Ferrari 410 Superamerica chassis 0671 SA

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In the summer of 1957 Ferrari replaced the original 410 Superamerica with an updated model that featured a new short wheelbase chassis and even more powerful version of the Lampredi big block engine. Six examples were built, five of which had bodywork by Pinin Farina (four standard Coupes and one Superfast). The other was uniquely equipped by Scaglietti on chassis 0671 SA.

The commission for 0671 SA came from serial Ferrari owner, Dr. Enrico Wax in Genoa. Wax was a personal friend of Enzo Ferrari and one of Italy’s wealthiest men. Together with his business partner, Guido Vitale, Wax and Vitale ordered several Ferraris, most with an array of custom features.

Their company, Wax & Vitale SpA, was the official Italian importer for a variety of luxury goods including alcoholic spirits, champagne and Connolly leather.

In addition to the Superamerica, Ettore Wax purchased several other Ferraris including a 1953 250 Mille Miglia Berlinetta (0310 MM), a 1956 250 GT Berlinetta (0425 GT) and a 1959 250 GT SWB Competizione (1739 GT). All were specially modified to Wax’s personal taste and 1739 GT given a unique body by Bertone.

For 0671 SA Wax requested something highly individual and Enzo Ferrari suggested Scaglietti design and build him a 410 Superamerica. Better known as the supplier of Ferrari’s competition car bodies, Scaglietti created a one-off design unlike anything else available at the time.

Painted black over a beige interior, it was elaborately detailed with stainless steel used for the roof, side vents, vented rocker panels and finned rear wings. The rest of the body was lightweight aluminium and a pair of long-range 50-litre fuel tanks were installed. The cockpit was equipped with a crackle black dash, bucket seats and acres of quilted leather. The rev counter, speedometer, clock, ammeter and fuel gauge were located centrally. Water and oil temperature gauges along with an oil pressure gauge were mounted directly behind the steering wheel. Aside from the Veglia clock, all the instruments were sourced from Smiths in England.

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Wax took delivery of 0671 SA in August 1957 and later that year displayed it at the Lake Como Concours d’Elegance. He rarely kept cars for very long and in January 1958 the unique Superamerica was sold to Baron Enrico di Portanova in Rome.

Di Portanova’s mother, Lillie, was the daughter of Texas oil magnate, Hugh Roy Cullen, and his father was the Italian Baron, Paolo di Portanova. A flamboyant member of the international jet set, upon acquisition Enrico di Portanova sent 0671 SA to Carrozzeria Boano where it was personalised with re-profiled rear wings, body coloured fins, extended front fenders, covered headlights, a new hood scoop and modified dash with the speedo and tach directly behind the steering wheel. He also had the engine bored out to 5.1-litres.

When Hugh Roy Cullen died in 1957 di Portanova had started to receive $5000 a month from his grandfather’s estate. In 1961 he left Rome (where he was in the jewellery business) and headed to Houston to claim what he felt was due to him as heir to one of the richest men in the world. By the early 1980s di Portanova was receiving $1.2m per month.

When di Portanova departed for the US 0671 SA went with him. In the early 1970s it was sold to Gary Wales of California followed soon afterwards by Stan Sokol in Florida. It was stolen in 1974 and the unique bodywork reputedly dumped in a lake to make the remains easier to move on. The rolling chassis was sold to Grant Pass, a farmer in Oregon.

In 1986 0671 SA was purchased by famed TV producer, Greg Garrison, who wanted this specific car and learned the chassis had been spotted several times in Oregon. Garrison placed adverts in local newspapers offering a reward for information. Fortuitously he tracked the car down, made the purchase and sent it to Italy for restoration.

A major Ferrari collector, Garrison was on very good terms with Enzo Ferrari. Garrison fundraised for various good causes and had once held a muscular dystrophy benefit in memory of Dino Ferrari. In a meeting with Enzo Ferrari, Garrison showed ‘il Commendatore’ a photo of 0671 SA and mentioned he planned to have the car restored. Garrison left for lunch at a restaurant across the road and within half an hour eight Ferrari employees turned up including Sergio Scaglietti and head of service, Gaetano Florini. They said it would be an honour to bring the car back to its former glory.

Armed with the original design blueprints, Sergio Scaglietti coordinated the return of four retired Scaglietti workers that originally created the car. The bodywork was reconstructed at Carrozzeria Sport Auto, Bachelli & Villa and in 1990 the finished car returned to the USA where it won best of class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Greg Garrison retained 0671 SA until his death in 2005.

Text copyright: Supercar Nostalgia
Photo copyright: Ferrari -
https://www.ferrari.com

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