Grand Trial ‘60s GT Greats Do the Aston, Ferrari and Maserati live up to the hype? PLUS our top GT alternatives for £30k, or less. Aston DB5, Maserati Sebring and Ferrari 250GT Lusso fight to justify their status. They’re revered figureheads of an automotive phenomenon. But half a century later, do they still possess the skillset to justify their eye-watering price tags? Words Ivan Ostroff. Photography Glenn Lindberg.
‘Nobody can style automobiles quite like the Italians. These are the most elegant cars of the period’ They all claim to be grand tourers, but which really does the business? The Big Test Sixties GTs The Ferrari, Aston and Maserati promise the ultimate in Sixties grand touring capability. Do they really deliver? Grand Trial: Sixties GTs Conjoining high performance with luxury and cruising ability, the Ferrari 250GT Lusso, Maserati Sebring and Aston Martin DB5 were the most glamorous cars of the early Sixties. We bring them together for a glorious road test.
The Sixties incarnation of the Maserati Sebring 3500 GTI was possibly the best-looking two-plus-two GT car at that time. Its Vignale bodywork highlighted the fact that nobody can style automobiles quite like the Italians, so I wanted one. Then, in 1963, along came the Ferrari 250GTL. Not only was it drop-dead gorgeous but it had a top speed of 150mph. That was warp speed then. So I wanted one of those too.
Then the Aston Martin DB5 appeared in Goldfinger, instantly becoming every schoolboy’s dream. It might not have been the fastest car in the world but 143mph was not exactly hanging around. Most importantly for me, it was the car for a British hero, and therefore the most desirable of all.
Almost six decades on, I feel like I must have died and gone to heaven. Three of the most fabulous motorcars to grace the highways of the Sixties are at my disposal. The Aston is without doubt the quintessential gentleman’s GT; the Sebring is one of the most underrated designs Vignale penned, and the Lusso? Well, that boasts a grand-touring magnum opus – the Ferrari V12 – in one of the most beautiful automotive bodies ever conceived. But which of them will prove to be the ultimate GT?