Ferrari 330 P4 - One of the most beautiful racing cars
The iconic Italian brand Ferrari has had many race cars in its history, and pretty much all of their charm and mystique depended on the racing success. Not all of the racing cars were like the fantastic and overpriced Ferrari 250 GTO with its perfect winning score, but still, every automobile with a ‘prancing horse’ on its nose is a valuable piece of racing history and deserves a closer look. Today, we’re going to present you the Ferrari 330 P4, a racing car which was one of the few that made it to the list of Enzo Ferrari’s personal favorites.
Ferrari’s answer to Ford GT40
In the early ’60s, Ferrari started experimenting with the mid-engine layout for its F1 and prototype class cars. The concept proved to be very good and in 1964, Ferrari presented the 250 LM, a mid-engined road car. However, FIA did not want to homologate this model since Ferrari didn’t produce the 100 samples which were needed for homologation, but just 34. So, the 250 LM raced in the prototype class and managed to win the 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans. That was the last of Ferrari’s overall Le Mans wins because in 1966, Ford GT40 started its four year domination and the 250 LM appeared outdated in comparison to the new Ford, Porsche or Lola racing cars.
Ferrari started developing a new racing car using the 250 LM as its base to fight the very tough competition. The first models were 275 P2 and 330 P2 which featured new lightweight chassis and bigger engines. However, despite good performances, these models weren’t so successful and Ferrari introduced the 330 P3 with a gorgeous new body and improved dynamics.
Beautiful and very fast – Ferrari P3
The 330 P3 was, and still is, one of the most beautiful racing cars in the world; a big achievement considering the fact that it was released in a period when all cars had amazing visual designs. With its 4-litre V12 engine, over 450bhp power and only 790 kilograms in weight, the P3 was a red racing beast. However, the competition was still better and Ferrari just needed something extra in order to beat Ford and Porsche. So, in 1967, Ferrari presented a new model, the P4. The car was an updated 330 P3 and was made in just 4 prototypes. The difference between P3 and P4 was the fuel injection and some changes in the bodywork and aerodynamics.
Revenge for 330 P4 at last at Daytona 1968
The biggest success that P3 had was that it won the 1000 Kilometers of Monza in 1966 and 1967, which was a very important result for Enzo and Ferrari fans in the period which was dominated by Ford. However, the biggest success of the P series came in 1968 when Ferrari won the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona with three Ferraris (The P3/4, one of the P4s, and one 412 P) crossing the finish line at the same time. Until his death, Enzo kept a picture of the trio on their final lap of the momentous race. In those days, the Ford-Ferrari war was at its peak and even though Ferrari eventually lost it, the 24 Hours of Daytona was a great moment.
Interaction between Ford and Ferrari
The GT40 and the P3 and P4 are often compared and analyzed since they were direct competitors and the common consensus is that Ferrari was lighter and a machine that was easier to handle, but the GT40 was more reliable and faster. With its high revving V12, Ferrari just didn’t have the torque needed for achieving and maintaining high speeds on Le Mans. Ford’s V8, on the other hand, had much more torque with the help of which it won the Le Mans four times in a row. But, after all these years, Ferrari still stands as a fantastic machine from the glorious period of racing.