The Lusso premiered at the Paris Motor Show in October 1962 as the Ferrari 250GT Berlinetta Lusso (Las meaning luxury). It was manufactured between January 1963 and August 1964 and during this time a mere 350 cars were produced, with each unit taking approximately three months to build.
The Lusso is widely regarded as Ferrari’s most beautiful car. Its long fluid flowing lines were wonderfully designed by Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti. The chrome work is subtle with a small front bumper and nudge bars just below the sidelights. The Lusso was described by Car & Driver in May 1964 “…its proportions approach perfection.” Not only did it look amazing, but the Lusso had a top speed of around 150 mph, with a 0-60 time of 8.0 seconds and 0-100 in 19.5 seconds. The external design may be a classic but the dashboard layout is certainly not. The all important speedometer and tachometer are in the center of the dash, out of the driver’s direct line of sight. Having said that, the dash is simple and clean, although it does have a row of unidentified switches.
The chassis is tubular and strengthened by two longerons while the body is mainly steel with aluminum panels for the doors, hood and trunk. The gearbox is front mounted; rear gearboxes were not fitted in Ferraris until the 275GTB. The front suspension is wishbone and coil, and the rear semi-elliptic leaf springs with parallel trailing arms and Watt’s linkage.
Internally the Lusso is light and airy, its thin pillars and big windows allow the driver a barely interrupted view in every direction. This superb visibility is essential in a car which has no external mirrors to ruin its beautiful lines! The seats are of genuine sports car design with the buckets hugging the hips as the car corners. The driving position is with bent knees, the handling and roadholding being true 1960’s.