Ferrari 410 S Superamerica Berlinetta Carrera Mexicana by Scaglietti

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410 S Superamerica Berlinetta Carrera Mexicana by Scaglietti





The bore and stroke of the Lampredi V-12 were increased to displace 4,962 cubic centimeters, resulting in the now revered 4.9-liter Tipo 126 engine that debuted in the Superamerica chassis displayed at the Paris Motor Show in October 1955. For use in the 410 S, the motor was dubbed the Tipo 126C to designate competition use and received an F1-style twin-plug ignition that contributed to developing 380hp, unprecedented power for a Ferrari sports racer. This ignition configuration helped guarantee even combustion, a factor that was particularly important given the impure fuel that was provided during the Carrera Pan Americana’s grueling five-day course.

With such specific intent to win the Mexican road race, it is little surprise that Ferrari designated the 410 S chassis numbers with CM (standing for Carrera Mexicana), the four cars being numbered 0592 CM, 0594 CM, 0596 CM, and 0598 CM. Ironically, despite its unique design brief to win the Carrera Panamericana, the 410 S never actually campaigned in the race, as the tragedy of the 1955 Le Mans, as well as the Carrera’s mounting casualty record, led to the race’s prolonged cancellation in 1955.

Interestingly, only two of the four examples of the 410 S were prepared for factory racing, 0596 CM and 0598 CM. These cars were subsequently entered in the 1000 Kilometers of Buenos Aires in January 1956, where Peter Collins drove one car to the fastest race lap, while the other car was piloted by Juan Manuel Fangio. Both cars were equipped with twin-plug ignition, and despite the promising start, the rear transaxles could not endure the 4.9-liter engine’s raw power, and both cars retired early. Regardless of the competition setback, the Tipo 126 engine sealed its renown a month later with the debut of the first completed Superamerica road car at the Brussels Motor Show of February 1956. 0596 CM and 0598 CM were quickly sold by the factory and went on to great success on the American sports car racing circuit, with one of them being bought by John Edgar and driven by Carroll Shelby.

Conversely, 0592 CM and 0594 CM were imagined as more restrained companions to the factory cars and were equipped with single-plug ignitions that mellowed power output to 345 hp. While 0592 CM received open spider coachwork similar to the factory racers, 0594 CM was truly unique in that it was clothed with one-off berlinetta coachwork loosely based on the design of Pininfarina’s 375MM competition coupe. Transferring that basic shape onto the 410 S’s lower chassis and wider profile, the Scaglietti body marvelously reinterpreted the classic look with a more pronounced nose. 0592 CM is incredibly rare in this respect, as it is surely one of a small handful of early Ferrari berlinettas entirely designed and built by Scaglietti, as declared by the Scaglietti and Co. badge that adorns the fenders.

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