By the early 1960s, Ferrari’s racing and street cars began to diverge in basic essence, with the Scuderia’s competition cars quickly becoming ever more specialized and the road models reflecting growing demand among buyers for greater comfort and luxury. Debuted at Paris in 1962, the Grand Touring-oriented 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso of 1963-64 was quite similar in appearance to the outgoing 250 GT SWB (short wheelbase) Berlinettas of racing fame produced 1959-62 but outfitted with more luxurious interiors.
Styled by Pininfarina, the Lusso’s sleek body was built by Scaglietti mostly in steel, with the doors, hood, and trunk lid of lightweight aluminum. The Lusso’s chassis and engine were closely related to those employed by the competition 250 GT SWB and 250 GTO. The Colombo-designed, 60-degree SOHC V-12 was only somewhat detuned for road use with triple, as opposed to six, Weber twin-choke carburetors and lower 9.2:1 compression. As installed in the Lusso, this engine was quoted at 240-250 horsepower at a heady 7,000 rpm. Performance was excellent as expected, with Road & Track testers recording 0-60 acceleration in 8 seconds, the quarter-mile in 16.1 seconds at 91 mph, and a top end approaching 150 mph depending upon final drive ratio selected.
First and foremost a driver’s car, the 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso or simply “Lusso,” Italian for luxury, was priced from $13,375. As few as 350 of these achingly beautiful performers were built in all during 1963 and 1964. Famous ‘Lusso’ owners included Battista “Pinin” Farina, the head of the Pininfarina design works, and Hollywood screen sensation Steve McQueen. Today, the Lusso remains a stylistic tour de force and remains coveted as one of the finest all-around Grand Touring machines ever conceived.
Bearing serial number 5003 GT, this magnificent 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso was sold new in 1963 via Chinetti Motors in New York City. Subsequent ownership includes one Dr. Shockley, a neurosurgeon in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for whom 5003 GT was given a marque expert restoration to FCA (Ferrari Club of America) Platinum Award-winning standards. Eventually, the Lusso was acquired in 2007 by Kevin Dwyer of Illinois, passing in April 2009 to Paul Schwartz of Orinda, California, with whom 5003 GT won the Ferrari Cup in 2011 and 2014 at the Carmel-by-the-Sea Concours and took First in Class at Concorso Italiano in 2014
During September 2014, 5003 GT was acquired by Adam Levine, the noted classic sports-car enthusiast, Maroon 5 front man, and panelist on NBC’s hit TV show, The Voice. Given Mr. Levine’s well-known love for actually driving his cars as they were originally intended, 5003 GT received a comprehensive service at Gran Touring Classics in Long Beach, including attention to the braking, cooling, electrical, fuel, and ignition systems, plus carburetor tuning. Over $9,000 in invoices for this work are on file. In 2015, the current owner acquired 5003 GT. As now offered for sale, 5003 GT features a splendid black over red leather color combination, enhanced by iconic Borrani wire-spoke wheels and accompanied by books, a concours tool roll, and prior registration documents. Ferrari Classiche has reviewed, and application submitted for 5003 GT and its all-important certification and the “Red Book” is currently being completed. Very attractively presented, with a nicely matured and preserved professional restoration, this wonderful and rare Lusso is a truly exciting find, offering a stellar opportunity for the most demanding Ferrari collectors anywhere.