1963 Ferrari 330 America Berlinetta
Ferrari’s first true production four-seater car was the highly successful 250 GTE 2+2. it was launched in 1960 in spectacular fashion. By having the clerk of the course at the Le Mans 24 hour race drive it. A race where Ferrari took six of the top seven places. The car took the excellent handling and balance of the 2 seater while combining it with a beautifully proportions four seat design by Pininfarina.
In 1963, towards the end of the 3 year production of the 250 GTE, Ferrari produced a revised and upgraded model powered by a new four litre Colombo 60-degree V-12 engine. Ferrari named the engine the ‘330’ in accordance with their naming regime, Ferrari’s engines were named after the displacement of a single cylinder. The engine had significantly improved combustion chambers in order to get better cooling and improved breathing and wider spaced bores producing a conservative 300 brake horse power. ‘Big engined’ Ferrari road cars traditionally formed part of the America/Superamerica series. In accordance with this the car was named the 330 America and was aimed squarely at the American market. The new car shared the chassis from the late 250 GTE Series lll and was pretty much identical in outwards appearance other than, on some examples as with this car, it carried the legend ‘America’ on the boot.
Ferrari had produced four-seater cars before the 250 GTE in the 1950s with the Ghia Touring and Vignale, all of which had 2 + 2 options. However the designs had been a compromise as the original chassis had not been designed to carry passengers and, as a result, weren’t entirely successful. With a close collaboration between Ferrari and Pininfarina over the design of the 250 GTE such accusations couldn’t be levelled at Marinello’s first series production four-seater.
With a 2,600mm wheelbase, the multi tubular chassis shared similarities with the, Pininfarina designed, 250 GT ‘notch back’ Coupe. It was 200mm longer than the contemporary 250 GT SWB. Despite widening the rear track by 38mm in order to make room for two rear seats. And bumping the engine forward by 200mm Pininfarina managed to retain their customary classical proportions to the body-shell. The car benefited from modern disc brakes all around as well as a manual four-speed overdrive gearbox, independent front suspension and a live rear axle. With a top speed in excess of 150mph the 330 America was a full 10mph faster than its predecessor.
Having seen three different series, with a changed dashboard layout in the series ll and new front and rear lights in the series lll, the 250 GTE ceased production in 1963 with Ferrari having produced 950 cars. The 330 America was an interim model that Ferrari produced while making ready their new 250 GTE replacement the 330 GT. As a result only 50 330 Americas were built before the announcement of the 330 GT in January 1964.
This makes the 330 America an extremely rare car. Rarer in fact than most production Ferraris of the period. Combining that rarity with the fact that it’s a very driver friendly GT car, which is powered by a V12 makes the collectibility of the 330 America extremely high. This car selling at Bonhams Monaco sale for €375,000 ($462,000)