July 06, 2009

Ferrari 330

A little history

The long and successful career of the Ferrari 250, both on the road and on the track, couldn’t last forever. In 1963 its replacement finally entered the stage: the 330 model. There was nothing revolutionary about the new car, though. Enzo Ferrari’s attention was as ever focussed on engines – he had close to contempt for any other aspect of a car. Therefore the main difference between the 250 and its successor was the bigger engine of the latter, period. The 330 was set in motion by a 4.0-litre V12, a derived but heavily reworked version of the 400 Superamerica’s block. Under the 330’s bonnet, the 4.0-litre was rated at 300 bhp. On the other hand, chassis and bodies were almost identical to the previous models.

After a small series of “interim” 330 America models, the 330 production started in earnest in January 1964, while a smaller 275 received the task of replacing the two-seater 250s. Not including the short-lived America, the first 330 was the GT 2+2, which heavy-looking quad-light front end received dire reviews. Pininfarina immediately corrected its design, and in 1965 the car got a more restrained fascia. This mistake wasn’t repeated when the 330 GTC was introduced next, at Geneva in March 1966. This 2-seat berlinetta had the engine from the 330 GT 2+2, the chassis from the 275 GTB, while its body was a mix of 400 Superamerica up front and 275 GTS at the rear… Top speed was claimed to be 240 kph, while the car could accelerate from 0 to 100 in just 7 seconds – not so impressive today, but another story back then. Seven months later, a convertible, the 330 GTS, was introduced during the Paris motor show, replacing the short-lived 275 GTS.

Though the 330 wasn’t designed with motor racing in mind, the Ferrari sportscars of the era, the famous 330 P series, were constructed around its engine, pushed to up to 450 bhp in its latest evolutions. They shared little else, the “P” being a central-engined racer while the road 330 stuck to the classic front engine/rear wheel drive layout.

The 330’s production extended until 1968, when it was replaced by the 365, again roughly identical, but powered by a larger 4.4-litre, 320 bhp V12. All three GT 2+2, GTB and GTS versions were carried over, until they were joined a few months later by a brand new coupe that was about to overshadow them all: the 365 GTB/4 “Daytona”.

About the model

Model: Ferrari 330 GTS
Year: 1967
Maker: Ixo
Scale: 1/43
Distributed by: Fabbri as no.30 of its Ferrari Collection press series
Acquired: brand new, in May 2006, in Souillac, France

Good Fabbri and Ixo thought of including this 330 GTS, not the best remembered of all Ferraris today, in their press collection. This model is rather correctly made, with correct wire wheels when considering the sacrifices made in this respect in order to cut the cost of press models, yet none of its features truly is overwhelming. A good 13/20 still.





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