can see through invoices that the mileage of this car steadily increased from 368 in June 1966 to 17,408 in September 1968, at which point the car was owned by Mr C.E. Marshall in Wolverhampton, UK, and displayed license ‘HCY 700D’. The invoices continued with regular servicing, including a gearbox strip and rebuild in 1971 during Mr Lovett’s ownership.
Throughout the history file, there are various period pictures, including a sighting at a Thruxton Formula 2 race meeting during its time with Rod Leach in the late 1970s. Throughout all of these images, the car was consistently presented in good condition, with the history file confirming regular servicing and maintenance.
By 1980, this car was for sale with British Formula 1 racer Richard Attwood, who was asking £18,500, with the car displaying 41,000 miles. Later, the car made a brief visit to the continent whilst under the ownership of Mr Alexander Van der Lof of the Netherlands, before returning to the UK with Mr Michael Lentin of London. Also in the 1980s, this Superfast was treated to a restoration by renowned Ferrari specialist Terry Hoyle.
In 1993, this Ferrari was purchased by Mr and Mrs De Baldanza, residents in the Cotswolds. In 1997, De Baldanza chose to have the engine rebuilt by local Ferrari specialist Bob Houghton, who continued to regularly service and maintain the car throughout their ownership.
March 2013 was an important time for 6661, as it was inspected and awarded its Ferrari Classiche certification, confirming it retains its original chassis, engine and body. The rear axle was changed early in the car’s life, with copies of all correspondence and invoices between Maranello Concessionaires and the Ferrari factory itself contained within this most impressive history file.
Under its current ownership in 2014, Bob Houghton was commissioned to complete a full restoration of this Ferrari 500 Superfast, including a bare-metal respray, engine rebuild, gearbox rebuild, differential rebuild and suspension rebuild.
Today, the car is presented in truly stunning condition and finished in its original colour combination of Blu Chiaro over a Beige leather interior. Fresh from an extensive restoration by leading marque experts, this car wants only to be driven and enjoyed. Only a handful of the Jet Set in the 1960s ever experienced the ultra-luxurious flagship Ferrari 500 Superfast — are you going to join that club?
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