1963 Ferrari 330 America Farm Find

Finding any classic barn find is a rush, but imagine the feeling that whoever discovered this 1963 Ferrari 330 America felt when they opened the barn doors. There were only 50 of these Italian sports cars ever built and somehow this one ended up on a Californian farm. It has been pulled from the barn and is now being offered by Gullwing Motor Cars.

Of the 50 330 Americas built, there are only 25 or so remaining. Many of these cars had their V12 stolen or removed to be used in a more desirable Ferrari, which is sadly the case with this car. After the engine was stolen in 1970, the car went to the owner’s barn and that’s where it stayed till just recently. One of the other 330 Americas was used as a coffin, it’s too bad the engine and transmission from that one are currently buried 9 feet down.

Not only was the engine pulled from the car, but so was much of the interior. They took the front seats, steering wheel, and even the gauges. The owner was able to enjoy the car for a brief 55,000 miles before it was robbed of its engine. It had to be a sad day when the owner found their car like this.

The 330 America was essentially a 250 GT/E, but with a 300 hp Colombo V12 stuffed under the hood. The value of these cars is typically based on the condition of the engine and not having it can really hurt the value. We aren’t fans of engine swaps, especially when it comes to Ferraris, but it might be the most realistic choice for this car. We would just want to be sure to not damage the engine bay in the process, so that if a V12 is found it could be installed without any issues.

It’s sad to see such a beautiful machine in this situation. There is a chance that one day the 330 will be worth enough money to justify hunting down a V12 for this car, but as it stands the restoration costs would far exceed the value of the car, especially with the seller asking $49,500. Should an American V8 be shoved in this Italian or would that just be heresy? Does the possibility of future value make this car a keeper or should it just be parted out?

 

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Comments

  1. Stewart

    Plenty of 400i or 365s to get a V12 from!

  2. Russell

    I wonder where in Mexicali is the rest of it…..

  3. kluka68

    If i had money i would buy it, put new Ferrari engine and tranny in and enjoy the car.

  4. mikey

    Now…..if someone was looking for a body…………….here is the ticket.

    Probably plenty of bodies in Mexicali……………………….

  5. Dolphin Member

    I was browsing Gullwing’s website the other day and saw this unusual offering. Normally I don’t respond well to ‘storys’ but in this case the story is plausible, and interesting too. The short run of fifty 330 Americas basically put the new 330 (4 litre) V12 into the last of the 250 (3 litre) GT 2+2 bodies. In those days Ferrari didn’t have much money left once the racing bills were paid, and so avoided junking perfectly good parts simply because a model change was needed.

    This car looks like it has been in a barn for a long time, and also like it was picked over pretty well, maybe by thieves, maybe not, but it doesn’t matter now. It needs almost everything except the chassis and body. The drivetrain and interior parts that are needed, and the work to get them installed and working properly will certainly exceed the value of a decent, complete 330 America, and that doesn’t even include the need for cleaning the car up, going through the suspension, preparing the body and then painting it, rechroming the bumpers and trim, and so on….and on. Just a good used vintage steering wheel as made for Ferrari by Nardi could easily cost some thousands of $$. Then, once the car is done—assuming it’s done to #2 condition or better—it will be worth between $150 and $250K. And these cars are second only to the more numerous 250 GT 2+2 as the least-rapidly appreciating vintage Ferraris, so the owner will be under water for a long while.

    Buy a good running, complete driver instead. This car is really only good for someone who has been around vintage Ferraris for a long time and who already has some of the parts needed to turn it back into a driver. Sorry to say it, but even if I were that person I would be temped to part it out instead, but even then I might be hard pressed to get my $50K back given the poor condition of the car and components.

    So now we are at the point where the best option might be to strip off the body and use the tube chassis and suspension as the basis for a ‘recreation’—something like a 250 TR that someone can buy for 1/10th or less the cost of the real thing and feel good about throwing around on FCA track days. It would look great and go down the track real well, and still be a real Ferrari underneath, with a real Ferrari VIN—altho an odd street car VIN instead of an even racing VIN like the real 250TRs. But who cares when you’re mixing it up with real TRs, SWBs, and probably even a GTO or two, all for 1/10th or less the cost of the real thing?

  6. Pat

    Buy it and pickle it until you can get a V12 drive train. Maybe not correct but a small block??? No

  7. scot c

    ~ i have never understood why people’s opinion of this beautiful car is so filled with disdain. this one would have been nearly identical to the very first Ferrari i drove in Santa Barbara about ’69. maybe the car by which i judge all others. these days there are many empirically better, but few i like as well. i’m not a purist and would have no remorse for a careful, easily undone swap. 500 hp aluminum LS-X? wicked fast.

  8. TMP

    If it were up to me I would buy her, a 400i V12 motor along with a couple sets of Webers, some racing buckets, gut her out (selling off any parts not needed to fund the endeavor), , skip any type of restoration, and get her back on the road as some sort of anti hot-rod European hot-rod…….if that makes sense.

  9. Horse Radish

    and the story continues…..
    It now is definitely IN THE WRONG HANDS.
    This dealer is just out for profit, and probably paid $20k for it. Sad to see, but his M.O. continues, by using the photos used to sell him the car.
    What makes me sick is not that the parts were stolen off the car, but that it’s with whoever, who is just gonna let it rust in NY…….(it would have been better off in the same barn for the next 40 years !!)
    so sad

  10. Bill Paulson

    I’m really trying to think of what would be worth doing with this thing. Chevy small block and Muncie and a set of Camaro buckets? No…. Keep it until a cheap Ferrari engine is found? Not gonna happen. Sell it for parts? The suspension (If THAT’s still there) and the chassis may bring a few bucks. The body? Not much there either, but it IS still recognizable as a Ferrari, but who in the world would want it? So….I’m afraid there’s nothing worth doing with this thing. Damn shame.

  11. Chris

    On the plus side, the body looks straight and all there without too much damage. The bonnet (hood) looks warped, but even has the chrome strip. All the glass appears intact and complete.Too bad about the interior, the dash looks like the instruments were taken out with a crowbar. I’m betting on rust, look at the exhaust parts lying next to the car. The wheels look to be correct, but missing the three ear knockoff hubs. Except for the interior, Sandra Illene West’s coffin 330 America in a poured concrete vault 9 feet down is probably in better shape. The replica 250 TR makes sense, but not with the price Gullwing wants for this stripped out shell.

  12. Your Name

    Some insurance company is probably still looking for it. If they put it on ebay, maybe the real owner will turn up. bn

  13. Chris H.

    The only thing that makes sense here is a hotrod-style build. A nice LS series engine, modern 5-speed, and some suspension updates would be sweet.

  14. Doyler

    I’m gonna try and save this.

  15. SwissDan

    …if you are interested in more pictures of the Ferrari go to “car planet” that’s where Gullwing Motors bought the car… lots of pictures from all angles..

    http://www.carplanet.com/ferrari/1963-Ferrari-330America-Black.htm

    They also have a 1960 Abarth Zagato 750 Double Bubble in a similar condition, looks like it was stored together with the Ferrari

    • Dolphin Member

      SwissDan:
      Thanks for posting the link to the carplanet site with the extra photos. The car may have been in a dry California barn for a time, but the extra photos show that the body is worse than it looks in the Gullwing ad. The rockers have been fixed badly and the underside looks ugly with a lot of thick undercoating that is not from the Ferrari factory. This kind of thick, flaking undercoating cracks and traps moisture that rots the metal that it overs, which may be why none of the photos actually show the floors—it would have been easy to lift the carpets out for the photos, but that was not done. The knock-offs don’e even seem to be with the car

      The body panels, bumpers, lights, and the interior hard parts that are left have value, but the main value in this car is in the chassis, suspension, and the VIN for use in a 250TR or similar recreation.

    • boyd casey

      What was the car listed for at car planet? I live near Gullwing motors and this is typical of his M.O. I doubt he even paid $20 K for it.

  16. Doyler

    @SwissDan

    Damn. They’re in SF. So am I…

  17. stigshift

    What in the hell would motivate someone to want to be buried in a beautiful, desirable, rare car? What level of selfishness does it take to deprive the world of a piece of automotive art, let alone prevent your estate from benefiting from either the use of or sale of the car? What an utter waste for all concerned.

  18. Richard

    Make a Ferrari fan’s head explode by installing a Shelby Cobra drivetrain and gauges in it!

  19. boomer

    This Ferrari was stolen from a private residence in Moreno Valley, California. Buyers beware. Two other Ferraris and a Lamborghini Muira plus eighteen other cars were stolen from the same location during the same time period two weeks ago. Riverside County Sheriff and Moreno Valley police are currently investigating the thefts.

    • pierre

      Hi , thank you for the info ! please let me known if the car comes back for sale ?
      woud like to restore ..
      Best
      Pierre

  20. Jose Delgadillo

    This is the style of Italian GT that really appeals to me, I went to the Ferrari display at the Petersen Museum last year and it’s these early cars that get my attention. If the buy in price wasn’t so high this would be a perfect project for a skilled, dedicated hobbyist. I would switch to a later more common driveline, finish out the interior and make it into a driver. But the buy in price would have to be around ten grand (or less) there’s no money to be made here. And that’s the shame, it’s all about the money. Flippers are hurting this hobby.

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