330 GT Registry

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1965 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Barn Find

This car isn't an abandoned puppy that can be nursed back to health;
it's a wounded jackal that's going to eat you up the first chance it gets

by Steve Ahgrim

Chassis number: 7191GT
Engine number: 7191GT

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. Pininfarina was once again entrusted with the styling, adopting a four-headlarnp frontal treatment that reflected the tastes of U.S. drivers. The 330 GT's long chassis made conditions less cramped for the rear passengers. Suspension was independent at the front, while the back was a live axle/semi-elliptic setup. 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 was a 3,967 cc, the single-overhead-camshaft, all-alloy unit that was good for 300-plus horsepower. The 330 GT's maximum speed of 152 mph made it, when introduced, the fastest road-going Ferrari.

Stored unused since 2005, this car has covered a correct and documented 57,190 miles from new and is offered for sympathetic recommissioning or more extensive restoration . Sold strictly as viewed, this potentially most rewarding Ferrari restoration project is offered with an Italian export document (1965), a copy of the original purchase invoice, and State of Florida Certificate of Title.

SCM Analysis
This car, Lot 593, sold for $108,931, including buyer's premium, at Bonhams' Collectors Motor Cars auction in Harrogate, U.K., on November 14, 2012.

A "sympathetic recommissioning" doesn't begin to describe what it will take to make this Ferrari a driver. This car isn't an abandoned puppy that can be nursed back to health: it's a wounded jackal that's going to eat you up the first chance it gets.

The popularity of barn finds is at an all-time high. Part of the reason is a growing preservationist movement. Another part is an added level of excitement in the purchase process. Unfortunately, the payoff often is a car that is too deteriorated to preserve and too expensive to restore. The buyer has bought someone else's albatross - albeit at a much greater price.

There's a romantic notion that barn finds are slices of history preserved by time and the structure they are stored in. That's pretty far from the truth . Few cars are found in real barns - yet the term gets applied to most every car that comes out of long-term storage. Also, few barn finds are carefully pickled in their prime to be woken up at some future date. Most barn finds are cars that were retired due to the need for extensive - and expensive - repair work.

One very scruffy Ferrari

Bonhams did not outright call this 330 GT 2+2 a barn find but photographed it as if it were one. The background on one shot has the car silting in front of a messy garage packed with a couple of motorcycles and a mound of stuff. Between the garage and the 330 is a hulk of another car, a few abandoned tires and a couple of containers of who knows what. The shabby background actually softens the shock of the very scruffy car.

A green, moldy-looking film covers part of the 330. Clumps of accumulated dirt can be seen in the rain troughs. The blue tow rope used to drag it into position was left visible under the back bumper. The devastation is juxtaposed with pictures of the car sitting alone on a dirt road framed by a lovely row of trees to remind us how beautiful the car can be.

 

A shot of he engine compartment reveals disarray, with the air cleaner removed, the radiator missing and distributor caps removed from the distributors. The interior shots are equally disturbing, showing cardboard-hard leather - torn and cracked from neglect . This 330 GT was certainly abandoned due to mechanical issues.

 

An underwater restoration or ...

The restoration of this car could easily cost more than the price paid at auction. The car has a lot of needs, and more will be found as the restoration progresses. Every time the restorer calls, the bill gets higher, and the phone will ring often.

At a minimum, $30,000 will be gone before the hood is opened. The photographs show the radiator is removed and parts have been removed from the front of the engine. This could signal the start of an engine removal, and here's where things get really crazy. An engine rebuild would start at $25,000. Rusty gas tanks and stuck calipers come next, and the list doesn't stop.

This isn't the war most collectors want to fight.

An Interim 330 GT

There were an astonishing number of production changes from the early to late 330 GT 2+2s. While most changes were minor, some were important enough to divide the cars into three different series. The most profound difference was the front end. The early cars, now known as Series I, had a quad-headlight setup that made the front of the car look very high and very flat.

The Series II version had a dual-headlamp front end that was sleeker and substantially more attractive. Other important updates included a switch from an overdrive transmission to a 5-speed and a change from pedals that stuck up from the floor to pedals that were hung from the dash. A version of the Series I cars - known as Interim models - featured the quad-headlight front end with the later 5-speed transmission and hung pedals.

As the 330 2+2 series evolved, desirable options, such as air conditioning and power steering, were added. Kerry Chesbro is the majordomo of the 330 GT Registry. His website, www.330GT.com, has a thorough chronicle of the evolution of the model.

Our subject 330 GT 2+2 was an Interim model. It also featured electric windows and a special-order gray headliner.

What next?

At $109,000, the seller should be dancing the jig. Conventional wisdom would have valued it at $25,000 less. This result is baffling. This was a car that you would cross the street to stay away from. How did this car bring more than a running and driving example?

The buyer overpaid for the 330, but I suspect future plans don 't involve a sympatric restoration. The car will likely become a Testa Rossa, GTO or some other re-creation. In the realm of a re-creation project, over paying for the donor car is not a big deal .

It was a gutsy move to put this derelict on the cover of the catalog, but it paid off well for the seller. If it is a donor car, no harm was done to the buyer.
(Introductory description courtesy of Bonhams.)

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