Join Date: Aug 2007
Ferrari Life Posts: 1,130
330 GTC driving impressions
Thanks to the generosity of JazzyO, yesterday I was able to spend wonderful quality time behind the wheel of his magnificent 330 GTC. I will try to convey the sensations of driving the dark blue beauty. This is the second time JazzyO has entrusted me behind the wheel of this magnificent machine, an honour and a privilege. The first time was driving in the Alps during FLED 2.
Into the driver's seat and the sense of spacious is very good thanks to the airy greenhouse and how small this car is. One imagines a front engined V12 Ferrari to be big brute of a car but the GTC is comfortingly compact. Small on the outside, nice roomy cabin on the inside. My 6 4" frame fitted comfortably and I did not even need to adjust the seat all the way back. Lots of headroom. Narrow but not cramped interior. Feels as if I could touch the rearmost corners of the car without leaving the driver's seat. The long bonnet curves down between the headlights giving a lovely framed view of the road ahead. Pedals close together, glad I am wearing narrow sports shoes. With adjustment to pedal heights these close pedals would be perfect for heel-and toeing.
Into the dogleg first and the lever moves with easy oiled precision, clutch meatier than most moderns but lighter than my recollections of the 365 GT 2+2. Impressively comfortable ride thanks to comfortable seats and high profile tyres. Patchy road dispatched in smooth silence on the ride front. Ever present growl of the V12. A sort of meshing smoothness at an easy cruise at 3000rpm.
Gearchange surprisingly smooth and notch-free despite reports that the early rear transaxle Ferrari's had notchy gearchanges. Not the case here! A lovely oiled mechanical feel to making gear changes. With fingertips move gear lever into the next gear, no need to look where it is (although the open gate is a joy to look at) as it moves with precision to where it needs to go. Feel the gears engage through your fingertips before releasing the clutch. Smooth satisfying progress with fast but not rushed gearchanges adding to the feel and satisfaction of this thoroughbred. Plenty of torque means no need to rush the gear changes. The steering wheel writhes gently in lightly held hands with the car remaining stable and smooth. This car is about feel transmitted through the fingertips. Listen to the messages she sends you through your fingertips on the large and thin wooden steering wheel rim and on the elegant gear lever. The rewards are huge as car and driver talk to one another, as long as the driver listens to the flow of messages being transmitted, whether gently cruising along or powering on with authority.
A lovely GT that would be a delight to cruise down to Monaco in one go if the mood so took one. Time to explore another facet of this car's personality. Into neutral, blip the throttle, and down into fourth. Floor the long travel throttle about two thirds. Instant pick up from from the torquey yet free-revving motor. Another flow of messages as the back squats down under power, the nose lifts and she flies! At 4000 rpm the engine note hardens from a smooth meshing to a hard-edged growl, and the shove is felt in the small of the back. Wind rustle at the pillars makes itself heard but that V12 dominates. As it should. Beyond 6000rpm and the V12 screams, more messages as the hairs on the back of the neck stand up. Music and motion, fast forward, combine to turn this GT into a very fast, exciting thoroughbred sports car.
Time to hand her back to her generous owner and enjoy the sensations as he skillfully takes her through some bends and onto the highway. The car remains planted through the bends, light and agile yet secure and stable. Sensational performance now, it must have been unbelievable back in 1966! Drive this car like a modern is to miss the joy of driving her. Rather drive her through the fingertips and listen to and respond to the flow of messages. Whether cruising or blasting past the slower traffic along the Mulsanne, becoming one with this masterpiece, getting a taste of the Ferrari legend. That will never be forgotten.