Part of a series of prototype cars, the Ferrari 330 P was a more powerful version of the insanely successful 275 P. Both models debuted in 1964, following the first year the carmaker had used these “P-series” cars. In 1963, the 250 P saw Ferrari implementing a new and experimental design – mid-engine, rear-wheel driver, and an open cockpit. Thanks to the immense success that model enjoyed, it was a no-brained for Ferrari to continue the tradition with two more models the following year. And the wins just kept stacking up.
Back in the 1960s, there was no time or money for Ferrari to get all sentimental about its racing cars. Even though the 250 P had been a highly successful racer, Ferrari cannibalized every single one of their chassis in creating the 330 P (as well as the 275 P). Like the 250, the Ferrari 330 P used a mid-engined, rear-wheel drive design.
That engine, however, was a 4.0-litre V12 that used a Colombo design rather than the Testa Rossa-style engine from the 250 and 275. More displacement meant more power, with the 330 P gaining a 50bhp advantage over the 275. Total reported output sat at 370bhp. Of course, it also meant more weight, resulting in some drivers preferring the 275 P due to its more agile nature.
More Races, More Wins
It didn’t take long for the Ferrari 330 P to prove itself on the track, even if it wasn’t quite as successful as its little brother; the 275 P. At 1964 the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 330 Ps took second and third place behind their 275 P stable mate. Later, at the Paris 1000 kilometres, the 330 P finally found itself on top of the medals stand, thanks to the expert driving of Hill and Bonnier.
More 330 P Cars to Come
The following year, Ferrari introduced a follow-up to the 330 P: the 330 P2. Perhaps a more distinct name should have been used, however, as this model was nearly completely new. Lower, lighter, and more powerful, the 330 P2 was a force to be reckoned with. And there would be two more “330 P” cars – the P3 and dominant P4 in the subsequent years.