Getting to Monterey is Half the Fun!
Getting to Monterey is Half the Fun!
Every year I head out to Monterey, I try to do something different to keep things interesting, and this year was no exception. Last year I talked to a fellow Ferrari enthusiast about driving a car to Monterey from the San Jose area. Since that seed was planted, Tom has worked very hard at getting his wonderful 330GTS refurbished, prepped, and tested for the drive down the coast.
A full suspension rebuild, coolant system rebuild, and mechanical service, were all done with the August deadline looming. With the work split between Tom and his mechanic, they managed to get everything done just days before we planned to drive down, and the results were fantastic.
Tom drove the back roads to the coast with the top down with the both of us enjoying perfect 80 degree weather. As the sunlight flitted past the trees, we listened to the V-12 exhaust echoing off the hills, and I marveled how great it was to be alive. A drive like this in Northern California in any car would recharge anyone’s soul, but in a topless Ferrari, it became dreamlike. It was one of those automotive moments in my life that I said “it doesn’t get much better than this!”
We stopped in Pescadero for lunch and Tom introduced me to all things artichoke at a locally known restaurant. After a wonderful meal, I was handed the keys to the Ferrari. How could I pass the opportunity!
Once I got over the fact that I was in control of an $700K car, I found the 330GTS very easy to drive. The clutch was moderately stiff, but not as bad as other 330s I’ve driven, and certainly easy enough for me to handle. The car felt a lot lighter than my 330 America, and certainly smaller. As drove in a mix of small town traffic and fast highway stretches, this car really showed how versatile she could be. At that moment, I declared this was my perfect Vintage Ferrari for the following reasons:
First, I love convertibles. When the weather is right and the top is down, a convertible transcends transportation.
Second, it has a true 5 speed gearbox. I like having a fifth gear overdrive for relaxed high speed travel without having to do anything extra except slotting the gear shift into place, and even better, it’s a transaxle for better weight distribution.
Third, it has an independent rear suspension. The 330 GTS drives and handles like most modern cars just short of its limits.
Fourth, it not only has a V-12 Ferrari engine, but also has four liter displacement that gives large amounts of torque. Cruising around in a convertible should not be a high strung affair, so this V-12 offers enough power to leave it in third gear all day to cover speeds anywhere from 20 mph to over 90. It’s still a Columbo V-12, so when you want to remind the traffic around you that you’ve got some power, a couple gears down, and you’ll be rocketing away.
Fifth, the sound. If you’re going to put the top down, what’s better than to hear those 12 cylinders chuffing, rapping, and howling all around you.
Yes, there are cars out there that do many of these things, and probably better, but not many can do all these things that came from Ferrari. There are a couple of negatives, like buffeting above 75 mph with the top down, and the usual Ferrari quirks, but the list is short. Tom is a very lucky man to own this car, and I was lucky to have shared the driving on such a perfect day. Thanks Tom!
Just a reminder, I’m looking for a new Vintage Ferrari Project. If you have, or know of a restoration project, please let me know. It would be great to restore another car on this website! My E-mail.
Previous Restoration Day
Next Restoration Day