1962 Ferrari 330 TRI/LM Testa Rossa

Phil Hill’s 1962 Le Mans winner-the last of its line-sells for a cool
$9.25 million and heads for a museum in Argentina

The first car in a series is good. But the last car is best. A real, documented and important history makes it better. Commercial success is good, but success in competition is better, and the overall winner of the 24 Heures du Mans is the best of all.

The expression of all these attributes is the 1962 Ferrari 330 TRI/LM, chassis number 0808. The only 4-liter Testa Rossa built, it is also the last Testa Rossa and the last front-engined sports racing car built by Ferrari. Driven by Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien, it is the last front-engined car to capture the overall victory at Le Mans.

Restructured rules and classifications for 1962 placed emphasis upon GT cars and eliminated the 3-liter sports-racing class the Testa Rossas had dominated. The displacement limit for GTs was increased to 4 liters and a new Experimental category was added with a 4-liter displacement limit. Ferrari’s current sports-racers were by now mid-engined and V6 or V8 powered, but Ferrari decided to create the ultimate Testa Rossa for the Experimental category, the 330 TRI/LM.

Fantuzzi created the longer body, which Phil Hill described in a Road & Track article as “.a combination of the old Testa Rossa shape, but with the double nostril nose and the cutoff tail-with-a-spoiler that were used on the mid-engine cars.” He continued, “Testa Rossas were the reason Ferrari was able to dominate sports car racing in much of the world, and produce some of the most beautiful sports racing cars of the postwar era. In 1962. the TR lineage was about to end and the 330 [TRI/LM] became the last Testa Rossa. Seen from that view, the big car’s lines look even better, flowing yet tough, the graceful shape only interrupted when necessary by an air scoop, a bonnet handle or a leather strap, .the rounded looks-good-to-the-eye shape of the ’50s ending at the scientific cutoff Kamm tail of the ’60s.”

Following Le Mans, the 330 TRI/LM was sold to Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team and on to Don Rodriguez. Having seen the car’s success firsthand, he was determined to put Pedro in it for the North American season. N.A.R.T. returned to Le Mans with the 330 TRI/LM in 1963, where it ran in third until after midnight, when the engine threw a connecting rod.

The damaged 0808 was sent back to Ferrari, where it was rebodied, first as a spider and later with a unique coupe body. Shipped back to the United States, it was sold to Hisashi Okada, who drove the TRI/LM for nine years on the streets of New York before succumbing in 1974 to the entreaties of Pierre Bardinon.

Bardinon restored the 330 TRI/LM to its 1962 Le Mans configuration, commissioning original coachbuilder Fantuzzi to recreate its work of 1962. Completed to a very high standard under the supervision of the experienced staff at Bardinon’s Mas du Clos collection, it took its place among a peerless collection of some of the world’s finest Ferraris.

Since being acquired in 2002 by the present owner, 0808 has led an active life as part of a small, exclusive collection of the finest and most important sports and sports-racing cars.
It is quite simply the most important Ferrari ever offered for public sale.

Steve Ahlgrim

Steve Ahlgrim - SCM Contributing Editor

Steve taught high school auto shop before moving to Atlanta, GA, where his love of sports cars led him to FAF Motorcars, the former Ferrari dealer where he served as General Manager and Vice President. He has been a self-proclaimed “one-trick pony,” coveting the Ferrari marque. He has been involved in concours judging for over 25 years and is a member of the IAC/PFA, an international committee overseeing high-level Ferrari concours judging. He is chief judge of the Celebration Exotic Car Show in Celebration, FL.

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