More Driving Impressions, and Exhaust Sounds

More Driving Impressions and Exhaust Sounds

It’s been a busy week, so it will pass without me having a chance to work or drive my car, but I’ve been gathering my thoughts about what it’s been like to drive my 330 America. There is no particular order, but here are some thoughts:

My V-12 engine develops power steadily and strongly much like a freight train. The car is not explosively fast like any modern sports car where it pins you to the seat once you drop the clutch, but rather sit builds speed steadily. I’m sure you can get decent 0-60mph numbers, but you can feel that this is not what this car was designed to do.

At the upper range of the revs, there is quite a bit of power left, but you really have to be daring to use it because by the time you reach those revs, you’re probably already faster than you need to be!

I’ve had a chance to really experience how flexible the V-12 engine really is, with power all along the rev range. From 2000 rpm, all the way up to red line, there is plenty of power. Although I don’t have the graphs to show it, the torque curve feels pretty flat, with probably a slight bump in the 5K-redline range. I’d be curious to see if this is true.

I’ve heard several opinions that the clutch on my car is much easier to operate than that of the Series II 330 2+2. The later clutch has a stronger pressure plate, and hydraulic actuator, while mine and the GTE model line use a mechanical linkage and three finger pressure plate. Most owners of Series II 330s admit they have a heavy clutch.

Clutch take up is always smooth probably due to the V-12 engine. There is almost always a cylinder on a power stroke, so the engine rarely stumbles on initial clutch take up.

The brakes on my car are not great. On initial braking, not much happens, so you need to apply some more pressure for the brakes to start working. Once enough force is applied, the car will stop fairly well. It’s getting used to the initial inaction that takes getting used to. My car’s brake problem is partly due to new pads, and old rotors, so I’m going to put a few hundred miles on the car before I try to fix something. Once the pads bed into the rotors, we’ll see.

Maneuvering this car into parking spaces can be a challenge due to its unassisted worm and sector steering, but once the car is under way, the steering is light and relatively precise. One funny note is how close the steering wheel sits to the windshield in this GTE body. With my hand on the wheel at 12 o’clock, I can extend my fingers out and touch the windshield! What this causes is smears from my fingers when I’m maneuvering the car around town using large steering wheel movements. I should try to get used to shuffle steering this car.

As I put some miles on this car, I am left with a smile every time. The smell of the leather, oil, and exhaust is a heady mixture, and combined with the wonderful sound of that V-12 engine, I can’t think of a better combination! I’m looking forward to every mile I get to drive this car!

I made another MP3 of the exhaust to try to illustrate what my Stebro Exhaust system sounds like. I’m trying to get access to an original Ansa exhaust, and a Timevalve exhaust so you can get a back to back comparison in their differences. To really make a good comparison, audio samples should be taken inside, outside, and at different speeds, but I will only do this if there is a need. As a start here is what my exhaust sounds from behind the car. The interior sounds are very pleasing, but I’m not 100% happy with the low burbling noise from this angle. Hopefully, I’ll soon get another exhaust sound for a comparison.

Previous Restoration Day
Next Restoration Day
Home page