1967 Ferrari 330 GTC
One of only twenty two right hand drive examples delivered new to the UK market, chassis number 9289 comes with perhaps the finest and most complete history I have seen. Each of the eight owners have carefully documented the great care they have shown to the car over its 78,000 miles with some great stories along the way, three large files detail this history in much correspondence and invoicing from the initial ordering in 1966 to date.
Finished in its lovely original colours of Azzuro Hyperion Blue (19278M) and still with the wonderfully original patinated leather in Light Blue (VM 3015) the car retains its original matching numbers engine, gearbox and rear axle and is one of few right hand drive examples ordered when new with air conditioning and perhaps the only example featuring a Webasto sunroof from new. It is today in lovely, very well sorted order throughout having recently undergone a full inspection by the revered Ferrari specialists at Bob Houghton Ltd. Recommended works were completed amounting to some £40,000, all detailed in invoices on file.
The GTC was originally ordered by Mr Peter Cadbury, a scion of the confectionery family, a former test pilot for World War ll jet fighters and a consummate car collector who went on to own many now legendary cars in period. His order for the car was placed with Maranello Concessionaires in March 1966 via Mead of Maidenhead, Rolls Royce dealers who looked after the motoring needs of Cadbury. Letters on file between Meads Managing Director, Ivan Page Ratcliff and Colonel Ronnie Hoare document the ordering process and logistics involved together with Page Ratcliffe’s attempts to secure as much discount as possible! What must be a rare letter from Pininfarina to Ferrari confirms Cadbury’s wish for the optional air conditioning.
Maranello issued their invoice to Cadbury on the 5th of December 1966 and Ferrari sent theirs to Maranello on despatch of the car from the factory on the 15th of that month, all of course are on file. Initially it was planned for Cadbury’s chauffeur to collect the car from Modena thus saving the £65 delivery charge and great plans were made for the driver Jones to fly to Italy and enjoy a day at the factory before returning with the GTC as detailed in correspondence between Page Ratcliff and Ronnie Hoare but in the event maybe due to a hard winter the car was flown to England.
Upon arrival at Maranello the GTC was registered with Cadbury’s private number WTV 1 (this perhaps relating to him being one of the founders of Tyne Tees Television) and it was immediately put to work, the first service being completed by Maranello on the 30th March at 1,987 miles. The second service again at Maranello occurred on the 31st August 1967 at 5,773 miles and the third on the 25th of April 1968 at 10,561 miles.
Shortly after this last service Cadbury swapped the 330 GTC in with Maranello in exchange for the new 365 model.
In August 1968 a Mr Parkin of Rotherham became the second custodian of 9289 as detailed in the purchase invoice from Maranello Concessionaires. He retained the GTC until June 1969 and increased the mileage to 18,000 miles. He continued to use Maranello for servicing and maintenance work as detailed on file and complained about the gearbox that remained stiff for many miles from cold, this eventually being solved by a factory issued modification. As he states in a letter to Maranello dated 10th June 1969, the GTC had become rather impractical following the birth of his first child and he asked Maranello for their help in sourcing an AC 428 Fast Back to replace the Ferrari. In the event Maranello were commissioned to sell the GTC for him and following sales preparation at 19,164 miles amounting to an invoice for £264 the car was advertised in the motoring section of The Sunday Times dated 7th February 1970 priced at £4,650. That may seem like a bargain until one looks at the Ex Le Mans 275 Competition offered below the GTC in the advert at £3,850!
The economic environment was clearly not the best for car sales at this time as Marranello’s Director Sean Bealey explained in correspondence with an increasingly impatient Parkin. However on the 4th March 1970 a sale was achieved to third owner, a Mr P Arnison-Newgass of Arlington Square, Islington, London.
This third owner kept the GTC until early 1973, he used it enthusiastically, the mileage rising to 49,000 miles and looked after it most diligently with frequent maintenance all completed by Maranello and detailed on file with any matter arising being immediately dealt with.
In 1973 a Mr Wolfgang Zeuner purchased the Ferrari and kept it until 1976, life in this ownership was rather uneventful with few miles covered and in 1976 Zeuner sold the car to a Mr John Howell Thomas, a resident of Chiswick. Mr Thomas continued the fine maintenance again detailed in invoicing on file, the last one in this ownership being from DK Engineering, then of Northwood, Middlesex for servicing and distributor overhaul at 58,346 miles on the 9th November 1982. The car was then stored and used very little until 1986 as indicated in MOT certificates on file from 1983 to 2020, the mileage rising from 58,471 miles in August 1983 to 58,846 in November 1987.
Later the GTC was bought by Mail Farrar, a Ferrari restorer, in 1986 and extensively overhauled before being sold in November 1987 to a Mr Peter Karsten who kept 9289 until 1995. During this ownership the GTC again led a busy life and was superbly maintained with much renovation and mechanical work being completed as required and detailed in much correspondence and invoicing. A number of F.O.C Concours events were entered with notable class wins in 1988, ‘89, ‘90 and ‘91 at the F.O.C Annual Concours, then held at Brocket Hall. Remember this was the era of rapidly escalating classic car values and frequent specialist valuations on file for insurance show an increase from £50,000 in November 1987 to £125,000 by July 1988!
In 1995 the car was offered for sale by Mortimer Houghton Turner (formerly and latterly Bob Houghton Ltd) on behalf of Mr Karsten, at this point the mileage had increased to 64,789 miles and their description on file and invoicing confirms an engine rebuild the previous year costing £15,000. They described it as “probably the finest example currently on offer”
Andrew Turner, the Sales Director at Mortimer Houghton Turner sold the GTC in October 1995 to a regular client, however he left the car with them in store and hence when MHT sold the car again in July 1997, the mileage remained the same as indicated on the two relevant sales invoices on file. This new owner a passionate Ferrari enthusiast bought the GTC to go alongside his Long Nose 275 GTB and Ferrari 355, and he obviously loved 9289 as he kept it until 2020.
Once again the GTC had landed in the hands of a fastidious enthusiast who continued the careful maintenance and regular servicing it has been fortunate to benefit from throughout its life. Copious invoicing on file details the work completed, notable items include an engine rebuild in November 2015 at 76,660 miles and the last major service in this ownership in August 2019 at 77,839 miles.
As previously mentioned following its arrival with us a couple of years ago we handed the GTC to Bob Houghton who obviously knew it well for a full evaluation. It was found to be good albeit requiring some work in several areas, to this end they embarked on a renovation programme which included a great deal of mechanical work, full refurbishment of the original Webasto roof and headlining, rebuild of the factory air conditioning, replacement of the modern stereo with a period Becker Grand Prix with modern internals and new Hirschmann aerial etc. All is detailed in the final of many invoices.
Today the GTC is just as you would hope following a careful read of the history files. It presents extremely well and with the original interior it retains that fine fit, aroma and patina that no re-trim can hope to emulate. On the road it is smooth, fluent and light of touch. Just lovely and what one would expect from a carefully used and diligent maintained example.