Ferrari 250 GT/L Lusso
Popularly known as
the Ferrari 250 GT/L Lusso (“luxury” in Italian) and unveiled at the Paris Auto
Show, this was a vastly different type of car than the Ferrari 250 SWB.
When the Ferrari 250 GT coupe ceased production in 1960, Ferrari was left with but one enclosed two-seat 3.0-liter model, the competition-oriented 250 SWB. Ferrari needed a proper street model, and in late 1962, it filled the void with the Ferrari 250 GT/L.
The Ferrari 250 GT/L Lusso was a sumptuous gran turismo with an elegant body drawn by Pininfarina. (The coachbuilder’s name officially became one word in 1961.) Scaglietti manufactured the coachwork at his Modena-based carrozzeria and the Lusso was the first Ferrari to carry a “designo di Pininfarina,” indicating that Pininfarina designed it but did not build it.
The body was steel; the doors, hood, and trunklid aluminum. The grille and headlights were similar to those on the SWB, but the front fenders were elongated. The rear roofline swept back gracefully, and into the tail was sculpted a small spoiler, the first street Ferrari to have the aerodynamic aid.
The Ferrari 250 GT/L Lusso’s new chassis was derived from the immortal Ferrari 250 GTO, and shared that sports-racer’s wheelbase of 94.5 inches (2400mm). The engine was placed several inches forward compared to other 250s, creating a roomy cockpit. Two comfortable bucket seats faced an unusual instrument panel that put the supplemental gauges in front of the driver and the speedometer and tachometer in the center of the dash, angled toward the driver.
The Ferrari 250 GT/L Lusso’s V-12 demonstrated Ferrari’s ability to continually develop and refine its powerplants. The block was common to all 250s, while some components, such as the valves and crankshaft, came from the Ferrari 250 SWB, and others, including cylinder heads and pistons, came from the Ferrari 250 GTE. The result was a very usable 250 horsepower.
Regarded by some as one of the loveliest Ferraris ever, the Ferrari 250 GT/L Lusso was the last 250 street model. It was extremely popular with Ferrari’s clientele, and Battista Pininfarina was so fond of it he had one specially made. He gave it a more aerodynamic rear roofline and tail and created a memorable one-off displayed at the 1963 London Motor Show.
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