1967 Ferrari 330 P4

1967 Ferrari 330 P4

1967 Ferrari 330 P4

For the first time in 38 years one of the rarest and most successful Ferrari sports cars, the exceptional, race-bred 1967 Ferrari 330 P4, will be available for sale when RM Auctions, in association with Sotheby’s, lift the gavel on chassis number 0858 at the highly anticipated Ferrari Leggenda e Passione event returns to Ferrari’s home in Maranello next month (17 May 2009).

Regarded as one of the greatest sports-racing prototypes ever designed by Ferrari, the fiercely competitive 330 P4 is one of only three P4s ever built. This example has a distinguished racing pedigree including a win at the 1000-kilometre Trofeo Filippo Caracciolo in Monza and a third overall finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1967.

The car has been driven by such legendary names as Lorenzo Bandini and Willy Mairesse, while Jackie Stewart and Chris Amon famously took the car to second place in the British BOAC International 500 at Brands Hatch, clinching the World Championship for Ferrari in the process. Significantly, its offering at the May 17 event marks the first time it has come to market in 38 years.

“With only three original P4s ever built, to say this car is rare is an understatement,” says Max Girardo, Managing Director of RM Europe. “There is tremendous excitement surrounding 0858’s appearance at our Maranello auction. Its offering represents a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity to acquire one of the most important race cars ever created and a highly desirable piece of Scuderia Ferrari racing history. The addition of this historic car to the auction builds on the already mounting anticipation for the event, which is now just under a month away,” adds Girardo.

Chassis 0858 has a significant provenance with a well-documented international racing career spanning a number of different continents from Australia to South Africa and Europe. For the past 38 years it has been under the care of its current owner, during which it has only be shown at very few exclusive events in the United States, including an appearance at the Rolex Monterey Historic automobile races in 1995 and again in 2003.

The legendary 1967 Ferrari 330 P4 will join an unprecedented selection of important road and racing Ferraris when RM Auctions, in association with Sotheby’s, present Ferrari Leggenda e Passione, May 17 in Maranello, Italy. Now in its third year, the single-day event is the only auction dedicated to the Ferrari marque, held within the factory grounds and endorsed by the Ferrari factory. With 34 historic Ferraris all certified by Ferrari Classiche, and three Maseratis set to cross the block, this year’s historic line-up eclipses RM’s previous two record-breaking Maranello collections.

The Ferrari 330 P4 in detail

The 330 P4 is quite simply one of the greatest sports racing prototypes ever designed by Ferrari. Beginning in 1962, Ferrari won the prototype class of the world sports car championship for five of the first six years, running through 1967. The cars carrying the Cavallino Rampante were obviously the ones to beat. Aggressive, sleek, aerodynamic and achingly beautiful, the P4 was the final iteration of this particular prototype series for Ferrari, substantially revised from its predecessor with a new reinforced engine block and three-valve cylinder heads. The ZF gearbox had been a particular weakness of the P3 and it was replaced by a new unit designed and built by Ferrari. The men from Maranello had their sights set on the championship, ready to take on the competition in the world’s greatest endurance races.

Only three 330 P4s were built, chassis numbers 0856, 0858 and 0860. In addition, Ferrari 330 P3 0846 was updated to P4 specifications. These four cars made up the factory team in 1967. In the first race of the season two of the factory entries finished first and second, with an older 330 P3/4 (officially designated 412) entered by Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team (N.A.R.T.) in third. The photo of the three cars in formation crossing the finish line at the end of the race at Daytona was an epic scene that is remembered fondly by tifosi the world over. The official Ferrari team skipped Sebring and entered two P4s at Monza for the 1000-kilometre Trofeo Filippo Caracciolo (25 April 1967), with 0858 wearing race number 3, driven by Lorenzo Bandini and Chris Amon. With practice laps only three-tenths of a second apart, Bandini in the Ferrari and Mike Spence in his Chaparral were racing wheel to wheel as the race began.

Ultimately, Spence retired early leaving the Ferraris to commandeer the rest of the race. Bandini took the lead with Scarfiotti in second, Rodriguez in third for N.A.R.T. and Vaccarella in the Filipinetti car in fourth. Ferrari’s four-litre prototypes now dominated the first four positions. A failed attempt by Rodriguez at overtaking the second-place works Ferrari resulted in his retirement. In the end, co-drivers Bandini and Amon came in first driving 0858, the car offered here, on Ferrari’s home circuit, to the delight of the Italian racing fans.

Sadly, Bandini died just two weeks later as his Grand Prix car overturned in the harbour chicane at Monaco. In June 1967, 0858 was taken to France for the 24 Hours of Le Mans as one of the factory-entered four-litre 330 P4s. After just two hours of racing, three factory Ferrari P4s, including 0858 now being driven by Willy Mairesse and Jean Beurlys, were breathing down the necks of a Chaparral and two Fords. As they raced into the night, speeding down the treacherous Mulsanne straight at over 200 mph, the P4s continued running very consistently, moving up to second, third and fourth positions. Charging flat out through the morning, the stalwart Ferraris ultimately finished an excellent second with Chassis 0858, which had had a fantastic race, crossing the line after a gruelling 24 hours, in third.

Only one race remained to determine the 1967 championship – the British BOAC International 500 to be held at Brands Hatch. For this famous British circuit in the Kent countryside, Ferrari made some improvements to 0858 and lightened the P4 bodywork by removing the roof and making it into a spider – a modification that saved some 40 kg. The starting grid was a who’s who of sports racing competition, both for drivers and constructors, with the great Jackie Stewart joining Chris Amon to drive chassis 0858. In its post-race report, Motor Sport stated, “A lot of people were hard-pressed to remember the last time we had such a fine collection of long-distance racing machinery gathered together in this country.”

The race started at noon on Sunday under grey skies. John Surtees took an initial lead before Hawkins replaced him in the third of the P4s. After the first hour, Stewart with 0858 had Spence’s Chaparral in his sights. Scarfiotti was behind him in another P4, followed by the Swiss Jo Siffert in the Porsche 908. With regular driver changes and pit stops, the running order was continually evolving over the ensuing four hours. In the final hour, Amon was in second place with 0858. With just ten minutes to go, Stewart got behind the wheel again, held the position and finished the race, securing the Manufacturers’ Championship for Ferrari, beating out Porsche. Motor Sport’s report declared, “It had been as fine a long-distance race as we have seen this season and certainly the best in England for many a year.”

After the 1967 season the international regulations were changed and there was no longer a place for the large displacement sports prototypes. Ferrari brought two of the 330 P4s (chassis 0858, the car offered here, and chassis 0860) back to the factory and converted them for use in the North American Can-Am series – an event long awaited by Ferrari’s loyal and passionate US customer base. The formula for a Can-Am car was straightforward: ultra-light body shell and lots of power. The P4s were modified as such in Maranello with notable features including a smooth front-end devoid of any lights, a more stylised rear spoiler and two air intakes curving outward to the fuel injection trumpets.

The heart of the car, however, remained pure P4. 0858’s engine was enlarged to a slightly more muscular 4.2-litres by increasing its bore to 79 mm. Greater compression resulted in an increase in power as well. Both Ferraris were designated as 350 Can-Ams. Entered by William Harrah’s Modern Classic Motors and liveried with longitudinal red and white racing stripes, 0858 ran in three races late in the 1967 season – the Monterey Grand Prix at Laguna Seca, the Riverside Grand Prix and the Stardust Grand Prix in Las Vegas, driven twice by Amon and finally by the young factory driver Jonathan Williams of Britain.

In 1968 chassis 0858 was sold to David McKay’s Scuderia Veloce in Australia and was immediately entered in its only Australian race at Surfers Paradise. Paul Hawkins secured its purchase from Australia and had it shipped immediately to South Africa for the Springbok Series. The 1968 season in South Africa proved to be extremely rewarding for 0858 with five outright victories and two second-place and one third-place finish.

In early 1969 chassis 0858 then made a brief reappearance in Europe where twice it finished first overall but did not finish at Dijon in May because of a flat tyre. 0858 was then sold through David Piper to Alistair Walker who sent it back to South Africa where it was entered in such prestigious events as the 9 Hours of Kyalami, Cape Town 3 Hours and the Laurenço Marques 3 Hours in Mozambique. Piper then bought the car back from Walker in 1971 before its current owner acquired 0858 from Piper. Since its purchase, the owner has treasured this important works Ferrari for 38 years, having only shown it at very few exclusive events in the United States. Chassis 0858 is one of just three original 330 P4s and its distinguished racing career includes a third overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1967 and a win in the 1000-kilometre race at Monza.

Ferrari P4s are considered by many to be the ultimate and most breathtakingly beautiful of all racing prototypes and this car, with its continuous and nearly four decade-long ownership, has never been offered on the market before. It is a very important and highly desirable part of Scuderia Ferrari racing history, presented today with its original Can-Am bodywork and mechanicals, ready to thrill its new owner.

Technical Details

Est. 480 bhp at 8,500 rpm, 4,176 cc dual overhead cam 60? Type 237 V-12 engine, Lucas indirect fuel injection, five-speed plus reverse manual gearbox, independent front and rear suspension via double wishbones, coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers, four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,400 mm (94.5 in).

© 2009 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed