As much as any other car, the Ferrari 330 P4 is the embodiment and culmination of an entire era of racing. With its low-slung stance and voluptuous lines, it is also among the most visually stunning cars ever produced. Combine these factors and the word “icon” slips to the tip of one’s tongue.
Still smarting from losing the Constructor’s International Sports Prototype Championship to Ford in 1965 and 1966 – and, in 1966, watching a trio of Ford GT40s finish 1-2-3 at Le Mans – Enzo Ferrari turned to his chief engineer, Mauro Forghieri, with a simple instruction: win. In world then dominated by Carroll Shelby and Ford’s formidable 7-liter engines, this would be no easy undertaking.
What resulted from Forghieri’s mandate was the 330 P4, arguably the greatest Ferrari endurance race car of all time. Based on the 330 P3 – and almost identical cosmetically – the 330 P4 represented a significant mechanical upgrade from anything Ferrari had run previously and, in 1967, it would return Ferrari to the pinnacle of sports prototype racing.
The highlight of the 1967 season came at the 24 Hours of Daytona, a race that would come to be known as The Revenge of Il Commendatore. Led by Chris Amon and Lorenzo Bandini in a 330 P4 (and trailed by Mike Parkes and Ludovico Scarfiotti in another 330 P4), Ferrari finished 1-2-3 at the hallowed Florida circuit. Soon thereafter, a pair of P4s finished 1-2 at Monza, and while Ford again won at Le Mans, P4s finished second and third and Ferrari was once again in possession of the sports prototype title.
Rules changes concerning engine displacement spelled the end of the 330 P4s in European racing, but by that time, the car had cemented its place in the pantheon of endurance racing.