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250 GT Lusso Competizione
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  Ferrari 250 GT Lusso Competizione
 

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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1964
Numbers built:3
Introduced at:1964 Geneva Motor Show
Designed by:Pininfarina
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:Before December 1st, 2004
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Click here to download printer friendly versionTraditionally, Ferrari faired well in GT-racing with purpose built racers like the 250 GT. Due to the nature of GT racing, the racers were road legal and could be used as road cars without needing many modifications. With the rise of Ferrari as a premier marque, the demand for road cars increased. Many of the owners of these road cars would never drive their cars on the track and were more than willing to sacrifice a little performance for added luxury. To suit these customers work was started on a more luxurious road going GT.

Under the body still very similar to the racing cars, the 250 GT Pinin Farina Coupe of 1956 was Ferrari's first true road car. Not Pinin Farina, but Boano would produce the car and it is now known as the 250 GT Boano. Further road cars, derived from the long wheel base 250 GT chassis, followed. When Ferrari first launched the short wheel base 250 GT, it was available with alloy and steel bodies, the latter was referred to as 'Lusso', being intended as the road car.

The original competition 250 GT 'SWB' was replaced by the 250 GTO in 1962 and with it the steel SWB's production stopped as well. Its replacement is considered by many as one of Ferrari's best looking cars and was simply known as 250 GT/L or Lusso. Unlike its predecessor, the Lusso featured a completely unique body. Designed by Pininfarina, the body combined styling cues found on previous Ferrari one-offs with new cues like the vertical bumpers under the headlights.

Although marketed as a road car, the Lusso still featured all the elements that made the 250 GT SWB a success on tracks all over the world. It thus came as no surprise that the customers started racing their Lussos. For many races the only modification needed to enter was sticking on numbers. Such was not the case with the featured model, s/n 5367 GT, which received various performance enhancing modifications after its appearance on the 1964 Geneva Motorshow as a road car.

Straight after its show duties 5367 was delivered to Monteverdi, the Swiss Ferrari importer of the day. To bring the Lusso up to 'GTO-spec', Monteverdi ordered new parts from the factory. Included in the package were more aggresively tuned camshafts and 6 twin-choke Weber Carburetors to replace the 3 quad-choke ones. After the modifications were carried through, 5367 was delivered to its new owner Charly Muller.

Wasting no time, Muller immediately began campaigning his Lusso in various European hillclimbs, with an impressive 2nd in class finish at its debut at the Freiburg-Schauinsland hillclimb. Highlight in its competition history was the participation in the 1964 Tour de France Automobile. To best suit this 6000 km event, four fog lights and a shorter final drive were fitted. Co-driving with Heini Walter, Muller finished a credible 5th in class and 24th overall in the gruelling event.

Muller did not sell his Lusso until 1989 and when it did change hands the car did not leave Switzerland. After ten years in storage the Lusso found a new, but again Swiss owner. He had Bruno Wyss Engineering carry out a thorough restoration, bringing the car back to its Tour de France state. It's interesing to note that the interior remains untouched and is still in original state. At the 2002 Bonhams Gstaad auction (last four pictures), 5367 changed hands again for little under $500,000 and it now resides in a well known Swiss collection.

In its new owner, 5367 has found an enthusiastic historic racer and it was no surprise to see this blue Lusso take part in the Spa Franchorchamps round of the Ferrari/Maserati Historic Challenge (first eight pictures). People all over Europe will have a chance to see this one of only three period converted Competiziones doing what it was built for, race!

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