What’s the next best thing to owning one of the four incredibly rare Ferrari 330 LMB racers? In a nutshell, a one-of-one car that’s been converted to full 330 LMB specification from an original Ferrari 330 GT.
In this case, fully converted by Hertfordshire-based experts, Bell Sport & Classic who’ve paid the utmost attention to every single detail while utilising the very latest restoration techniques and sympathetic enhancements in order to create the perfect, remastered, and beautiful looking racing machine. The ambitious project was a joint program between Bell Sport & Classic and the business’s owner with one common goal – to build an authentic 330 LMB that would be enjoyed and driven on the road.
The unique racer takes its inspiration from a Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 while paying respectful homage to the original 330 LMB, of which only four were produced for competition reasons only.
Ferrari 330 LMB Gallery
It was British-born Ferrari racing driver and engineer, Mike Parkes who developed the iconic Ferrari 330 LMB (Le Mans Berlinetta) in a bid to compete in the 1963 Le Mans 24 Hours. Much like the Ferrari 250 GTO, the LMB was equipped with 4.0-litre, Colombo V12 engine but with an upgraded 390bhp, 20mm-longer wheelbase, and redesigned aluminum body.
Of the four examples built, three were left-hand drive and one single right-hand drive making the illustrious 330 LMB rarer than the mighty 250 GTO of which 32 were produced between 1962 and 1964. A trio of 330 LMBs competed at Le Mans in 1963. However, the example entered by Colonel Ronnie Hoare’s British Maranello Concessionaires Ltd team was the only one to go the distance, with Mike Salmon and Jack Sears finishing a respectable albeit fifth position.
Bell Sport & Classic Managing Director Tim Kearns explains:
“The origins of this remastering project can be traced back more than a decade and begins with Edward Carter, an Essex farmer who was a huge Ferrari enthusiast. Ed wanted to add a 250 GTO recreation to his collection but was steered away by one of the pre-eminent 330 LMB experts, Terry Hoyle. Having intimate knowledge of Chassis 4725, the original right-hand-drive LMB, Terry had another idea: ‘There are many 250 GTO recreations – you should do an LMB instead’.”
Rewind 21 years and a donor right-hand drive 1964 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 had been located and subsequently purchased by Ed… his vision was to create a useable and credible recreation of the racer. Nuneaton-based RS Panels was tasked with shortening the chassis and creating a bodywork buck. In addition to a comprehensive set of photographs Terry Hoyle had of Chassis 4725, a trip was even taken to New York to capture cardboard body patterns, measurements, and more images of the original 4725 car. Tragically, Ed Carter was never to see the project completed, losing his life in a road accident in September 2015, and for the next two years, the car lay dormant.
Fast forward to 2017 and the trail is blazed as the owner of Bell Sport and Classic rescues the mothballed project and the car is relocated to the company’s workshops in Markyate, Hertfordshire. The vision was simple – create what’s likely to be the only 330 LMB remastering in the world.
Spearheaded by expert Ferrari restorer, Elliot East and led by Attilio Romano, a former member of the Ferrari factory technical team in Maranello, who ran HR Owen’s Ferrari technical department for 22 years.
The 330 LMB Build
So rare is the car and its parts, many required to complete the body simply could not be sourced anywhere in the world with many fabricated in-house including the straps and the bonnet’s finishers. While an off-the-shelf Lusso windscreen was perfect for the front of the car, the rear Perspex screen had to be created in-house. As with the headlamp covers, the team first cut aluminum to shape, which was used to develop a former, via which the perfectly finished Perspex items were fashioned.
“As they were, the doors were spot-on for an original LMB. They felt super-light, but they lacked the more substantial road car weight we were looking for. So, we reworked them again and again, but very subtly, strengthening every single aspect including the hinges, the skins, and the window frames until we got a perfect weight.
“Three years of work has been lavished on this car. And, as with all our customer restoration projects, we have applied painstaking detail to every aspect. Everything is hand-built and unique. It was a delicate balance to achieve, deploying modern restoration techniques to make the new LMB as comfortable and as road-useable as possible, without sacrificing any of its race-bred character.”
The 4500-hour restoration involved the team fitting all the trim pieces, such as door handles and windscreen surrounds along with glass, to the bare metal body to ensure that the fit of these components would be perfect after the car came back from the paint shop.
Finally, the body was dressed in classic Rosso Corsa Red over a painstaking ten-week period. Finally, white racing roundels were added, as they would have been in period at the Maranello factory before the assault on Le Mans back in 1963, and a pair of Scuderia Ferrari emblems painstakingly hand-painted on each front wing as they would have been in period.
As the original LMB 330s were built to race twice around the clock at Le Mans, few concessions were made to comfort. Their functional cabins were bare-painted in silver Hammerite with a wrinkle finish dashboard and black Corduroy seats. In keeping with Ed Carter’s vision for a ‘GT version’ of the 330 LMB, Bell Sport & Classic’s team strove to create a correct interior that would still be authentic but provide a touch more comfortable for road use.
The car’s beautifully fashioned aluminum gear lever turret, featuring the classic open-gate and tall gear lever, looks exactly as it would have when it left Maranello in 1963. However, like so many other components on the car, this exquisite cabin centerpiece was made entirely from scratch, on-site.
Sympathetic upgrades include a high torque starter motor, electronic ignition, electric fuel pumps, and an electric cooling fan. The 330 LMB project also benefits from hidden modern voltage regulator and electric washer motor, along with a full fire system and welded, leak-free fuel tank inside an external riveted tank.
Tim Kearns, Managing Director of Bell Sport and Classic, said:
“This remarkable 330 LMB remastering is an outstanding showcase for the incredible talent that lies within Bell Sport & Classic. The dedication they have put into this very special project over the last three years is outstanding, with every component either restored, rebuilt, or created from scratch, blending the very latest restoration and engineering techniques with a selection of sympathetic upgrades.
“The result is a unique case study that pays homage to the original and demonstrates the new benchmark-setting levels of finish for Bell Sport & Classic restorations. I am also proud that we have, at long last, completed one man’s original vision. For us, this 330 LMB project is very much a one-off but it represents so much more than a remarkable car: it is a rolling showcase for the attention to detail and craftsmanship we put into every restoration, and one thing is for sure, we will be revealing many more of those in the coming months.”
An amazing achievement by all concerned that one could argue is much better and now even rarer than a Ferrari 250 GTO – More importantly, it will be used and driven on the road…
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