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Lot 221

1962 Ferrari 330 TRI/LM Testa Rossa Spyder

Sold for €6.875.000


THE 1962 LE MANS-WINNING, PHIL HILL/OLIVER GENDEBIEN

I VINCITORI DI LE MANS NEL 1962: PHIL HILL/OLIVIER GENDEBIEN



Specifications:

390 bhp 3,967 cc single overhead camshaft V-12 engine with six two-barrel Weber 42 DCN carburetors, 5-speed manual transmission, coil spring and wishbone independent front and rear suspension, 4-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase 2,420mm (95.3")



The first car in a series is good. But the last car is best. It is inevitably refined, improved and developed. Its weaknesses have been addressed and its strengths have been enhanced.



Technical sophistication is important, particularly if it represents a unique and successful configuration. A real, documented and important history makes it better, more so if it includes a roster of the best drivers. But most important of all is success. Commercial success is good, but success in competition is better and the overall winner of the 24 Heures du Mans is the best of all.



The expression of all these attributes is the 1962 Ferrari 330 TRI/LM, chassis number 0808, offered here. The only 4-litre Testa Rossa built, it also is the last Testa Rossa and the last front-engined sports racing car built by Ferrari. Driven by the incomparable endurance racing pairing of Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien, it is the last front-engined car to capture the overall victory at Le Mans, and the Hill/Gendebien team’s epic third Le Mans win. It is, in so many important and meaningful ways, unique.



The Ferrari Testa Rossa is the most famous series of sports-racing cars ever built. This is the ultimate Ferrari Testa Rossa. Its provenance is impeccably documented. It is incomparably and absolutely unique. Frequently driven by its current owner, it is “on the button” and ready to demonstrate its prowess on the track or in the most demanding, satisfying and exciting open road events.



The Testa Rossa and Le Mans



The Testa Rossa was already a racing success when it was introduced in late 1957 and it went on to a string of victories that are simply too numerous to describe in anything less than a book, and indeed, several have been written. But it was at Le Mans where the Testa Rossa established its reputation.



Starting at 4 p.m., Le Mans races through the shortest weekend night of the year, at a latitude where the Midnight Sun is not an abstraction. It frequently drenches its competitors with rain. Sunrise comes early, only to remind competitors that the race is barely half over. Scion of the original French Grand Prix, it is the last great road race on closed public roads. Scuderia Ferrari built its best Testa Rossas for Le Mans, winning in 1958 (Hill/Gendebien, s/n 0728), 1960 (Frere/Gendebien, TR 59/60 s/n 0772/0774), 1961 (Hill/Gendebien, TRI61 s/n 0794) and 1962 (Hill/Gendebien with 330 TRI/LM s/n 0808).



The Scuderia Ferrari Testa Rossas evolved in four distinct generations after the two 290 MM- and 500 TRC-based prototypes. While the prototype, S/N 0666 had a deDion rear suspension, the other 1958 cars had live rear axles, left-hand drive and were bodied by Scaglietti with pontoon fenders. They were followed by a series of TR59s, now with envelope bodies designed by Pininfarina and constructed by Fantuzzi. The TRI60 followed, with similar bodies but now with independent rear suspension, indicated by the “I” (“Independente”) in their designation. They were superseded by the TRI61s, again bodied by Fantuzzi but now with the twin nostril nose carried over from the Scuderia’s GP cars and taller, squared-off tails with the ducktail spoiler which Ferrari’s empirical testing had found successfully improved performance and stability. The fifth and ultimate iteration of the Scuderia Ferrari Testa Rossas was not a “generation” at all, it is the unique 330 TRI/LM offered here.



330 TRI/LM s/n 0808



The CSI and A.C.O. restructured rules and classifications for 1962, placing their emphasis upon GT cars and eliminating the 3-litre sports-racing class which the Testa Rossas had dominated. However, the displacement limit for GTs was increased to 4 litres and a new Experimental category was added with a 4-litre displacement limit. Ferrari’s current sports-racers were by now mid-engined and V6 or V8 powered but Ferrari decided to create the ultimate Testa Rossa for the Experimental category, the 330 TRI/LM.



It had been thought for years that Ferrari based the chassis of the 330 TRI/LM on the modified frame of 250 TRI60/61 s/n 0780, however records recently discovered at Ferrari make it clear this was not the case.



Invoicing from Ferrari’s frame supplier, Vaccari, reflecting the construction of a new frame specifically for the 4-litre 330 TRI/LM project show that 0808 was built on its own chassis, the same one still fitted, designed specifically to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the new rules – and to win LeMans. Not only built as the last Testa Rossa but also the last front-engined Ferrari sports racer of any kind, Ferrari’s concept for the 4-litre 330 TRI/LM and determination that it would be a serious challenger for the Experimental category and overall wins is clearly demonstrated by the decision to make the 330 TRI/LM a completely new, purpose-built car to carry the 4-litre engine.



The 4-litre Lampredi V-12 was some 4” longer than the 3-litre Colombo engines for which the Testa Rossa chassis was designed, so the new frame was made longer than the standard 3-litre Testa Rossa - but by only 6.3cm to retain the car’s balance. At the same time it was made extra strong to handle the additional power and torque of the bigger engine. The standard TRI61 5-speed gearbox was also augmented with stronger gears; the suspension was the all-independent, coil spring design that had proven its robust road holding in the TRI 60 and 61. Given the chassis number 0808, Ferrari installed an extensively modified Tipo 163 Superamerica V-12 that closely pressed the 4-litre maximum with 3,967cc. With special Testa Rossa-style free-breathing cylinder heads, big valves and six 2-barrel Weber 42 DCN carbs, the big V-12 was tuned to give 390 horsepower for the race, at least 50 more horsepower than the best of the earlier Scuderia Ferrari Testa Rossas had ever had.



In the 330 TRI/LM, Ferrari distilled all its experience with four years of building and racing Testa Rossas into its ultimate expression, built with one objective: to win the 24 Heures du Mans.



Fantuzzi created the longer body which Phil Hill described in his October 1982 Salon feature on this car in Road & Track magazine as, “… a combination of the old Testa Rossa shape, but with the double nostril nose and the cutoff tail-with-a-spoiler that were used on the mid-engine cars. Behind the cockpit was an airfoil; while ahead of us was a full wraparound windscreen that blended into side windows…. With the perspective of years its shape seems almost perfect.”



Continuing from Phil Hill’s Road & Track Salon article, “… Testa Rossas were the reason Ferrari was able to dominate sports car racing in much of the world, and produce some of the most beautiful sports racing cars of the postwar era. In 1962 … the TR lineage was about to end and the 330 [TRI/LM] became the last Testa Rossa. Seen from that view, the big car’s lines look even better, flowing yet tough, the graceful shape only interrupted when necessary by an air scoop, a bonnet handle or a leather strap … the rounded looks-good-to-the-eye shape of the fifties ending at the scientific cutoff Kamm tail of the sixties.”



Arriving late at the Le Mans Test Day, April 9-10, the 330 TRI/LM was tested only on the second day’s session. Hampered by rain, Willy Mairesse nevertheless turned in the day’s fastest lap at 4 minutes 10.8 seconds, a remarkable accomplishment for a high powered sports-racer on a rain-slicked track and one that hinted at the 330 TRI/LM’s success to come.



Further development followed in Maranello and the 330 TRI/LM was not entered in either of the intervening World Challenge races, the Targa Florio and Nürburgring 1000km. It arrived at Le Mans along with the other Scuderia Ferrari entries: 330 GTO/LM, Dino 268 SP and Dino 246 SP. They were assigned respectively to Michael Parkes/Lorenzo Bandini, Giancarlo Baghetti/Ludovico Scarfiotti and the Rodriguez brothers. The 330 TRI/LM was assigned to the proven masters of long distance racing and the Ferrari Testa Rossa, Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien.



At Le Mans 1962, the 330 TRI/LM’s competition came from the other Scuderia Ferrari entries, a trio of 4-litre Maserati Tipo 151 coupés and several Aston Martins, but in effect there was no competition. In practice, the 330 TRI/LM was a full 31/2 seconds faster than anything else, that being the 330 GTO/LM. The 330 TRI/LM’s success was expressed by Phil Hill in the Road & Track salon article:



“Although the 330 was something of a brute in concept, it was not a brutish car to drive. It was also a damn fast car and with it I was able to break Mike Hawthorn’s Le Mans lap record…. The independent two A-arm suspension front and rear made this a very decent-handling, well balanced car. The 330 [TRI/LM] suffered none of the earlier aerodynamic problems of some Ferraris, which caused them to lift so badly we lost much of the steering control at very high speeds. And it didn’t exhibit that schizophrenic nature of other Ferraris, when they would be nice on the tight, slow parts of the track and yet get nasty on the fast parts, like the section before the old White House turn. Without these strange nose or tail liftings the 330 was a nice, almost pleasant car to drive.



“We did have one major problem. Right from the first practice session the clutch would slip when we really got on the engine near the point of greatest torque. As we’d accelerate away from White House, holding the power at that critical rpm while turning the car (which was adding to the load on the engine), the slippage began. We knew the only answer was to treat the car as gently as possible and that the moment the revs would start to mount out of proportion to the degree that the car was accelerating, we would have to sense it and shift. That oftentimes meant we were a gear higher than we cared to be at certain places on the track, but we could live with that. The unspoken thought between us, however, was that the car just couldn’t last.”



Gendebien got away slowly at the start but used the 330 TRI/LM’s speed to advantage, slicing through almost the entire field to lead the opening lap. Through the Hill/Gendebien pair’s annual Le Mans duel with the ultra-fast Rodriguez brothers, they kept the 330 TRI/LM in the lead through virtually the entire race – despite nursing the clutch – and with the retirement of Pedro and Ricardo had a 4-lap lead, which increased to five full laps at the finish.



With this final victory for the Ferrari Testa Rossa, Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien became the first driving team to win three times at La Sarthe and Gendebien became the first 4-time winner, a stunning record compiled wholly in Ferrari Testa Rossas.



330 TRI/LM s/n 0808’s subsequent history



Following Le Mans, the 330 TRI/LM was sold to Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team. Its real buyer, however, was Don Rodriguez. Having seen the car’s success firsthand, he determined to put Pedro in it for the North American season. Pedro won the big car portion of the September 15-16 Double 500 at Bridgehampton in absolutely convincing style, lapping the entire field – which included Augie Pabst in Briggs Cunningham’s bellowing Maserati Tipo 151 coupé – by the race’s midpoint and proceeding to show off in ebullient Pedro Rodriguez style for the balance of the race. He then went on to the Canadian Sports Car GP at Mosport a week later, finishing 2nd. Driven by Masten Gregory at Nassau in December while Pedro was mourning the death of his brother at the Mexican GP, the 330 TRI/LM finished 4th in the Nassau Trophy.



At Sebring, March 23, 1963, Pedro Rodriguez was joined in the N.A.R.T.-entered 330 TRI/LM by 1962 F1 Driving Champion Graham Hill. Easily able to run with the mid-engined 250 P prototypes, the front-engined Testa Rossa was a contender for overall victory. At one point it built up a 3-lap lead over the pursuing P-cars, but a series of mechanical and electrical problems ate away at the lead while the drivers struggled with exhaust fumes from a split exhaust manifold. Nevertheless, Hill and Rodriguez made the best of a series of tribulations, only yielding second to the Mairesse/Vaccarelli/Bandini Ferrari 250 P in the penultimate hour and bringing the big Testa Rossa home in a solid third place, only two laps behind the winning Surtees/Scarfiotti 250 P.



N.A.R.T. returned to Le Mans with the 330 TRI/LM in 1963, its power now complemented by wider tires, and once again it proved it had the measure of the Scuderia Ferrari 250 Ps and the rumbling 5-litre Maserati Tipo 151 coupés. The 330 TRI/LM ran securely in third until after midnight, when the engine threw a connecting rod in the top speed section between Mulsanne and Indianapolis with Roger Penske at the wheel, creating an instant oil slick for the Testa Rossa’s wide rear tires. It crashed, and while Penske was only slightly injured, the same could not be said for the 330 TRI/LM.



Its racing career, and with it the racing history of front-engined sports-racing cars and the legendary Ferrari Testa Rossa, ended here.



Subsequent History



The damaged 0808, was sent back to Ferrari for repairs where it was rebodied, first as a spider and later with a unique coupé body by Fantuzzi. Shipped back to the United States, in 1965 it was sold by Chinetti to Hisashi Okada, a businessman based in New York City. Okada drove this 4-litre Le Mans-winning 330 TRI/LM for nine years on the streets of New York and its environs before succumbing in 1974 to the entreaties of Stanley Nowak on behalf of Pierre Bardinon and selling it for, among other things, a Ferrari 250LM (s/n 5845) which he similarly drove in and out of New York City until 1993.



Upon acquiring 0808, Pierre Bardinon immediately commenced a complete restoration to its 1962 Le Mans configuration including commissioning the original coachbuilder, Fantuzzi, to re-create its work of 1962. Despite the engine failure at Le Mans in 1963, the 330 TRI/LM still has its original engine. Stamped 0808 with numero interno 46SA, this has been confirmed as the original engine by Ferrari. Completed to a very high standard under the supervision of the experienced staff at Pierre Bardinon’s Mas du Clos collection, it took its place among a peerless collection of some of the world’s finest Ferraris.



Perhaps the best demonstration of the continuing allure and potency of this unique, final Testa Rossa came several years ago when 0808 and Phil Hill were reunited at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Nearly forty years after setting the lap record and winning Le Mans by five laps, Hill and the 330 TRI/LM teamed up again on the Goodwood hill climb course, trouncing such later and competently driven opposition as David Piper’s 330 P4 and the Chaparrals.



Since being acquired in 2002 by the present owner, 0808 has led an active life as part of a small, exclusive collection of the finest and most important sports and sports-racing cars.



Unlike most cars of this importance, history and value, it has been frequently driven. Its first outing was the 2003 Colorado Grand where it performed flawlessly. In 2004, it was appropriately the centerpiece of the display of significant Ferrari race cars at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. In 2006, it carried its owner on a flawless and satisfying Copper State 1000 until suffering a tire puncture three miles from the finish (a flawless Copper State 997?)



In the meantime, it has even been used frequently for commuting in city traffic, recalling Hisashi Okada’s many years commuting in New York and making 0808 surely the only Le Mans winning Ferrari to serve two owners as a commuter car.



Throughout its recent history of regular use and enjoyment it has been assiduously maintained regularly by the same experienced mechanic to be always ready for instant use. Recently it had a complete mechanical refurbishing at Wayne Obry’s Motion Products with the explicit charge that 0808 receive everything mechanically that it needed – or wanted – to be ready for the 2007 Copperstate 1000. That work was completed in mid-March of 2007 and it has been driven only on shakedown runs since.



Some of the finest and most significant sports and sports-racing cars in the world have passed through the current owner’s hands in recent years. He has used each of them regularly, frequently and enthusiastically in his effort to experience their unique, individual physical and emotional sensations. He is effusive in his praise for the Ferrari 330 TRI/LM, describing it as “the best driving experience I’ve ever had…. It is extremely drivable, yet very, very fast.”



“I don’t collect cars, I use them. This particular car is the all-round best driving experience I have ever had. Speed, power, open air, sound and exclusivity with virtually unmatched race history, it has everything.”



Summary



Ferrari 330 TRI/LM s/n 0808 is the last front-engined Ferrari sports-racer, the highest development of the most famous series of racing cars in history and by far the fastest. By Phil Hill’s own evaluation, the 330 TRI/LM is a well-balanced and predictable race car under the most demanding conditions. It is absolutely unique, historic, and the last front-engined car to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Repeatedly proven not only at Le Mans and Sebring but also in daily driving and on open road historic events, it is the final expression of the golden age of front-engined sports-racers, the ultimate Ferrari Testa Rossa.



Carefully and sympathetically restored to its 1962 Le Mans-winning configuration, bodied by Fantuzzi who created its original coachwork, powered by its original engine and capable of showing its heels to the best mid-engined sports-racers of the late sixties, it is quite simply the most important Ferrari ever offered for public sale.



ITALIANTEXT



specifiche:

390 CV, 3967 cc di cilindrata, monoalbero a camme in testa, motore 12 cilindri a V con sei carburatori Weber 42 DCN a doppio corpo, trasmissione manuale a 5 velocità, sospensione anteriore e posteriore indipendente con molla a spirale piana e braccio trasversale, freni a disco sulle 4 ruote. Passo 2420 mm (95.3")



La prima automobile di una serie è buon risultato. Ma l’ultima è ancora migliore. È ovviamente più rifinita e all’avanguardia. I suoi punti deboli sono stati eliminati e quelli di forza migliorati.



Poter vantare una sofisticatezza tecnica è determinante per un’automobile, soprattutto se è ciò che la rende unica ed è fonte del suo successo. Ma ancora di più lo è poter avere una storia prestigiosa, reale e documentata, costellata dai nomi dei migliori piloti. Tuttavia, è il successo a far la differenza. Il successo commerciale ma soprattutto quello riscosso nelle competizioni. Il migliore di tutti è sempre il vincitore assoluto della 24 ore di Le Mans.



L’espressione di tutto questo è la Ferrari 330 TRI/LM del 1962, numero di telaio 0808, presentata in questo articolo. È l’unica Testa Rossa con motore da 4 litri, l’ultima Testa Rossa e l’ultima automobile da corsa sportiva con motore anteriore prodotta dalla Ferrari. Guidata dalla coppia di piloti più resistente costituita da Phil Hill e Olivier Gendebien, la 330 TRI è l’ultima automobile con motore anteriore ad aver riscosso più vittorie nelle competizioni a Le Mans, tra cui le tre vittorie epiche con i piloti Hill e Gendebien. È unica sotto molteplici e significativi aspetti.



La Ferrari Testa Rossa è la più famosa serie di automobili sportive da corsa mai costruita. La 330 TRI è l’ultimo modello della serie. Le sue origini sono documentate nei minimi dettagli. Non ha eguali, è assolutamente unica. Spesso guidata dai suoi proprietari, la Testa Rossa è sempre pronta a dimostrare il suo valore su pista o negli eventi su strada più ardui, appaganti ed eccitanti.



La Testa Rossa e Le Mans



La Testa Rossa è stata subito un successo verso la fine del 1957, anno in cui fu introdotta. In seguito, ha riscosso così tante vittorie che soltanto un libro potrebbe essere sufficiente per descriverle. E infatti, ne sono stati scritti molti. Ma è a Le Mans che la Testa Rossa costruisce la sua reputazione.



Le competizioni di Le Mans iniziano alle 4 del pomeriggio, protraendosi nelle weekend con la notte più corta dell’anno, ad una latitudine in cui il sole di mezzanotte è una fantasia. Spesso la pioggia scende a bagnare i piloti in gara. Il sole sorge presto per ricordare loro che la corsa è solo a metà. Discendente del Grand Premio di Francia, la 24 ore di Le Mans è l’ultima grande competizione su strade pubbliche chiuse al traffico. La Scuderia Ferrari ha costruito le sue migliori Testa Rossa proprio per Le Mans, vincendo nel 1958 (Hill/Gendebien, s/n 0728), nel 1960 (Frere/Gendebien, TR 59/60 s/n 0772/0774), nel 1961 (Hill/Gendebien, TRI61 s/n 0794) e nel 1962 (Hill/Gendebien 330 TRI/LM s/n 0808).

Dopo i due prototipi basati sulla 290 MM e la 500 TRC, la Testa Rossa della Scuderia Ferrari si è evoluta attraverso quattro distinte generazioni. Mentre il prototipo con telaio 0666 era dotato di sospensioni posteriori de inserisci spazio Dion, le automobili del 1958 erano caratterizzate da assali posteriori, guida a sinistra e carrozzeria Scaglietti con parafanghi “a pontone”. Ad esse seguirono una serie di TR59 con carrozzerie avviluppate progettate da Pininfarina e realizzate da Fantuzzi. Seguirono le TRI60, con carrozzeria simile ma dotate, come indicato dalla “I” (“Independente”) nella loro denominazione, di sospensioni posteriori indipendenti. Le TRI60 furono poi rimpiazzate dalle TRI61, con carrozzeria ancora una volta realizzata da Fantuzzi ma con il frontale a doppia griglia delle GP della Scuderia, code più alte e squadrate con spoiler a becco d’anatra che secondo i test empirici della Ferrari miglioravano le prestazioni e la stabilità. La quinta ed ultima tappa dell’evoluzione della Testa Rossa della Scuderia Ferrari non è stata una “generazione”, bensì un unico modello: la 330 TRI/LM, qui presentata.



330 TRI/LM s/n 0808



Nel 1962 il CSI e l’A.C.O. apportarono delle modifiche ai regolamenti e alle classificazioni concentrandosi soprattutto sulle GT ed eliminando le automobili da corsa sportive con cilindrata di 3 litri, categoria dominata principalmente dalle Testa Rossa. Tuttavia, l’innalzamento del limite di cilindrata a 4 litri per le GT, portò all’introduzione di una nuova categoria Sperimentale, proprio con motore da 4 litri. Fino ad allora le automobili da corsa della Ferrari erano di media cilindrata e disponevano di motori con 6 o 8 cilindri a V, ma la Scuderia decise di creare l’ultima Testa Rossa appositamente per la categoria Sperimentale, la 330 TRI/LM.



Alcuni documenti recentemente scoperti alla Ferrari smentiscono la convinzione diffusa per anni che il telaio della 330 TRI/LM fosse il risultato delle modifiche apportate a quello della 250 TRI60/61, telaio 0780.



Dalla fatturazione di Vaccari, fornitore di telai della Ferrari, emerge la costruzione di un nuovo telaio appositamente per il progetto della 330 TRI/LM da 4 litri. Il telaio 0808 è stato progettato e costruito ex nuovo appositamente per sfruttare l’opportunità offerta dal nuovo regolamento e per vincere a Le Mans. La decisione di progettare una 330 TRI/LM completamente nuova, appositamente per montare un motore da 4 litri e le vittorie riportate, dimostrano chiaramente come questo modello, costruito per essere non solo l’ultima Testa Rossa, ma anche l’ultima automobile da corsa sportiva della Ferrari, sia stato concepito dalla determinazione della Ferrari di creare una vettura all’altezza di competere nella categoria Sperimentale.



Il V12 Lampredi da 4 litri era 4” più lungo dei motori Colombo 3 litri per i quali era stato progettato il telaio della Testa Rossa. Il nuovo telaio venne allungato rispetto a quello della Testa Rossa 3 litri standard, ma soltanto di 6,3 inserire spazio prima di cm , al fine di poter mantenere il bilanciamento della vettura. Al tempo stesso è stato rinforzato notevolmente per poter far fronte alla potenza e alla coppia superiori del motore più grande. Il cambio a 5 velocità standard sulle TRI61 è stato rafforzato con ingranaggi più resistenti; le sospensioni erano indipendenti, con lo stesso design a molla a spirale piana che nelle TRI 60 e 61 aveva dimostrato una buona tenuta di strada. Il motore della 330 TRI si presentava come una creazione della Ferrari ispirata al Tipo 163 Superamerica V12 modificato, in cui il limite massimo dei 4 litri era compresso in 3.967 cc. Con speciali teste dei cilindri stile Testa Rossa, grandi valvole e 6 carburatori Weber 42 DCN a doppio corpo, il 12 cilindri a V è stato potenziato fino a 390 cv per la corsa, almeno 50 cv in più rispetto alle prime tra le migliori Testa Rossa mai create dalla Con la 330 TRI/LM, Ferrari ha fatto confluire in un’unica espressione l’esperienza di 4 anni di costruzione e corse delle Testa Rossa, con un unico obiettivo: vincere la 24 ore di Le Mans.



Fantuzzi creò la carrozzeria più lunga che Phil Hill, in occasione del Salone dedicato a questa macchina nell’ottobre 1982, descrisse nella rivista Road & Track come “… una combinazione della forma delle vecchie Testa Rossa, ma con un frontale a doppia griglia e una coda tronca con lo stesso spoiler un tempo utilizzato nelle vetture di media cilindrata. Dietro al cockpit presentava un profilo aerodinamico; mentre di fronte a noi presentava un parabrezza avvolgente che sfumava nei finestrini laterali…. Con l’esperienza maturata negli anni, la sua forma sembra pressoché perfetta".



Continuando con l’articolo di Phil Hill pubblicato nella rivista Road & Track, “… grazie alle Testa Rossa, Ferrari ha dominato lo scenario delle corse sportive quasi in tutto il mondo e ha prodotto alcune delle più belle automobili da corsa sportive dell’era post-bellica. Nel 1962 … la serie TR era prossima alla sua conclusione e la 330 [TRI/LM] divenne l’ultima Testa Rossa. Da questo punto di vista, le linee di questa grande macchina sembrano ancora migliori, la forma aggraziata è interrotta soltanto da una presa d’aria dinamica, una maniglia del cofano o una cinghia di pelle … la piacevole forma rotondeggiante degli anni cinquanta termina con la coda tronca di Kamm degli anni sessanta”.



Arrivata in ritardo ai giorni di test a Le Mans, il 9-10 aprile, la 330 TRI/LM venne messa alla prova soltanto nella sessione del secondo giorno. Nonostante la pioggia, con 4 minuti e 10,8 secondi Willy Mairesse segnò il miglior record su pista del giorno, un risultato straordinario per uno dei migliori piloti sportivi su un percorso scivoloso e un primo accenno al futuro successo della 330 TRI/LM.



In seguito ad ulteriori sviluppi implementati a Maranello, la 330 TRI/LM non fu ammessa a due delle gare automobilistiche mondiali, la Targa Florio e la 1000 km di Nürburgring. Arrivò quindi a Le Mans insieme ad altre vetture della Scuderia Ferrari: 330 GTO/LM, Dino 268 SP e Dino 246 SP, pilotate rispettivamente da Michael Parkes/Lorenzo Bandini, Giancarlo Baghetti/Ludovico Scarfiotti e dai fratelli Rodriguez. La 330 TRI/LM venne assegnata agli indiscutibili maestri delle corse a lunga distanza e della Ferrari Testa Rossa, Phil Hill e Olivier Gendebien.



A Le Mans nel 1962 la 330 TRI/LM gareggiava contro le altre vetture della Scuderia Ferrari, tre Maserati 4 litri Tipo 151 coupé e diverse Aston Martins, ma in effetti non c’era nessuna competizione. In realtà la 330 TRI/LM era più veloce di qualsiasi altra vettura di 31/2 secondi, anche della 330 GTO/LM. Il successo della 330 TRI/LM venne così raccontato da Phil Hill nella rivista Road & Track:



“Nonostante il concetto brutale alla base della creazione della 330 TRI, questa Testa Rossa non era un’automobile aggressiva da guidare. Era maledettamente veloce e al suo volante sono riuscito a superare il record di Mike Hawthorn a Le Mans…. Le sospensioni anteriori e posteriori indipendenti con doppio braccio ad A, hanno dotato questa vettura di buona maneggevolezza e bilanciamento. La 330 [TRI/LM] non ha avuto gli stessi problemi aerodinamici delle prime Ferrari, che conferivano un’elevazione così irregolare da farci perdere il controllo del volante alle alte velocità. La 330 non mostra nemmeno quella natura un po’ schizofrenica delle altre Ferrari, piacevoli sui tratti più stretti e lenti di un percorso e fastidiose nei tratti più veloci, come nella sessione prima della White House. Senza quegli strani ritocchi alla punta e alla coda la 330 era di bell’aspetto e piacevole da guidare.



“Avevamo un problema più grave. Sin dalla prima sessione pratica la frizione scivolava ogni volta che ci si avvicinava al momento di massima coppia. Ogni volta che acceleravamo passata la White House, mantenendo costante la potenza nei giri più critici in curva (il che significava aggiungere peso al motore), la frizione iniziava a scivolare. Sapevamo che c’era solo una soluzione, trattare la vettura con massima gentilezza e riconoscere il momento in cui i giri iniziavano ad aumentare in modo così sproporzionato da far accelerare la vettura e cambiare marcia. Spesso ciò significava una marcia più alta rispetto a quella desiderata in certi tratti del percorso, ma la situazione era gestibile. Tuttavia, senza ammetterlo apertamente, tutti pensavamo che la macchina non potesse durare a lungo in quelle condizioni.”



Gendebien iniziò lentamente, ma poi sfruttò la velocità della 330 TRI/LM per portarsi in vantaggio, aprirsi un varco attraverso l’intero campo ed arrivare in testa al giro. Durante il duello che avveniva ogni anno a Le Mans con i superveloci fratelli Rodriguez, la coppia Hill/Gendebien tenne la 330 TRI/LM in testa per quasi l’intera durata della gara – sempre tenendo a bada la frizione – e con il ritiro di Pedro e Ricardo, rimasero in testa per 4 giri, completando poi anche il quinto.



Con questa vittoria finale per la Ferrari Testa Rossa, Phil Hill e Olivier Gendebien divennero la prima coppia di piloti a vincere tre volte a La Sarthe e Gendebien fu il primo pilota a riportare quattro vittorie, un record sorprendente nella storia delle Testa Rossa.



La 330 TRI LM s/n 0808 dopo Le Mans



Dopo Le Mans, la 330 TRI/LM venne venduta alla North American Racing Team di Luigi Chinetti. Di fatto era stata comprata da Don Rodriguez, il quale, avendo visto in prima persona il successo della vettura, la fece pilotare da Pedro per la stagione del North America. Il 15-16 settembre Pedro vinse la competizione delle grandi automobili al Doppio 500 a Bridgehampton con uno stile impeccabile, doppiando tutti i gareggianti – tra cui Augie Pabst alla guida della ruggente Maserati Tipo 151 coupé di Briggs Cunningham – nel bel mezzo della gara e proseguendo trionfante nel suo stile esuberante durante il resto della corsa. Una settimana dopo partecipò al Canadian Sports Car GP a Mosport e si classificò secondo. A dicembre, mentre Pedro piangeva la morte del fratello avvenuta durante GP del Messico, la 330 TRI/LM pilotata da Masten a Nassau arrivò quarta al Nassau Trophy.

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Alexander Weaver

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