Unveiled at the Geneva Salon in March 1966, the 330 GTC (Gran Tourismo Coupe) allied the 275 GTB chassis with the basic engine from the 330 GT 2+2. Coachwork was a compromise of the 400 Superamerica front blended to the rear tail treatment of the 275 GTS. The new car was a capable performer—fast, quiet, and comfortable.
As it inherited the GTB chassis and its rear transaxle, the 330 GT 2+2 engine block had to be redesigned in the GTC to accommodate the different engine and differential mounts. Ferrari engineers found the solution to the alignment problems that had affected the 275 series; they
introduced a torque tube for the driveshaft, which formed a solid link between the engine and the rear transaxle. The 330 GTC came with the same wheelbase as the 275, some 94.5 inches, and naturally had the same four-wheel disc brakes and all independent double wishbone and coil suspension.
From the outset, automotive journalists raved about this model. The first road test appeared in The Motor in November 1966 and was conducted by the driver/journalist Paul Frere. He was highly impressed: “The greatest surprise is the silence of the engine. In handling, the 330 GTC is exactly like all the Ferraris I have driven before. But the most impressive feature of the handling of the new vehicle is the solidness with which it changes direction, particularly in the S bends, where it tracks with about the same precision as a modern race car.”
Frere made two high-speed runs and recorded 146 mph just before he slowed and encountered traffic, at which point the vehicle was still perceptibly accelerating. He concluded that the car would probably equal the factory’s claimed 150 mph. In the same test he achieved a lively 14.6 seconds for the standing quarter mile, almost exactly matching the figures produced by Road & Track when they tested the 330 GTS. It is also of note that the legendary Ferrari world champion Phil Hill has himself called the 330 GTC “the best road-going Ferrari ever built.”
The current owner purchased this Ferrari in December 1991 and completed a full cosmetic restoration at a cost of over $50,000. The majority of the labor went into the body and paint, with all new chrome plating and extensive upholstery work as well. New suspension bushes were also fitted. This stunning Ferrari has traveled less than 1,500 miles in the last 9 years.
With speeds approaching 150 mph, blistering acceleration and outstanding ride and handling, Ferrari could justifiably claim the 330 GTC to be the finest high-speed conveyance for two people and their luggage.
This car sold at Christie’s Auction at Pebble Beach on August 20, 2000 for $160,000, including buyer’s commission.
The 330 GTC seems, like the porridge in the Three Bears’ Cottage, “just right” to actually drive in anger while smoking a Cohiba with the stereo cranking out AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long.”
In comparison, the 275 GTB that preceded the 330 GTC is visually and mechanically sex on wheels but, in most cases, too expensive to leave with the valet. Other than in Carmel in August, when have you seen one parked on the street? (“Too Hot.”) The 365 GTB/4 Daytona that followed the GTC is too damned heavy to drive comfortably under 75 mph and the current falling marketplace for these sleds is shaking them out like an under-performing dot.com stock, making buyers cautious. After all, who wants to be known as “the last guy to pay too much for a Daytona”? (“Too Cold.”) So, after all is said and done, the winner for driving pleasure, elegant looks, and relatively attainable pricing is the 330 GTC. (“Just Right.”)
Nimble, comfortable, and produced in relatively large numbers, 330 GTCs seem to be the cognoscenti’s choice of “driver.” The
example, especially appealing in the non-Rosso Corsa colors, is the well-adjusted thinking man’s Ferrari—especially if his ego can withstand the relatively bland styling, and if he can resist putting tacky horsey stickers on the fenders.
However, only at Pebble Beach during August in the Christie’s tent could a 330 GTC bring this sort of price premium. By far, $160,000 is top whack for any 330 GTC, and I’ve seen nicer examples for less money. But if you wanted a blue one, don’t enjoy the countless hours that a restoration project requires and have a few extra thousand burning a hole in your pocket, then S/N 9527 was your car.
Certainly it was in better condition than most examples I’ve seen. The biggest worry to a buyer is its irregular use during the last ten years, with no real engine work stated. Of late, most Ferrari V12s are used as “trophy wives,” as illustrated by this Ferrari’s wheels clicking off 1,500 miles over the past decade.
Motor maladies from sitting are often a far bigger problem than those caused by wear, and I would be surprised if the braking and clutch hydraulics don’t need some attention.
It’s not a stretch to think that this Ferrari was bought 18 months ahead of the price curve, but if the new owner keeps it and drives it, it should prove to be “just right” for nearly any occasion, including actually driving it now and then.—Steve Serio