1966-1967 Ferrari 330 P3 one of the most beautiful race cars in the world
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Despite Ford’s immense budget, Ferrari was reluctant to give up and the first tests with the P3’s replacement were conducted in December of the same year. Apart from some cosmetic changes the most important new part of the P4 was its engine. Still displacing 4 litres, the unit was derived from the 3 litre F1 engine. Main new feature of the engine was the new head, with 3 valves per cylinder, one exhaust and two intake. The Lucas fuel injection was moved from between the cylinder banks to between the camshafts. The engine was rated at 450 bhp at 8200 rpm.
Le Mans 1966 was a battle of the titans. Ford entered no less than eight of the seven-liter GT40 MK IIs. For the first time, three P3s were to be run, two of which were officially NART entries, but for all intents and purposes they were managed by SEFAC Ferrari, the factory team. In the race, Maranello’s squad of P3s paled with the industrial might of Detroit’s eight seven-liter Fords, as did their four-liter engines, nearly half as big.
After 560 test laps at Daytona in December 1966, the P4 was ready for action. Two of the three P3s, including 0844, were fitted with P4 style bodywork and a Weber carbureted engine. Two unfinished 330 P3s were built up to the same specifications and dubbed 412 P. All four cars were sold to privateers, to back up the factory P4 effort. New from Ford at the 1967 24 hours of LeMans was the Mk IV version of the GT40, featuring an American built aluminum-honeycomb monocoque and the familiar 7 litre V8.
Results in the opening races of the season were promising. Piloted by Mike Parkes and respectively John Surtees and Ludovico Scarfiotti the featured P3 won the 1000 km races at Monza and Spa. Luck changed for Ferrari as labor problems at the factory prevented proper preperations for the 24 Hours of LeMans race. Down on development time, none of the P3s made it past the 17th hour of the race. In contrast, Henry Ford had his LeMans victory with a stunning 1-2-3, a feat previously only displayed by ’those fast little red cars’.
Rule changes for 1968 like the new three-liter limit for sports cars left the 330 P3, 330 P4 and 412 P obsolete.