Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Car Of The Day: July 17, 2012

Today's car of the day comes from juantoo3's collection and is Matchbox's 1964 Ferrari 250 Berlinetta Lusso.

The Ferrari 250 GT Lusso is a GT car which was manufactured by Italian automaker Ferrari from 1963 to 1964. Sometimes known as the GTL, GT/L or Berlinetta Lusso, it is larger and more luxurious than the 250 GT Berlinetta. The 250 GT Lusso, which was not intended to compete in sports car racing, is considered to be one of the most elegant Ferraris.

Keeping in line with the Ferrari "tradition" of that time, the 250 GT Lusso was designed by the Turinese coachbuilder Pininfarina, and bodied by Carrozzeria Scaglietti. Although the interior was more spacious than that of the 250 GT, the 250 GT Lusso remained a two-seat GT coupe, unlike the 250 GTE. The car was manufactured for only eighteen months, from early 1963 to mid 1964, and was the last model of Ferrari 250 GT generation.

Auto shows often provide an opportunity for manufacturers to introduce new designs publicly. Ferrari did so at the 1962 Paris Motor Show to unveil, as a prototype, the 250 GT Lusso. The prototype was almost identical to the production version, and only minor details changed thereafter.

The new model was a way for Ferrari to fill a void left between the sporty 250 GT SWB and the luxurious 250 GTE 2+2, the Lusso met the new demands of the 1960s. Indeed, fans of sporting driving of the time became as fond of civilized designs, that is, comfortable and spacious, as they were of radical sports cars. Ferrari did not skimp on details in the GTL, which shows on the scales; weight ranged from 1,020 to 1,310 kg (2,200 to 2,900 lb), depending on equipment.

Unusually brief for a Ferrari model, GTL's production began January 1963 and ended August 1964. According to a longstanding American expert on Ferrari, Peter Coltrin, the construction of the 250 GT Lusso must have begun soon after the presentation of the prototype of the Paris Motor Show.

Although it was not intended to compete, the 250 GT Lusso made a few appearances in several sporting events in 1964 and 1965, such as the Targa Florio and the Tour de France. The final iteration of the 250 GT series, 351 copies of GT Lusso were produced before being replaced by the Ferrari 275 GTB. (Note nomenclature change due to increase in engine cylinder capacity.) Originally sold for $13,375, the GTL saw sales in 2010 between $400,000 and $500,000.

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Ferrari 250 GT Lusso

One of the prettiest Ferraris of all time, it's a shame Hot Wheels hasn't taken advantage of their exclusive contract and tooled one up.  Same with Kyosho.  Until then, we have the Matchbox.  A great model from Lesney!  I prefer the red Superfast version (but lack it personally).

Using certain aesthetic and aerodynamic features of the 250 GT and 250 GTO, Pininfarina led the design of the 250 GT Lusso, regarded by many as one of the most beautiful Ferraris ever made; it attracted notable personalities of that time, such as Steve McQueen.

As usual, the company Carrozzeria Scaglietti was responsible for the manufacturing of the body. The body was made of steel with the exception of the doors, boot lid, and bonnet, which were made of aluminum. The stern of the body featured a small integrated spoiler; the 250 GTL became the first Ferrari to incorporate such aerodynamic appendages, concluding with an abrupt Kammback rear.

The short rear is also characterized by a bezel that slopes down to the "tail" of the car. The glazed surfaces, including the rear window and triangular quarter windows, provided good visibility. The 250 GTL came with four round headlights in the front with the exception of a few versions, like the Berlinetta Speciale Coupe that was designed by Battista Pininfarina for himself, featuring two headlights streamlined like those of the Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder. Numerous details of the body are unique to the 250 GT Lusso, such as the rectangular air vent placed on the hood, curved wings, and chrome bumpers, which were mainly decorative and positioned vertically beneath the indicator lights.

1 comment:

  1. This looks beautiful.. even back in the day Matchbox had a nose for realism and the car even has a trailer hook.

    That's what I love the most about Matchbox when compared to Hot Wheels, the realism, as I've written in my Matchbox vs Hot Wheels vs Majorette Toy Cars comparison article.