SPORTSCARS FROM THE SIXTIES

Ferrari 330 P4 1967

Italy

Ferrari 330 P4


IT WOULD BE hard to imagine a more successful first outing for a racing car than that of the Ferrari 330/P4 in the 1967 Daytona 24-hour race. The two Scuderi a Ferrari entries, a spyder and a berlinetta, and the North American Racing Team car, a P3 berlinetta brought up to P4 specification, finished 1-2-3.
The P4 designation is justified by the many detail changes made to last year's design, but the car is actually a direct descendant of the well proven series of rear-engined prototypes that began in 1963 with the 250/P. That car's singlecam-per-bank, Weber-equipped 3.0-liter V-12 engine gave way to 3.3 and 4.0-liter versions in the otherwise identical 275/P and 330/P, raced during 1963-64. For 1965 an all new chassis, substantially lower and lighter and fitted with a more aerodynamic body, was campaigned in 4.0-liter form as the 330/P2 (a few of these had 4.4-liter engines installed for NART, becoming 365/P2s). The P2 was only moderately successful-it was a privately-entered 250/LM that saved Ferrari's bacon at Le Mans that year-so over the winter yet another new chassis was designed. The resulting 330/P3, powered by a 4-cam engine and sporting some of the most voluptuous body contours ever seen. In berlinetta form, the P3 won convincingly at Monza and Spa, but at Sebring, the Targa Florio, Nurburgring and Le Mans, victories were conceded to Ford, Porsche and Chaparral. Nevertheless, the P3 was the fastest car everywhere except at Le Mans, and it led there for a brief period.
New cylinder heads, detail modifications and a rigorous winter testing program have made an already excellent car into a superb one. The P4's biggest plus is the 3-valve cylinder-head design taken from the F 1 cars which won the 1966 Italian GP so convincingly. The 36 valves (two intake and one exhaust per cylinder) make for a very complex engine, but 450 bhp at 8000 rpm is the result and the performance at Daytona speaks volumes for the reliability. Enzo Ferrari's decision to stick to 4 liters (4.3 for Le Mans) appears well founded; though giving away 3 liters to the Ford, the Italian car develops only 40 less horsepower and is 900 Ib lighter. The new engine, known as the "V3" (Valvole 3, or 3-valve), is unchanged in basic dimensions but has a new, stronger light-alloy block: Both the Lucas fuel injection and the 24 Champion plugs (the latter fired by twin Marelli distributors driven from the rear of the exhaust camshafts) are situated between the camshafts, rather than in the middle of the Vee as on past Ferrari V -12s. The gearbox is also redesigned, with the gears located on two main shafts. A reduction in power loss at high speeds is claimed. Both the engine and gearbox are beautiful examples of casting and machining.

From outside the body appears little changed with respect to the P3, but in fact the tubular frame and stressed underbody are new. Part of the reason for this was to widen the whole body to accommodate the fatter Firestone tires which have replaced Dunlops. The 5-spoke cast alloy knockoff wheels are based on the Formula I type.
One other important change is in the mounting of the Girling disc brakes, now outboard all around. This makes the rears better cooled and much more accessible; cooling and pit time apparently mean more these days than reduced unsprung weight. By the time you read this, the results of the Sebring 12-hr race will be known.
Regardless of the effort Ferrari makes there, it is unlikely that he will be seriously challenged in any of the other prototype events before Le Mans, although the Chaparral 2F is a possible threat. The margin in speed of the Ford Mark II over Ferrari in the 1966 Le Mans event has evaporated; to win in 1967 Ford will probably need an all-new car. At present, neither the Mark II nor the 400 Ib-lighter J-car seem to have anything like the refinement and efficiency of Ferrari's P4. The reversal in American and Italian racing fortunes has put tremendous interest into the 1967 prototype season.

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P4 Cutaway

More Le Mans Cars from the 60ies onwards

312 Ferrari

650 Matra

908 Porsche

917 Porsche

904 Porsche

956 Porsche

Alfa 33

220 Alpine

Author: ArchitectPage

Engine type. . . . . . . "V8" 60° V-12, dohc
Bore x stroke, mm... .. . . ..77 x 71
Displacement, cc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3967
Valves: 36; 2 intake, 1 exhaust per cyl
Fuel injection. . . . . . . . . . . . Lucas indirect
Ignition. . . twin Marelli, Champion plugs
Compression ratio .11.0:1
Bhp @ rpm . .. .. .. .. . ..450 @ 8000
Gearbox. . . . .5-speed and reverse in unit
with differential

Suspension. . . independent front and rear
by A-arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar
and Koni tubular shock absorbers

Chassis. . . . . . . mixed tubular, alloy sheet and bonded fiberglass
Brakes. . . . . . . Girling discs, outboard f/r
Wheels. . . . . .5-spoke cast alloy knockoff
Tires. . . .. . . . . . . Firestone, 10.15 15 front,
12.15-15 rear

Wheelbase, in... . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .94.5
Track, front/rear, in. .58.6/57.1
Length, in.. . .. .. . . .. . . .. .. .. .. .. 164.8
Width, in . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71.3
Height, in. . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. 39.4
Weight, lb. . . . . . . .. .. .. .. .. . . . . . . 1742
Maximum speed, mph 199

original P250 from 1963, then 275P from 1964 and the 275 P2 of 1965

long tailed NART 365 P3 with P3 roof, then 1966 330 P3 Spyder and 330 P3 Berlinetta