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Volume 18 Number 8
24 April 1993

FERRARI 330 AMERICA

 

I admit to having always been fond of the more practical of Ferrari’s production offerings, the oft-maligned 2+2’s. This affection grows out of my personal circumstances in the early and mid-1960’s when the cars were much more popular with Ferraristi. As a sports car enthusiast with a wife, two children and limited financial resources whatever one car I owned had to fulfill several roles. At the time the number of sporty cars that could do double-duty as a family car were limited. And while I made do with second-hand 3.8 Mk. II Jaguars that shared some affinity with the XKE, I lusted after the offerings from Maranello that shared their heritage with the racing Ferraris.

After I learned a great deal more about Ferraris I developed the opinion that perhaps the best of these 1960’s family man’s Ferraris was the 330 America. At least to my eye the 250 GTE 2+2 has always been a better looking car than the 330 GT 2+2--especially the Series I with its four headlights. But there are certain advantages to the 330’s 4- liter motor, such as more power. The 330 America, to put it quite simply, combines the appearance of the former with the power of the latter. The result is a hybrid car that is perhaps better than either of the two from which it was developed. If nothing else, considering the lighter weight of the 250 GTE (1310 kg vs. 1380 kg for the 330 GT2+2) coupled with the increased power (increased from 240 h.p. to 300 h.p.) should give the 330 America the best performance of the three!

Long-time readers of Road & Track will probably recall that John R. Bond of that publication owned a 330 America and made occasional reference to it in his “Miscellaneous Ramblings” column. That was my first acquaintance with the type, and in my naivete at the time assumed that he had enough clout to have had such a neat car specially built for him. Much later I learned that there had been a short (fifty examples) production run of the cars; and then even much later I learned that Mr. Bond had difficulties even getting Ferrari to sell him a car!

After ten years and just over 16,000 miles of ownership he provided insights on what living with the car was like, although as he stated “obviously we don’t drive it too much.” Mechanical problems had been very minor--the voltage regulator had to be replaced and there was a problem with one of the electrical switches for the overdrive.

He recalled one long trip in the car, from Newport Beach to Phoenix and back in five hours and 20 minutes. “I
held 100 mph most of the time,” he recalled, and “still got almost 15 mpg.” Cruising at 70-75 mph yielded 17.5 mpg. Sometimes he went for a month without starting it “but when we come home from a trip it is often the only one of three cars in our home garage which will start!” He summed up the car as easy to drive, very tractable even at 1000 rpm, but “I never start full-bore in 1st gear, in deference to known clutch and rear axle weaknesses.”

He did offer his version of how the type came to be. “Ferrari had the new 4-liter engine ready and in ‘production’, ready for the new Pininfarina 330 quad-light body. But PF wasn’t ready to produce the new body. So they built 50 or
so cars with the new engine and the old 250 2+2 body.”

But since several prototypes of the new bodywork had been produced long before the 330 America there are other theories that attempt to explain why such a limited run, lasting only a few months in late 1963. Did the coachbuilder insist that Ferrari take the previously agreed upon 1,000 examples of the 250 GTE 2+2 bodywork of which only 950 had been produced with the 3-liter engine? Or did Ferrari’s all-important American distributor, Luigi Chinetti, balk at not having a bread-and-butter Ferrari to sell during the several months of changeover to the new model? Proponents of this theory point to the model’s name and the fact that the vast majority of examples wound up on this side of the ocean.

That Ferrari had not planned very far in advance to produce the model is borne out by the type numbers associated with the car. The chassis was given type number 575, indicating it was developed fl the 330 GT 2+2’s chassis, type number 571! And to fit the 330’s type 209 engine into the 250’s chassis required some modifications, and a new engine type number of 209/B. But most of the changes were minor, as a comparison of factory assembly data sheets as shown at the right indicates.

 

330 AMERICA vs. 330 GT 2+2 ENGINE
Engine Type
Cylinder Block
Oil Sump
Generator
Crankshaft
Pistons
   Compression
   Weight
Connecting Rods
   Weight
Water Pump
Cylinder Heads
Cam Covers
Intake Valves
Exhaust Valves
Right Camshaft
Left Camshaft
   Camshaft Lift
Fan Type
Timing Case
Oil Pump
Fuel Pump
Carburetors
Air Filter
Distributors
Clutch
330 AMERICA
S/N 5113
209/B
209/100032/33
209/111180
GCA 101 B
209/12445
Borgo 65021/1
8.6:1
284 gr.
209/14725 B
542 gr.
163/26541
209/17942 AB
209/17969 & 17960
157/17691
157/17693
209/17903
209/17904
9 mm
Peugeot
209/22785
163/24840
FISPA 128F/34342
3 Weber 40 DCL/6
209/19171
2 Marelli S 85 A
F & S 1882.188.001
330 GT 2+2
S/N 5761
209
209/100032/33
209/111153
GCA 101 B
209/12445
Borgo 65021/3
8.6:1
284 gr.
209/14725
546 gr.
163/26541
209/17942 AB
209/17969 & 17960
157/17691
157/17693
209/17903
209/17904
9 mm
Peugeot
163/22706
163/24840
FISPA 128F/34342
3 Weber 40 DFI
FISPA 2231.01
2 Mardi S 85 A
F & S 1882.188.001


250 GTE 2+2 vs. 330 AMERICA CHASSIS

Chassis Type
Wheelbase
Driveshaft
Front Brakes
Rear Brakes
Front Hubs
Rear Hubs
Tires
Wheels
Front Shocks
Rear Shocks
Steering
   Steering Box
Water Radiator
Fuel Tank
Pedals
Master Cylinder
Front Suspension
Front Springs
Rear Springs
Brake Booster
Gearbox Type
Case
   and Covers
Gears
Synchromesh
Overdrive
Rear Axle Type
Ratio
250 GTE 2+2
S/N 4961
508E/63
2600
508E/855
508F/679
508F/680
508F/70999/7 1000
508E/71031/32
Pirelli 185 x 15
RW 3690
KONI 82/2216
KONI 82/1253L
508E/859
ZFR=1/20
508E/800022
508E/820240
508E/67491
One 1” Type 858993
508E/794
508E/640076
508Ej600499
Bonaldi 700/34
508E/63
508E/55719
508E/55671
Four CIMA
Porsche 513
28.6% Type 63B
508E/63
7x32
330 AMERICA
S/N 5113
575
2600
575/928
508F/679
508F/680
508F/70999/7 1000
508E/71031/32
Pirelli 185 x 15
RW 3801
KONI 82/2216
KONI 82/l253L
508E/859
ZFR=1/20
575/800023
508E/820240
508E/67491
One 1” Type 858993
508E/794
508E/640076
508E/600499
Bonaldi 700/34
575
571/520482
508EJ55671
Four CIMA
Porsche 513
28.6% Type 63B
575
8x34


THE FIFTY 330 AMERICAS

Hilary Raab, in his Ferrari Serial Numbers Part I:
Odd-Numbered Sequence to 21399 gives the following fifty serial numbers as belonging to the 330 America series. I have added, where available, additional information from the files of the Ferrari Market Letter. As always, any additions and corrections will be greatly appreciated. [Ed: As this article is dated 1993, more updated history is available on any serial number with a link.]

S/N 4953 - No history known.
S/N 4969 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Last known to be in California.
S/N 4973 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Now alleged to be a 250 GTO re creation in England.
S/N 4975 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. No further history known.
S/N 4981 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. No further history known.
S/N 4983 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. No further history known.
S/N 4987 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. No further history known.
S/N 4989 - Last known to be in France.
S/N 4991 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Last known to be in Wisconsin.
S/N 4993 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Last known to be in Michigan.
S/N 4995 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Last known to be in Ohio.
S/N 4997 (?) - Listed in several reference sources as a 330 America but in 1981 car with this S/N surfaced in Colorado and it was an early-style 330 GT 2+2 Series I making it one of the prototypes!
S/N 4999 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Last known to be in Florida.
S/N 5001 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Last known to be in California but may have been parted out.
S/N 5005 - Now a 250 Testa Rossa re-creation.
S/N 5007 - Last known to be in Massachusetts.
S/N 5009 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Last known to be in California.
S/N 5011 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Last known to be in New York.
S/N 5013 - Last known to be in California.
S/N 5015 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Last known to be in California.
S/N 5019 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. No further history known.
S/N 5023 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Last known to be in California.
S/N 5025 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Last known to be in Washington.
S/N 5027 - Last known to be in Canada.
S/N 5033 - Parted out, engine now in a 250 GTE 2+2!
S/N 5035 - Sold originally to South Africa. Last known to be in England.
S/N 5037 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Last known to be in New York.
S/N 5039 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Last known to be in California.
S/N 5041 - Last known to be in California.
S/N 5047 - Parted out.
S/N 5049 - Last known to be in California.
S/N 5051 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Last known to be in California.
S/N 5053 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. No further history known.
S/N 5055 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. No further history known.
S/N 5059 - Now a 250 GTO re-creation.
S/N 5061 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Last known to be in Nevada.
S/N 5065 - No history known.
S/N 5069  - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Last known to be in Canada.
S/N 5071 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Last known to be in California.
S/N 5075 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Last known to be in California.
S/N 5077 - Last known to be in California.
S/N 5079 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Now parted out.
S/N 5083 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Last known to be in California.
S/N 5103 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Last known to be in California.
S/N 5105 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Last known to be in New York.
S/N 5107 - Last known to be in Florida.
S/N 5109 - Sold new to John R. Bond of Road & Track. Last known to be in Washington.
S/N 5113 - Imported new into the United States by Luigi Chinetti Motors. Last known to be in Colorado.
S/N 5121 - Last known to be in New York.
S/N 5125 - Parted out. Engine now in a 330 GT 2+2 Series I.
 

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