- A Century of Sports Cars Collection
- The 275th of 350 examples built
- Three-year cosmetic restoration completed in June 2013
- Documented by marque historian Marcel Massini
- Awarded Best in Class at the inaugural 2014 Arizona Concours d’Elegance
- Elegant and authentic color combination
Please note that Internet bidding is not available for this lot. Interested parties that are unable to attend the sale may register to bid by telephone or place a commission bid online at rmsothebys.com.
Please note that contrary to the printed catalogue description, the restoration photographs and invoices do not accompany this lot.
As the apogee of a model line that had been continually developed over the course of nearly 10 years, the 250 GT/L represented the most mechanically advanced version of Ferrari’s first true production platform. The final 250 GT appropriately featured two notable rear-suspension upgrades gleaned from the legendary 250 GTO competition car, namely the use of a Watts linkage and concentric springs around the shock absorbers. These additions endowed the 250 GT/L with unprecedented rear stability and footing for a Ferrari road car.
Maranello’s latest grand tourer also boasted newfound elegance, with a unique dashboard layout and more comfortable seating echoing the GT/L nomenclature (the L stood for lusso, Italian for “luxury”). With its potent mechanicals, luxurious interior, and sensational exterior lines, the 250 GT/L was instantly the most sublime Ferrari gran turismo yet.
This sensationally restored example ably testifies to the Lusso’s timelessly beautiful design, which is repeatedly cited as one of the most perfect sports car forms ever built.
Benefiting from a superb restoration and several years of mild use and fastidious care, chassis no. 5537 GT is the 275th example of 350 cars built. The chassis entered Scaglietti’s coachworks for bodying in February 1964 and was officially completed in late April, finished in bianco paint and trimmed with an interior of rosso vaumol leather. The Lusso was then distributed to Chinetti Motors in New York, and sold by the end of the year to its first owner of record, Jose L. Pedroso of New York. He sold the berlinetta in 1967 to Vincent Kling, who in all likelihood was the respected Philadelphia architect known for collecting premium sports cars, and being a high-ranking investor in the Algar Ferrari distributorship.
In the early 1980s, the 250 GT/L was acquired by Carl Walston, a foreign currency exchange and dealer of precious metals in Portola Valley, California. He maintained possession of the Ferrari for over 20 years, eventually repainting it in rosso, and relocating by 2004 to Greenwich, Connecticut.
Chassis no. 5537 GT later passed to Steve Wolf, a collector residing in Boca Raton, Florida, and by early 2010 the beautiful Ferrari was sold to Shawn Williams of Los Angeles, the owner of Exclusive Motorcars. He embarked upon a significant restoration stressing factory-correct details, with an eye toward FCA presentation. The management of the refurbishment was entrusted to Williams’ own restoration department, then headed by Rex Nguyen, a highly awarded marque specialist and FCA judge who has since grown to be one of Southern California’s most popular Ferrari restorers.
As the engine tested with strong compression, a full rebuild was not deemed to be necessary, but Blackhorse Motors was retained to tune the carburetors, service the brakes as needed, and rebuild the gearshift linkage. The body was stripped to bare metal and refinished in the correct Ferrari color of Blu Sera, while proper beige leather hides were sourced from HVL, of Holland, one of the world’s preeminent tanners of authentic Ferrari upholstery (per invoices, these materials alone cost in excess of $12,000). All of the mechanical components, including the exhaust and cam covers, were refinished to factory-correct standards (including proper cad-plating and wrinkle finishes), and the brightwork was comprehensively re-chromed.
All hoses, gaskets, and clamps were properly refitted with either new or new-old-stock components, complete with factory-correct decals and stickers, while the engine compartment and undercarriage were refinished to a commensurate level of authentic detail. The high-level finishing was completed in June 2013.
Two months later, the striking Ferrari was acquired by the consignor, who was smitten by the elegant color combination. He presented 5537 GT at the inaugural Arizona Concours d’Elegance in January 2014, where it garnered 1st in Class for Post-war European Sports Cars. The Lusso has since been driven only minimally while enjoying the fastidious care of the consignor’s collection manager, and it is estimated to have accrued approximately only 200 miles since the 2013 engine freshening.
Currently displaying 44,073 miles, this beautifully restored and maintained 250 GT/L would be an ideal candidate for presentation at FCA gatherings and Ferrari events. For the consummate collector searching for a strong example worthy of manufacturer certification, this car could potentially be a short investment away from full Ferrari Classiche authentication. Alternatively, it may also be enjoyed for the civil road manners, performance, and phenomenal styling for which the Lusso model has been so justifiably celebrated.