Lot Number
226
language

1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso Berlinetta

Sold For $907,500

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Sotheby's - MONTEREY 20 AUGUST 2011


Chassis No.
Engine No.
4627 GT
4627 GT

250 bhp, 2,953 cc V-12 engine with three Weber twin-choke carburetors, four-speed manual gearbox, 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"

- Retaining the original, matching-numbers V-12 engine, gearbox and differential

- Accompanied by Ferrari heritage certificate; 43,000 miles

- One of only about 350 examples originally built

- A Ferrari Club of America (FCA) Platinum award winner

Introduced at the 1953 Paris Salon, the 250 GT Europa was the first 250-series Ferrari road car, powered by a three-liter version of Gioacchino Colombo’s V-12 engine design. It was also the first true Grand Touring automobile produced by Ferrari and helped solidify the marque’s enduring relationship with designer Battista “Pinin” Farina, and it helped secure ‘Principal Ferrari Design House’ status for the Turin-based firm. Even though these cars were expensive, luxurious and well-finished Grand Touring machines, their advanced technical specifications and sleek lines assured the marque’s well-deserved reputation for performance above all else.

The gorgeous 250 GT/L or “Lusso” Berlinetta was the final iteration of the glorious 250 GT series, and it remains without doubt one of the most exquisitely proportioned and beautiful of all Pininfarina body designs. Virtually seamlessly, it combined power, speed and agility with the highest levels of elegance and comfort for two, plus luggage. The prototype debuted at the Paris Motor Show in October 1962 and was instantly recognized as yet another triumph for Pininfarina and the venerable coachbuilder Scaglietti.

The strikingly elegant lines incorporated a frontal treatment reminiscent of the 250 GT SWB, Ferrari’s last real dual-purpose road and race car. From there, the Lusso’s body swept back to 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 merging delicately into a tiny rear deck, offering excellent all-round visibility. Remarkably free from external adornment, even the bumpers blended cleanly into the Lusso’s shape, with only a small chrome grille at the front of the hood bulge used to enhance the Lusso’s gracefully curved body panels.

The chassis was conventional 250 GT Ferrari, with updates borrowed from the 250 GTO including tubular shocks, concentric helper springs and a rear Watts linkage. The engine was Ferrari’s lusty Colombo-derived V-12, a glorious-sounding overhead-cam design crowned by a trio of twin-choke Weber carburetors. Sadly, the Lusso would be the last Ferrari to be fitted with this delectable engine in its definitive three-liter form. The unit used in the Lusso produced approximately 250 bhp and was capable of propelling the car to top speeds approaching 150 mph. Over its brief production run, spanning from 1963 to 1964, only about 350 examples of the exquisite 250 GT/L were produced, and the model received a tremendous reception among enthusiasts and the press that shows no signs of ending today.

The 77th 250 GT/L produced, the car offered here, chassis 4627 GT, was shipped to Modena’s Carrozzeria Scaglietti in March 1963 for bodywork and completed in September 1963. While the original owner remains unknown, by 1970 it was owned by Bert Anakin, a resident of Palm Desert, California, and in 1972 it was sold to Christopher Gruys of Los Angeles, California. In January 1979, 4627 GT was owned by Bruce L. Hershey of Playa del Rey, California, and in 1981 he in turn sold the Lusso to Ed Swart of Rolling Hills, California, who is well known to enthusiasts for his involvement with the Historic Racing Group.

Mr. Swart was a long-term owner of 4627 GT, and he treated the rare Lusso to a ground-up restoration in 1984, completed by Bruno Bori’s Modena Sports Cars of Los Angeles, California. In early 2000, after nearly 20 years of ownership, Mr. Swart sold 4627 GT to Steve Fernaud of Auburn, California. Mr. Fernaud immediately set about renewing the Lusso’s condition to show quality, engaging noted Ferrari marque expert Patrick Ottis to conduct significant mechanical work over the following six years, including a rebuild of the engine’s cylinder heads and valves, as well as the cooling system and brakes. In July 2004, Mr. Fernaud retained Brian Hoyt’s highly regarded Perfect Reflections to refinish the Lusso in a shining coat of Blu Sera Metallic, which continues to adorn the car today. One month later, he displayed 4627 GT at the 40th Annual Ferrari Club of America International Concours in Monterey, California, followed by its showing at the Concorso Italiano in Seaside, California.

In early 2008, 4627 GT was acquired by its current owner, who promptly returned the car to Patrick Ottis for a reevaluation of its needs. Seeking to correct the Lusso’s minor deficiencies to result in 100-point concours quality, the owner engaged Tiamo Motorcars of Los Angeles, California to rebuild the carburetors, intake manifold, suspension and rear differential, as well as cleaning and refinishing the undercarriage. Tiamo also addressed numerous minor cosmetic needs, including the proper re-plating of most of the brightwork, which was performed by Christensen Plating, as well as the installation of correct exhaust tips. Additionally, 4627 GT was outfitted with a new interior of tan hide with matching carpets and headliner, resulting in a luxurious cabin that complements the Lusso’s refined grand touring reputation. No detail was spared in this restorative process, which cost in excess of $150,000, and even included the acquisition of extremely rare items like the proper cigarette lighter, ashtray, headlight lenses, wiper blades and correct decals and stickers for components such as air hoses.

Following the completion of this two-year restoration, 4627 GT was submitted to the exacting scrutiny of the Ferrari Club of America’s Southwest Region judges at the 2009 Los Angeles Concours d’Elegance. Testifying to the unparalleled quality of its recent freshening, the Lusso garnered a platinum award, which is included with the car. Since this concours victory, the owner has continued to preserve the car’s top-notch restoration, with additional mechanical work including the recent installation of a new clutch.

Every bit as fetching as it was at the time of its 2009 platinum award, 4627 GT is offered now in an equally desirable state of presentation. The Blu Sera Metallic paint has been fastidiously detailed, while all brightwork shines magnificently. In addition to its high state of cosmetic presentation and mechanical tune, 4627 GT is accompanied by a Heritage Certificate from the Ferrari factory, a pre-cursor of today’s Ferrari Classiche documentation that unequivocally pronounces the car to be a matching-numbers example and includes copies of the original factory build sheets. Featuring copious receipts and photo-documentation of its restorative work since 2000, this Lusso is a platinum award-winning example of Ferrari’s most celebrated GT car, one that is surely among the finest available today. With strapping mechanicals and peerless cosmetics, 4627 GT offers its next owner enjoyable drives on the finest touring events as well as future judged accolades at the world’s most pedigreed concours d’elegance.

Please note that this car was built in 1963 but is titled for 1964.


Addendum

Please note this vehicle was built in 1963, but titled as a 1964.


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