1964 FERRARI 250 GT/L BERLINETTA LUSSO
COACHWORK BY SCAGLIETTI TO A PININFARINA DESIGN
Registration No. 100 DLP
Chassis No. 5865
Engine No. see text
British racing green with cream leather interior
Engine: V-12, single overhead camshaft, triple Weber 36 DCS carburetors, 2,953cc, 240bhp at 7,500rpm; Gearbox: four speed, all-synchromesh; Suspension: front, independent with helicoidal springs, rear, semi-elliptic leaf springs, Koni shock absorbers; Brakes: Dunlop discs all round. Right hand drive.
When the new 250 Gran Turismo was launched at the 1954 Paris Salon it was described as the first standard series production Ferrari. This new car (which became the foundation model of all subsequent 250 GTs, including the legendary Testa Rossas and 250 GTOs) was evolved between Maranello and Pinin Farina.
Pininfarina developed several different bodywork designs for the 250 GT; his Berlinetta Lusso treatment first appeared at the 1962 Paris Salon and was an instant success. The sleek design was both curvaceous and aggressive with full-length wings sweeping to the truncated tail, so designed in acknowledgment of the aerodynamic theories of Dr. Kamm. The short wheelbase of the earlier 250 GTs was retained, but a new chassis configuration for the Lusso placed the engine several centimeters further forward allowing for a more roomy and comfortable interior than its predecessors. The appeal of the Berlinetta Lusso could not be better summarized than by Tanner and Nye in their book Ferrari where they wrote The two-seat Berlinetta Lusso will remain one of the most graceful of all attainable Ferraris. It was never produced in great numbers, and the modest concessions it made to road-going comfort made it a specialized bridge between the increasingly luxurious production road cars and the full-house competition 250 GTO.
Of the 350 cars built, just 22 were delivered in right hand drive form and 19 survive, making this an ultra-rare example. Chassis 5685 was supplied new through U.K. Ferrari agent, Maranello Concessionaires in 1964 to Mrs. Barbara Campbell-Golding and was originally delivered in dark metallic blue with blue leather with the registration number '6 HLA'. Early in her ownership the car was repainted in light metallic green to compliment the colour of her favourite headscarf and the leather interior was connolised in black. In the early 1970s, whilst still in her possession, the engine expired and thus it was rebuilt with a new block (number 3069) by Maranello in Egham.
After having then spent several years off the road, in 1980 it was purchased by David Cottingham of DK Engineering who in turn sold the car to John Braithwaite. Over the next three years Mr. Braithwaite undertook the restoration of the car, first by himself and then with the assistance of David Clarke at Graypaul. The restoration was documented in 'Ferrari', the magazine for the UK Ferrari Owners Club, in the Spring, Summer and Autumn issues in 1983 (Volume 15 Numbers 2,3 and 4). It was at this time that the car was painted in the delightful British Racing Green livery that it retains to this day and 5685 was thoroughly enjoyed by Mr. Braithwaite until he sold the car in 2002.
Today, in only its third ownership from new, the car remains in fine order throughout, the paintwork has some imperfections in places but in general, like the interior, it presents extremely well as one would expect given careful use. When driven recently by a Christie's specialist it performed without fault and the 'Columbo' V12 pulled delightfully well.
On the road a Lusso must be one of the most practical and straightforward Ferraris to drive, its gearbox is robust and has a very positive feel, while the driver's vision is superb. Importantly, the model also offers entry to a number of the more coveted events from the retrospective Tour de France (Tour Auto) to those of the Ferrari Owner's club.