Presented by RM Sotheby's - Introduced at the 1962 Paris Salon, Ferrari’s 250 GT/L was undoubtedly one of the most attractive grand touring cars ever built. Intended as a replacement for the 250 GT coupe, the “L” stood for “Lusso” and featured an all-new interior arrangement highlighted by a revised dash panel and leather upholstery throughout the cabin. Built to cross continents in unrivaled style while cossetting a driver, passenger, and plenty of luggage, it looked simply stunning whilst sitting still and just as beautiful at high speed.
Mechanically, Ferrari’s Tipo 168 U engine was the ultimate development of the short-block Colombo 3.0-litre V-12, featuring outside-plug ignition and single-cylinder porting that had proven so successful in the 250 Testa Rossa and California Spider. Further improvements were made to the chassis including four-wheel disc brakes, coil-over shock absorbers at all four corners of the suspension, and a rear Watts linkage that had been perfected on the 250 GTO.
Whilst the bodywork itself was designed by Pininfarina, the construction of it was carried out by Scaglietti and it is truly amongst the pair’s very best work. Boasting Ferrari’s now-typical egg-crate grille, its delicately curved fenders gave way to a bright, airy cabin and flowed into a fastback Kamm tail. Originally owned by jet-set luminaries and celebrities, such as Steve McQueen, the Lusso was built in a modest quantity of just 350 examples over roughly two years of production. The GT/L has since evolved into one of Maranello’s most collectable production models, essentially the final and most developed evolution of the revered 250 GT lineage.
Completed by the factory on 9 March 1963, chassis number 4563 is the 65th Lusso to be constructed. Finished in Grigio Argento over Nero Franzi (NR 1), it was destined to remain in its native Italy and was sold new through the official dealer Garage Fontanella & Co. in Turin. Its first owner was Vittorio d’Agostino, also of Turin, and he registered the car as TO 555797 on 31 July 1963. It is clear that Mr. D’Agostino very much enjoyed his new Lusso, as the car was serviced at the factory in October of that year, having been driven some 11,421 kilometers by 28 October.
At some point later, chassis number 4563 was exported to France and registered there as 3 HJ 95. According to the noted Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, the car was sold by a Parisian dealer to Maurice Sauzay in 1970. Mr. Sauzay lived in Lyon and at the time of his purchase, and the car had been driven roughly 30,000 kilometers.
In 1977, Sauzay sold the Lusso to Jean Richard of Curgies, France, who subsequently placed the car into storage for the following fourteen years. In October of 1991, chassis number 4563 was sold to Roger Vermon who set about restoring the car, refinishing it red with a black interior. The car remained in France until December 2006 when it was sold to Jean-Pierre Clément of La Ferrière, Switzerland.
In 2009, the Lusso was acquired by the Ferrari collector Jean Pierre Slavic and has remained with him ever since. That same year, the car was granted Ferrari Classiche certification, which states that the car retains its original engine, gearbox, and differential. Shortly following Mr. Slavic’s purchase, the car was fully restored to its original colour scheme by a team of marque specialists in Italy including Bacchelli & Villa and Autofficina Bonini from 2009-2011. Following the completion of the restoration, it participated in the 2011 Italia Classic and was driven from Maranello to Venice and back. Four years later, the car participated in the Spirit of Yves Classic Run from Monaco to Terre Blanche. Today, its odometer shows just over 3,500 kilometers, illustrating the distance which has been driven since its complete restoration. It has been exceptionally well kept with the consignor alongside several other Ferraris of the same era. In addition to its Classiche certification binder, the car is accompanied by a tool kit and owner’s manual.
As the final iteration of the vaunted 250-series of Ferraris, the Lusso has always been considered as one of the most desirable road-going Ferraris of its era. With a classically beautiful silhouette, a Lusso is an eminently usable automobile, a fantastic choice for long distance touring, as this example has so proven. Boasting Classiche certification and a restoration by well-regarded marque specialists in Italy, chassis number 4563 would be an excellent addition to any collection.
This vehicle will be offered in RM Sotheby’s new Milan Sale, taking place 15 June at Palazzo Serbelloni in Italy. The sale will be livestreamed and remote bidding options are available.