Unquestionably, a car may be gut-achingly desirable with a design lexicon assuring the strong and mighty fall weak. Conversely, a car may be relatively pedestrian but hides a blue chip historical provenance that proffer it an exclusive niche among its fans. Marry the two however, and a rare alchemy of desirability blooms assuring the particular car in question becomes the catalyst for clamour within the One Percent crowd.
A case in point then – the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso. In a time when a modern Ferrari conveys the kind of aggression which Mr. Mike Tyson formerly traded in, the 250 GT Lusso is a hark back to a simpler time. Famously fabulous people owned a Lusso. Steve McQueen owned one for six years, bought by his wife Neile for $23,988 as a present for his 34th birthday. As you do. Looking as the car today and imaging Steve McQueen gripping the oversized wooden wheel makes you reconsider what on earth we are actually being sold nowadays as owning the mantle of truly cool. George Clooney raises a glimmering beacon. Kayne West, with the best will in the world, does not.
Acquiring a 250 GT Lusso with a Classiche Certificate of Authenticity from Ferrari will prove a challenge too, as there were only 350 built and deep pockets are needed – somewhere far north of $2,500,000 is best before you put your hand up. But with a King of Cool stamp or similar provenance on the log book, an inexorable rise in that price will reflect the void between cold lust and complete unattainability. Although a sister Ferrari 250 GTO with Chassis Number 3851 GT attained a price of $38,115,000 by Bonhams, the realization that a Lusso commands around a $2,500,000 sticker price does appear to be, if we may say so, somewhat of a snip.
Clothed in one of the beautiful shapes by Scaglietti and built-in Modena the car debuted at the Paris Salon in 1962 and production was limited to that year and 1964. Many design features conspire together to make the car enormously desirable. There’s the feminine three-piece bumpers, the tumblehome of the side windows in relation to the roof, the curvature of the front wing line that runs out of steam over the front headlights and the rear wheels stance almost ahead of the c-pillar to convey the promise of gran tourer power. The Ferrari 250 GTO may be significantly more valuable but it’s bereft of the Lusso’s simple grace.
Rest assured though, it was a proper Ferrari of the V12 fraternity with front engine 60 degree longitudinal 2953cc sporting single overhead camshaft with two valves per cylinder pushing 247bhp @7,500rpm and torque of 178 lb ft @5,500rpm and a top speed of 150mph from a 4-speed manual. In times when a McLaren P1 can crack 0-60mph in 2.7sec, a 0-62mph of 7.5sec does appear mighty leisurely but the Lusso, any Lusso for that matter, is all about the cruise.
We do make a solid recommendation if you happen upon one. Take time to examine the car’s exterior and its perfect proportions. Do it again. And stand back. You will, make no mistake about it, be witnessing the golden era of Ferrari design.