The Lusso that achieved the highest price at auction — a record that still stands today
Presented in truly stunning condition and Ferrari Classiche certified
Fabulously detailed history file, with copies of original Ferrari documentation
The ninth of only 22 UK RHD Ferrari 250 GT/Ls
The fastest production car of its day!
Chassis no. 5443
The Ferrari 250 GT/L ‘Lusso’ Berlinetta
The 3.0-litre, Colombo-designed, 60-degree V12 engine was a powerhouse for Ferrari, being fitted to countless cars throughout the 1950s and 1960s and being driven on the road by the likes of American actor James Coburn, French heartthrob actor Alain Delon, film director Roger Vadim and French pop/rock star Johnny Hallyday. On the track, the 250 engine dominated, claiming victory at Le Mans 24 Hours no less than five times, with the likes of Phil Hill, Olivier Gendebien and Lorenzo Bandini behind the wheel!
The 3.0-litre 250 engine helped cement and build Ferrari’s reputation as the manufacturer of the world’s best sports cars. The final car that would be powered by the mighty 250 engine is this, the 250 GT/L ‘Lusso’ Berlinetta.
With a body designed by Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti, the two-seat grand tourer was not only the prettiest car on the market when unveiled at the 1962 Paris Motor Show, but it was also the fastest production car of its day! As in period, the Lusso is regarded today as one of the best-looking Ferraris ever built, with period owners including the King of Cool, Steve McQueen, and rock music icon Eric Clapton.
This Ferrari 250 GT/L ‘Lusso’ Berlinetta
This top-of-the-range Ferrari was ordered new in late 1963 by Mr P.H. Bell, the director of Sir Alfred McAlpine and Son Ltd, a construction business based in Wolverhampton, England. Mr Bell ordered the car through his preferred dealer, George Boyle Sports Cars Ltd in Ellesmere Port, with many copies of the original ordering process contained within this car’s expansive history file.
When new, the Lusso had a base price of £4,600 before tax, resulting in a total cost of £5,606, ensuring it was only available to the most affluent of Ferrari enthusiasts. Interestingly, this car is also accompanied by a copy of the Ferrari factory invoice to Maranello Concessionaires, dated 18 December 1963 and noting that it was to be flown to England! Over Christmas 1964 and the new year, this car was delivered to Maranello Concessionaires in Bournemouth and road registered in January 1965 with the license ‘AMB 31B’.
One of the most interesting items to accompany this car is its original green UK Registration Book — such a rare item for a car of this age! With this document, we can see that the first owner retained the car for five years before ownership changed to Riverside Service Station in January 1969, who quickly sold the car to Mr Geoffrey E. Marsh of Marsh Plant Holdings in May of the same year. The history file also contains a copy of a Maranello Concessionaires invoice for maintenance in September 1970, with the mileage noted as 11,142.
The car passed through a couple more UK owners before being bought by Mr Evert Louwman in the Netherlands. Mr Louwman is the Dutch importer of Lexus, Toyota and Suzuki, but also the owner of the world-famous Louwman Museum in The Hague. The collection is the world’s oldest private collection of motor cars and dates back to 1934, comprising around 250 classic and antique motor cars. This Lusso joined this astounding collection and was prominently displayed at the famed museum, which was located at Raamsdonksveer at the time.
The next custodian of 5443 was Captain Warren de France, who acquired the car through Talacrest Ltd in the UK. The car was again registered in the UK, this time assigned license ‘TSY 297’. As a commercial captain of the Airbus 747, De France was fortunate enough to visit much of the world, regularly being given the opportunity to indulge in his passion for classic cars and visiting various dealers and specialists. On one such excursion in 1995, De France came across 5443 and immediately fell in love.
Successfully negotiating the purchase, De France kept the car in the UK, just outside Leighton Buzzard, where, over the following years, he regularly visited to exercise the car on England’s B-roads. Home for De France was New Zealand, where, in November 1997, he imported the Lusso. After an enjoyable 18 months or so, De France sent his beloved Lusso for restoration with a local firm; although, after a short while, they learned that the task of restoring such a special and rare car was beyond their capabilities. Eventually, De France tasked Auto Restorations of Christchurch, New Zealand, with the job of restoration. This extensive and detailed restoration is heavily documented in the history file, with many invoices and pictures showing the works.
The exacting restoration was completed at the end of 2009, with the car being featured in New Zealand’s leading Classic Car magazine. The following year, De France entered the Ellerslie Concours d’Elegance, with 5443 winning the Masters Class!
De France chose to part with 5443 in March 2011 and sold it through auction, where it smashed the record for the most expensive car sold in New Zealand! A month later, the car was MOT’d in the UK before being registered to Jonathan Seymour.
In 2014, 5443 once again set a record price for the Lusso model at auction, when it sold for a staggering £1,897,500, which is still the highest price achieved for any Lusso every sold at auction, attesting to the quality of the car! This result clearly shows that the market noted and valued the quality and detail of the restoration and presentation. Since this auction, the car has been regularly MOT’d, and in 2014, it was serviced by Ferrari specialist Foskers Engineering in the UK.
Today, this Ferrari Classiche certified Lusso is presented in stunning condition, having covered very little mileage since its remarkable restoration. The quality and detail of this Lusso is extraordinary and rarely attainable.
An opportunity not to be ignored, we’re sure you will agree once you see the car!
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