The Ferrari 250 Lusso
The Ferrari 250 GT/L Berlinetta, generally referred to as the “Lusso”, is arguably one of the most successful and visually appealing grand touring cars ever built. Introduced at the 1962 Paris Salon as a replacement for the discontinued 250 GT PF Coupe, the Lusso featured an all-new interior arrangement highlighted by a revised dash panel and leather upholstery throughout the cabin.
Mechanically, the Lusso’s Tipo 168 U engine represented the zenith of Colombo’s 3-liter V-12, incorporating the outside-plug ignition and single-cylinder porting that had proven so successful in the 250 Testa Rossa and California Spider racing variants. With an output of 250 PS and top speed of 240 km/h, the 250 Lusso was one of the most powerful production cars of its day. The model’s advanced chassis was equipped with four-wheel disc brakes, Koni shock absorbers at each corner and the rear Watts linkage that had been perfected on the legendary 250 GTO.
The all-round appeal of the 250 GT/L Berlinetta Lusso earned Ferrari a loyal following among celebrities and motorsport high-flyers of the era. Notable owners included film star and have-a-go racer Steve McQueen, ex-Formula One driver Richard “Dickie” Attwood and rockstar Eric Clapton.
The Lusso - essentially the final and most developed evolution of the celebrated 250 GT lineage - was built in a modest quantity of 350 examples between 1962 and 1964, establishing a rarity that only further stimulated customer demand.
The example offered for sale
Chassis 5395GT was completed on March 3rd 12964 as a European-market car with instruments in kilometers.
It was sold through official dealer Autotouring S.r.l. in Modena to its first owner Ciro Spelta, Piacenza, on June 9th 1964, registered PC 65651. In the following four years, the Lusso passed through three further Italian owners being re-registered in Palermo, Varese and lastly Milano. Subsequently, the car was exported to the USA in 1967, where it was owned for more than 10 years by J. Miles O'Brien in California. In 1983, O'Brien sold 5395GT to Walt McCune's Modena Imports in West Hollywood. McCune advertised the car in the Ferrari Market Letter, describing it as „original and complete“, and went on to sell it in 1985 to Peter Rau's Touring Garage in Switzerland. In the following years, the Lusso remained un-registered in Switzerland until it was offered for sale at the Prestige Auction in Geneva, where it was acquired by Mr. Claude Rosset, residing in Lausanne, Switzerland. A copy of the auction catalogue on file shows the Lusso in its original colour and in pristine condition. In October of 1994, the Ferrari was sold to German collector Heiko Seekamp of Bremen via specialist Ferrari dealer Mario Bernardi. Two years later, Seekamp sold the car to Rüdiger Stihl of the famous Stihl chainsaw company, resident of Waiblingen, Germany. Stihl had the Lusso overhauled mechanically by Sportgarage Leirer and Edy Wyss Engineering, both based in Switzerland. In 2002, Stihl sold the Lusso to an Austrian gentleman by the name of Schwarz, who passed it to fellow Austrian Alois Heidenbauer from Graz just a year later. Heidenbauer kept the Lusso for the next 15 years as the centrepiece of his prized collection and showed it at various events. When time came for him to part ways with the car in 2017, we handled the sale to the current German-based owner. Shortly after, the decision was taken to bring the body to concours condition. The work was entrusted to a Munich-based specialist who performed a high-end bare metal respray in the original colour of Nero 18929.
This beautifully presented 250 Lusso is a superlative example of the celebrated mid-1960s grand tourer. We had the pleasure of showing 5395GT at this year’s Lugano Concours d’Elegance, where it proudly won its class. According to research by marque authority Marcel Massini, chassis number 5395GT is the 241st example built and one of only 18 Lusso finished by the factory in attractive Nero paint, of which it is the only one with Beige VM3100 leather interior.
5395GT benefits from Ferrari Classiche certification, which attests conformity with the original build specification and full matching numbers. Recent mechanical servicing at the expense of 10.000 Euro ensures the car remains on the button. Offered with comprehensive history file, Red Book Ferrari Classiche certification, Massini report, tool kit, fitted Schedoni luggage set and owner’s manual, this immensely attractive 250 Lusso is an opportunity not to be missed.