By the end of the 1950s, the market for sports cars with ‘family accommodation’ had grown sufficiently for Ferrari to contemplate the introduction of a four-seater model. Introduced in the summer of 1960, the first such Ferrari – the 250 GTE 2+2 – was based on the highly successful 250 GT. Pininfarina’s brief had been to produce a 2+2 without sacrificing the 250’s elegant good looks or sporting characteristics, and the master carrozzier succeeded brilliantly, moving the engine, gearbox, and steering gear forward and the fuel tank back, thus creating sufficient room for two occasional rear seats.
The 250 GTE provided the basis for its replacement: the 330 GT 2+2 introduced in January 1964. Pininfarina was once again entrusted with the styling, adopting a four-headlamp frontal treatment that reflected the tastes of Ferrari’s most important export market, the USA. Although some criticised its styling, the ‘Series 1’ four-headlight 330 GT has become truly evocative of 1960s fashion, lauded both for its individuality and Pininfarina’s purity of design.
The 330 GT’s tubular chassis was 50mm longer in the wheelbase than before, which made conditions less cramped for the rear passengers. Suspension was independent at the front by wishbones and coil springs, while at the back there was a live axle/semi-elliptic set-up. Improvements to the discs-all-round braking system saw separate hydraulic circuits adopted for front and rear.
The 330 GT’s Colombo-type, 60-degree, V12 engine had first appeared in the 330 America (effectively a big-bore 250 GTE 2+2) in 1963. Displacing 3,967cc, the single-overhead-camshaft, all-alloy unit was good for 300-plus horsepower, an output sufficient to propel the 330 GT to a maximum velocity of 152mph (245km/h) making it, when introduced, the fastest road-going Ferrari. Equipped at first with a four-speeds-plus-overdrive gearbox, the 330 GT gained a five-speed transmission in mid-1965 and later that year had its four-headlight front end replaced by a two-lamp arrangement, becoming the ‘Series 2’. Electric windows, alloy wheels and hanging control pedals were other improvements standardised on the Series 2 cars. Built alongside the ultra-exclusive Superamericas, the 330 GT was Ferrari’s ultimate Grand Tourer for the sophisticated client during the era known in Europe as ‘La Dolce Vita’. A favourite of Enzo Ferrari, it was the first of his cars to sell in excess of 1,000 units.
This highly original matching numbers example has been the subject of a recent mechanical restoration by marque experts in Germany. The original interior displays a wonderful Patina, and the exterior has been subject to a re-fresh in its original colour combination. We are advised the car is eligible for the Ferrari Classiche program and will pass. With interest in front-engined V12 ‘Enzo-era’ Ferraris from the 1960s never higher, the readily usable 330 GT represents tremendous value when compared with its immediate Ferrari peers, many of which now have ‘king’s ransom’ price tags.