1963 330 Le Mans Berlinetta

 

Location: Ferrari Beverly Hills Collezione

Chassis: s/n 4381 SA

Engine: 4.0L V-12

Transmission: Four-Speed Manual

Design: Scaglietti

Coachwork: Scaglietti

Mileage: Racer-No odometer installed

Color: Red Exterior | Black Leather Interior

Production run: 4 (first chassis in the series)

Certificates: Ferrari Classiche Red Book

ABOUT THIS CAR

This car has an incredible provenance it was part of Ferrari’s early racing history and helped in building the Scuderia’s reputation as a manufacturer of fast, beautiful and winning race cars. Most of the development on No. 4831 SA was done by British driver and engineer Mike Parkes. An anecdote tells that, on a famous Sunday morning, with a journalist on board, Parkes hit 176 mph on the “autostrada” between Modena and Bologna. After his fine-tuning, the first race outing for this 330 LM was the Sebring 12 Hours on March 23, 1963. Entered by the Maranello factory with the number 19 and entrusted to Parkes and Lorenzo Bandini, the car completed 72 formidable laps, but after a spin was unable to continue the race.

Having “LM” as its suffix, the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, is of course where the car was destined to make history. On test day in April of 1963, Parkes sat once again in no. 4831 SA’s bucket seat. He turned right at the Tertre Rouge corner and pushed the throttle wide open. His 330 LM would accelerate to become the first car to reach 300 km/h (186.4 mph) on the most notorious stretch of tarmac in the world: the Mulsanne straight. Parkes finished the lap posting the fifth-fastest time, bettering Phil Hill’s record in a four liter prototype by six seconds!

For race-day, No. 4831 SA’s doors and hood were painted with the number 9 we see today and handed to Franco-Belgian endurance specialists Jean Guichet and Pierre Noblet. The duo qualified ninth and managed to get as high as fourth overall (out of 49 starters), but did not finish the race with an unlucky mechanical failure.  Only 12 cars would be able to finish the race.

After the brief, but meaningful racing season No. 4831 SA’s was sold from the factory to Cronograph Srl; it would continue to garner acclaim by appearing in “Histoires Extraordinaires” a picture by legendary Italian director Federico Fellini . In that occasion, the berlinetta was painted a stunning shade of gold and re-bodied as spyder at Medardo Fantuzzi’s workshop in Modena. It will be remembered as one of the most striking cars used in 1960s cinema. Interestingly, in 2009 Ferrari and Pininfarina were inspired to produce a one-off gold 599 GTB Spider based on the design of the re-bodied 330 LM, for Edward Walson (son of John Walson, the inventor of cable TV).

In September 1978 Mr. Massimo Chiappini of Rome took ownership, and at his request had Fantuzzi reunite the original body with chassis No. 4381. In July 1982, Mr. Chiappini sold the vehicle and it became part of the Collezione Rosso Maranello of Fabrizio Violati.

In the 1990s No. 4831 SA was bought by Harry Leventis, in England who planned an important career as a historic racer. Several renowned drivers (Dereck Bell, Bobby Rahal, Emanuele Pirro…) sat in No. 4381, making it relive its glory days. It was the undefeated Ferrari Shell European Historic Challenge champion in 1996. The car’s newly vamped racing career had its finest hour come at the 2008 Goodwood Revival Meeting, when it finished first at the hard fought Royal Automobile Club’s Tourist Trophy Celebration Race.

The current owner purchased the first-ever built 330 LM from noted German collector Friedhelm Loh, and brought it to Los Angeles. Confirming its remarkable originality and configuration. In 2011, No. 4381 SA was inspected by Ferrari and awarded the coveted Classiche “Red Book”.

THE 330 LM STORY

The construction of four 330 Le Mans Berlinettas began in the winter of 1962; it combined the lines of the production 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso designed by Pininfarina and the 250 GTO from Scaglietti. On March 4, 1963, at the newly reopened Monza circuit, Enzo Ferrari unveiled our 4381 SA to present his new berlinetta racer. These 4-litres engine cars were built to comply with changing FIA regulations. They saw important competition use, campaigned as factory works entries during their front-line career.

THE 330 LM DESIGN AND PERFORMANCE

The bodywork was stylistic and a highly effective blend of the 250 Lusso passenger cabin, 250 GTO-style frontal section, complete with vertical fender vents, the iconic D-shaped cooling openings above the radiator opening, and tunnel-style slots for rear-wheel clearance reminiscent of the 250 MM and 375 MM Pininfarina coupes of the 1950s. The car’s interior was an interesting balance of competition and street Lusso features-it was built with carpeting, a headliner, sun visors, door upholstery; the driver sat on Lusso bucket seats, behind Ferrari’s classic large-diameter wood rim steering wheel.

The 330s were fitted with an almost identical V-12 to that found in the 1962 Le Mans-winning 330 TRI. It is a 60-degree 12 cylinder with a single over head cam, roller followers, rocker arms, inclined arms and one spark plug per cylinder. It features six Weber 42 DCN twin choke carburetors with 12 intake trumpets. This big Colombo-based four liter motor was now good for 400 horsepower at 7,000 rpm. Although heavier and less nimble the 250 GTOs, the 330 LMBs had additional torque to maneuver them out of tight corner and were arguably more technologically advanced. Today, they are surely a whole lot rarer.

FINAL REMARKS

This Ferrari 330 LM Berlinetta is charismatic in both its bodywork lines and history. It was the first of the 330 LMB chassis built, broke records, appeared in movies and won historic races. Its looks and history are so alluring that it has now been selected to be the main feature for the “Seeing Red” exposition at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Being the most meaningful exemplar of just four cars ever build, No. 4381 SA promises to be the centerpiece to any world-class car collection.

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