1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Series II

  • 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Series II
  • Right-hand-drive UK-market car, one of 35
  • Grigio Metallizzato with unrestored “Pelle Blu” interior
  • Ferrari Classiche Certification and spare set of original pressed alloys

Presented with its original, beautifully patinated “Pelle Blu” interior, this Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 comes with a wealth of correspondence between its first owner and the official British distributor, Maranello Concessionaires.

A copy of the factory invoice is included in the extensive history file. Dated 7 April 1966, it shows that chassis number 8437 GT was a right-hand-drive car finished in Celeste with Blue VM3015 upholstery. Its first owner was a Mr JB Swift, who was based in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, and was a director of Wholesale Supply, a distributor of electrical, domestic and industrial equipment.

The total cost of Mr Swift’s new Ferrari was £6521 17s 6d, against which he was given almost £6000 for his previous 330 GT – chassis 6883 GT. Unfortunately, having taken delivery on 26 April, Swift immediately noticed a ‘severe graunching’ noise coming from the rear axle.

He’d covered 150 miles by the following day but it was still no better, and Ferrari’s advice that the ‘noise will usually disappear when… properly run in’ quickly became redundant because the diff then failed completely. Swift soon had his solicitors on the case and, after increasingly desperate cable messages from Maranello Concessionaires to the factory, a complete new axle unit was flown out to the UK and arrived on 18 May.

That seemed to smooth everything out and by October Mr Swift was extolling the virtues of Ferrari ownership to other high-flying businessmen. In a letter to Major MacLeod at Maranello Concessionaires, he explained that he offered to lend 8437 GT to one of them for a couple of days because the man in question was an Aston Martin fan and Swift told him that ‘he will never have appreciated a motor car until he has had a Ferrari’.

Thereafter, Swift remained in regular contact with Maranello Concessionaires. By 1969, 8437 GT had covered almost 40,000 miles, but it spent much of that year off the road and there was talk of replacing it with an equivalent new Ferrari.

In the end, Swift hung on to his 330 GT 2+2, although he then ran into problems due to a high-speed vibration. Maranello Concessionaires balanced the propshaft and wheels, replaced the halfshafts, changed the rubber coupling between axle and propshaft, stripped the rear axle, and checked all gearbox and engine mounts. Eventually, and with none of that having worked, the car was driven all the way down to Italy in mid-1971 so that the problem could be sorted out at the factory.

Mr Swift kept 8437 GT until the 1975, when it passed to its second owner, Leslie Symonds who kept the car until his death in 2013. Mr Symonds restored the car in his ownership and painted the car Grigio Metallizzato but retained its wonderfully original interior trim. The current owner acquired 8437 GT after an inspection by Terry Hoyle and undertook the Ferrari Classiche Certification. It boasts matching-numbers engine and gearbox, and while the diff – number 351/65 – is not the unit with which it left the factory, it’s the one that was fitted for Mr Swift within the first few weeks of the car’s life.

The history file is full of fascinating correspondence between Swift and prominent figures at Maranello Concessionaires – including Mike Salmon and Colonel Ronnie Hoare himself – and in recent years the car has been serviced and maintained by Kent-based marque specialist The Ferrari Centre. Now being offered for sale by The Classic Motor Hub, this 330 GT 2+2 offers a rare opportunity to acquire an incredibly original four-seater V12 Ferrari.

Model history

Launched in January 1964 at the Brussels Motor Show, the 330 GT 2+2 replaced the 330 America, which had been – in effect – a 250 GTE with a 4-litre engine.

The 330 GT 2+2, on the other hand, was a completely new model. Pininfarina came up with a revised shape that, on the original Series I, featured twin headlamps. These were later replaced with single headlamps on the Series II.

The wheelbase of the Tipo 571 chassis was 2650mm – an increase of 50mm over the 330 America – which gave passengers more room in the rear. Suspension was independent at the front with a live axle at the rear, and disc brakes were used all round.

Beneath the bonnet was Ferrari’s robust and sonorous Tipo 209 V12. Running on triple Weber carburettors, this 3967cc single-cam engine produced 300bhp and initially drove through a four-speed, all-synchromesh gearbox that featured overdrive on top. Towards the end of Series I production, this was replaced by a five-speed unit.

When racing driver Walt Hansgen tested a 330 GT 2+2 for Car and Driver, he said: ‘If you have the price in your pocket, it seems to me that you’d have to go a long way to beat the quality you’d get, regardless of the model. I don’t think there’s another car on the road like it.’

During its time with the Ferrari, the magazine recorded a 0-60mph sprint of 6.3 seconds and a standing-start quarter-mile of 14.6 seconds.

Production of the 330 GT 2+2 ended in 1967 with the launch of the 365 GT 2+2, by which time 625 Series Is had been built, plus 474 Series IIs.

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