Ferrari 330GT Exhaust

January 16, 2021


I removed the exhaust from a Series II Ferrari 330GT 2+2 that looks largely original. Exhaust has been a big topic of conversation on my forum, on the show field, and among owners looking to replace systems on their cars. I’m certainly not the expert on this matter, and have watched systems change from availability, reproductions, and access to original systems to copy. I’m going to attempt to share what I know, and explain the history of how we came to where we are today.

When I first started my restoration on my 330 America twenty years ago, there were basically three options available in the US, buying an ANSA, a Timevalve, or Stebro exhaust system. I’ve seen systems made in polished stainless steel from other manufacturers like Tubi and a couple of UK manufacturers, but these were not commonly installed on the cars I saw.

In the late 60s, ANSA became the official exhaust supplier for Ferrari starting with the Daytonas. Throughout the 60s, several manufacturers supplied Ferraris before ANSA, like Abarth, Cereto, and Spacem. We know this because build sheets from the Factory specified which exhaust was installed on the car. These companies stopped making exhausts for Ferrari by the late 60s, so ANSA being the OEM to Ferrari at the time, built systems for the earlier models. So if you owned a Ferrari that needed an exhaust system, ANSA was the only supplier throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

The combination of short drives that didn’t evaporate the water inside the exhaust, and systems made out of mild steel caused ANSA systems to rust from the inside out. The other manufacturers saw a need in the market for a stainless steel exhaust system because ANSA systems seemed to rust pretty quickly. By the 2000s, there were several choices of exhaust systems to buy for a Vintage Ferrari.

I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but in the late 2000s people started noticing unrestored Ferraris sporting different exhausts than the ANSA systems widely used by the restored cars. At the same time, Ferrari started Classique Certifications to certify car “as they left the factory,” and it didn’t take long after looking at an original build sheet that Ferraris built before the 70s had something else besides ANSAs!

I, along with several other restorers, worked at collecting old exhaust systems to try and recreate a correct replica of the original exhausts made by Abarth or Cereto. The details are subtle, but significant if you know where to look, and the Ferrari judges at the National Level Concours know as well.

Today, it’s widely accepted that the correct exhaust for a Vintage Ferrari may not be an ANSA, but many of these systems were installed on restored cars and unsuspecting owners when their exhausts rusted out. ANSAs are still being used and installed, but as an owner or restorer, you know what is “correct,” and what you’re buying. As far as I know Stebro is no longer making exhausts, but Timevalve can make either reproduction in stainless or mild steel systems. A couple of restoration shops also make “correct” systems, but may not be at a commercial production level. Only time will tell how long the reproduction mild steel systems will last compared to the ANSAs, but I have found the sound from the mild steel systems better than the stainless steel systems simply from the difference in materials. I also suspect some of the rust was due to the quality of the steel used to manufacture an exhaust systems. We will see if how the reproduction systems fare over the years.

The choice us up to you, and the cost is similar. ANSAs sound fine, and the reproductions do too, but it’s always good to know what you’re buying and why.

The mufflers I removed from this 330GT look like an original Abarth system. They are distinguished by the bracing plates welded between the cans. The center section has two long mufflers, and seem to be narrower and flatter than than the ANSA systems.

The biggest telltale on this system is in the exhaust tip. Abarth, and even Cereto systems have a separate chrome sleeve for the exhaust that slides over the rear exhaust tips. ANSAs have a complete chrome tip that is masked at about mid way and painted black towards the front section of the exhaust.

Here’s another shot of the bracing found on this exhaust.

I have to be careful what details to copy off of original exhausts as things are modified through the years. The muffler at the bottom of the picture was patched with a flat panel while the upper one still retains the original strengthening bead. Another detail I did not find on these mufflers that I’ve seen on other systems is concave beads running lengthwise on the mufflers. I’m not sure why these weren’t on these cans.

Another modification was a pair of resonators were also replaced on this system. You can see the crudely welded parts to the ones at the bottom of the picture.