Fun Stuff

Find of the Week: 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso

Sometimes the Find of the Week is something downright affordable. Others, it's something a bit more expensive. Other times, though, we find something that's out of our normal price bracket, but so cool that we can't help but show it to you anyway. This is one of those times. It's a Ferrari that's old and not red. A 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso.

The Lusso is one of the rare vintage Ferraris that was never intended to be a race car. Instead, this was designed with more space, more comfort, and, hence the name, more luxury.

The Ferrari 250 nameplate went on a wide range of models from 1952 through 1964, because back then the name referred not so much to the model, but to the engine displacement. At 3.0L and 12 cylinders, each cylinder displaced approximately 250 cc. That's where the name comes from. It was replaced by the 275 and 330 cars, which had engines with each cylinder displacing, well, you've got it.

First to arrive was the 250 S, a coupe prototype that was entered in the 1952 Mille Miglia. Based on that car's success, Ferrari introduced the 250 MM as a road car. Other road and race versions followed including the 250 Testa Rossa and the 250 GTO.

On the softer side, Ferrari also made a series of grand tourers, based on the same chassis and using the same engines, most wearing the 250 GT badge and then a name for each variant.

Ferrari's 250 GT Lusso, also known as the GTL, was styled by legendary design firm Pininfarina and the body was built by Carrozzeria Scaglietti. The car was built with the engine pushed forward, which may have taken away from perfect weight distribution, but made the interior far more spacious than a standard 250.

Though, of course, since this was a Ferrari, luxury and space were still relative terms. The 250 Lusso is still just 1.2 m tall and 1.75 m wide, after all, and the seats, no matter how wonderfully trimmed they were, even in soft brown leather like this example, still have fixed backs and a typically Italian driving position for you to contend with.

Powering the 250 GT Lusso was a version of Ferrari's Columbo V12, which was originally designed in 1947 and saw production run until 1988. The 3.0L version in this car made 240 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque, respectable figures even today given that displacement, and making it the fastest production car available at the time. While some racing versions of the 250 engine offered dual overhead cams, the slightly more tamed Lusso came with a single cam per bank and used just three carbs instead of the six of the racers.

Ferrari built around 351 GT Lussos, making this a very rare car. That rarity, and the value that they now bring, means that the amount of luxury and space the car brings is largely redundant. Because you're not really going to drive a car this valuable down to the drive-through for a coffee. Most times, we'd call that quite sad, but this isn't most times. Because the 250 GT Lusso is as much a work of art as it is a car. And you wouldn't take your Picasso out of the garage all that often, would you?

The classic Pininfarina shape is perfect from every angle from the quad headlights to the gently sloping duck-tail spoiler, the first such aero device put on a Ferrari. We could stare at this all day long, especially finished in this sublime shade of green instead of the more popular red Ferrari finish.

This one is for sale in Montreal and appears to be impeccably restored. With just over 30,000 km on the odometer. It's a car, it's a work of art, and it's the Find of the Week. Your eyes are welcome.