- Chassis # 5231
- Engine # 5231
- A Numbers Matching Example
- Offered With Original Tools, Jack & Spare
- Only 26,297KM From New
- Known Ownership History & Well Documented
- Offered Out Of 30 Year Enthusiast Ownership
- The Ultimate Enzo-Era Road Going Ferrari
There are very few instances in automotive history where a manufacturer is able to capture its absolute best attributes and culminate all efforts past and present in an attempt to create the best car they have ever produced. The 250GT Lusso could perhaps sum-up Ferrari in its entirety. While the Lusso was not intended for competition use, it was superb, and timing had everything to do with its success. By 1962 and the launch of the 250GTL at the Paris Auto Show Ferrari was nearing the end of its illustrious 250 model production. The goal of the Lusso was to give a grand finale to Enzo’s marketing strategy and capture new customers who could fall in love with Ferrari’s road cars. Road cars that had the essence of Ferrari Competition models at heart, but offered exactly what a discerning clientele desired in terms of Luxury, or in Italian, “Lusso”.
The 250 GT Lusso is the exact combination of all things perfect for a Ferrari. The chassis is incredibly similar to that of a 250 SWB in its design and construction; with the only modification being that of the suspension, which is very similar to that of a 250 GTO. The engine block is based on that of a 250 GTE while the internals are 250 SWB derived. The mechanical attributes are not the only place the car excels in its relationship to its competition counterparts. The body is the work of Carrozzeria Scaglietti, though penned by Pininfarina and has both unique and iconic elements including the small integrated spoiler atop the Kammback tail, very similar to both the 250 GTO and the Lusso’s successor; the 275. The front receives a treatment unique to the Lusso but similar in some ways to a SWB. The bumpers are pretty but hardly useful, and the double headlights give a nice symmetry to the frontal view, a unique identifier of the Lusso’s fantastic looks. A view from just about any angle reveals near perfect proportions and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful works of art to come from Maranello if not the rest of the automotive world. The Lusso captured the attention of many when new, including the likes of Steve McQueen and Eric Clapton. It’s timeless in its presentation both inside and out. It is a delicate but powerful combination of Ferrari’s most brute, but also their most intuitive and creative adaptation to both customer needs and consideration for a seriously pretty car.
Of the 350 examples produced, Chassis # 5231 is the 184th to have left Maranello as a Grigio over Black example destined for the US. While no special options are noted, it is however, one of only a few cars to receive a lower rear-end gear ratio from the factory. Exact early history is currently being researched on 5231 and upon our being informed, this section of the cars history will be promptly updated. By March 5th 1976 we have documentation from Candy Poole’s Sports Car Shop of Glastonbury, CT showing the owner as a Mr. Charles Anthony. At this time the Mileage in Kilometers was shown as 1,854KM. The service receipt describes the replacement of cooling hoses, new belt, bleeding of brakes and also the replacement of the rear end carrier bearings.
We are told that Mr. Anthony owned the car from around 1970 to 1976, when he placed an ad in Road & Track Magazine where he sold the car to a Mr. Bill Harrison. Mr. Harrison enjoyed the car frequently and entrusted the services of The Stable Limited of Gladstone, NJ to carry out various service tasks. A service receipt from April 27th, 1977 shows a basic fluids check, two new headlights, lower radiator hose replaced, and a general inspection. The mileage at this time was reported to be 6,400KM showing that Mr. Harrison enjoyed 5231 frequently on his commute to Kleinwort, Benson Inc. in New York City.
The Stable Limited soon sold 5231 in November of 1978 on behalf of Mr. Harrison to a Mr. Paul G. Rochmis of Annandale, VA for $6,750. Mileage at this time was reported to be 12,875KM. Mr. Rochmis would enjoy the Lusso until it was sold again to its current custodian in September of 1985, again facilitated through The Stable Limited.
Chassis # 5231 has carefully lived with its current enthusiast/collector owner since 1985 and during that time, has been enjoyed and cherished. During the course of the current 30 year ownership, minor service items have been tended to as needed. The number one item that has been changed is the paint. While this example was born Grigio (Silver), it was painted in its current shade of Rossa Corsa (Racing Red) in 1986 by the owner, who is a master mechanic and painter by trade, having worked on many special cars over the years. 5231 was reported to be an original paint, never hit, never rusty example before it was stripped, glass removed and properly painted with lacquer. There was a small dent in the nose and in the rear bumper and both were tended to a this time. Once it was painted it was reassembled with the rear bumper newly chromed, driven, enjoyed, and nearly untouched beyond basic service since 1986, including new rear tires in 1988. Otherwise, this is an example that has been cherished, in a very special collection and under custodianship of a true enthusiast. While the car received seasonal use over the years, today it shows only 26,297KM from new.
The goal for most true collectors is to either find the best original example or the best restored example; hopefully only when the best original simply isn’t available. While 5231 has been re-painted in 1986 with a color change, it exudes originality in many other ways. The legacy of ownership for the father-son team that has looked after this car for the past 30 years has been passionate and the entirety of why the car was purchased and owned was for reasons we seldom see today, and simply cannot duplicate today. There was a time where sports cars were sports cars, not commodities to be traded as part of portfolios and/or considered an asset class. This is a car offered from an extremely long term collection that was founded and grown from the passion of driving uniquely designed cars with a special set of characteristics or as we often refer to it, “an old school sports car guy”. It is this generation of collector who knew fantastic Ferrari’s such as this, to be mammoth machines of intoxicating enjoyment and power, but also beautiful and proportionately everything they could have ever wanted. They were enjoyed for what they were, not what they were worth and that is simply something, that no matter how hard we try today, cannot be duplicated. The relationship of this theory to this very Lusso is that because it was cherished in the purist sense, it remains today a very special example; a highly original car with the right amount of patina and a total sense of originality having been in the right ownership for all these years.
Today, chassis # 5231 is very approachable as a superb driver. The paint can be considered driver quality for certain, and while most will probably change it back to Grigio (Silver) there is something to its less than perfect presentation that is very inviting as a car to be driven. The paint shows well overall but upon close inspection one can see slight discoloration in the driver’s side, top of the fender. Additionally, there is a small star looking crack about the size of a dime on the hood, which has an interesting story to go with it. One or two very small touched-up chips can be found as well. A view down the side however shows excellent straight panels that have never been worked and are indeed untouched from the factory. The body approaching the rocker still retains its slight feel of a leaded seem which so many lose during restorations and is a mark, on a Lusso, that indicates an un-restored and mostly untouched example. The panel fitment is to factory standards having never really been apart. The hood shows to be a touch raised and the gaps could perhaps be scrutinized. Otherwise the doors fit perfect, along with the trunk lid, both displaying even gaps. The door bottoms are solid and straight with the exception of the passenger door which shows a slight pull at the bottom forward most edge, from the door opening to fast at one point. Another instance with a story, and also a common issue on these cars due to the design of the door stops.
During the repaint in 1986 all of the glass, chrome, and rubber components were removed and new rubber was installed throughout. Today, that rubber is still respectable, though not perfect. The chrome however is original (despite the rear bumper which has been re-chromed) and in surprisingly good condition considering the age. It shines wonderfully overall though a few pieces are showing their age as well. The glass appears to be completely original throughout and is all SECURIT and matching per the etchings, with the exception of the windshield which shows to be produced by VIS rather than SECURIT. Overall the glass on all 4 corners is free of any major imperfections or items worth concern. The windshield does show some slight scratching.
The wheels are all the originals delivered on the car when new: Borrani “15X6.5L-BW 3801 Record”, as stamped on each wheel, accompanied by the original stickers. Holding the wheels fast are the correct concave type knock-offs. The rear tires were replaced in 1988 (receipt present) but the fronts are believed to possibly be the originals. All four, including the spare, are the correct Michelin XWX type tires. The windshield wipers are the original Armanac type, having never been replaced and most likely have hardly seen use, especially in the past 30 years of the current ownership. Throughout the car are signs of its current enthusiast ownership, including a weathered “Bugatti” sicker on the drivers rear quarter window, and a “Pave the Park” sticker from Lime Rock Park in CT. All of the front lights are Marchal and marker lenses throughout, while aged and slightly cracked/blemished, are the original ALTO type fixtures. Additionally, on the rear panel of the car where the license plate is attached one can notice two small I-Hooks which were borrowed from a Bugatti Type 35 (once a part of the collection this car hails from) and installed should various plates need to be utilized on the car etc… Apart from this hardly noticeable, but interesting modification, the only other item on the car that is perhaps not exactly stock is the rear mufflers which are now straight pipes, giving the perfect bellow to what is already the most fantastic sound in the automotive world. Otherwise, it can be stated that this car is indeed stock, untouched, and original beyond the repaint and items mentioned.
The interior of this Lusso exemplifies and upholds the very meaning of preserved. It remains today as it always has been; completely original with signs of use and patina. This is an attribute of the car that absolutely must stay as it is, even if the car were to be repainted and perhaps further restored or refurbished in other aspects, the interior, we hope, will never be touched. The padding in the seats is old, there are signs of use and wear, and the headliner is starting to come down near the rear window. The stitching on the driver’s side bolster shows to have gone missing, and the driver’s side window no longer goes up. One can notice a missing defroster vent (NOS one included in the sale) and the tachometer has stopped working. Taking an even closer looks shows completely original carpeting throughout and the underside of the dash totally untouched. The leather covered dash still fits well with minimal-to-no shrinkage, and the door cards, seat backs, sills, and beautiful diamond pattern rear shelf are all in fantastic and well preserved shape. The rear parcel shelf also retains the original leather straps that have, at least in the past 30 years, always had firm pillows under them to keep them from shrinking and as a result they are very well preserved. Even the rear deck is excellent with no shrinkage and in good condition. The visors, center console, and window felts are all excellent in a way that only aged materials in a Ferrari can be. Last but not least, the steering wheel, the part that connects you to the car, is in excellent condition and reminds you with every squeeze of the wood rim that you’re in something special. This combination of acceptable blemishes and positive attributes tell the exact story of honesty, that if in 50+ years and 26,297KM the only items to have worn or become sub-standard are the aforementioned items, then it is surely safe to say we have a true original mileage car with absolute honesty and original presentation that should be valued and cherished. It doesn’t happen often, and we sincerely hope the next owner will understand this as well.
The heart of the beast, the 60 degree, 2.9L Colombo V12 sits nicely; low-down in its cradle where it has remained since its placement in Maranello. The engine bay in which it resides is a combination of originality and the byproduct of being serviced over the years as needed. The servicing was done with efficiency in mind, and completed when these cars were mere used sports cars. As a result, there are a mix of incorrect type clamps and hoses to be found which are serviceable items and easily replaced. The battery tray shows to be missing its hold downs and the heater hose is loose from its mounting point on the heater box. Some overspray is also apparent on a few items from the respray in 1986. Much like that of the interior, it is consistently telling a story of how this car has always been: driven, serviced, but never languished, rough, or out-of-care to the point of needing major work. The original-type WEBER Tipo 36DCS carburetors are all still in place. While appearing leaky, aged, and perhaps yellowed, they continue to work credited to the fact that this example, for the past 30 years, has always had low lead aviation fuel coursing through its fuel system. As a result no ethanol has ever had a chance to disintegrate the carburetors or other related components. There are quite a few items that are nice to see however, including the original but brittle correct yellow-ribbed fuel line. All of the electrics throughout are the proper Magnetti Marelli type and none of the electrics appear to have modified with the stock harness still totally intact and untouched. Overall the engine bay appears original, a little leaky and most likely due for a servicing to be driven regularly, but a strong base none the less.
The numbers on a Ferrari are of course paramount to its history, value, and understanding exactly what it is. The chassis number as displayed on the original data tag on the driver side of the engine bay reads exactly as follows: “Type” 250GT/L, “Engine” 168, and “Chassis” 250GT/L5231. The Chassis number 5231 can also be found stamped on both of the aluminum shrouds surrounding the radiator, as well as on the aluminum shrouds on the A-posts in the door jams. The chassis number on the frame shows as “FERRARI 250GT/L 5231” with an additional number beneath of “IGM 31510M”. The Engine shows a stamping of “168” near the water pump in front of the forward most carburetor. The engine number is stamped on the rear of the motor on passenger side where it should be, reading “5231” with a casting number below it of “1770/68E”. All appear to be 100% correct and untouched showing this to be a numbers matching example. The internal engine number has not been inspected, however we would be happy to accommodate should that need clarification. The transmission number is 177-539U-9X34, while the rear-end shows a number of 123 571 8X34.
Ferrari’s, especially the Lusso, look fantastic, but that is only ½ of the emotion they can instill in the driver. This example also works very well. Turning the key and pulling the secondary electric fuel pump (Lusso’s have 2 fuel pumps) primes the 3 WEBERs and pushing the key in starts the car near instantaneously. Oil pressure builds to about 60+ pounds and once warm stays strong as well. The car cools just fine, never exceeding 190 once fully warm and the oil temperature stays within an appropriate range. Unfortunately the tachometer is not currently working, however every other knob, pull switch, and gauge is in correct working order. Pressing in the clutch, selecting first, and easing into the throttle opens the doors to the start of a symphonic range of noises all while smoothly shifting, braking and performing as expected. Every gear works perfectly with no synchro or clutch issues noted. The brakes grab hard and work well on all four corners. The throttle is snappy and the motor pulls hard with lots of torque, plenty of power, and an eye watering auditory experience that is everything one could hope for in the fabled 250 GT Lusso.
While this example has been in good hands for 3 decades and will operate with the turn of a key, it should be noted that it is perhaps a little more leaky than acceptable. It’s definitely a good old car, in the right hands of a true sports car guy who knew to keep the car in order; but as the years continued however, and the car gained in value it was unfortunately driven less and less (but never not driven). Some may consider it to be out of service, and we encourage that is an ideal candidate for a total servicing. Given the mileage however, any sort of rebuild would be unnecessary, though we have noticed two items of more immediate concern that stem from lack-of-use over the course of the cars lifetime. The engine tends to smoke due to drier than normal valve guides/seals, and the primary fuel pump intermittently leaks (a rebuild kit is included in the sale). Beyond this some hoses do look dry and aged, and ultimately we feel most would service the car. It should be understood though that “5231” is currently a superb running and driving car that feels stellar when being enjoyed; with great power, fully functionality, and easily drivable to any local show or rally, but it would ultimately benefit from further attention at this point.
The underside and trunk are the remaining attributes of this car that will hardly ever be seen, both are consistent with the rest of the car. They both shot signs of use but are completely original and ultimately in no need of any attention. The trunk shows again, all of its original metal as related to the body and its solid history. Correct and original carpet and fabric line the trunk and are in fantastic shape for their age. Additionally one can find a correct and original spare tire with proper hold down. The underside is solid, straight, never rusty, never hit and showing nothing but originality. A little dirty, greasy and oily from years of use and enjoyment but nothing out of the ordinary. All of the suspension points show factory welds and there is nothing inconsistent or surprising about the underside of the car. It could be cleaned up or left alone. One major item that goes missing on these cars quite often, is the belly pan. While it is currently removed on 5231, it has been kept in a safe place, is present with the car, and of course included in the sale.
This is undoubtedly a rare opportunity to be the next care taker of a very special Ferrari, and easily a part of automotive history. It should be noted that there is a great deal of responsibility for the next owner. Not because of the inherent value, but because of the legacy in which this car has been a part of for the past 30 years. Preservation should be paramount, while enjoyment regular, and hopefully the car will never be far from what it is today in its mostly preserved state. 2531 is complete with original and comprehensive tool roll, jack, spare, and a few documents to support ownership history and mileage. This 250 GT Lusso, Chassis Number 5231 will be the centerpiece of any important collection and undoubtedly, will win over the heart of the sports car enthusiast who endeavors to be its next custodian.