If you ask someone who remembers owning or servicing Ferrari’s back in the 1950′s or 1960′s, they will probably tell you that they weren’t very well finished. My father often says that we make the cars significantly better than they were when new. Judges on the show field have been known to deduct points for a car that is “over-restored” which must be a very hard thing to determine.
Most Ferrari’s from the 50′s and 60′s have Borrani wire wheels. How brightly they are polished seems like a bit of a sliding scale. If you spend $5000 to have your wheels rebuilt, don’t you want them to be highly polished? I have seen many photos of a Ferrari chassis rolling on Borrani wheels while the body is being constructed at a coach builders shop so there is no way the wheels were shiny after that gritty process. I would guess that Borrani used more of an industrial chrome plating on the spokes and hubs and lightly polished the alloy rim but you wouldn’t need sunglasses to look at them!
Another example is the satin black paint on the chassis and engine bay. From what I have seen, it appeared to have been hastily applied by brush right over dirt and weld spatter. I’ve always tried tried to imagine how the rubberized undercoating was applied and picture someone holding up cardboard to prevent over-spray while blowing it on in heavy coats.
Pininfarina used some different practices than Scaglietti but overall, I think there was lots of similarity. Pininfarina used super heavy rubberized undercoating that looked like sagging elephant skin. Scaglietti used a lighter coat of “pebbly” rubberized undercoat.
Anyhow, we had a incredibly orignal 1964 Ferrari 330GT 2+2 in the shop last month. This car has 3000 miles and was perfectly preserved in a dry climate so you can see all the evidence of the original build practices. In the next few blog posts, I will show some of the intricate details on how this car was finished 50 years ago. If you are interested in getting a flash drive of all the details of this car, let me know.
Ferrari 330GT Chassis Rear
Here, you can see the thick “elephant skin” undercoating and other details like black oxide radius arm bolts. You can see lots of gold over-spray on the thick undercoating. This may mean the car was painted after the undercoating or the car was touch up after it was assembled. There are many other areas of touched up paint on the car.
Front Suspension detail of Ferrari 330GT
Note the think Dijon mustard colored paint on the bottom of the cross member but the thick dripping black paint on the radiator support. The Chassis does not appear to have been painted like many restored cars. It is more a blend of over spray and rubberized undercoating. Note how sloppily the yellow tamper evident paint was applied!
Undercoating on a Ferrari 330GT 2+2
Look at the heavy undercoating on the chassis tube.