Nothing more clearly shows the evolution of Ferrari into the premier constructor of grand touring automobiles than the 1966 Geneva Auto Show debut of the 330 GTC. It offered a 4-liter engine in a chassis closely patterned after the 275 GTB with coachwork by Pininfarina. The design combined a gorgeous nose reminiscent of the 400 Superamerica with a prominent beltline from the doors back, culminating in a tail that paid homage to the 275 GTS.

The thin-pillared, airy greenhouse owes little to any prior Ferrari but crisply reflects Pininfarina’s mastery of form and unifies this potentially disparate collection of design elements into a clean and refreshing form of its own.

In keeping with its intended mission as a grand touring car, the 330 GTC’s interior accommodations are both commodious and luxurious, with ample luggage room in the trunk and behind the seats. Some 600 330 GTCs were built in the years before it was succeeded by the 365 GTC.

Records indicate that Chassis 09111 was completed on November 19, 1966, and it was finished new in Grigio Fumo with a beige interior. Built new to European specification, it was sold through the official Ferrari dealer in Rome to the first owner in southern Italy.

By the 1970s, a now-red 09111 had made its way to the United States. according to information provided by marque expert Marcel Massini. The car remained in this same color scheme, with a cream leather interior. By the early 1990s, the car had returned to Europe, where it was registered in Germany. The 09111 made its way back to the U.S. in 2003. The new owner maintained it to a very high level.

The car’s file contains many bills for work conducted in recent years. With all E.U. taxes paid, this is a great opportunity to acquire one of the great touring Ferraris.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1966 Ferrari 330 GTC
Number Produced:598
Original List Price:$14,500
Tune Up Cost:$5,000
Chassis Number Location:Stamped on the passenger side frame rail next to the engine
Engine Number Location:Stamped on a flange on the rear passenger side of block

This car, Lot 101, sold for $279,692, including buyer’s premium, at RM’s Villa d’Este Auction on Saturday, May 21, 2011.

History is difficult to recognize when you’re looking at it. You may remember where you were when you heard that John Lennon was shot, but do you remember where you were when you heard your first Beatles song? When you sent your first email, did you recognize that email would one day rule your world?

Although it is not earth-shattering, history is being made in the Ferrari world. For the first time ever, people are paying more for a 330 GTC than a 365 GTB/4 Daytona coupe. But first, a little more history:

Ferrari is known for their high-performance sports cars, but their product line often contained a model designed more for luxurious driving than top-speed runs down the Autostrada.

The 250 GT/L “Lusso,” 330 GTC, and 365 GTC/4 are examples of luxury driving models. These Grand Tourers were positioned between the performance berlinettas and the four-passenger 2+2s. The model stresses driver’s comfort over outright performance and generally features a larger interior area with softer seats that are easier to live with. The engines in these models are not as highly tuned as their high-performance brethren, but they are still well up to their task. It would not be a stretch to say the Ferrari California fills this slot today.

The 330 GTC followed the 250 Lusso in Ferrari’s production sequence. Other models produced during the 330 GTC’s production run include the 275 GTB, 275 GTS and 275 GTB/4, as well as the 250 LM, 500 Superfast, 356 California, and 330 2+2 models. Despite this strong competition, the 330 GTC was a very popular model — outselling every other two-passenger Ferrari built up to that time. There’s little doubt that there was many more sales left in the GTC, but new U.S. safety and emissions requirements cut its run short.

The 330 GTC is universally acknowledged as being a wonderful driver. Its 300-hp, 4-liter twelve has an impressive growl and feels stronger than the model’s reported 6.9-second 0-60 mph time. The top speed of 150 mph is reached effortlessly, but the real joy in this car is the balance of its all its systems. The steering is non-assisted, but it feels light and responsive. The gearbox shifts like butter, and the ride is smooth without being mushy. Visibility out of the car is excellent. It is a pleasure to drive in city traffic — yet it can be driven in anger at a club track day.

Sneaking up on the Daytona

Every time I think I have the Ferrari market figured out, something happens to prove me wrong. The Daytona market has always been a little fickle, but a good Daytona has always been worth more than the best 330 GTC.

The $279,000 sale of our subject car took me by surprise. The sale price was right at the low end of Daytona values. I’ve been watching GTC asking prices creeping up during the past year, but this was the first time that I put together that you could get a Daytona for nearly the same money.

I would have felt better if our subject GTC was a special car, but it turns out that it was color changed to red from gray, and the interior appears to have a non-original shade of cream leather. It did not have Ferrari Classiche certification and only scored Silver when it was shown at a high-level concours. It didn’t even have wire wheels.

The car did have a stack of service invoices, but that usually means it was worn and needed the work. It had been across the pond four times, and it just wasn’t a car you would stretch for.

Turning over a few more stones, I found that a premium 330 GTC in my backyard has just sold for $300,000, and another GTC just hit the market at $330,000. While these prices still won’t get you a top-end Daytona, anyone writing a $300k check could come up with the difference.

Where 330 GTCs used to be bought by someone who couldn’t afford a Daytona, at least some of today’s buyers are choosing to buy a GTC over a Daytona. I’ll go out on a limb here and predict that it’s unlikely that GTC values will eclipse Daytona values anytime soon, but the game’s getting interesting.

RM’s Villa d’Este auction was an astounding sale. A total of $32.4m traded hands in two hours. There were 23 cars sold, with the average sale price exceeding $1.4m.

Our subject car was well-documented and well-maintained. It wasn’t a concours winner, but I’m told it was a good car. If the buyer was looking for a good driver, it’s pretty sure that’s what they got. The price seemed a bit high for the car, but in this crowd a little overage was chump change. The buyer may be a little early on his pricing, but this may look like a deal in six months.

(Introductory description courtesy of RM Auctions.)

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