This series would prove to be a step away from Ferrari’s past and a step toward the future.
Automobili Ferrari S.p.A. has always been known for building some of the fastest and best-handling sports cars in the world. Pininfarina is a master of styling and design, and surely the lines and Ferrari V-12 power of this rare 330 GTS Spider shows the best of their collaboration.
The 330 GTS features a 300-hp, 3,967-cc, single overhead-cam V-12 engine with triple Weber carburetors, five-speed transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes. The top speed is just over 150 mph with a 0–60 time of seven seconds. A quarter-mile is traveled in 15 seconds at a speed of near 100 mph.
In July 1967, Car and Driver magazine summed up driving a 330 GTC in two short sidebars. “Driving it doesn’t change that first visual impression: class,” and “Depress clutch. Find neutral. Turn ignition key. Give the gas a tiny, nervous touch. Oh my God!” Bump that up a notch or two for the open GTS Spider.
This Fly Yellow 330 GTS has been part of a Southern California collection since 1993. It has been driven sparingly and remains in well-maintained cosmetic and mechanical condition. The paintwork appears excellent, as does all the brightwork and Borrani wire wheels. The black leather interior shows only limited wear.
Truly an Italian grand touring thoroughbred, there are few cars that offer the driving experience a 330 GTS does. These models continue to appreciate in both value and desirability as their price becomes more reasonable given the increases in other areas of the marque.
- Years produced: 1966–68
- Number produced: 100
- Original list price: $16,800
- SCM Valuation: $300,000–$425,000
- Tune-up/Major service: $2,500
- Distributor cap: $450 (two required)
- Chassis #: left frame member by steering box
- Engine #: right rear above motor mount
- Club: Ferrari Club of America, Atlanta, GA
- Alternatives: 1965–66 Ferrari 275 GTS, 1969–71 Maserati Ghibli Spyder, 1956–59, BMW 507 Roadster.
- SCM Investment Grade: B
The SCM analysis: This car sold for $357,500 at RM’s January 2006 Arizona auction.
Enzo Ferrari founded his company as a manufacturer and entrant of race cars. If the business had grown as he planned, he might have never made a Ferrari road car. Fortunately for automobile enthusiasts, racing is very expensive, and Mr. Ferrari reluctantly had to build road cars to fund his passion. As the years passed and the cost of racing grew exponentially, the necessity for Ferrari to build road cars grew with it. Today, Ferrari still races, but road cars are their main business.
Once corrupted by shameless commerce, Mr. Ferrari became quite proficient in producing a diverse assortment of street, racing, and mixed-use models. Several new cars were introduced in 1966, a transition year, and a couple cars were phased out. The total offering for that year was quite impressive and gives a glimpse at how productive the factory was.
The 1966 racing line was led by the 312 series Formula One cars, followed by the legendary 330, 365, and Dino Prototype racers. On the street side the 500 Superfast and the 365 California were the A tickets. The production cars included the 275 GTS and 275 GTB. The 275 GTB progressed from a short-nose to a long-nose version, with variations built with two- and four-cam engines and bodies of steel and alloy. Even a few very special competition 275 GTBs were built that year.
Complementing the sporty 275 line was the grand touring-themed 330 series. Introduced in 1964, the 330 series would prove to be a step away from Ferrari’s past and a step toward the future. Features like power windows, power steering, and air conditioning replaced spartan interiors and weight-saving construction. The twelve-cylinder engine was tuned for commuting rather than track use. Drivability and comfort trumped performance in the 330 line.
The first 330 was rather strange looking; a four-headlight 2+2 that was later refined with a more attractive twin-headlight front end. The 330 GTC came next. The two-passenger 330 coupe featured a Superfast-inspired body mounted on a modified 275 frame. The GTC shared the 330 2+2’s engine, but attached it to a rear-mounted transaxle rather than the 2+2’s front transmission.
The 330 GTS (Grand Touring Spider) followed the GTC. It was a refinement of the 275 GTS rather than a completely new model. The 275 GTS was a delightful car with good power, light handling, and cute little body that unfortunately looked more like a Fiat Spider than a Ferrari. Pininfarina nicely solved the identity problem by resculpting the nose of the 330 GTS to look more like the nose of a Superfast. In addition, the 330 received standard electric windows, optional air conditioning, and enough detail changes to clearly differentiate it from a 275.
The 330 GTS is a near-perfect summer car. It has gobs of power, makes wonderful noises, and is a pleasure to drive. It is comfortable on the road and agile around town. The manual top takes some effort to put down and allows a bit too much wind noise when up, but on a top-down summer day, who cares?
The value of a 330 GTS is directly related to its drivability rather than its collectibility. As one of a few open-top V12 Ferraris, the 330 GTS will always have a following. Attractive, great-driving, and with only a hundred built, they are desirable, but as the cornerstone of a collection, they fall short. The 330 GTS is not eligible for great rallies, it has no competition history, and it is not “oh my god” good looking. A 330 GTS should be bought for driving rather than collecting. When 330 prices climb to the point where their owners don’t drive them, a price ceiling is near.
This 330 GTS, S/N 10375, is reportedly a very nice example of the model. It received a good-quality restoration a few years back and still looks great. SCM’s auction database shows it previously sold at World Classic’s 1993 Monterey auction for $185,000. This sale represents an impressive appreciation, but it was still on the light side of SCM’s price guide. Fortunately, the buyer is in at a price where he can still enjoy the car. The seller should be pleased with his pile of chips, and the buyer will be pleased with his purchase. In a couple of years it should be worth a little more, and will have delivered miles of pleasure in the meantime.
Steve Ahlgrim has been actively involved in the Ferrari business since 1978. Historical and descriptive information in this profile courtesy of the auction company.
Sports Car Marketmagazine
Photos: RM Auctions