Presented by RM Sotheby’s.
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. The pinnacle of the 250 GT platform’s mechanical development, the model boasts a sporting exterior that is among the most acclaimed coachwork designs of all time. Introduced at the 1962 Paris Salon as a replacement for the outgoing 250 GT Coupe, the Lusso—Italian for luxury—featured a new leather-upholstered interior highlighted by a revised dash panel.
Mechanically, the Lusso’s Tipo 168 U engine represented the zenith of Gioacchino Colombo’s 3-liter short-block 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. The advanced chassis was equipped with four-wheel disc brakes, Koni shock absorbers at each corner, and a rear Watts linkage perfected on the legendary 250 GTO.
Scaglietti’s rendering of Pininfarina’s body design proved to be one of the coachbuilder’s most stunning creations yet, with classic early cues such as the “egg-crate” grille and deftly curved fenders giving way to long, flowing proportions, ample glasswork, and a fastback profile punctuated by a Kamm tail. A favorite of jet-set luminaries and celebrities, the Lusso was built in a modest quantity of 350 examples between 1962 and 1964, establishing a rarity that only further stimulated customer demand.
Certified by Ferrari Classiche to retain its matching-numbers engine and gearbox, this beautifully presented and FCA-awarded Lusso is a superlative example of the celebrated mid-1960s grand tourer. According to the research of marque authority Marcel Massini, chassis number 5141 is the 133rd example built, and it was completed in October 1963 as a European-market car with instruments in kilometers. The exterior was finished in Rosso Duco paint and the interior was trimmed with Nero Vaumol leather by Connolly.
Distributed to Garage Fontanella & Co, the official marque dealer in Turin, the Ferrari was sold to an unknown Italian owner. Later in the 1960s the car was exported to the United States and the coachwork was repainted metallic silver/grey. In 1970 the Lusso was purchased by the respected marque enthusiast P. Paul Pappalardo of Batavia, New York, and the car was notably the first of many Ferraris he went on to own—igniting the fire of a lifelong passion for the Prancing Horse.
In 1973 Mr. Pappalardo sold the 250 GT/L to Jack Hughes of Kingston, Ontario, and he commissioned a repaint in metallic light blue before selling the car circa 1981 to J. MacGeorge Snyder of Shoreham, Vermont. Mr. Snyder reportedly entered the car in local Ferrari Owners Club events during an ownership that lasted over a decade.
In 1996 Mr. Snyder sold the Ferrari to fellow Vermont resident Robert Brown, who presented the car at the 33rd Annual Ferrari Club of America National Meeting at Watkins Glen, New York, in August 1996. Mr. Brown had the coachwork refinished in dark blue, and entrusted Richmond Upholstery in Vermont to re-trim the interior in tan leather. The owner also commissioned Peter Markowski’s RPM Company to upgrade the engine with a six-carburetor set-up with velocity stacks.
In 1998 Mr. Brown sold the Ferrari to Peter Hosmer of New Hampshire, and he kept the 250 GT/L for roughly a year before selling it in May 1999 to Harry Matthews of Golden, Colorado. Mr. Matthews exhibited the Lusso at the FCA National Meeting in Broadmoor and Colorado Springs in July 2000, and eventually sold the berlinetta three years later to Maine resident Glenn Farrell, who presented the car in May 2004 at the Tutto Italiano meeting at the Larz Andersen Museum in Brookline, Massachusetts. In August 2007 the car was exhibited at the FCA National Meeting and Concours d’Elegance at Watkins Glen, winning a Gold Award to triumph in the Early 12-Cylinder class.
Acquired by October 2008 by George Bunting of Monkton, Maryland, the Ferrari was serviced by the respected Paul Russell & Company in Essex, Massachusetts, including a reversion to the original 3-carburetor intake configuration. The opportunity was also taken to refinish the exterior in the current color of deep blue. Mr. Bunting then applied for Ferrari Classiche certification, and a Red Book was issued in April 2011 attesting that the car retains its matching-numbers chassis, engine, gearbox, and coachwork, while the suspension and brakes are of the correct specification. The rear axle has been replaced with the correct Tipo 539 U component (number 127), and the wheels have been upgraded to slightly wider Borrani wire wheels.
The Ferrari enjoyed further display four years later, being shown at the BHA Automobile Museum, at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in March 2015, and the Vintage Ferrari All Italian Car Event staged by the Radcliffe Motor Car Company in Reisterstown, Maryland, two months later.
After being purchased from Mr. Bunting by the consignor in January 2019, the Ferrari was treated to a thorough inspection and freshened as needed, including the installation of a new fuel pump, driveshaft rubber coupler, fan belt, mufflers, brake pads, and jack plugs. The cabin lights and clock were repaired, a correct cigarette lighter was fitted, and the driveshaft was balanced.
Following these restorative measures, the 250 GT/L was enjoyed on the 2019 Mountain Mille rally, successfully completing 1,100 miles of trouble-free motoring. Further work followed the rally usage, including replacement of the brake master cylinder and brake booster, and touch up repainting of the front end as needed. In preparation for the current offering, the Lusso underwent a complete fluid service in May 2022, at which point the oil filter was replaced, a new mechanical fuel pump was installed, and the engine was resealed. A majority of this work was conducted by ex-factory mechanic Andy Falbo at Ferrari Motor Service in Fountain Hills, Arizona, though various specialty shops were engaged, such as Harmon Classic Brakes in Georgia. Invoices of the recent work are included in a file of documentation that features the history report by Massini and the Ferrari Classiche certification.
Claiming matching-numbers authenticity and a fastidious degree of care throughout a well-documented chain of ownership, this outstanding 250 GT/L is primed for further enjoyment on the show circuit or vintage tours like the Colorado Grand or Copperstate 1000. The Lusso is one of those quintessential blue-chip models that complement any style of collection, and this beautifully presented example will surely distinguish gatherings ranging from hard-charging sports cars to bespoke luxury grand tourers, sure to bring satisfaction to the future caretaker.
This vehicle will be offered at our forthcoming Monterey auction, 18-20 August. See the entire catalogue online and register to bid today.