Ferrari 250 GT Berlinitta Lusso

What is considered the most beautiful Ferrari ever built? There would be a lot of different answers to this question, depending upon what you consider beautiful. However, for many Ferrari enthusiasts the answer is the Ferrari 250 GT Lusso.

The term Lusso usually means Luxury in Italian. This is a relatively strange term to be associated with a Ferrari. Enzo Ferrari started out building racing cars. He then went on to build sports racing and road cars. The road cars were known for their power and handling and not luxury features. Wealthy owners were looking for performance and status, not creature comforts.

However in 1962 in the Paris Salon the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso was introduced. By 1964 around 350 cars had been produced. By no means the longest run of the 250 based cars, but a very good one for the factory.

What made the car use the term “Lusso?” There is no one feature that made this car the luxury two-seater coupe in the Ferrari stable. The engine was the familiar V12 with 2,953cc capacity. It produced 250bph at 7,000rpm which was typical. The chassis was the typical tubular steel, and disc brakes were becoming more common for Ferrari. However if you look at a parked car you get the feeling of motion. From its classic egg crate grill, to its new truncated Kamm tail section this car shouted I am a Ferrari.

Some interior features were a little unusual. For example the two instruments, the speedometer and the tachometer were housed in the center of the car and angled towards the driver. The car also had a very large wood-rimmed steering wheel with the prancing horse design in black on a yellow background. The seats were non-adjustable buckets with optional seat belts.

Well known owners like Steve McQueen helped raise the status of this car. Sports Car International ranked the Lusso as number 10 on a list of the Top Sport Cars of the 1960s. Many Ferrari aficionados would say the car should have been much higher, and I for one would agree.

At the Christie Auction in Monterey in 2007, the former McQueen Lusso fetched $2.31 million when it sold. A little high for this particular model, and McQueen’s name may have pushed it to this amount.