1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso,
Lot 194
The ex-Robert Blouin, Targa Florio, Spa Grand Prix,1963 Ferrari 250GT Berlinetta Lusso Competizione 4965GT
Sold for €467,000 (US$ 619,568) inc. premium
Lot Details
The ex-Robert Blouin, Targa Florio, Spa Grand Prix
1963 Ferrari 250GT Berlinetta Lusso Competizione
Coachwork by Pininfarina

Chassis no. 4965GT
Engine no. 4965GT (see text)

Footnotes

  • The gorgeous Ferrari 250GT Berlinetta Lusso is generally regarded as having been the most exquisitely proportioned and most beautiful of all the Pininfarina styling creations upon the legendary front-engined Ferrari 250GT chassis. These were classical high-performance Granturismo cars with a difference, for they combined power and speed with the highest contemporary levels of elegance and comfortable accommodation for two, plus their luggage. If ever there was a Ferrari for lovers this was it, and the motoring-minded public loved the Lusso and everything it represented.

    French-domiciled Swiss owner Robert Blouin (who lived in Angers) took his enthusiasm one step further, and his Ferrari 250GT Lusso – as now offered here – became the only example of this refined early-‘sixties sophisticate to be raced competitively, not merely at club or national level (as two others were) but at International FIA World Championship event level – most particularly, in the fabulous Targa Florio open road race around the Madonie mountains and north-western coastline of the island of Sicily.

    Chassis ‘4965GT’ left the Maranello works on 21 September 1963, destined for the glitzy showrooms of renowned prestige motorcar dealer Franco-Britannic Automobiles in Paris for onward delivery to their
    favoured customer Robert Blouin. At that point it was French-registered ‘1 HW 49’ in the Departement Le Maine-et-Loire. Monsieur Blouin
    specified Azzurro coachwork (code Italiver 19278M) complimented by contrasting red trim of finest Connolly leather (VM3171) for his handsome new Granturismo, but there any similarity with the other rich man’s toys in Franco-Britannic’s showrooms ended: rather than the sedate life of a boulevardier, something far more exciting- and
    memorable- awaited this particular Ferrari.
    Robert Blouin seems to have first campaigned his new Ferrari as early as March 20-21, 1964, competing with race number ‘107’ in the Grand Rallye National de l’Ouest in northern France in this machine (the
    photograph in question being reproduced- miscaptioned- on page 309 of French historian Maurice Louche’s recent book ‘Emotion Ferrari – Europe 1947-1972’). On 17 May Blouin entered and drove this car in the gruelling Grand Prix de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. The race number applied to this Lusso’s shapely flanks was ‘33’ but Monsieur Blouin failed to finish in the event. Just one week later ‘4965GT’ was back in action, this time at Montlhéry for the Prix de Paris, wearing race number ‘48’ but the result is unknown.

    Having presumably enjoyed his competition outings thus far, Monsieur Blouin now embarked on an even more serious proposition. It was on May 9, 1965, that he entered and drove the Lusso in its most
    important event – the 49th annual Targa Florio around the 44-mile
    Piccolo Madonie circuit near Palermo in Sicily. The car wore race number ‘116’ and Blouin co-drove it with a friend named Sauer.

    Having withstood the hectic official practice session, Blouin and Sauer took the start in ‘4965GT’ and went on to complete the full ten long and punishing laps on those rough roads before crossing the finishing line. Although not classified, the French team earned the respect and popularity of fellow competitors, as Jess Pourret relates in his
    definitive book ‘Ferrari 250GT Competition Cars’: “The Frenchmen Blouin and Sauer drove Blouin’s Lusso all the way from Normandy to Sicily to enter the Targa…Near the end, Blouin encountered a gravely wounded competitor and stopped to pick him up and deliver him to the next Red Cross point. This put him out of contention as far as “allowed time” was concerned; nevertheless, he finished that 1965 race.”
    The Lusso stood out amongst its competition there for its refinement and elegance, and it was much photographed as would-be bidders can see on these pages. Ferrari and 1960s racing enthusiasts will remember it fondly from the many contemporary magazines and books in which it featured, including Jess G. Pourret’s abovementioned work (page 312) and Louche’s ‘Emotion Ferrari – Europe 1947-1972’ (pages 309 and 359). Blouin/ Sauer in action with this Lusso were also captured no less than four times in the well-known Castrol film unit movie of that year’s Targa Florio – ‘Mountain Legend’ now held by the National Motor Museum archive at Beaulieu, England.

    By May 16, 1965, Blouin was back at the wheel of ‘4965GT’ at
    Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium for the Circuit National’s annual GT
    Championship-qualifying Grand Prix. Wearing race number ‘36’ the car survived to the finish on this ultra high speed road circuit through the Hautes Fagnes forests, and Blouin was placed either 6th or 16th overall (depending on the source)…either way a very respectable result considering opposition which included Ferrari 250LMs, 250GTOs and 250GTO/64s, the factory Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupes and several Cobra roadsters…

    Incidentally, on page 577 of Janos L. Wimpffen’s definitive history of the World Sports Car, Grand Touring and Manufacturers’
    Championship races – ‘Time and Two Seats’ – the name of Belgian star driver and future Le Mans 24-Hour race winner Lucien Bianchi is
    associated with Blouin and this Ferrari Lusso in that 1965 Spa Grand Prix outing.

    It would appear that Robert Blouin retired his car from further significant competition thereafter, and on February 14, 1969, ‘4965GT’ was
    re-registered in a lady’s name at a chic address in a residential quartier in Paris.

    ‘4965GT’ is believed to have remained in her ownership for more than two decades, passing to Ralph Bruggmann of Gstaad, Switzerland and competing in the 1998 Tour Auto retrospective. It was acquired soon
    afterwards by well-known French enthusiast Olivier Cazalières, running
    at the Monza round of the Shell Ferrari Maserati Challenge in 2000 and the Le Mans Classic before finally joining the present owner’s collection, so its eligibility for the most exclusive historic events is beyond doubt.

    This beautiful Ferrari 250GT Berlinetta Lusso is offered here in faultless condition. During its long career its V12 engine was replaced by another of the same era (the previous engine number being carried over to the new one) which is freshly rebuilt (300km covered since) with new pistons, rings and bearings; the rear axle is also rebuilt (new crown and pinion), whilst the transmission has been stripped and checked. A limited slip differential is also fitted. The chassis is believed accident free and the electrics are in full working order. The new silver grey paintwork is
    immaculate and the interior, trimmed in deep burgundy leather, is
    believed to be original. A period roll bar is fitted, plus racing belts,
    battery cut-out and safety fuel tank.

    The ‘missing link’ for sporting private Ferrari customers of the period, bridging the gap between the out-of-production 250GT SWB and the upcoming 275GTB/C (as 250GTOs were not available to regular clients), chassis ‘4965GT’ has a place in Ferrari history. Offered with both old French and Swiss registration, and full FIA papers in addition to
    documents relating to its unique provenance and racing past, this is a very special berlinetta with a unique and romantic history. All it needs is an equally special new owner.

    La magnifique Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso est généralement
    considérée comme ayant été dotée de la plus belle et de la mieux proportionnée des réalisations stylistiques de Pininfarina créées sur le légendaire châssis 250 GT à moteur avant.

    La Ferrari 250 GT Lusso du Suisse Robert Blouin domicilié en France devint le seul exemplaire réellement compétitif engagé dans les épreuves internationales du Championnat du Monde de la FIA.
    Le châssis 4965GT quitta l’usine de Maranello le 21 septembre 1963. Monsieur Blouin avait commandé une carrosserie Azzurro (code Italiver 19278M) complétée d’une sellerie rouge faite du meilleur cuir Connolly (VM3171).

    Il engagea cette Ferrari neuve dès les 20 et 21 mars 1964 sous le n° 107 dans le Grand Rallye National de l’Ouest (photographie reproduite avec une légende erronée page 309 du récent ouvrage de Maurice Louche Émotion Ferrari - Europe 1947-1972) . Le 17 mai, Blouin disputa le Grand Prix de Spa-Francorchamps en Belgique (n° de course 33) et une semaine plus tard, « 4965GT » vint à Montlhéry pour le Grand Prix de Paris (n° 48).

    Le 9 mai 1965, cette Lusso courut dans une épreuve importante, la 49e Targa Florio (n° 116) avec l’équipage Blouin et Sauer. Jess Pourret en rend compte dans son ouvrage définitif Les Ferrari 250 GT
    Compétition : « Les Français Blouin et Sauer conduisirent la Lusso de Blouin par la route de Normandie en Sicile pour disputer la Targa …Vers la fin de l’épreuve, Blouin découvrit un concurrent gravement blessé et s’arrêta pour le recueillir et l’emmener au poste de secours le plus proche. Ce geste l’élimina du classement final en raison du dépassement du temps maximal accordé. Il termina pourtant l’épreuve de 1965. »

    L’équipage Blouin/Sauer au volant de cette Lusso apparait à quatre reprises dans le très connu film Castrol sur la Targa Florio, Mountain
    Legend , préservé maintenant par le National Motor Museum de
    Beaulieu en Angleterre.

    Le 16 mai 1965, Blouin revint à Spa-Francorchamps pour le Grand Prix (n° 36) et termina honorablement malgré une redoutable opposition comprenant des Ferrari 250 LM, 250 GTO et 250 GTO/64, des coupés Shelby Cobra Daytona d’usine et plusieurs roadsters Cobra …

    Dans l’ouvrage définitif de Janos L. Wimpffen sur les épreuves des Championnats du Monde pour Voitures de Sport, Grand Tourisme et des Constructeurs, Time and Two Seats, le nom du Belge futur vainqueur au Mans Lucien Bianchi apparaît associé à celui de Blouin et à cette Ferrari Lusso. Le 14 février 1969, « 4965 GT » fut ré-immatriculée au nom d’une dame résidant dans un quartier chic de Paris et l’on pense qu’elle resta sa propriété pendant plus de deux décennies avant d’être acquise par Ralph Bruggman de Gstaad, en Suisse, et de disputer le Tour Auto historique de 1998. Elle fut alors rachetée peu après par le bien connu collectionneur français Olivier Cazalières pour disputer la manche de Monza du Challenge Shell Ferrari Maserati en 2000 et le Le Mans Classic avant d’entrer dans la collection de l’actuel vendeur. Son éligibilité pour les manifestations histroriques les plus prestigieuses et les plus exclusives ne fait donc aucun doute.

    Au cours de cette longue carrière, son moteur V12 a été remplacé par un groupe datant de la même époque (le numéro du moteur précédent étant reporté sur le nouveau) avec des pistons, segments et coussinets neufs. Le pont arrière a été aussi reconstruit (pignon et couronne neufs), tandis que la boîte de vitesses était démontée et révisée. Un différentiel à glissement limité à été adopté. Le châssis n’aurait jamais été accidenté et l’installation électrique fonctionne parfaitement. La peinture gris argent est immaculée et l’intérieur, garni de cuir bourgogne foncé, est réputé d’origine. Un arceau de protection d’époque est installé complétée de ceintures, d’un coupe-batterie et d’un réservoir d’essence de sécurité.
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