I received a new car at my shop, and it’s one of my favorites: a 1964 Ferrari 250 Lusso. It’s a car that was purchased out of Los Angeles after the customer came to me looking to finally fulfill the dream of owning a Lusso. My customer and I flew out to California to inspect this Lusso I had found and determined it was worth buying. The car was restored a couple of decades ago, but the restoration was still in good shape considering not many miles was put on the car with the previous owner. Having just been serviced, we sent the car to the new owner’s home for a summer’s worth of driving. During that time, my customer made a hit list of things he wanted corrected and upgraded, so the car was sent to me this Fall for sorting.
The car ran well enough, but we wanted to see if we could get a little more power or response out of the engine. Many times, with tuning a Vintage Ferrari engine, it’s a culmination of little tweaks that add up to an overall improvement. Small adjustments in ignition tune, timing, and valve lash all add to small gains in power. I found mismatched rotors under the distributor caps with a later style rotor (pictured left) installed on this Lusso. The wider tip is for a V-8 car but will fit the V-12 distributor. The wider tip can cause spark to jump across the distributor contacts in the V-12 car causing a misfire, especially at higher revs. A simple solution is to cut the T shaped rotor down to match the original size (pictured right). I still have a stash of original rotors, so I swapped this one out for an OEM unit.
I am very lucky to have a Lusso at my shop. I’m sure most of you know, it’s one of my favorite looking Ferraris. One of the fringe benefits of having these cars to work on is I get to admire the lines of this car and I often find myself stopped in my tracks to take another picture. The silver one I had a couple months ago did not reflect this wonderful dropping line in the reflection across the belt line of this car. Man, this car is pretty!