There is something uniquely special about 1960s-era Ferraris. Actually, make that many things: their balance of beauty and brawn, a shared DNA with the Scuderia race cars, their rarity and exclusivity, the majestic Colombo V-12 engine and, of course , the mythology plus romance that seems to swirl around them.
Every one of these vehicles is a blue-chip investment and a blue-blooded classic car. Yet even within such a rarified realm there will be still a hierarchy. The 250 models—such as the GT Berlinetta SWB, California Spyder and Lusso—are most highly prized, while the later 330 series is comparatively overlooked. Gazing at this stunning 330 GTC, restored to concours-winning condition by Bell Sport & Classic , I’m at a loss in order to understand why.
Several years ago, when this example was discovered in Caracas, Venezuela, it looked very different: more old nag than Prancing Horse. The “before and after” photos are worthy associated with any TV makeover show. Before we tell its story, though—and get behind the wheel—let’s briefly look at the particular 330 series in general, plus how these models fit into Ferrari’s pantheon.
As per Ferrari tradition, the “330” name denotes the displacement of each cylinder in cubic centimeters. This particular larger, 4. 0-liter version of Gioacchino Colombo’s V-12 debuted in the 330 America of 1963, which was swiftly replaced by the 330 GRAND TOURING 2+2 the year later on. Enzo Ferrari, who rarely showed interest in his company’s road vehicles, actually drove one to work , perhaps valuing its refinement after long days at the racetrack.
The 330 GTC was launched in 1966, losing the particular tiny rear seats and rather ugly quad headlamps of the 2+2 sibling. In fact , it was more closely related to the 275 GTB, sharing the same wheelbase plus independent back suspension. Its output associated with 300 hp peaked in 7, 000 rpm, reaching the rear tires via a five-speed transaxle and ZF limited-slip differential. As for its rate of acceleration, this covered zero to 60 mph in around 6. 5 seconds (according to road tests), whilst Ferrari quoted a top speed associated with 150 mph.
Some 600 examples of the 330 GTC coupe, plus 100 GTS roadsters, were built during the short period before the 365 series arrived in 1968. Today, an immaculate 330 GTC might be worth $750, 000—far less than what you’d pay for an equivalent 250 GT Lusso or a 275 GTB. However , the meticulous restoration of this particular car was a labor of love, rather than the project with regard to financial gain, plus it will be driven regularly. Quite right, too.
Back to Venezuela, and the particular Ferrari being in a sorry state. First sold into Switzerland in 1966, it had somehow ended up on the other side of the world, resprayed within a flat and faded blue, and presenting tarnished chrome, drooping door hinges and the huge dent on the rear fender. The magnesium wheels were badly curbed plus its V-12 was seized. On the particular plus part, every panel and piece of trim was still original.
After a long voyage inside a shipping container, the vehicle arrived in the UK plus into the particular care of Elliot East from Bell Sports activity & Traditional. East is usually well acquainted with the 330 model, having refurbished the fabulous 330 LMB recreation I drove last summer. This time, his target was a class win at the prestigious Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance, themed this year close to Ferrari’s 75th anniversary, and the car achieved this goal at the particular September event. But it took three years associated with painstaking research and careful work in order to get there.
Keeping the 330 GTC as original as possible was key to concours success. Components such as the suspension arms and shock absorbers were stripped down plus refurbished, rather than simply changed, while the particular car’s body was blasted with crushed walnut shells to remove any blemishes. “Sandblasting can put heat into the steel and cause it to distort, ” explains East. “Walnut-blasting is always best regarding potentially a lot more fragile areas. ”
Bell Sport & Classic also obtained the copy from the factory build sheet, which showed the particular Ferrari experienced left Maranello in Verde Chiaro Metallizzato : a light metallic green. Its metal shell and aluminum panels were duly resprayed, while the interior was retrimmed in sumptuous tan leather. Eastern even sourced a period Becker Europa radio, a Ferrari dealer-fit option within the sixties, now modified to offer Bluetooth connectivity.
Seen in the metal, the particular 330 GTC is a thing of sublime beauty. Designed by Aldo Bravarone with Pininfarina, it fuses the delicate nose of the particular 500 Superfast with the tapering tail of the 275 GTS. Its elegant, understated lines are usually less muscular or overtly sporting than a 275 GTB, and not unlike the hand-tailored Italian suit. This delicate initial color suits it better than Rosso Corsa ever could.
The particular Ferrari is just as exquisite inside, with a good airy, thin-pillared glasshouse, a wood-rimmed Nardi steering wheel plus the traditional open-gate manual transmission. The dashboard is definitely covered within rich American Walnut veneer, with the particular Pininfarina logo cast in to the (huge) ashtray. We clip together the classic, aircraft-style Irvin seat belt and twist the key.
Driving the concours-standard traditional Ferrari can be a balancing act. On the one hand, I’m acutely conscious that will East and his team have dedicated thousands of hours to restoring it. On the other, I know these cars need firm and decisive inputs to really make progress. Slow steering, a hefty clutch and an awkward dog-leg first gear (left and down, opposite reverse) make the 330 GTC feel unhelpful and instead intimidating on first.
Build up speed, though, plus everything starts to coalesce. The worm-and-roller steering isn’t especially accurate, but this fizzes along with constant feedback. Changing gear is less of a workout once the oil has warmed through, as well. While modern supercars feel ruthlessly tied-down, bending the particular road to their will, this particular classic Ferrari is entirely different. It’s softer and much shorter on grip, but light upon its feet and deftly poised, thanks to 50/50 weight distribution. The result is a rewarding and very reciprocative sense of flow.
With velocity also comes the soaring mechanical crescendo of that V-12. In four. 0-liter guise, it sounds smoother and slightly less feral than the 3. 0-liter 250 engine, yet it can still transform a suave GRAND TOURING into an immersive street racer. Throttle response is certainly immediate, the low-slung exhausts rasping angrily every time you lift. Suddenly, racing cars like the 330 LMB seem like very close relatives indeed.
This particular 330 GTC is a tribute to the skills of Bell Sport & Classic and, for me, the reminder associated with how the particular less exalted Ferraris of the 1950s plus 1960s can be just as alluring because their more revered siblings. Elliot East’s next project is a “short nose” 275 GTB, but don’t expect to see it very soon. Restoring something to this level of excellence takes quite a bit of period.
Click here to observe more photos from the Ferrari 330 GTC restored by Bell Sports activity & Traditional.