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Coachwork by Designed by Pininfarina Coachwork by Scaglietti
The 250 GT Lusso
Introduced at the October 1954 Paris Motor Show, the 250 GT Europa was the first 250-series Ferrari road car, powered by a threeliter version of Gioacchino Colombo’s landmark V-12 engine design. It solidified the marque’s relationship with designer Battista “Pinin” Farina; and while exclusive and luxurious, the advanced technical specifications and sleek lines of the new 250 GT assured Ferrari’s peerless reputation for race-bred performance.
The gorgeous 250 GT Lusso Berlinetta is the final expression of the landmark 250 GT series, and it remains one of the most exquisitely proportioned of all Pininfarina body designs. Named “Lusso,” which translates to “luxury,” it seamlessly combined power, speed, and agility with the highest levels of elegance and comfort for two, plus luggage. The prototype debuted at the October 1962 Paris Motor Show and was instantly recognized as yet another triumph for both Pininfarina and Scaglietti, the venerable coachbuilders.
The strikingly elegant lines incorporated a frontal treatment reminiscent of the 250 GT SWB, Ferrari’s last real dual-purpose road-andrace car. From there, the Lusso’s body swept back to a clean, 250 GTO-like truncated tail, neatly incorporating a discrete-but-effective spoiler. The airy passenger cabin utilized thin pillars and a panoramic rear window to provide excellent all-around visibility. Remarkably free from external adornment, even the bumpers were neatly tucked into the Lusso’s shape, with only a small grille at the front of the hood bulge tastefully embellishing the Lusso’s incredibly graceful visual presence.
The Tipo 539 U chassis design was similar to that of the 250 GT, with race-bred updates borrowed from the 250 GTO, including tubular shocks, concentric helper springs, and a rear Watts linkage. The Lusso was the last model to be powered by Ferrari’s lusty Colombo-derived SOHC V-12 in its definitive three-liter form. Designated Tipo 168 U, this 60-degree V-12 was, in its basic essence, a mildly de-tuned 250 GT SWB/250 GTO engine with wet-sump oiling. It delivered approximately 240 bhp with 9.2:1 compression and three twin-choke Weber carburetors, and was capable of propelling the car to nearly 150 mph. Over its brief production run – spanning 1963 to 1964 – just 355 examples of the exquisite 250 GT were produced, with many owned new by the era’s business, entertainment, and social icons including screen legend Steve McQueen. Today, the model’s soul-stirring cachet only continues to grow and gather strength.
The 307th example built, 5683 GT was originally finished in Rosso Rubino with Beige Scuro interior. According to classic spor ts car exper t Mr. Steve Serio, who assisted the representatives of the Seferian Estate in the 1989–1991 period, Peter Seferian was the original owner of 5683 GT, retaining it until his death in late March 1989. A restorer and owner of the well-known Seferian Escadrille Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Mr.Seferian’s amazing collection included a Bugatti Type 35 for nearly 40 years. At the time of his passing, 5683 GT was noted to have been highly original, retaining its original exterior finish and interior upholstery, with the car showing less than 20,000 miles traveled.
Circa 1990, 5683 GT was sold from the Seferian Estate via Mr. Serio to Mr. Carey Kendall of Santa Barbara, California. During Mr. Kendall’s ownership, the Lusso was sympathetically maintained by Mike Shapiro, also of Santa Barbara, and the windshield was replaced. Mr. Kendall recalls how original the Lusso was with the beige interior trim, complete with the clear protective film around the transmission tunnel that the car still retains today. It was still in its Rosso Rubino livery when Mr. Kendall advertised it for sale during the early 1990s with a recorded mileage of just 24,000. In addition, the car was listed at this time as having been fitted with a new stainless steel exhaust system and newly rebuilt Borrani wire wheels.
During the early 1990s, Mr. Kendall sold 5683 GT to the next owner, a well-known past racing driver who competed in period in the US driving Frazer Nashes and Ferraris at circuits, such as Sebring and finishing 2nd in the 1952 Bridgehampton Cup driving a Ferrari 195. He is also a collector and enthusiast who continued to have 5683 GT maintained by Mike Shapiro and specialist painter Dan Carter, who carried out a concours-quality refinish in the owner’s favorite blue; after which the car was shown at the 2004 edition of the Cavallino Classic at Quail Lodge in Carmel, California.
Recently, 5683 GT underwent a complete evaluation by master Ferrari technician John Amette for the car’s Ferrari Classiche Certification, with the car noted in the detailed report to remain undamaged and wonderfully original in its specifications throughout. It should be noted that the certification is in process and the consignor has not yet received the Classiche book, but a copy of the inspection report is on file.
Now offered for sale with roughly 27,200 miles indicated at the time of cataloguing, 5683 GT was recently inspected by highly regarded Ferrari expert Patrick Ottis of Berkeley, California, who summarized the car’s basic essence as “a lovely example that runs and drives correctly.” Among his findings, Mr. Ottis noted that the V-12 engine delivered excellent compression readings of 175 psi for all 12 cylinders, with good power and no smoke from the exhaust. The gearbox operated properly, and the brakes and steering were effective. Externally, the body displayed good panel fit and both the paint and brightwork are very fine. With the sole exception of the windshield, which had been replaced at some point, the glass is all original. The headlamps and driving lights are correct Marchal units. Inside, the instruments were observed correctly functioning, and a period Blaupunkt radio is fitted within a lovely period housing at the front of the floor console.
The engine, numbered 5683 with internal number 2108/62 E, was recently removed from the car, crated, and shipped to Ferrari in Maranello, where it was inspected and confirmed as the car’s original power unit. As the original engine-block stamping was somewhat faint, it was re-stamped by the factory and now carries a “Classiche” stamp directly above the number. An invoice from Ferrari Classiche, dated “07-03-2013,” provides documentation of this procedure and accompanies the sale of the car. In addition, from February through May of this year, the mechanical systems of 5683 GT were thoroughly and expertly inspected, serviced, and reconditioned as necessary by Mr. Ottis, with the engine and underhood components properly detailed and refinished to virtually impeccable standards. Invoices for the recent work, totaling close to $40,000, also accompany the sale of 5683 GT.
Despite its short production run, the glamorous 250 GT Lusso is, on the strength of its appearance alone, one of the most highly sought-after classic Ferrari models today. It delivers immensely satisfying driving dynamics and an undeniable sensory experience that matches its captivating visual presence, not to mention the intoxicating soundtrack of its legendary V-12 engine at full song. Simply put, 5683 GT remains one of the finest examples available today.