The Italian Almanac

Ferrari 330P

Italian News - November 25

When Egon Hofer, an Austrian racing driver and classic-car collector, bought a sleek, shiny red 1960s Ferrari once driven by Graham Hill, he thought that he had a unique racing car. He was dismayed to discover that there was another 330 P with the same chassis number in the Maranello Rosso museum at Ferrari’s headquarters near Modena, northern Italy.

This week a five-year legal battle came to a head when a court in Modena appointed an independent expert to answer a question that has gripped the world of racing enthusiasts: which Ferrari is the clone? According to the carmaker, three 330 P models were made, each with a 12-valve, 4-litre, 360bhp engine. The fate of two is known: one (chassis No 0820) is in the US, and the second (0822) in France.

But what happened to the car (chassis No 0818) in which Hill and Joachim Bonnier came second in the 1964 24-hour Le Mans race and which Ludovico Scarfiotti and John Surtees drove to victory at the Nürburgring track in Germany the following year? Carolina Gentili, the Modena judge hearing the case, said that she had asked Adolfo Orsi, a racing-car expert, to decide which of the Ferraris was genuine. Mr Orsi checked and tested this week the one at Maranello, which has been given a “certificate of authenticity” by the company’s experts.

Mr Hofer said that he had refused to take the car to Italy to have it checked at Maranello. “They have already decided that theirs is the authentic one. The moment I drive mine in, they will brand it a fake.” He said that he had invited Mr Orsi to travel to Salzburg, at his own expense. “Alternatively I will drive the car to the border between Austria and Italy and they can carry out their examination there.”