Ferrari 410 Super America

Yes it is big…but quite impressive. It’s hard to find one line or detail out of place….in fact, Pininfarina got it just right …..and, man, does this car go!!! It is 4.9 liters of pure, thoroughbred Ferrari. It is little wonder that someone with a deep appreciation of all things Ferrari was attracted to this superb GT car.

It was about 10 years ago that he was first smitten, but smitten he was and Peter Kalikow acquired Ferrari Super America 410 # 1449 S/A in 1996 from Bill Kontes of The Private Garage. Though solid and stately as only a grand touring Ferrari can be, it lacked a little something, ok, well maybe more than a little; great bones but all the polish had turned to a passing patina. Not the way Peter keeps his keepsakes, so the process of restoration started with a trip to Nico Michael’s shops in Long Island, NY where 1449 was stripped and refinished in the original new old stock nitrocellulose Mason’s black lacquer.

As is often the case, the restoration of this superb automobile occurred over a number of years with a number or craftsmen having their hand in. The legendary Francois Sicard took pains to see that it all came apart and went together as the GC on the job. Alberto Pedretti and Sal Baronne, renowned Ferrari experts at Wide World of Cars in Spring Valley, NY, rebuilt the heart of the beast, its 4.9 liter, mousetrap spring, Lambretti designed V-12. Interestingly, it was these Ferrari Superamericas that first brought Alberto to the U.S. as a factory rep to carry out factory designed mechanical modifications to this series of engines. David Carte contributed his expertise in the final details to complete the original restoration. It was 1999 when Peter first exhibited Chassis # 1449 S/A at the Pebble Beach Concours where it garnered a First in Class and the Most Elegant Coupe Award.

After this outing, years passed and this stately 410 was cared for, but, frankly, languished as the collection it habituated grew with newfound fancies aplenty. Though in growing and good company, this car found itself no longer the apple of its curator’s eye.

Still more time passed, and, though nothing too severe befell our fine Ferrari, non-use and time does take its toll.

He really knew all along that this was one of the best. He knew this car was very special. He knew that this was the absolute pinnacle of Ferrari road cars in its day…but, still, other siblings garnered Peter’s attention while # 1449 sat confidently awaiting its destiny.

The exact day is hard to pinpoint; possibly it was the sort of slow recognition that maturity and wisdom bring. It matters not how; it only matters that it came to pass. One day, not too long ago, Peter looked at his old friend sitting there in an unexercised and not-quite-neglected state; “Can this be so? Is this anyway to treat such a fine old friend? This is some car . . . and it deserves better.”

We need not bore you with all the details. Suffice it to say that bringing this car back to this level of perfection was an exercise in doing just what was needed in a sensitive, delicate manner: Saving all that was good while carefully addressing any flaws or faults. The approach worked to perfection, as does the car. So well, in fact, that this superb Ferrari garnered the Best of Show award at the very prestigious Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance on Lake Como in its homeland this past May of 2006. Back to life indeed, and what better reward for car and driver could one imagine.

We are most grateful to Peter Kalikow for yet another opportunity to practice our craft on machinery of this quality, and for his very proactive roll in making it all “just so.”

Click here to check out the article written about this Ferrari in Forza #66 from 2005