Model history: Within a few years Ferrari had expanded their range of engines to various configurations and displacements. The original 1.5 litre V12 of 1949 was tiny compared to the 5 litre engines that powered the 1953 Le Mans winning 375 Plus. This Pinin Farina bodied sports racer was the result of a continuous development started in 1951 around the Lampredi designed 'long block' V12 engine. Originally displacing just over four litres the engine's displacement of almost 25% had put an additional strain on the engine and long chassis.
As a replacement for the big V12 engined sports cars Ferrari used a new Lampredi designed straight six cylinder engine, but not before a final batch of four V12 engined cars were constructed. Designed specifically for the great Carrera PanAmericana road race, the 410 S featured the largest Ferrari engine yet. It was a newly designed unit developed for the 410 SuperAmerica road cars and was better adapted to the large displacement. There were two versions of the engine available; a single plug 340 bhp engine fitted in the first two cars and a twin plug 380 bhp unit fitted in the two works cars.
One of the 375 series biggest problems was the chassis' instability and this was solved for the 410 S by shortening the wheelbase to 2420 mm from the old car's 2600 mm. The rigidity was further increased by a number of additional tubes serving as cross braces throughout the chassis. The engine could be mounted further back in the chassis by adopting the transaxle type gearbox used in the four cylinder racers. The suspension was carried over from previous models, but to cope with the higher speeds of the 410 S bigger drum brakes were fitted all-round.
Scaglietti was responsible for the lightweight body for the works racers, which featured a unique wide engine cover to enable access to the spark plugs fitted on the outside of the cylinder banks. The first of the customer cars was custom bodied by Scaglietti as a road racer for American real estate developer Tony Paravano complete with the potato chipper side fender grilles that were typical for his cars. The fourth car was also custom bodied by Scaglietti, but as a coupe for Michel-Paul Cavalier who was on Ferrari's board of directors. For the works cars the 'S' in the type indication is believed to be short for 'Sport' and 'Speciale' for the other two.
The new V12 racers were ready for the 1955 edition of the Mexican race, but the organizers were forced to cancel the road rally. The large number of fatal accidents in the previous runnings, the poor state of the roads along the route and the large number of military personnel needed to guard the event were among the reasons for the cancellation. Ferrari campaigned the works racers just once, in the 1956 Buenos Aires Grand Prix where both cars failed to finish. One was sold to a Swedish privateer who had little luck with his 410 S. The second racer was purchased by American John Edgar whose drivers, Carroll Shelby in particular, recorded many victories in North American events.
This is the first of the 410 S Spyders used by the works team, chassis 0596CM (Carrera Messicana). After its single works outing it was sold to Sture Nottorp in Sweden. He had it painted yellow and equipped with twin head rests to compete in the 1956 Mille Miglia. Unfortunately he never made it past the starting line. It is rumoured that Ferrari were not happy with the additional competition for their works cars and sabotaged the 410 S. It was then raced in some minor events before being sold to the United States. After being in storage for thirteen years it was purchased by Pierre Bardinon and added to his impressive Mas du Clos collection.
While in Bardinon's collection the powerful racer was cosmetically restored and re-painted red. It's interesting to note that at one point the French collector owned the featured car as well as the Cavallier Scaglietti Coupe. After changing hands various times throughout the 1990s, it was eventually bought by Larry Bowman, who had it fully restored. Painted yellow again, the 410 S was very well received by the judges at the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours where it won best in class for Ferrari competition cars. Soon after the rare Ferrari was acquired by the current owner, who regularly showed the car at a variety of events, including the 2008 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este where it is also pictured here.
Following a single works outing early in 1956, this, the final 410 S built, was sold to American John Edgar. He subsequently entered the car for the likes of Carroll Shelby, Richie Ginther, Masten Gregory, Jo Bonnier and Bruce Kessler. Especially in Shelby's hands, it was particularly successful with various victories including at Nassau and Palm Springs late in 1956. Ginther also added victories to its tally, winning at Riverside in September of 1957. The car's contemporary racing career finally came to a close in April of 1959 when Chuck Daigh failed to finish in the Daytona 1000 km.
It was subsequently stored for many years, before it was completely restored by Stephen Griswold in the early 1980s. In the following years, it was raced and and shown at a wide variety of events by its subsequent owners, which included noted collectors Bill Marriott Jr, Engelbert Stieger and Christopher Cox. The latter sold chassis 0598CM to the current owner some years ago. He has since shown the 410 S at Amelia Island and most recently at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance where it is seen here.