330 GT Registry

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13 JUNE 1981 – Vol. 6 No. 12


Being the sole proprietor of this biweekly newsletter on Ferraris does has its advantages. As the result of my fortnightly pontifications concerning Ferraris a few souls have come to the conclusion that perhaps I know something about these machines from Maranello, and as a result they have been known to entrust me with the care and feeding of their Ferrari for a period of time--a day, a weekend, a month or more. Such brief liaisons are always a delight to me, for they allow me to once again become acquainted with a Ferrari type that I don’t, in the normal course of my life, have that much contact with.

Of late I have been the temporary master of a late 330 GT 2+2, of the type commonly called a “single headlight” because it only has one headlight per front fender--as opposed to a “four headlight” which has two headlights per front fender. Obviously the designation of the late type as a “two headlight” would cause a bit of confusion. In the course of my “ownership” of this car I have taken it on a lengthy (200 mile) road trip and have used it as an around-town basic transportation vehicle. It is not a perfect example. It shows the effects of being 15 years old. The speedometer doesn’t work, the air conditioning is temperamental, the fuel gauge may or may not be working (but the warning light always works), the driver’s door handle is broken, etc. But all of this is incidental, and its new “real” owner has plans to correct these minor defects once he takes it away from me. But what the car can and does do is run. And handle. And make all the right noises. And impress the neighbors. In other words, although it is only a 330 GT 2+2, of the lowest rank in the Ferrari hierarchy and not as glamorous as a GTB or a GTS, it is still a damn impressive automobile and a great deal of fun to drive.

When it was introduced in the second half of 1965, the “single headlight” 330 ST 2+2 was looked upon as merely a cleaned-up styling version of its predecessor, with lines that more closely approximated the rest of Ferrari’s line, particularly the 275 GIS and the soon to be introduced 330 GTC. But the changes were more than just skin deep, for the single headlight car was improved over the earlier version by the fitting of a five speed gearbox with Borg & Beck clutch, electric cooling fans, new brake system, the availability of air conditioning and power steering as options, etc. This made the type a much more modern Gran Turismo, and substantially altered the nature of the car.

A common misconception is the belief that the above mentioned mechanical changes were made concurrently with the aesthetic changes. Such was not the case. One of the fascinating aspects of Ferrari is that mechanical changes and aesthetic changes were made by two separate entities--the former by the factory and the latter by the carrozzeria. So when Ferrari made the decision to change over to the five speed gearbox et al, the change was made--apparently after approximately 500 “four headlight four speed + overdrive” cars had been made. There then appeared approximately 125 interim models, having the four headlight body style but also having the new five speed transmission. Finally, a batch of approximately 455 single head light five speed examples were made--with one major innovation during the run being the switch from a four mount block to a two mount block. Air conditioning, one of the major comfort options that transformed the 330 GT 2+2 into a real grand touring car, appeared on only about five of the “interim” four headlight models before becoming a regular feature on many of the single headlight models.

The first 330 GT 2+2 with a five speed gearbox was apparently S/N 6939. The prototype single headlight car was S/N 7353, and it remained unique until production of the new body style commenced with S/N 7553.

Thanks to John Reed for the loan of his 330, and Dyke Ridgley for corroborating the S/N.

Published & Edited by Gerald Roush   850 Maxey Hill   Court Stone Mountain, Georgia 30083

1981 G. ROUSH