Monterey | Lot 224
1963 Ferrari 250 GT/L Berlinetta Lusso by Scaglietti
$2,090,000 USD | Sold
| Monterey, California
20 August 2016
- The 29th of 350 examples produced
- Original matching-numbers drivetrain
- Complete restoration by Motion Products in 2013
- FCA and Cavallino Classic Platinum award winner
- Includes a full set of books and tools
- Featured cover car for Cavallino magazine
- Ferrari Classiche certified
250 bhp, 2,953 cc SOHC V-12 engine with three Weber 36 DCS carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms and coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs and parallel trailing arms, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 94.5 in.
Few sports cars in automotive history are as universally revered as the Ferrari 250 GT/L, which was introduced to the public at the 1962 Paris Motor Show. Clothed with one of the most gorgeous body designs ever conceived, and benefiting from 10 years of mechanical refinement of the same chassis design, the Lusso was immediately adored by the motoring press and has since grown to be widely regarded as one of the finest GT cars in history.
By the time of the Lusso’s debut, the 250 GT chassis had been in production for almost a decade, and it had considerably evolved from lessons learned in competition. Many developments undertaken in the racing Testa Rossas and 250 GT berlinettas had found their way to the concurrent Pininfarina cabriolets and coupes. Internally classified as chassis type 539 U, the 250 GT/L featured four-wheel disc brakes, coil springs over shock absorbers, and an improved rear suspension borrowed from the legendary 250 GTO.
The Lusso’s 3-liter Colombo short-block V-12 was essentially the last in the road-going 250 series, featuring competition proven outside-plug ignition and single porting, and tuned to develop 250 horsepower in standard form (though with six Weber carburetors, the motor could be coaxed to go much further). Scaglietti put the finishing touches on this magnificent platform by crafting one of most celebrated body designs of all time, courtesy of Pininfarina. The front end is reminiscent of Ferrari’s 1950s sports-racing cars, with a gaping egg-crate fascia and bulbous fenders leading to a more decidedly 1960s tail design that is distinguished by a fastback glass piece and a Kamm tail.
Perhaps the most successful overall grand touring design from Maranello’s vintage period, the 250 GT/L was produced in a modest quantity of 350 examples, many of which were owned by luminaries like Steve McQueen. The Lusso has today evolved into one of the most collectable and celebrated of the vintage Ferrari road cars, offering both modern driving quality and timelessly beautiful appearance.
CHASSIS NUMBER 4415
This breathtaking 250 GT/L claims a number of unique distinctions, including documented ownership history, an early multi-decade period of care, and certification by Ferrari Classiche. Also the beneficiary of a recent restoration by the esteemed Motion Products in Wisconsin that totaled nearly $680,000 and resulted in numerous accolades from the FCA, this beautiful car is undoubtedly the finest Lusso offered by RM Sotheby’s in many years.
According to the research of marque historian Marcel Massini, chassis 4415 completed assembly on 27 April 1963 and was delivered new to Luigi Chinetti Motors in Greenwich, Connecticut, the following June. The car was reportedly sold to an unknown owner who returned it to the dealer a short time later. In 1964, the Ferrari was then purchased by its second owner, William Moore, and he went on to retain possession for 30 years, ensuring consistent care through the car’s early decades. In 1990, Mr. Moore had the 250 GT restored and painted red, and by the mid-1990s its odometer was showing only 24,100 miles.
By 2001, chassis 4415 was purchased by marque collector Leslie Hepp of Dix Hills, New York. Mr. Hepp also owned a 365 GTB/4 Daytona and a 275 GTB Alloy, and he soon registered the GT/L with New York license plates "LUSSO!" In 2003, a complete restoration was entrusted to Lindley Restorations of Sanatoga, Pennsylvania, during which the exterior was refinished in black. In this pristine state, the car was presented in October 2005 at the Inaugural New York Concours d’Elegance staged in Central Park, where it earned a first-in-class award. In August 2008, Mr. Hepp offered the Lusso for sale during Pebble Beach car week, and the beautiful Ferrari was then purchased by Herb Chambers, an owner of several dealerships based in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Mr. Chambers kept the GT/L for about three years before it was purchased by the consignor. A stickler for precise details and presentation, the new owner immediately realized that he would only be happy with a full restoration, even though the car’s cosmetic weaknesses consisted merely of minor paint blemishes and a mildly patinated upholstery.
In 2012, the Lusso was entrusted to Motion Products in Neenah, Wisconsin, the respected restoration house founded by the late Ferrari expert Wayne Obry. Mechanically, every major component was properly rebuilt, including the engine, transmission, and differential. The brakes, suspension, and steering box were also refurbished, a new wiring harness was installed, the instruments were properly reconditioned, and the exterior was media-blasted to bare metal and repainted in grigio ferro (iron gray). The interior was fitted with new Bordeaux leather upholstery and light grey carpeting, and all the brightwork was re-chromed. New 6½-inch wide Borrani wire wheels with knock-off hubs completed the restoration, which totaled nearly $680,000.
Following completion of the exacting refurbishment in 2013, the Lusso debuted at the XXIII Cavallino Classic in January 2014 where it received a Platinum award. A day later, the car won an Excellence-in-Class award at the Mar-a-Lago Concours d’Elegance. Later that year, the 250 GT was celebrated with a cover feature in the October/November 2014 issue of Cavallino magazine, and the car returned to the Cavallino Classic in January 2015, this time winning a Gold Award. The Lusso was also exhibited at the Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance in May 2015, and at Concorso Italiano the following August, where it was awarded Best V-12 Ferrari. At the FCA’s 2015 International Meet in Monterey just after the Pebble Beach Concours, the Lusso earned the coveted Platinum award.
Accompanied by a correct toolkit and manuals, this arresting 250 GT Lusso continues to display the immaculate benefits of 30 years of single ownership and the recent rotisserie restoration by Motion Products. With ideal cosmetic and mechanical condition that is eminently worthy of its distinguished concours pedigree, this early GT/L beckons Maranello purists to indulge in one of the finest possible examples of the legendary model.
To further bolster its provenance, 4415 has been authenticated by Ferrari Classiche as a matching-numbers example that retains all of its major original drivetrain elements, making for a particularly pure example. Nothing short of sensational, this breathtaking GT/L should attract the attention of Ferrari enthusiasts worldwide, offering an ideal candidate for major concours presentation or driving events. The Lusso would constitute an important addition to any collection as arguably one of the finest examples ever to cross the block.