The beautifully sleek Ferrari LMB 330 is the rarest of sports cars; just four Le Mans Berlinetta models with 4-litre 330 engines were built in 1963 as an advancement on the GTO 250. Although the car ended up appearing at a time when Ferrari were moving away from front engined racers and sadly didn’t see too much action on the track. It has though gone down in history as a much-loved model. So, when a joint collaboration between Hertfordshire based Bell Sport & Classic and restorer Elliott East emerged to bring a replica Ferrari LMB 330 to life, it was probably worth taking a look.
I’m actually hesitant to call it a replica, as such a moniker conjures up an idea of a fibreglass body sat on the nearest chassis available, but this is something more – a Ferrari LMB 330 that has been created to be an exact reproduction of the original. Where a part was not able to be sourced direct from Ferrari, Bell Sport & Classic created an exact copy in-house themselves using original specification templates. An example being window catches; after a year of searching, Bell Sport were simply not happy with the quality of the part available so made it themselves.
While others might be tempted to upgrade the engine, Bell have sourced an original Columbo 4-litre V12 and then undertook the same Ferrari process to uprate it to original LMB spec. This means the car’s power comes from six Weber 42s built from scratch as well as LMB profile cam shafts plus a timing case and water pump both built to original specification, and a rebuilt LSD. Testing has shown the engine to produce 300lb ft of torque and 390bhp.
The suspension has also been put under the spotlight too with rebuilt lower and upper wishbones. Telescopic damping and coil springs up front and leaf springs and a coil-over shock at the rear complete the ride. Driver control comes from a synchro 5-speed gearbox.
Inside, the original car was pretty basic with sparse silver Hammerite paint and a wrinkle-fit dash with rudimentary corduroy trimmed seats. To keep to the original plan while enabling the race-bred original interior to offer a little more comfort, Elliott and Bell Sport decided to add some (what they call) subtle touches – though you might be hard-pressed to notice any difference, and the corduroy remains.
Describing this labour of love, Elliott East has said: “All panels exactly line up, the riveting is outstanding, as is all the welding. It is perfect, and better than the car would have been in period.”
This is not a concept though, nor is it a testing of the water to see if it’s worth building an eye-wateringly expensive limited run. This rekindled Ferrari LMB 330 is a one-off, done for the hell of it and to showcase the quality of work that both Elliott East and Bell Sport & Classic can produce. Four Le Mans Berlinetta Ferraris were built originally, but it’s probably safe to now say that 5 models have been built in total.
Images by Bell Sport & Classic’s
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