1964 Geneva Motor Show display car on the Ferrari stand
Fabulous period competition history, including the 1964 Tour de France Automobile
Ferrari’s most refined, competition-specification V12 berlinetta
One of only four 250 GT/Ls upgraded to ‘Competizione’ specification
Ferrari Classiche certified
Chassis no. 5367
The Ferrari 250 GT/L ‘Lusso’
At the Paris Motor Show in October 1962, Ferrari unveiled the breath-takingly beautiful 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso (Luxury) prototype and, thanks to Pininfarina’s timeless styling, it was an immediate success with the public.
As was common with Ferraris of this era, the design was penned by Pininfarina, but it was Scaglietti in Modena who actually brought the designs to life, with the bodies being made from steel and the doors, bonnet and boot lids from aluminium. Under its skin, the Lusso was hugely competent, with its Colombo-designed, twin-cam, alloy-block V12 powering it from 0 to 60 mph in just eight seconds. This was the same engine that powered the Berlinetta Passo Corto!
Designed to cruise across the continent, the Lusso was equally at home on the Italian autostrada as it was the infamous Mont Blanc pass, and thanks to its slender A- and B-pillars, the driver and passenger were able to take in the full view whilst still enjoying a typically simple yet functional Italian interior. A lovely design feature of the Lusso was the speedometer and rev counter being separated from the five smaller gauges, as they now sat in the centre of the dashboard and pointed slightly towards the driver, whilst also allowing the passenger to stay up to speed. The large-diameter, wood-rimmed steering wheel was truly delightful, giving fabulous fluid feel. When some quick footwork was required, the pedals are thoughtfully placed, with the smooth black gear knob always where you’d expect it, making even the most intense routes a genuinely enjoyable and rewarding experience.
The Lusso was the final road model in the 250 GT series, Ferrari’s most famous and remarkable family of road cars. Ending production in 1964, with only 350 examples manufactured, it is still accepted as the most refined and luxurious of all 3.0-litre Ferraris to this day.
This Ferrari 250 GT/L’s Geneva Debut
On 12 March 1964, Ferrari welcomed guests to its stand at the XXXIV Sale de L’Automobile in Geneva, where this 250 GT/L Lusso took centre stage. Having only recently completed manufacture in Maranello, this Lusso, finished in Blu Sera Metallizzato with an elegant Beige interior, quickly caught the eye of the public, as well as its first owner, who bought it directly from the stand! The 1964 Ferrari Annual includes an image of the Geneva Show stand, in which this Lusso is clearly displayed.
The car’s first owner was Mr Charles Müller, a resident of Basel, Switzerland, although it was reportedly financed by his father-in-law, Mr Bisang of Lausen. Charles “Charly” Müller was an avid competitor, having raced in 1962 with a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL before moving on to a Ferrari 250 ‘SWB’ Berlinetta, 250 GTO and later a 250 LM.
Ferrari Upgrades and Early Competition
Looking for every advantage in competition, prior to delivery Müller had Swiss Ferrari importer Garage Monteverdi fit six Weber 38 DCN carburettors, the same specification as a Ferrari 250 GTO, which were supplied directly from the Ferrari factory in Maranello. Müller also had a red and white stripe painted down the length of the car, offset to the driver’s side. The car was registered in Switzerland and issued license ‘BS 36585’.
The first event Müller entered his new Lusso in was the ACS Cup at Monza in May 1964. The Lusso was assigned race number 174 and, with Müller driving, finished the race 2nd in GT class — a strong start to an exciting partnership between Müller and this Lusso!
Only a few weeks later, Müller and the car travelled to France to compete in the Course de Côte Turckheim Trois-Epis, where the pair again enjoyed success — this time claiming victory in the GT class! Müller was clearly enjoying his time with this Lusso and, in mid-July, travelled to Belgium to enter the Grand Prix du Limbourg at Zolder, where he finished 9th overall. Again, only a few weeks later, in early August, Müller and 5367 competed at the Freiburg-Schauinsland Hillclimb in Germany. For this event, the car and driver were entered under the famed Scuderia Sant’Ambroeus of Milan banner. It was another strong weekend for the duo, with Müller and the Lusso finishing 2nd in class! For the end of August, Müller and 5367 returned to Switzerland to compete at the St. Ursanne-Les Rangiers and Sierra-Montana-Crans Hillclimbs.
XIII Tour de France Automobile – The Highlight Event
For 10 days in September 1964, the automotive world focussed its attention on 117 cars competing over 6,000 km across France to claim victory in the XIII Tour de France Automobile. As part of the International Championship for Manufacturers, Division I, II and III classes, the event was comprised of eight circuit races, eight hillclimbs and one timed road stage — the ultimate test for car, driver and team! The circuits included Le Mans, Reims, Pau and Monza, with all competitors also taking part in a short practise session to familiarise themselves with the layout. The hillclimbs were held at world-renowned ascents, such as Mont Ventoux, Rouen-les-Essarts and Col de Turini!
The tour was organised in two distinct categories, Grand Touring and Touring, with each having both overall and handicap classifications. There were seven Ferrari 250 GTOs taking the start, with 5367 competing in the same class, Division I. Enzo Ferrari was keen to repeat his success from years previous, sending his Assistenza Clienti department to assist all Ferrari entrants, should they have any drama.
For this tough and gruelling event, Müller had his friend, 1960, 1961, and soon to be 1964, European GT Hillclimb Champion Heini Walter, share driving duties. Interestingly, and fortuitously, a condition of the Tour was that the co-driver must drive a minimum of two hillclimbs.
Chassis 5367, along with 116 other starters, gathered in Lille on Wednesday, 9 September, for the technical delegates of the Automobile Club Du Nord to conduct scrutineering. The engines and transmissions were sealed, race numbers and rally plates were affixed and on Friday evening, at 7:00pm, the cars were flagged away from the Foire des Expositions in Lille by the city’s deputy mayor, Augustin Laurent. Around midnight, the cars arrived at Reims, with drivers and teams ready for the following morning’s first race.
The Reims circuit, comprised of closed public roads, was 8.3 km (5.2 mi) in length, with four 90-minute races being held over the course of Saturday morning. There were two races per class, with each class being split into below and above 2,000 cc, with 5367 competing against the GTOs and the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupes in the over 2,000 cc Grand Touring race. Finishing 9th in GT class, 5367 even beat the 250 GTO of Jean Guichet and Michel de Bourbon-Parme — a promising start!
Following an intense start, the competitors all headed towards the German border for the 7.0 km (4.3 mile) hillclimb at the Col de Bramont. With no less than 14 hairpins and an altitude change of 407 metres, the stage was testing, and to spice things up even more, this one was held at night, with the first competitors starting at 9:45pm and the final at 11:45pm! Thankfully, 5367 had been fitted with four additional Marchal spotlights for this event, helping Müller and Walter finish 10th in class. Instead of resting, the competitors immediately headed west to Rouen for Sunday’s races.
The 6.45 km (4.06 mi) Rouen-les-Essarts circuit was inaugurated in 1950, remaining in use until 1994, and consisted largely of public roads, with a long downhill section along one side of the valley and a steep climb up the other. As at Reims, there were four races, but this time lasting 60 minutes instead of 90. The large-engined GT race started late on Sunday afternoon, with 5367 again finishing 10th in class and beating another 250 GTO, this time the Sylvain Garant and Jacques Lanners car. Again, the day was not over once the cars crossed the finish line, as the teams had to go on to drive to Caen. However, for the first time in 48 hours, they were able to rest overnight in a real bed.
Monday’s race was held at the famed Le Mans circuit, with the small Touring car class leaving Caen at 6:00am and the other classes following in close succession. Due to the layout of the Le Mans circuit, there was only two races, one for Gran Turismo classes and one for Turismo classes, with each race lasting two hours. Chassis 5367 ran another successful race — this time finishing 9th in class after a pit stop to change tyres. The races were tough for many competitors, with no fewer than 18 cars being posted as retirements before the field reached Cognac at the end of a 900-km (560-mi) transit stage.
Tuesday, 25 September brought an Atlantic breeze, followed by clouds and rain, which were welcomed by the teams who had been suffering in the stifling hot cockpits over the past few days. Just south of the town of Cognac was the Châteaubernard (Parvaud) military airfield, which played host to the Circuit de Cognac. The first race started at 9:00 am, but 5367 and four GTOs were given mileage credit, which meant they did not need to compete and had the opportunity to catch their breaths. Once racing was completed, all remaining teams headed 300 km (190 mi) to Pau, where the following morning’s stage would start at 6:10am.
Wednesday dawned and the sun returned for the early morning Col d’Aubisque Hillclimb, with only 70 of the original 117 crews remaining and all Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupes now out before the halfway stage! The hillclimb was 12 km (7.5 mi) long and 5367 was as consistent as ever, setting exactly the same time (9 minutes 36.6 seconds) as the GTO of Annie Soisbault de Montaigu and Nicole Roure, to finish 4th in class. After this short climb, the crews drove a further 50 km (30 mi) to the next hillclimb at the Col du Tourmalet. This was the highest paved mountain pass in the Pyrenees at a staggering altitude of 2,115 m (6,938 ft). Although some considered this pass a slightly easier test than others due to its lack of hairpins, there were also many unprotected steep drops to force the teams to pay close attention! Again, 5367 beat a GTO to finish 5th in class, ahead of the Garant and Lanners GTO.
The final event for the day was held at the historic town of Pau, which hosted four one-hour street circuit races, with the final race again being the large-engined GT class. Although the first race started under dry and sunny skies, when the last race was flagged away at 4:10pm, the heavens had opened and every inch of the track was thoroughly wet. As is the nature of the street circuit, only the leader was able to enjoy unmolested visibility, but this didn’t hinder 5367’s performance, as it once again finished 5th in class.
This was proving to be a long day indeed, and it still wasn’t over. After the Pau street race, the remaining competitors headed over 680 km (423 mi) through Wednesday evening into Thursday morning to compete at the Col du Minier Hillclimb, where the first were given the green flag at 4:20am! The second-longest hillclimb of the event clearly suited 5367, as it finished 3rd in class — ahead of two GTOs!
With numbers depleting at every stage, the crews moved another 160 km (100 mi) west to the Albi circuit, which was the host of the sixth of the eight planned circuit races. Again, four 60-minute races took place, with 5367 finishing 5th in class. Once this race was complete, all the teams had to do was navigate 170 km (105 mi) to the overnight stop, which also put the cars in parc fermé, meaning the crews were not allowed to work on them but used the time to catch up on some much-needed rest instead.
Stage five covered a total of 1,585 km (985 mi) and started at 6:00am on Friday morning. The first event of the day was the only closed-road stage of the Tour, with 5367 finishing 5th. Next, the teams drove 120 km (75 mi) northeast to the Circuit d’Auvergne, which, as per Le Mans, hosted two 90-minute races, one per category. As was becoming expected now, 5367 finished 5th in class.
The day was not yet over, as there was still the small matter of a 450-km (280-mi) transit stage to the Mont Ventoux Hillclimb. Measuring 21.6 km (13.4 mi) in length, this was the longest hillclimb of the event and was run at night, with cars starting between 10:25pm and 11:40pm. Mont Ventoux is undoubtedly the most famous hillclimb in France, and in 1963, it was won by none-other-than 5367’s co-driver Heini Walter, who commandeered a Porsche RS Spyder to the top in a time of 11 minutes 50 seconds! On this occasion, Walter drove 5367 to a hugely impressive 2nd in class (4th overall), beating three of the four remaining 250 GTOs!
Having driven overnight, 40 teams arrived in Monza for the final circuit race of the Tour, which was held at the oval course measuring 5.75 km (3.57 mi) in length. A surprise and welcomed appearance was made by Enzo Ferrari himself, who was keen to ensure one of the two GTOs leading overall claimed victory. Under Enzo’s watchful eye, 5367 crossed the line 4th in class, before the Tour headed back to France for the overnight stop at Grenoble.
Stage six was the final day of the 1964 Tour de France Automobile, with the tired cars, drivers and crews yearning for rest. The day started at 6:55am at the famed Chamrousse Hillclimb, where 5367 finished 3rd in class and again beat two GTOs!
The penultimate hillclimb of the Tour, the Col de Turini, was 350 km (220 mi) southeast and most famous for being a regular night stage of the Monte Carlo Rally. For the 1964 TdF, the Col de Turini Hillclimb started around lunchtime, and 5367 proved to once again be in its element, as it finished 3rd in class. The final hillclimb was the Col de Braus, situated in the Alps, roughly 20 km (12 mi) north of Monaco. The 7.15-km (4.44-mi) route started smoothly and then quickly steepened with tight hairpin sections, but 5367 punched through to finish 3rd in class — only 0.4 seconds behind the GTO of Sosibault de Montaigu and Roure, which was driven by the latter.
All that remained after the Col de Braus was a short transit stage to the finish line in Nice, where the 36 surviving teams could finally relax and celebrate for the first time in eight days! After 1,764.284 km of competitive stages, 5367, Charles Müller and Heini Walter finished 5th in class.
After this event, 5367 returned to Switzerland, where Charles Müller could take proper inventory of the car and ordered a new spare wheel, along with various other spare parts, which were invoiced to him directly from the Ferrari factory and totalled over 550,000 Italian lire.
The 1965 Racing Season Onwards
After a winter’s rest, in June 1965, 5367 and Charles Müller returned to action at the French hillclimb of Course de Côte de Turckheim Trois-Epis, where it wore race number 81 and finished 13th. At the end of August, the pair returned to Switzerland and competed at the St. Ursanne-Les Rangiers Hillclimb.
Only a week later, 5367 was in action again in Switzerland at the famed Championnat du Monde Ollon-Villars Hillclimb, wearing race number 131 and finishing 35th overall. A further two weeks later, 5367 made its last competition event in period, competing at the Swiss Mitholz-Kandersteg Hillclimb, again with Charles Müller behind the large wood-rimmed steering wheel.
Once its racing days were over, 5367 remained with Charles Müller and was stored until 1989, when it was sold by Müller’s brother to Mr Frankhauser, a resident of Liestal, Switzerland. With such great competition history, this Ferrari was soon bought by official Ferrari dealer Bruno Wyss in Switzerland, who paid 670,000 Swiss francs for it. Bruno kept the car for 10 years, before it was purchased by Heinrich Kämpfer, a well-respected and knowledgeable Ferrari collector. He almost immediately embarked upon a thorough two-year restoration, during which the car was repainted its original Blu Sera Metallizato with the iconic red and white stripe running the length of the car over the driver’s side, and the engine was rebuilt by Ferrari specialist Edi Wyss Engineering AG in Zurich.
In April 2000, the car was awarded its FIA papers and, a year later, participated in the Tour Auto. Wearing race number 38, the car finished 13th overall, which, amazingly, was the same result it achieved in 1964! Heinrich was, and still is, a huge Ferrari enthusiast, with some very special Ferraris passing through his stable, including a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta Scaglietti, a 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Boano and a 1953 Ferrari 375 America Coupe Vignale. During his ownership, Heinrich had the Lusso registered in Switzerland with license ‘AG 3999’.
In December 2002, Heinrich decided to part with 5367 and the car was sold at Bonhams’ Gstaad auction to Mr Peter Heuberger, another Swiss resident, for 597,350 Swiss francs. In April 2003, Heuberger tested 5367 at Monza, before embarking upon a regular competition schedule in the Ferrari Maserati Challenge over the next three years. During this time, the Lusso was also featured in the October 2003 issue of Swiss magazine Passione.
Most importantly, in 2004 this 250 GT/L was awarded its Ferrari Classiche Certificate of Authenticity, number 008F. Mr Heuberger continued to compete with his beloved Lusso before selling it at the Ferrari auction in 2009, at which point the car took its place within the Californian collection of a true connoisseur. In August 2011, 5367 was entered into The Quail, A Motorsport Gathering.
In more recent years, the car has been painted by Brian Hoyt’s famed Perfect Reflections in California, before visiting the late-Wayne Obry’s legendary Motion Production Inc. in Wisconsin, where it was retrimmed with the correct Beige interior and also benefited from a carburettor tune and dyno session.
Today, the Lusso is considered the most refined and luxurious 250-series Ferrari, with the example we are offering here benefitting from the most impressive of histories. Accompanied by books, tools and a hugely detailed and comprehensive history file, including many pictures of Charles Müller competing in period, this Lusso is no ordinary example — it is a true connoisseur’s Lusso.
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