1965 Ferrari 330GT 2+2 Series 1 Berlinetta Coachwork by Pininfarina Registration no. JNP 837C Chassis no. 6135 Engine no. 6135
Ferrari manufactured 503 examples of the original 330GT, the specification of most, such as '6135', including a four-speed gearbox with overdrive. The model changed in 1965, emerging as the 'Series 2' with twin headlights replacing the original four-lamp arrangement. Retrospectively known as the 'Series 1', the early 330GT is now relatively rare, many having been used as donors for replicas of the GT250 SWB or Testa Rossa racing Ferraris, and exceptionally restored examples even more so.
A letter from the Maranello Concessionaire Archive, dated February 2011, states that left-hand drive chassis number '6135' was manufactured in 1965 and delivered to Luigi Chinetti Motors in New York, Ferrari's importer to the USA. According to their records, Chinetti Motors distributed the car to the Beverly Hills, California dealer Otto Zipper Motors, who sold it to first owner Robert C Rapp Jr. However, in a letter dated May 2011 Mr Rapp wrote: 'I bought the car from Luigi Chinetti Motors in Greenwich Connecticut, from 'Lu' Chinetti Junior in 1967. Quad headlights, four speed plus manual overdrive... and eventually (replaced with) the New York Show car 330GTC.'
By 1973 the Ferrari had moved to Minnesota with the registration '4JA 937' and does not appear to have been registered for the road again until its arrival in the UK in early 2011. Though much of the history is known, there is not enough to guarantee that the mileage of just over 52,796 is correct other than the many telltale signs that cognoscenti would immediately recognise. As is critical with all Ferraris of this era, '6135' retains its original engine and key mechanical components, and the numbers match the production records.
Benefiting from a most thorough mechanical, structural and cosmetic restoration in 2011/2012, since when only 200 miles have been covered, '6135' is said to be exceptional. When purchased, the Nero (black) leather interior was original, its good condition being an indication of the careful use the car had enjoyed for almost five decades. However, given the scope and thoroughness of the restoration, eventually it was decided to renew the seat leather and the front-seat foam to maintain the restoration's overall standards. Similarly, though original and serviceable, the carpets were renewed to ensure the restoration's high standards were maintained. The headlining is original and in excellent condition, as is the original instrument panel. The delicate interior door handles are unbroken and the original Nardi steering wheel has been beautifully refinished.
Although '6135' is in its fifth decade, the stainless steel exterior trim is undamaged and without the usual scratching or dents. Though undamaged, both front and rear bumpers were re-chromed to ensure consistency with the restoration's high standards, while all brightwork was lightly polished or plated and the Borrani wire wheels fully re-polished. All the window glass is in excellent condition but since original windscreen was lightly stone-chipped, a new replacement was sourced from Pilkington Glass.
'6135' has been completely repainted from bare metal, a process that included fully dismantling the windows, doors, bonnet and boot lid, and removing all the mechanical components, all of which is documented. As a result, the Verde Midio paintwork is of exceptional quality with a deep lustre. In the process of restoration a 'carte blanche' approach was taken to the bodywork and chassis, which was facilitated by the car's exceptionally original condition, making the process much easier than when work is necessitated by prior restoration or repairs. Indeed, careful sandblasting of the chassis and body revealed that it had never suffered any serious accident damage. Though the original chassis needed little attention, the opportunity was taken to completely renew the inner and outer sills on both sides, the panel gaps around the doors, bonnet and boot lid probably being better now than when manufactured.
The engine compartment has been lightly restored to be consistent with the Ferrari's age, not over-restored in an attempt to emulate the look of a 'new' car, with careful attention paid to renewing or refinishing all fasteners and fittings. All mechanical components have been checked and either renewed, overhauled, rebuilt or dismantled and cleaned as necessary. Highlights include a full engine rebuild with new balanced forged piston and all new valves, guides, chains and seals; specialist gearbox overhaul including the latest factory upgrade to 2nd gear synchromesh; complete overdrive overhaul; new clutch plate, balanced with the flywheel; full rear axle overhaul with new bearings and seals; new suspension joints and bushes; brakes fully rebuilt with eight new cylinders, rebuilt master cylinder, refaced callipers, rebuilt servos and new pads and hoses; front shock absorbers serviced; steering box rebuilt with 'worm and peg' from GTO Engineering; carburettors cleaned and rebuilt and fuel tank de-scaled; radiator re-cored and new hoses fitted; new electric fuel pump and mechanical pump rebuilt; full new stainless steel exhaust system, downpipes and hangers; and wheels fitted with new spinners and Pirelli Cinturato tyres. Bills and a detailed listing are available.
Requiring careful running-in for the first 1,000 miles, the engine is said to show excellent compression in all cylinders and to run very strongly. The steering and suspension are described as taut; the rear axle as quiet; the all-important gearbox synchromesh as excellent even when cold; and the twin cooling fans as working correctly, which is rare.
'6135' is said to be a delightful car to drive, inspiring a high level of confidence while handling traffic with ease, yet coming into its own when driven with gusto on long country roads or cruising effortlessly at virtually any speed.
With interest in front-engined V12 'Enzo-era' Ferraris from the 1960s never higher, the readily usable 330GT represents tremendous value when compared with its immediate Ferrari peers, many of which now have 'king's ransom' price tags. Offered with UK V5 registration document, current MoT/tax and all invoices for this most extensive of restorations, this 330GT would be a serious contender in the 'Pride of Ownership' category at Club events. Indeed, there can be few examples capable of regular use that are in better condition.