1964 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Series I    

   Once described as “a gentlemanly successor of the Ferrari 250 GTE” most of the 330 series were development projects rather than new designs. The exception was the 330 GT 2+2 introduced in 1964, this was the one truly unique 330 in that it had its own chassis and stylish new bodywork. 

   The first of the 330 range was the “America”, built on a chassis from the 275 with a bigger engine, a great car for cruising but not practical as an all-round motorcar. 

   Ferrari held their annual pre-season press conference in January ’64 and announced their new 330 GT 2+2. It was then unveiled to the public at the 1964 European Motor Show in Brussels. 

   The thoroughly revised 330 GT 2+2 Coupés had a superior V12 up front and a usable 2+2 layout, with space for a decent quantity of luggage. These features put it at the top of the Ferrari production car range, make no mistake this was a Ferrari first; front-engined, rear-wheel drive with loads of power and panache, but it was also a Grand Tourer in the most useable of forms. These were practical cars; less exhilarating than a 250 GTO but still carrying race proven parts and all the heritage of years on the motor racing circuits of the world. It was even said to be a personal favourite of Enzo Ferrari himself. 

   In time the 330 GT 2+2 would have two, definitely different, forms but provide the bulk of the 330 series sales as a whole. In fact, the 330 range would be Ferrari’s best-selling range to that time, breaking the 1000 unit barrier. For the sake of completeness, the range consisted of the 330 America 2+2, replaced by the two series of the 330 GT 2+2 Coupé, the 330 GTC/GTS (two-seat Berlinetta and two-seat spyder), and several Prototype racing versions. All shared the Colombo V12 engine and most rolled on a 275 chassis. 

   Enzo Ferrari famously saw the engine as the heart of a car and the Colombo designed V12 motor was versatile and beautiful piece of machinery. In this case the engine gave the car its name, 330 is the capacity of one cylinder. The new derivative was design Tipo 209, a 60-degree V12 motor with a total displacement of 3,967cc. It was substantially changed from the 4ltr unit used on the 400 Superamerica, slightly longer, and having wider bore spacing, the block was cast in an aluminium and silicon alloy called Silumin. The heads, also cast in Silumin, had hemispherical combustion chambers and two valves per cylinder operated by chain-driven single overhead camshafts on each bank of cylinders. With a compression ratio of 8.8:1 and three Weber carburettors the Tipo 209 could put out an impressive 300-bhp at 6,600rpm in standard road tuning. Another change was the inclusion of an alternator instead of a generator. 

   A four-speed manual gearbox, with overdrive, was bolted on the rear of the engine allowing the 330 GT 2+2 driver stylish, luxurious, transportation at up to 240kph.

   The engine and gearbox were mounted on a longer, wider, tubular steel chassis. An additional 50mm increased the wheelbase to 2650 mm, the wider track became 1397mm at the front and 1389mm at the rear. Independent front suspension provided by double wishbones, with anti-roll bar, and coil springs, the solid rear axle was located by semi-elliptic leaf springs and parallel trailing arms. Adjustable Koni shock absorbers all round added to improved ride and handling characteristics making the 330 a pleasure to drive. All round disc brakes were operated by a Dunlop dual system with two master cylinders and two servos on a split system that separated the brakes front to rear rather than the now standard diagonal system. Power steering was optional and the contact patch with the road provided by factory fitted Pirelli Cinturato 205VR15 tyres (CN72). 

   All four standard versions of the 330 road cars were the work of the Pininfarina style studio, the elegant lines of the 330 GT 2+2 being the work of Tom Tjaarda. Generally speaking, the lines are smoother than the 250 GTE but still well proportioned. Longer, wider and taller than the car it replaced the 330 GT 2+2 looks purposeful and has much better passenger accommodations, even air conditioning was an option. Rear passengers now had better head, leg and elbow room and were also considered when the rear seat had a hip hugging centre lump added to keep them from sliding around if the driver was overcome by the urge to show off his driving skills. The bulbous, rounded, tail provided excellent luggage capacity, something that was a premium on many Grand Tourers of the era. Pininfarina built bodies were their usual primary steel construction but with aluminium for the doors, bonnet and boot. There are also bespoke bodied 330 GT 2+2s created by other coachbuilders like Drogo and Michelotti. 

   However, there was one feature of the 1964 series 1 cars that received a mixed reaction to say the least. The wide Ferrari “egg crate” grille was pointed out by angular dual headlight pods. 7in dia’ outer lenses and 5in inners provided an unconventional quad-headlight arrangement which was very much in vogue in the U.S., but, definitely not for the more conservative European customers. What is more, these pods canted down creating an aggressive look described variously as "cat-eyed", oriental (controversially) and cumbersome. This appearance is emphasised by the sharp, low, edge of the bonnet line. This striking front end styling, divisive at the time, has become symbolic of series 1 cars and added to their monetary value in the modern market. Rear lighting clusters are much more conservative and practical, one-piece horizontal orientated, rectangular assemblies that curved around the rear wings as if hugging them. 

   One the racing front, the 250 GTO was also replaced by the 330 series. These 330 mid-engined prototype cars would earn great respect battling against Ford's GT-40 and spawned one of the most beautiful of all Ferraris, the legendary 330P4. 

Production figures Across the range.      

   Produced from 1963 through to 1968 the 330 series was the first Ferrari production car to sell more than 1,000 units.  Approximately 625 Series I cars (including 125 transitional “America” cars) followed by 455 of the Series II 330 GT 2+2s. The issue of front light styling may have put some buyers off as the second series clearly sold better than its predecessor; but in fairness it also had other selling points over the series one cars too. Interestingly RHD examples are very rare, only 44 cars were produced in this format. 

  Whatever one’s thoughts may be on styling and accoutrements 1075 units was an excellent sales total for Ferrari at the time.   


   Witnessing, and now standing testament to, Ferrari's finest days the 330 GT 2+2 cars, especially the divisively styled series one cars are now very collectable. Perhaps not reaching the sale room prices of the GTC and GTS they are Ferrari’s that are affordable. 

    More than collectable cars though they are historically important as one of the ultimate Grand Tourer of the 1960s and Part of that huge (at that time) Ferrari production number.  But two things stand out about the 330 GT 2+2 cars, the marvellous sound of the Colombo designed V-12 engine and the realisation that this is an eminently useable car, as every-day transportation or for the grandest of grand tours. 

   If that isn’t enough then perhaps you will be sold on the thought that John Lennon owned a blue Series I 330 GT 2+2.

1/18th scale model.
Converted by Ian.

The subject of this model    

   This model resides in the private collection of Peter Marshall who owns the original car and is restoring it to his own specification and personal colour choice. Mr Marshall recalls the reasons he bought the car.

“At the time I had recently fitted a new clutch on my everyday Fiat 850 Spider, which was a brilliant car, and which I had converted to r.h.d., commencing the first week that I had bought the car, as Fiat did not produce them. I needed to do an oil change. An oil change would be simple enough but there was bound to be something in the future.

I needed another car!”

“ That is not really the usual reason for buying a Ferrari but ….. I had been toying with the least expensive V12 for a while.  I went to view a 250, but it did not appeal, and then the 330, which did.”

“…. it got me home, knowing before purchase that it needed clutch adjustment….”

   But the clutch adjustment did solve the problem?

“Mmmm, that did not help, so I took the gearbox out. 10 times easier than on the Fiat, to the extent that I did it in the road (albeit, private) outside the house. It had only done 1,000 miles since it was last changed!  This time the flywheel needed changing too, it was blue with radial cracks and despite having it skimmed, the cracks were too deep to use again.  It is amazing what must have been done posing up and down the Kings Road in London.”

   Peter Marshall 

   It may seem a rather different reason for getting a Ferrari, but is there really a bad reason for    buying such a beautiful machine? 

   Many thanks to Peter for his time and enthusiasm and for allowing us to add this car to our website. We wish Peter all the best with his restoration and hope one day to put a photograph of the finished car on this page. 

   This car is a conversion from 1/18th scale BBR model of John Lennon’s famous car. Limited Edition kit# BBR1834 titled “Ferrari 330 Gt 2+2, Open Roof, 1965 Personal Car John Lennon”. It is of unusual construction design in that it has no chassis with components added to it, rather it is the opposite, everything added to the body shell step by step. The resin and white metal parts are well cast and give excellent detail, the p.e. parts also add a lot of character to the model. 

   Ian stripped the model down to its constituent parts and repainted them. The transmission tunnel was modified to remove the later centre console then made a new radio mounting to fit under the dash as per the subject car. Humbrol enamel paints gave the red and black interior life, brush painting around so much photo-etch had its own challenges. Trying to detach the photo-etch parts had resulted in deformities that were hard to remove. 

   The body was painted with a custom mix of acrylic paints from the Deco-Arts range applied by airbrush. Zero Paints gloss coat was used over that to seal the paint and provide a luxurious, polished look. The sunroof was repainted using Citadel acrylic paints and washes applied by brush. Bare Metal Foil was carefully applied in some places to repair damage to chrome parts as not all the model parts could be persuaded to part company from the body shell so paint overspray was inevitable. The use of a Molotow liquid chrome pen also helped with this. 

   Although this model provided several technical challenges the end result was worth the effort. It was a pleasure to transform this model and we wish Peter all the best with the restoration of his 1:1 scale 330GT 2+2.