In January 1964 at the annual Ferrari pre-season competition press conference, the company unveiled the 330 GT 2+2. It was the replacement for the 250 GTE 2+2 model, which had ended its production run with a series of one hundred models known as the 330 America: visually identical to the 250 GTE, but fitted with a 4-liter engine. It was the first Ferrari model to exceed 1,000 units.
As with its predecessor, the body design of the 330 GT 2+2 was from the pen of Pininfarina. It was very different, however, featuring a canted twin headlight arrangement, with a 7 in diameter outer lens and a 5 in diameter inner, echoing the layout shown on the 400 Superamerica Superfast IV. This gave the frontal aspect a slightly American look, as dual headlights were very much in vogue there.
The general body lines became smoother and rounder, apart from the angular headlight surround pods, featuring a bulbous, rounded tail providing a more voluminous boot, with horizontal rectangular one-piece rear light assemblies that curved around the edges of the wings. The 50 mm increase in wheel base over its predecessor, together with a redesigned interior, gave rear seat passengers additional leg and head room, without any sacrifice to that of the front seats.
It was built on a 2650 mm wheel base chassis and was powered by a 4-litre V12 unit that delivered 300 bhp. The engine was based on the original Colombo ’short’ block design, but was slightly longer with increased bore centres to provide adequate waterways with the larger diameter cylinder bores. The difference in engine type number referred to the number of mounting points: 209 had four, while 209/66 had two, the latter arrangement being used from chassis 08729.
The engine was coupled to a 4-speed, all synchromesh gearbox, with an electronically operated overdrive fifth gear on most Series I cars, and a 5-speed, all synchromesh gearbox on late Series I, and all Series II cars, and a final drive through a propeller shaft to a rigid rear axle. With the change from the 4- to 5-speed gearbox, the clutch actuation system went from mechanical to hydraulic operation.
The Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 was updated during 1965, the biggest noticeable change being a move to a single headlight per side. The front fender vents were changed, too, and a five-speed gearbox replaced the four-speed. Alloy disc wheels became standard, the Borrani wires optional.