dennis wilson ferrari

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by vintageracer133, Nov 25, 2004.

  1. vintageracer133

    Nov 25, 2004
    I own what could be the Dennis Wilson/Sam Cooke Lusso. I have owned it for 18 years. Wilson's had a trailer hitch on his car as did mine at one time long before I owned it. If anyone has the original license plate number that would complete the trail.
  2. Horsefly

    Horsefly F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    May 14, 2002
    Have you done an extensive search of the internet by linking the words "Dennis Wilson" and "Ferrari" through the various search engines like Google and Altavista? I once stumbled across the license plate number of Roman Polanski's Ferrari on an obscure movie site that contained information about Sharon Tate.
  3. jb143

    jb143 Rookie

    Aug 4, 2004
  4. vintageracer133

    Nov 25, 2004
    Thank you for the quick responces. The only thing I have found on the search engines that I didn't know was that one of the Manson Family wrecked the car for Wilson somewhere out near Augora west of LA. The photo was one I haven't seen before. The car can also be seen in a movie about the Beach Boys called An American Band. I have a copy to which I used digital enhancement to bring out the license plate which appeared to be mounted in the grill to no avail because it appeared to have glass or plastic over it.ALso I used to know the man who owned the Sharon Tate 275GTB/4 back in the mid 80's. He lived in Palos Verdes (in LA) and owned it for quite a while.
  5. El Wayne

    El Wayne Global Moderator
    Global Moderator Owner

    Aug 1, 2002
    San Marino, CA
    Full Name:
    L. Wayne Ausbrooks
    Here's a little something from the archives that you might find interesting. It was a meandering thread in which we discussed, among other things, the Cooke/Wilson Lusso and Polanski/Tate 275. Remember to start at the bottom of the thread.
  6. vintageracer133

    Nov 25, 2004
    Thanks for the input---pretty interesting stuff. I know Dennis Wilson's car (Lusso) was red from a Beach Boy's video I have Showing the car in Carl Wilson's driveway. It is still red but my Info sheet on the car from Ferrari No. Am. shows it as silver grey (18940M It.) when built and delivered to Lombardi (a dealer?) in Naples Dec. 1963. A very nice story was done on my car in Thoroughbred and Classics April 2002 to see it as it is today. I know it went through some very hard times but to what degree I don't know. Any and all info would be much appreciated.
  7. Lsand007

    Lsand007 Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 4, 2003
    Full Name:
    Lee Sanders
    Here's what I would like to add as a recap of known facts and submit my opinion on 5207GT. BTW, I am glad to see Ace Ferrari Detective L Wayne on this case.

    S/n 5207 GT. 250 GT/L Lusso. Silver/black. Using 250 GTE gearbox and overdrive (Per Miska).

    1963: Delivered to the Naples Ferrari dealer Lombardi.

    1969: Imported to USA and owned in San Francisco.

    1980: Ferrari Owners Club Register #1. Ralph R Stephano (deceased), Anchorage, AK. Also owned 2373SA.

    1980 FOC Roster, listed by Ronald Johnson, Manhattan Beach, CA.

    1981: March listed for sale @ $30,000; Los Angeles area, 213-747-5233. (per Robert Marvin Ferrari Register).

    1982-83 FOC Roster listed by Ronald Johnson, Rolling Hills, CA.

    1982: December listed for sale; Los Angeles area, 213-541-9045. Shown as 1964 model. (per Robert Marvin Ferrari Register).

    1998, 14 Aug., Concours Italiano, Carmel Valley, CA. Orwin Middelton. lates: 1 FOZ 082

    2002, April, featured in Thoroughbred & Classic Cars. Still owned by Orwin Middleton of Santa Barbara, CA. (red/black in the article). Still using a 250 GTE gearbox with overdrive.

    Other comments and factoids.

    Would be fast for the car to be imported into the States and sold to Cooke before his death. Apparently he had it for a while, because there are several articles noting his affinity for his Ferrari in the years prior to his death.

    Cooke was murdered in Dec. 11, 1964. The car was rapidly sold by LA County Probate, as noted in document attached. The value and description of the car were noted in Cooke probate papers as 1965 Ferrari (no model shown) and then sold for $7,000. This proves he only had one Ferrari at the time of his death. (at last a fact)

    If the car came into the USA for the first time in 1969, it could not have been Cooke's. But maybe it left and came back into the USA a second time in 1969. Or maybe the 1969 importation fact is wrong.

    There is no doubt Wilson claimed to have owned Cooke's Ferrari; just don't know if it was 5207GT. It could be alleged the ownership trail is accounted for from 1969 - 1983. A case could also be made that it is unaccounted for from Jan. 1965 - 1980. Dennis Wilson clearly owned a 275 GTB/4, as noted in the article found here:

    Wilson's ownership of a 275 GTB is further discussed in the thread L Wayne lists above. There are a number of articles on the Web which quote Wilson as having and wrecking a number of Ferraris he owned in his day.

    The Lusso in the Beach Boys photo listed in this thread sure looks anyhting but Silver, Cooke's Ferrari was red.

    We know Cooke/Wilson owned the same car. I humbly ask the reader's opinion if Cooke/Wilson owned 5207GT.

  8. Horsefly

    Horsefly F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    May 14, 2002
    In 1965 the Beach Boys were riding high. There would definately be something strange for Dennis Wilson to end up with a car that was sold at a probate auction. One wouldn't think that he would have been the type of guy to be hanging around the back lot of some municipal building at 8 o'clock in the morning waiting for a probate auction. Of course a dealer could have bought the car and sold it to him later on. But when you're "riding high" with plenty of rock and roll money, doesn't one traditionally buy a NEW Ferrari, and not one that was used and sold at some court ordered probate auction?
  9. Lsand007

    Lsand007 Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 4, 2003
    Full Name:
    Lee Sanders
    For those court document detectives, the whole list.
  10. vintageracer133

    Nov 25, 2004
    Great detective work so far. I can fill in a few of the holes that I didn't include before. They are as follows:

    6/12/71----6/20/75 John Martin Caruso Palo Alto Cal.

    6/20/75----8/3/79 Charles Tinnsley Connell Anchorage Alaska

    8/3/79-----11/84 Ron Johnson Rolling Hills Estates Cal. (restoration)

    11/84------11/86 Jim Meyer Palos Verdes Cal.
    (engine rebuild by Al Verbun owner of Tate 275GTB4)

    11/86------Present Orwin Middleton Santa Barbara Ca.

    Connell was a dentist in Anchorage who knew Ralph Stefano (who brokered the deal to Johnson) and Satch Carlson who wrote a piece about the transaction in Autoweek Nov. 5, 1979. I got Connell's and Caruso's info from Alaskan DMV records but know little else about him. From there back I have nothing except what this thread has just supplied.
  11. HiddenEdge

    HiddenEdge Rookie

    Mar 13, 2009
    I believe the original license plate on Sam Cooke's Ferrari at the time of his death was (California) MJR 228
  12. Ed Niles

    Ed Niles Formula 3

    Sep 7, 2004
    West Hills, CA
    Full Name:
    Edwin K. Niles
    Here's a pic of 8743, an alloy 6/C (taken at Hollywood Sport Cars) as I bought it. I had the metal work done when John Andrews showed up at my doorstep. He insisted on a ride, although the seats were out. I got him seated on the spare tire, and around Lake Hollywood we went. (my private sale by terror place). A deal was struck, and the car, in primer, was his. I mention it here only because it was alleged that this 275 had a similar history. Celebrities, borrowed car, etc. Can't remember names, as I don't pay attention to the pop world. And yes, this is the car from (first) the carb set-up, and (later) the whole car was swiped from John's wide-open yard. Maybe someone knows who was involved in the crash. "Manson" rings a bell.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    miurasv, 375+ and lgs like this.
  13. 375+

    375+ F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nice stablemate there Ed;)
  14. Marcel Massini

    Marcel Massini F1 World Champ

    Mar 2, 2005
    08743 is steel, not alloy.

    Marcel Massini
  15. 335s

    335s Formula Junior

    Jan 17, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    Full Name:
    T. Monma
    I thought the car was 8501?
    Dennis Wilson,,,6c, torque tube steel 6C.....( a title from the 1960s for this car was in my hands this morning!)

    this car's "story" fits much more the pics of car from Ed???
    Like Yoda said: "there is another"????

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