Ferrari 212 Vignale Cabriolet

Last Spring I heard about a very early Ferrari 212 Vignale Cabriolet and knew the guy who would love this car. I offered to export it from its life long home of Toulouse France but the my customer asked me to secure the car and find a local shop to check it out so we could safely drive it to the Ferrari factory in Maranello Italy. The car was born in Italy and delivered new to the first owner in Toulouse where it has stayed since 1952. It is now our job to bring it back home!

All of our plans worked out nicely, Jean-Claude got the car up and running and we headed to Southern France to have Dinner in St. Tropez. What an amazing car, it is so fast and comfortable especially when we pack it full of bags and 100 liters of fuel! I could go on and on about the trip but after a two day stop in Monaco, we decided to press on and get to Italy.

When pulling out of a toll plaza, the car no longer was able to move itself, it was running fine, there were no odd noises, the transmission was shifting perfectly but the car wouldn’t move forward. I thought that the clutch disc broke or maybe something at the back of the transmission which wouldn’t surprise me since the engine was so strong but it turns out that the right hand rear axle shaft broke and the LH one was twisting and close to breaking.

What a supreme disappointment that we couldn’t have pulled into the Ferrari factory with this car but we had it trucked there for a Classiche Inspection and soon certification. It was a great experience none the less, we had a tour of the factory and a wonderful memory.

Ferrari Vignale Cabriolet 1952

Ferrari 212 Vignale cabriolet

212 Vignale Cabriolet

Vignale 212

ferrari axle broken

Show Stopper

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1977 Ferrari 308 GTB Carter Secco (Dry Sump)

Ferrari 308GTB Dry Sump

Dry Sump 308GTB Ferrari

A week ago I pulled the trigger and bought this really nice 1977 Ferrari 308GTB Carter Secco. Carter Secco literally translates to “Dry Frame” but we use the term “Dry Sump” here in the US. Most of the Carter Secco’s are for European Delivery which is where I got this car. Notice the larger front spoiler, small fiberglass bumpers and the lack of rectangular side markers? Its so pretty this way. This car is super nice and sorted, has all the books and tools and was recently serviced. In a few weeks the car will be here with the early Lambo LP400.

The other Dry Sump 308GTB I purchased months ago should be here soon, it arrived in the US on December 31st but has been locked up in Customs for an Agricultural Inspection for weeks which really bothers me. I need the car here to inspect, photograph and resell, so many people are interested in the car and I need the cash! Keep an eye out for photos of that red/black car.

Here are more photos of the red/tan car

308GTB Dry Sump Carter Secco

308GTB Carter Secco

308GTB Dry Sump Engine

Dry Sump engine 308 GTB

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Interesting 308GTB Interior

After posting about the “Fran Tarkington” 308 interior, it reminded me about the other 308GTB that I bought this year with the red corduroy upholstery on the seats. Do you think this is original? Its too cool and Italian to NOT be original!

Unique interior in cloth Ferrari 308

Ferrari 308GTB Cloth Interior

Cloth Upholstery Ferrari 308

Ferrari 308GTB Red cloth Upholstery

1 Comment »

  1. admin said,

    February 2, 2015 @ 9:56 pm

    Hey Gary

    Come up anytime. The car we are restoring was apart for 30 + years so we have had to do a ton of research and have photos of other cars that will help you.


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Late Production Ferrari 308GTB

Even though this is a 1979 Ferrari 308GTB, it has the next series GTBi (fuel injected) type of interior. At first I though it may have been changed to the more contemporary pattern but I thought that with the low miles, it was likely original. I bought the car from a guy in Kansas and was pleasantly surprised when it arrived because it had a super complete book and tool pouch. When I opened the warranty book, I found that it was sold new to Francis Tarkington! Kind of cool even though I am not into football. Why didn’t I keep this car?

Original owner Fran Tarkington

Francis Tarkington Warranty Card

1980 carburettor 308GTB

308GTB 1980

Later model 308GTB interior in a 1980

308GTB Interior

1 Comment »

  1. Rob said,

    January 15, 2015 @ 8:31 am

    You didn’t keep it because I bet someone offered you a lot of $$$ for it LOL!! That’s interesting with the interior I’ve never seen the newer interior on a carb car.

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Ferrari 206 Dino

This is a lovely Dino 206 that arrived earlier this fall. It has had a ton of service including a full engine overhaul but it never ran well. We did a little carburetor tuning and checked over some items and couldn’t pin point what was going on.

Rolf disassembled the distributor and found this disaster, totally worn out flyweight pivots. They shouldn’t be “C” shaped, they should pivot on the pin with a close tolerance round hole. Once we installed new weights and dialed in the advance curve, the engine ran like a champion.

206′s are my favorite of all Ferraris, so small and delicate and stunningly beautiful. I am working on purchasing a few of them, one of which has a racing Stratos “Doppia Accensione” or “twin plug” engine. Once I sell the 206 at the Gooding auction this January, I hope to have the money to buy this other car.

Distributor advance weights

Ferrari 206 Ignition Distributor

Dino 206 Scaglietti

Ferrari 206 Dino

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Elephant Sculpture

Here is a cool sculpture that my brother made, its so intense. That his nephew Roman, standing in front of it.

Full Scale Elephant Sculpture

Metal Elephant Sculpture

1 Comment »

  1. Christian Scott said,

    January 14, 2015 @ 9:50 am

    That’s incredible! Years ago on my first trip to your shop, one of his giraffes was out front. Who would have guessed the automotive works of art that were hidden beshind the barn doors?

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Lamborghini Periscopica

Its really hard to explain why the early Lamborghini Countach LP400 is called a “Periscopica” or Periscope without standing in front of it. Since there are so few cars in existence and you don’t see them every day, I thought I would show some close up photos on the car  I recently purchased in Italy. Later this month, the it should be here at the shop.

Early Lambo Periscopica

Lamborghini LP400

Look in the center of the roof, see the recessed channel, in the front of that channel is a little piece of glass. When sitting in the drivers seat and looking in the rear view mirror, you look through this little piece of glass to the rear of the car. Visibility is so horrible out of the back of the car so they felt that this was a good solution. For some reason, it was not continued on the later Countach’s

1975 Lamborghini LP400 Countach

Lamborghini LP400 Countach

This photo shows how deep the channel is.

Countach LP400 Headliner

Ceiling shot of the “periscope”

Here is a horrible blurry shot of the headliner and how the glass looks.

Periscopica LP400 Glass

Glass at the front of the Periscope

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Ferrari 195 Ghia

When people hear the name Ghia, they think “Karmann Ghia”, the little Volkswagen that looks sporty even though it is based on the ubiquitous Beetle. What most people don’t know is that Ghia was a body building shop in Italy that also had a prolific design department in house. Karmann is a body building factory in Germany who actually built the VW’s.

There were a number of early Ferraris with bodies built and designed by Ghia and the photo of this dash is one of them. What makes a Ferrari a Ferrari is the beautiful bodywork designed and built by other companies! I have long felt that there should be a Pininfarina or Scaglietti badge on the nose of a Ferrari because they did most of the work to make Ferrari an icon

Anyhow, Ghia seemed to sneak their logo on the cars more than other companies. Look at how the horn push has a “G” and not the Ferrari Horse. Go Ghia! This car is in the shop for a full restoration after sitting idle since the mid 60′s. We are very excited about this project. I think that this Ghia built Ferrari is one of the best looking early Ferraris, its really well proportioned and seems to fit the chassis really well. Stay tuned for more photos of this project

195 Ferrari Ghia

Ghia Ferrari 195

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Ferrari 275GTB/4

We had some magnificent cars at the shop this fall and broke out our video gear to film the cars going down the road. When filming, the motto is “hurry up and wait” so I had some time to take photos of the cars.

Ferrari 275 and 330's

Ferraris from the 60′s

Ferrari 275 GTB/4

GTB/4 Ferrari


1 Comment »

  1. Rob said,

    January 6, 2015 @ 8:31 am

    Love to see some videos!

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Ferrari Steering Gearboxes

Earlier this year, a good customer drove to the shop in his 1967 Ferrari 330GTC for some service work and asked me to critique the way his car handles. We went for a spin and I immediately understood what he was talking about, when entering a curve it took lots of “input” in order navigate a corner and even go straight down the road. I use the word “navigate” because it handles like a boat.

We have had the suspension aligned and he had it aligned at his local shop a few times in an attempt to remedy this problem but it still steers super slowl. We compared it to a few other cars that day which validated our feelings, there was something wrong with his car.

Ferrari used ZF steering boxes in all of the cars from the mid 50′s through to the Daytona in the early 70′s.  A 1:20 ratio was chosen for the 330GTC but the 275GTB of the same year used a faster 1:17 ratio. My solution was to buy a brand new 1:17 worm gear to replace the 1:20 and see how it goes down the road.

The handling was transformed and it finally felt like a sports car. The 1:17 ratio was the perfect match for the car, even the steering effort at parking speed wasn’t compromised. I really don’t understand why the 330 got the slower steering but I have since changed the ratio in three other GTC’s. If you have a 330GTC or even a 330 GT 2+2, you’ve got to install this faster ratio steering box, you will love the transformation

Ferrari 330 Steering Box

330GTC Steering Gear Box

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