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Ferrari 330 America: 250 GTE Styling Meets 4.0L V12 Muscle
Manufactured between 1952 and 1964, the 250 series is – without a shadow of a doubt – Ferrari’s most celebrated family of models. Come 1963, the Prancing Horse of Maranello started replacing it with the short-lived 330 series that would be discontinued in 1968 for the 365 line.

Ferrari 330 America: 250 GTE Styling Meets 4.0L V12 Muscle

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Not to be confused with the American series that ran until 1967, the 330 America is the first member of the 330 series. Only 50 units were delivered in total, ranging from chassis numbers 4953 to 5125, which makes the interim model extremely collectible. Closely related to the 250 GTE it replaced, the dazzling 330 America was never given a motor show debut.

Why did Ferrari employ the very same body shell as the 250 GTE? For starters, the 330 GT 2+2 coupe that would sell just under 1,100 units from 1964 through 1967 wasn’t ready for production. But more importantly, the 250 GTE was the most commercially successful road-going car of the Prancing Horse thus far, opening the automaker’s eyes to the 2+2 layout.

In production from the latter part of 1963 to the spring of 1964, the superb-looking America slotted between the bite-the-back-of-your-hand beautiful 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso and the 400 Superamerica. Produced exclusively for homologation, the legendary 250 GTO was also available during this period, albeit buyers had to be personally approved by Il Commendatore.

The America is based on the 250 GTE chassis, which measures 2,600 millimeters (102.3 inches) between the front and rear axles. Constructed from tubular steel, the backbone of the provisional gran turismo is joined by disc brakes on every corner, supplied by Dunlop. 15- by 6-inch wire wheels from Borrani mounted with Pirelli rubber boots also need to be mentioned, along with unequal-length wishbones for the car’s front axle.

Telescopic dampers are used for both ends, but as opposed to the coil springs up front, the rear axle features semi-elliptical springs. The solid rear end further employs radius arms. Underneath the trunk floor, a fuel tank with a capacity of 90 liters (make that 23.8 U.S. gallons) feeds the 60-degree V12 up front. Similar to the GTE before it, the America’s naturally-aspirated lump is positioned as forward as possible to improve legroom.

Tipping the scales at 1,310 kilograms (2,888 pounds), the America is an idea quicker to 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) than the GTE. Obviously enough, its top speed is higher thanks to the more powerful engine that displaces 3,967 cubes from a 77-mm bore and 71-mm stroke. Codenamed Tipo 209 B, the 4.0-liter mill is derived from the Tipo 163 of the 330 LM and 330 P racecars and the road-going 400 Superamerica.

The 209 B is a SOHC affair with two valves per cylinder that runs a compression ratio of 8.8:1 and three carburetors. The Weber 40 DCL carburetors are complemented by single-plug ignition and two ignition coils. The 3.0-liter V12 engine in the 250 GTE cranks out 237 horsepower (240 ps) at 7,000 rpm and 193 pound-foot (262 Nm) of torque at 5,000 rpm, whereas the 4.0-liter unit in the 330 America develops 296 ponies (300 ps) at 6,600 rpm and 240 pound-foot (325 Nm) of torque at 5,000 rpm.

Given that it’s an early 1960s grand tourer of Italian origin, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Ferrari couldn’t give a damn about an optional automatic. The only transmission available was a four-speed manual featuring a Fichtel & Sachs single-plate clutch and electronic overdrive. A limited-slip rear differential supplied by ZF also needs to be highlighted.

Similar to the 250 GTE before it, the 330 America is a stunner on the outside, starting with the chromed eggcrate grille up front. Gifted with round headlights, auxiliary driving lights, vertical taillights, and a quad-piped exhaust system, the Pininfarina-styled gran turismo proudly wears a chrome-plated 330 America badge on the lower right area of the trunk lid.

Pininfarina also produced the steel body shell for this lesser-known Ferrari, which uses aluminum for the hood and trunk lid. The coachbuilder’s name and insignia are featured on both front fenders, right below the side vents. A sea of leather dominates the interior, which features a padded dash top, body-color dashboard, and a three-spoke steering wheel with a wood rim.

The steering wheel frames a tachometer on the left, a speedometer on the right, and an oil pressure gauge in the middle. Typical of a 1960s Italian exotic, chrome-plated ashtrays are featured both up front and in the rear.

Every single 330 America built, from chassis number 4953 through 5125, is left-hand drive. It’s not known how many of these cars have survived. Chassis number 5049, the metallic gray-painted example in the photo gallery, was auctioned by RM Sotheby’s in March 2017 at Amelia Island for a very cool $412,500. Dispatched to Luigi Chinetti Motors in 1963, this exquisite example was originally enjoyed by famed casino pioneer Bill Harrah.

 
 
 
 
 

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