Ferrari Lusso Essential History
1962-1964 Ferrari 250 GT/L “Lusso”
Though the decade of the 1960s was really the last time anyone could win a sanctioned automobile race in the same car used to drive to work during the week, Ferrari was increasingly building specialized cars for both purposes. Whereas the previous short-wheelbase 250 GT Berlinetta of 1960-’63 could arguably do both (though its setup leaned toward track use), the Ferrari 250 GTO that succeeded it was a thoroughbred race car that could be driven on the street, but was far less well-suited for the task with its stripped-out, no-nonsense personality. That led to the short-lived 250 GT/L—‘L’ for Lusso, or Luxury in Italian—which was designed from the get-go as a road car, but shared chassis and engine components with the brand’s 250 GT race cars.
When the front-engine 250 GT Lusso debuted at the Paris auto show in October, 1962, its Pininfarina-styled, Scaglietti-built body was simultaneously racy and elegant, with a neat Kamm-style tail, an elongated waistline, and curved chrome trim under its headlights. The interior was fully trimmed with leather-upholstered bucket seats, a wooden three-spoke steering wheel and a multitude of chrome-rimmed gauges. The cabin was spacious and comfortable, even boasting a parcel shelf behind the seats for extra storage.
The Ferrari 250 GT Lusso’s engine was a 3.0-liter V-12, similar in design to Ferrari’s competition engines of the same displacement, but detuned somewhat and made more drivable for daily commutes and grand touring versus turning in top times at the local track. Ferrari 250 GT Lussos made approximately 250 horsepower at a 7,500-rpm redline and were the only closed two-seat Ferrari road car available at the time. By the end of 1964, after some 350 Ferrari 250 GT Lussos were estimated to have been built, Ferrari began production of a new roadgoing two-seat coupe, the Ferrari 275 GTB.
2017-2020 Ferrari GTC4 Lusso
Launched at the 2016 Geneva auto show, the hunchbacked 2017 Ferrari GTC4Lusso is the first Ferrari to bear the Lusso name since the previous 250 GT/L of the early 1960s. A successor to the 2011-’15 Ferrari FF, the GTC4Lusso retains a similar hatchback body style, with 2+2 seating and an all-wheel-drive chassis, while bringing a more powerful front-mounted 6.3-liter V-12 engine (now rated at 681 hp and 514 lb-ft of torque) and updated styling. Shortly thereafter, at the 2016 Paris auto show, Ferrari launched a rear-drive version called the GTC4Lusso T which came equipped with a 602-hp, 561-lb-ft 3.9-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine. Both all-wheel- and rear-wheel-drive GT4CLusso models also feature Ferrari’s 4RM-S four-wheel steering, which made its debut on this model.
While the Ferrari GTC4Lusso was engaging and comfortable to drive in both V-8 and V-12 iterations, the controversial body styling was a real departure for a Ferrari road car, leading some enthusiasts to have trouble embracing the model. In August 2020, Ferrari announced that the GTC4Lusso would end production the same year with no successor yet determined.
Ferrari Lusso Highlights
While the original Ferrari 250 GT/L wasn’t designed to be a race car, several examples did find their way into competition, including an entry in the 1964 Tour de France. The Ferrari Lusso was also coveted by rich and famous types, such as the late actor and race car driver Steve McQueen, whose personal 1963 Ferrari 250 GT/L sold for $2.3 million at RM Sotheby’s 2011 Monterey auction, roughly three times the value of a similar car with less exciting ownership history.
Ferrari Lusso Buying Tips
Today, buying a classic Ferrari 250 GT Lusso requires keeping an eye out for the model at classic car auctions and specialty brokers. With only 350 of this well-regarded model ever built, there are typically only a handful that might be available at any given time. With values of over $1 million for even the scruffier examples out there, it pays to team up with a Ferrari specialist to make sure the car you’re interested in buying is the car you’d actually want to own. By now, most Ferrari 250 GT Lussos have been restored and rebuilt at least once in their lives, not necessarily by an expert when values were less.
As for the contemporary Ferrari GTC4Lusso models, you may be able to find a 2020 model that’s still unsold at your local Ferrari dealer, possibly even at a discount given the model’s discontinuation. To save even more money, take advantage of depreciation on a used model but make sure the warranty is still valid and have it checked over by a Ferrari technician before you seal the deal. As you might expect, V-12 models will be more costly to buy than V-8 versions and generally more costly to service.
Ferrari Lusso Articles on Automobile
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A dream drive in the Alps.
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Chad McQueen drives his father’s old Ferrari.
Ferrari Lusso Recent Auctions
- 1963 Ferrari 250 GT/L Lusso; Sold at $1,600,000
- 1963 Ferrari 250 GT/L Lusso; Sold at $979,000
- 1964 Ferrari 250 GT/L Lusso; Sold at $1,496,000
- 1964 Ferrari 250 GT/L Lusso; Sold at $1,682,500
- 2018 Ferrari GTC4Lusso; Sold at $299,750
- 2019 Ferrari GTC4Lusso; Sold at $258,500
Ferrari Lusso Quick Facts
- First year of production: 1962 (250 GT/L), 2017 (GTC4Lusso)
- Last year of production: 1964 (250 GT/L), 2020 (GTC4Lusso)
- Total sold: 350 (250 GT/L)
- Original price (base): $300,000 (2017 GTC4Lusso)
- Characteristic feature: Whether contemporary or classic, the Ferrari Lusso has always been one of Ferrari’s most capable grand touring road cars.
Ferrari Lusso FAQ
How many Ferrari Lusso were made?
Ferrari built 350 of its 250 GT/L Lusso between 1962 and 1964. Thousands of the contemporary GTC4 Lusso were built, but exact figures are hard to come by.
How fast is the Ferrari GTC4Lusso?
The V-12 version of the Ferrari GTC4Lusso is said to be capable of 208 mph, while the V-8-powered GT4CLusso T “only” reaches 199 mph. The classic 250 GT/L Lusso had a top speed of around 145 mph, quite fast for its day.
What is the cheapest Ferrari?
Not a Lusso model, that’s for sure. Currently, the 1980-’81 Ferrari Mondial 8 is typically the cheapest Ferrari to buy used at around $20,000 to start.
Is the Ferrari Lusso a good investment?
A classic Ferrari Lusso has been a terrific investment for those fortunate enough to afford one. Since the 1990s, the value of a 250 GT/L Lusso has risen from around $150,000 to well over $1 million. Contemporary Ferrari GTC4Lusso models are simply “used cars” in comparison and are depreciating by tens of thousands of dollars per year.
The post The Ferrari Lusso: History, Generations, Specifications appeared first on Automobile Magazine.