Lot 247

Monterey 2013

1964 Ferrari 250 GT/L 'Lusso' Berlinetta by Scaglietti


$924,000 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
5471 GT
Engine No.
  • Offered from 15 years of enthusiast ownership
  • Equipped with a “hot” 275 GTB engine
  • A true driver’s car, perfect for rallies

Est. 300 bhp, 3,286 cc overhead-cam V-12 engine, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with unequal length A-arms and coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and parallel trailing arms, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 94.5 in.

Addendum: Please note that contrary to the catalog this vehicle is offered with a reserve.

The first Ferrari 250 GT was launched at the 1953 Paris Salon. Powered by a new three-liter version of Gioacchino Colombo’s V-12 engine design, it was the first true gran turismo produced by Ferrari, and it helped to solidify the marque’s enduring relationship with designer Battista “Pinin” Farina, a relationship which eventually helped secure Pininfarina’s status as “Principal Ferrari Design House.” Even though these cars were expensive, luxurious, and well-finished touring machines, their advanced technical specifications and sleek lines assured the marque of a well-deserved reputation for, above all else, high performance.

The final iteration of this glorious series was the gorgeous 250 GT/L, or Lusso Berlinetta, which remains without a doubt one of the most exquisitely proportioned and beautiful of all Pininfarina body designs for Ferrari. Virtually seamless, it combined power, speed, and agility with the highest levels of elegance and comfort for two people and their luggage.

The prototype was instantly recognized as yet another triumph for Pininfarina and the veritable coachbuilders of Scaglietti following its debut at the Paris Motor Show in October 1962. Its strikingly elegant lines incorporated a frontal treatment reminiscent of the 250 GT SWB, Ferrari’s last real dual-purpose race and road car. From there, the Lusso’s body swept back to end at a clean, 250 GTO-like, truncated tail, capped by a delicate but effective spoiler. The airy “greenhouse” utilized thin pillars and a panoramic rear window, creating a sweeping curve that merged delicately into a tiny rear deck, offering excellent all-around visibility. Remarkably free from external adornment, even the bumpers blended cleanly into the Lusso’s overall shape, only a small chrome grille at the front of the hood bulge was used to enhance the Lusso’s gracefully curved body panels.

Writing of the car, automotive historian Henry Rasmussen gushed, “In one word, it is referred to as the most beautiful of the Ferraris…From the aggressively-protruding front and the swelling fenders—stopping just short of becoming fat—to the smoothly-sinking curve of the roof, ending unexpectedly in the cut-off rear, it all translates into a powerful yet graceful sculpture of motion.”

The chassis was a conventional 250 GT Ferrari with updates borrowed from the 250 GTO, including tubular shocks, concentric helper springs, and a rear Watts linkage. The engine remained the lusty Colombo-derived V-12, which, with approximately 250 brake horsepower, was capable of propelling the Lusso to a top speed approaching 150 mph. No doubt, 250 GT/L owners like Steve McQueen and Mike Hawthorn appreciated such performance. This was a car in which men who knew how to drive fast, drove fast.

The car offered here was the two hundred fifty-seventh of a total of three hundred fifty 250 GT/L Berlinettas produced; its certificate of origin was issued April 8, 1964. Twenty days later, it was sold to its original owner, Giovanni Bodo, of Lesmo, in the Lombary region of Italy, in whose ownership it was registered as ‘MI 903005.’ Bodo retained the car for a year before selling it to Luigi Enrico Fermenti, of Busto Arsizio, later of Olgate Lona, who apparently kept it until selling it to an American buyer in 1968.

The following year, the Lusso, now residing stateside, was fitted with the engine that remains installed today, a “type 213” V-12 from a 275 GTB. Described by a later owner as a “hot road engine,” this mill produces an estimated 300 horsepower, or roughly 50 more horsepower than the stock 250 GT/L V-12, which results in a car with even more “spirit” than it originally had. This is one of two Lussos believed to be equipped with such an engine in the era in which it was new, and it is featured appropriately on page 75 of The Berlinetta Lusso: A Ferrari of Unusual Elegance by Kurt H. Miska.

Owned by its current caretaker for some 15 years, the Lusso was repainted Rosso Corsa some time ago, but it remains otherwise original, including most of the interior and chrome, and it is extremely well-preserved and in beautiful overall condition. It has recently been detailed and serviced in preparation for sale, including the installation of a new exhaust system, new synchros in the transmission, and being properly tuned. The owner reports that it starts easily off the mechanical fuel pump and runs beautifully on the road, with all lights and gauges functioning properly.

With values on the rise, it is easy to forget that the Lusso is, first and foremost, one of Ferrari’s all-time finest driving machines. This car, with its “hot road engine,” is a car in which to experience that peerless thrill.