To those who aren’t familiar with the Ferrari 330 TR, it was a one-off racing model built in 1962 with one goal in mind: to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ferrari scavenged parts and pieces from previous racers in order to qualify the car for a new, more powerful GT class. Their efforts would pay off.
The Build-Up to the 330 TR
The car that would become the Ferrari 330 TR started life as an ill-fated 250 TRI. During the practice session for its first race at Targa Florio, a tyre blew out while Cliff Allison was at the wheel. The ensuing wreck badly damaged the car. After a factory rebuild, the car would go on to race, crash, be rebuilt, and then race again. Ferrari decided to shake things up yet again in 1962 by entering the car into the new experimental GT class. This class now allowed for 4-litre engines, so a Lampredi Tipo 163 V12 was installed. Thanks to some tweaking and tuning, this 4-litre engine developed 390 bhp, while a longer frame was required to accommodate the larger engine.
Off to the Races
With the dynamic duo of Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien at the wheel, the Ferrari 330 TR got off to an excellent start at Le Mans: During a practice session, the car managed to break Mike Hawthorn’s lap record. The drivers were pleasantly surprised to find that the 330 TR was not plagued by the high-speed jitters of some previous Ferraris, a trait that no doubt helped the car win the race with an incredible 5-lap advantage over the second-place finisher. Because the car was ineligible to compete in any other European races that year, the 300 TR was shipped over to Luigi Chinetti for use in his North American Racing Team (NART). It would see action at various venues such as the 12 Hour of Sebring before trying its hand at Le Mans once again in 1963. Unfortunately, the car broke down and crashed out of that race.
After its second Le Mans race, the car would never race again. Evidently Ferrari decided this car had seen enough action, finally. Various private owners have driven and modified the car since that time, with the car reportedly being no stranger to the crowded streets of New York.