P3 chassis number 0844 was made in 1966 and is the first of only three. Ferrari first won Le Mans in 1949. Between 1960 and 1965 Ferrari totally dominated the 24-hour race. Ford had its revenge with wins in 1966/7/8/9 with the 7.0-litre GT40s. After doing battle with Ford, Ferrari had waves of Porsche 917s coming at them. Although Ferrari went on to have countless ‘normal’ race wins, the red cars never won Le Mans again. One of this P3’s race wins was at Spa-Francorchamps in the 1966 Spa 1000Km.
Fitted with a four litre engine, the 330 P proved both quicker and more reliable than the little tested Ford GT.
Sleeker than ever, the P3 featured fiberglass doors. It was the first time the Maranello based team favoured the lightweight material over the aluminum used on the previous prototypes. The clutch was relocated from right behind the gearbox to between the gearbox and engine. The gearbox was a new ZF five speed unit. Lovely looking, but now getting outdated, the six Weber carburetors found on the 330 P2 were replaced by a Lucas fuel injection system on the P3’s engine. The engine provided slightly more power, but the wider track added some weight, giving the P3 a similar power to weight ratio as the P2. Three P3s were constructed with the second one (s/n 0844) featured here.
The solitary seat is positioned almost in the centre of the car. Typically, the P3 was right-hand drive since this was an advantage on right-hand race circuits and most circuits are clockwise. With such a low roof, the sitting position is reclined giving a large surface area for support and negating the need for padding. A Willans six-point harness clamps you to the car. The tiny Racetech steering wheel removes for easy entry as there is a right-hand gearlever to negotiate. The gearlever has sliding fingers to prevent gate-jumping and a reverse lock-out. First gear is on a dog-leg, left and back. Pedals are offset to the left for wheel arch intrusion. There is also a dead pedal for the left foot. Straight ahead, the tacho red-lines at 7750rpm, flanked by just two smaller instruments for water temp and oil pressure. Ignition and starter button are on the right. On the centre console there are two further instruments for oil temp and amps plus a big oil light and an electric kill-switch.