1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso
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Introduced at the Paris Auto Show in 1963, there would only be 355 examples of the 250GT Lusso built and chassis number 4459GT would be one of them. GM stylist Charles Jordan would describe the car as 'an excellent example of timeless design' and 4459GT would certainly be able to show why.
This particular chassis would be built on July 4th in 1963. It would then be purchased by Baldassare Taormina of Vetrano, Sicily in August. The purchase price of the car would be 5,750,000 lire.
While certainly not a cheap sum of money, Taormina would not be against entering the elegant and luxurious car in the famous Targa Florio. The race took place in Sicily and Taormina certainly had the right car for the miles upon endless miles of twisting, winding, rising and falling roads traversing all of Sicily.
Being Sicilian, Taormina had the advantage of local knowledge, but he would be going up against professionals. Therefore, while Baldassare had the knowledge, the car would certainly need to make up the rest of the equation. Sporting a 3.0-liter 240hp V-12 engine, the car would certainly do just that.
At 10 laps of a course measuring 42 miles in length, the Targa Florio was anything but an easy race. The rough roads would beat the cars terribly. However, the coil-sprung front suspension and the coil/leaf sprung live rear with Watt linkage would help Taormina overcome the arduous conditions. Great acceleration, countered by strong braking provided by four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes, would help Baldassare to handle the twisty course and avoid trouble when many of the others would fall to the wayside.
And along with the Mille Miglia, the Targa Florio was easy one of the most famous of the road races. Taormina, however, would prove that his local knowledge and the performance of the 250GT Lusso would be more than enough to compete as he would finish the race an incredible 14th place out of 64 starters. By the time the winners had crossed the finish line for the final time, Taormina had completed nine laps, but was certainly pleased with his performance. What was perhaps most surprising was the simple fact that Taormina's result came without assistance from the Ferrari factory. Taormina would even end up beating the American greats Phil Hill and Bob Bondurant.
After the success in the Targa Florio, the car would retire to a much more sedated and relaxed lifestyle although it would certainly still be used to fly around the twisty Sicilian roads by Taormina until he would sell the car in 1965 to Antonio Peri in Palermo. Peri would own the car for a number of years, and then, would have it exported to the United States in the 1970s.
Once in the United States, the car would become the property of Bill Senyak of Seal Beach in California. The car would remain in his possession all the way up to 1986 when it would become the property of Roger and Rhonda Groves of Dana Point, California. They would enlist a ground-up restoration for the car. Withholding no expense, the couple would send the car to Classic European Restorations in Oceanside, California. Upon completion, the Groves would immediately take the car to Carmel Valley in August of 1998 to be part of the Concorso Italiano. At that event, the car would win the highly coveted Platinum Award.
In 2002, Ken and Dale Roath would enter the car in the 38th annual Ferrari Club of America National Field and Driving Concours event at Century City, California where it would win yet another platinum award. The car would later be seen at Concorso Italiano in Seaside, California in 2003.
This work would be ordered by the car's new owners Ken and Dale Roath of Newport Beach. Ken and Dale would finally come to own the car in 2004. The restoration work they had done to the car would go on to earn it Ferrari Classiche Certification in 2007.
Prior to earning its Ferrari Classiche Certification in 2007, the car would be entered in the Newport Beach Strawberry Farms Concours in 2006 and would win yet another platinum award. The car would even earn a class award at Pebble Beach.
Complete with multiple FCA Platinum Awards, Ferrari Classiche Certification and even Targa Florio racing history, chassis 4459GT is certainly one of the more peculiar of the already exceptional 250GT Lusso. If every car tells a story, then this particular chassis would certainly be one of the must-read novels from the 250GT collection. And its racing achievements and multiple awards would not be overlooked as the car was expected to command between $900,000 and $1,100,000 at the 2012 RM Auction in Arizona.
'Featured Lots: Lot No. 263: 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso Berlinetta', (http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=AZ12&CarID=r253&fc=0). RM Auctions. http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=AZ12&CarID=r253&fc=0. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Ferrari 250', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 7 December 2011, 02:35 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ferrari_250&oldid=464499461 accessed 4 January 2012By Jeremy McMullen
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