Ferrari 330 GT 2+2
Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Mk I finished in Grey with Nero Hide.
The Ferrari 330 series was the replacement to the legendary 250 collection of cars in the early 1960s. The 330 America was the first in this new line of V12 Ferraris, simply being a 250 GT/E with a larger 4 litre engine. In fact, the only unique 'project' in the 330 series was the 330 GT 2+2, with other variants sharing a chassis with the 275.
The 330 GT 2+2 Mk I was introduced in 1964 as a replacement to the 250 GT/E; a much improved front-engine V12 2+2 Grand Tourer to sit at the top of the Ferrari production car range. Improvements included uprated damping and upgraded brakes, however the series 1 will always be symbolic due to its quad headlight arrangement, which was unfortunately lost in the Mk II car.
The 330 GT was built alongside the ultra exclusive 330 America, and was a personal favourite of Enzo Ferrari himself (image of Enzo and his 330 below). The 330 GT was also the first Ferrari production car to sell more than 1,000 units.
These early 330GTs are now quite rare, as many have acted as donor cars for recreations of other more famous Ferraris, such as GT250 SWBs or 1950s TRs. Examples that are superbly restored, much like #6135 offered here, are even rarer.
In February 2011, Maranello Concessionaire Archive (MCA) confirmed that left-hand drive #6135 was manufactured in 1965 and delivered to the USA’s chief importer, Luigi Chinetti Motors, New York. Their records show that they distributed the car to Otto Zipper Motors in Beverley Hills, who sold it to its first owner, Mr Robert C Rapp Jr. Conversely, in May 2011 Mr Rapp wrote that he in fact bought the car from Chinetti Jr. in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Fast forward to 1973 and the Ferrari had moved to Minnesota, registered with license plate '4JA 937'. After this date, it does not appear to have been registered for the road again until its arrival in the UK in 2011. Though much of the history is known, we cannot confirm that the mileage is correct; needless to say, there are many give away signs that aficionados could use to justify the stated mileage. Despite its absence from MCA records, #6135 retains its original engine and key mechanical components, and the numbers match the production records.
Between 2011 and 2012 #6135 was put through a very thorough cosmetic, structural and mechanical restoration. Still exceptional, she has covered less than 500 miles since the work was completed. The Nero leather was original and a good indicator of its care over the past fifty years, however it was decided that re-upholstering was necessary to maintain the restoration’s overall excellence. The carpets were also replaced but the headlining, instrument panel, interior door handles and Nardi steering wheel (refinished) are all original and in excellent condition. The stainless steel exterior trim are undamaged, as are the front and rear bumpers; however these were re-chromed to align with the restoration. All other bright-work has been lightly polished and/or plated and the Borrani wheels have been fully polished. Window glass is in excellent condition, although the original windscreen was replaced.
It was completely repainted from bare metal and the resulting Verde Midio paintwork is of exceptional quality (although a crack has since formed between the lock and rear edge of the trunk lid). It was decided that a 'carte blanche' approach was to be taken with the bodywork and chassis, and the careful sandblasting needed of the chassis and body revealed that it had never suffered any serious accident damage. Though the original chassis needed little attention, the chance was taken to totally renovate the inner and outer sills on both sides, the panel gaps around the doors, bonnet and boot lid; these are now, arguably, better than when manufactured.
The engine compartment has been sensitively restored to be consistent with the vehicle’s age, with careful attention paid to renewing or refinishing all fasteners and fittings. All mechanical components have been checked and either renewed, renovated, rebuilt or dismantled and cleaned as required. Highlights include a full engine rebuild with new balanced forged piston and all new valves, guides, chains and seals; specialist gearbox overhaul including the latest factory upgrade to 2nd gear synchromesh; complete overdrive overhaul; new clutch plate, balanced with the flywheel; full rear axle overhaul with new bearings and seals; new suspension joints and bushes; brakes fully rebuilt with eight new cylinders, rebuilt master cylinder, refaced callipers, rebuilt servos and new pads and hoses; front shock absorbers serviced; steering box rebuilt with 'worm and peg' from GTO Engineering; carburettors cleaned and rebuilt and fuel tank de-scaled; radiator re-cored and new hoses fitted; new electric fuel pump and mechanical pump rebuilt; full new stainless steel exhaust system, downpipes and hangers; and wheels fitted with new spinners and Pirelli Cinturato tyres. Bills and a detailed listing come as part of the vehicle’s history file.
The engine is said to show excellent compression in all cylinders and runs very strongly. The steering and suspension are described as rigid; the rear axle noise ‘imperceptible’; the all-important gearbox synchromesh as excellent (even when cold) and the twin cooling fans as working correctly.
A delightful car to drive, #6135 inspires a high level of confidence in traffic, yet comes into its own when driven with enthusiasm on long country roads or cruising effortlessly at nearly any speed.
The 330 GT 2+2 is one of the last undervalued V12 60s Ferraris and is set to have a big future, making it not only a fantastic investment car to add to a collection, but also a classic that can be enjoyed by all the family.