Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, this 308GTB came in with crazy red fabric on the seat inserts. I have never seen anything like this before, they are typically all leather. This is a very original 1978 308 GTB and I have no reason to think that it isn’t original. Even the mass produced Ferraris have little differences here and there.
So everyone is desperate for their cars. Every one of these cars needs so much to make sure they are safe and dependable for the summer driving season. They always need more than expected so it can be frustrating at times.
I hope you enjoy the photos. All three cars in the bottom photo are from 1967, isn’t that amazing? Which would you choose?
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I recently purchased this 1983 Porsche 911SC Coupe and am just thrilled about how nice this car is. There are a few visual cues that prove that its a European Production car such as the narrow bumper over-riders to fit the long license plate and rectangular side markers on the front fenders. This car has low miles and flawless paint and spectacular original interior that is testament to the care this car has received over the years. Its currently in Orlando Florida and in a few days I’ll fly in and drive it to Amelia Island for the big show and Auctions on March 6-9. It’ll be so great to get out of the Northeast after this brutal winter.
If you are at the Amelia Island festivities this week, look out for this car and grab a card off the windshield wiper, I’d like you to take it for a spin and get your feedback.
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This is a unique car that a friend has asked me to sell. This is a spectacular example that needs nothing to be driven this Spring.
Since I was old enough to hold a wrench, I have been repairing Ferrari cable operated window regulators and have tons of scars on my hands to prove it! Like the Bizarre-O cable operated Maserati Ghibli Water Pump design, this is an equally offbeat way to make a window go up and down. My rant is “these guys has no right building cars”. Whats the deal with Italians and cables?
This cable has to “spool up” and “un-spool” around a drum simultaneously as an electric motor turns it. If the cable isn’t in perfect condition, it can fall off the pulleys or make a horrible grinding noise when operating. The smallest bend, kink or fray makes the whole system come to a stop. You can get complete new assemblies but often the cable is wound tightly during shipping that it causes problems so I rebuild them with new cable that I have in massive quantities here at the shop.
A frequent problem with these systems is super slow motion of the window glass barely making it to the closed position. People have all sorts of hair-brained ideas on how to fix this problem but the issue is simple. The green grease in the gearbox gets hard like wax and the motor can’t overcome the resistance. If the cables, pulleys and channel is in good shape simply zip tie the cable to the assembly which maintains the tension and remove the assembly from the door. Remove the 3 screws to the hold the gearbox together and chip out the green wax (that used to be grease). If you are lucky, you won’t kink or loose the orientation of the cable and can get it all working in 20 minutes!
I use a synthetic grease that won’t hurt the plastic housing but make sure it has decent rust preventative, there is a ton of moisture that builds up in these doors that will seize the gearbox as well.
These photos are fun because you rarely see valuable cars like these exposed to the harsh winter weather. At some point, they were just used cars and probably sat out in the weather all the time but you don’t see that too often these days. It may be crazy to imagine but about an hour earlier we had these cars out on dry, clear roads.
In case you were wondering, Maserati didn’t get the memo on the elegance of a simple design. They do know how to make a spectacular casting as evidence of this water pump design on the 1969 Ghibli we’re restoring. Most cars have a belt or chain that spin the water pump but Maserati decided to use a little cable “whip” thats run off the Air Conditioning Pulley! Yeah, you bolt this huge “L” shaped cast aluminum A/C compressor bracket that doubles as the Water Pump. The outer rim of the A/C compressor clutch has a lug to attach the cable that’s attached to the water pump impeller.
I’m in the process of rebuilding all of these parts, the compressor magnet is a mess and clutch is siezed. I’m going to make a new ring to weld to the pulley because the original one is so messed up with stripped heads and poorly welded on tabs. I also bought a new compressor because if these parts aren’t new and working properly, the water pump won’t turn. A/C systems are typically added onto engines but aren’t necessary to make them run but not on the Maserati, its integral to getting this thing to run on the test stand.
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Here are some random things that we have been working on lately. My Uncles have a large Earth Moving company and just celebrated their 50 anniversary in business. In order to celebrate some of the equipment that has been used since the early 60′s had to be repaired to mark the occasion. I was asked to repair this “S” curved exhaust pipe that pumps hot exhaust from the “Pony Motor” through the intake manifold of the big diesel engine. This preheats the diesel engine before you engage a clutch to make the “Pony Motor” turn it over and start it up. I made this jig to precisely re-make the exhaust pipe in Stainless Steel so it wouldn’t rust out in 50 years like this one!
We had a 1966 Ferrari 330 in the shop that was missing the exhaust header heat shields. We ended up making new ones.
This spectacular 330 GTC was in the shop for a host of minor repairs that turned out to be a large job. We took out the incorrect brake booster and master and replaced it with the correct stuff. We also replaced the radiator core, installed my newly manufactured A/C vents and knobs and got the engine to run much better. Someday, the owner wants us to re-paint the car in the original color.
I can’t remember if I have posted on this subject, a Maserati Ghibli Spyder Restoration. Rolf has done a magnificent job rebuilding this engine that was missing tons of parts. The whole car was taken apart 10 years ago and many of the critical parts were lost so we really had to take our time making sure everything was just right. There will be more posts on this engine assembly in the next few weeks. What a great engine, I have been a fan of Maserati engines since riding around Lime Rock Race Track in a 450S Maserati at the age 10.
Now that I am finished with my part of the project, these wheels are off to Syl’s shop to be painted. They came off a 1968 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2, affectionately called the “Queen Mother” in our small and incestuous community. These are really attractive wheels and are beautifully cast in Magnesium Alloy. Along the rim edge is a very deep cut reverse curve that ends in a very thin edge. Every edge on this set of wheels was beat up by sloppy workmanship when changing tires or sloppy driving while grinding on a curb in an attempt to park.
I tried to weld only the busted areas but ended up welding along the entire edge and set it up in the lathe to re-cut that delicate area. It is amazing how easy this Magnesium welds once the whole part is warmed up properly. It builds up in such big bubble gum beads that it only took two passes to get enough material on to eventually cut it down to the desired profile. This photo shows only a small area welded but I ended up doing the whole edge for a uniform radius.
After the welding, I sent them to be crack tested as these wheels have a tendency to fatigue at the rim edge and cause the tire to blow out. I have also seen photos of the wheel breaking right at the hub area which is super thick so they must have had some casting flaws in some wheels.
The next step was to dip each wheel in an acid etch followed by “Anodine 1210″ solution to convert the wheel to a neutral condition and protect the casting until I could primer it to seal it against the atmosphere. Magnesium corrodes instantly so the Anodine protects the metal while it dries out. My last step it so shoot the wheels with Zinc Chromate Primer just like they used when the wheels were first painted. I can get this primer in Yellow or pale green so I stuck with the original shade.
Syl will really make the wheels pop with some properly applied polyester filler and another coat of urethane primer which will be sanded to bowling ball smoothness. He shoots the wheels with a PPG basecoat in bright aluminum followed by a Clear Coat that has some flattening agent to dull them down about 20%. Wheels were never totally shiny because they would detract from the bodywork on the car. These wheels will be a little nicer than the original finish but we have different standards these days.
Back in September, I saw this 246 GT on ebay that was owned by a man in Winnipeg, Manitoba across the border in Canada. Based on the photos and description, it appeared to be in similar condition to the 206 that I bought in the Czech Republic back in April 2012. This 246 appeared to have been driven a lot when new but garaged and preserved since the guy bought it in Germany in 1981. In the late 80′s he imported the car to the United States, then into Canada. While the guy didn’t restore or service the car, he didn’t let it deteriorate too badly.
I think ebay is great but lately I refuse to bid on higher value items because people use that “snipe” app which I can’t compete with nor do I want to! I hate that stupid app because I just end up bidding against myself because the high bidder doesn’t even have the money to buy the item! In the last year I’ve had about a dozen or so “second chance offers” because the “high bidder” isn’t really prepared to buy the item. Needless to say, I didn’t want to buy this car on ebay!
So, I emailed the seller of this 246 GT asking him to contact me if the car didn’t sell on ebay and sure enough, two days later a man called me from Winnipeg! He reached out to the high bidder through ebay messages, email, and phone but he couldn’t be found so we quickly stuck a deal and I sent him a check.
Mackey Group shipped the car from Winnipeg to my friend Jerry’s warehouse in Montreal so I could drive it across the border between Vermont and Quebec. Thankfully, the cold and snow held off and I got it to the border without drama, but one mile into the U.S. on I-89, the car ran out of gas! Here is a photo of it on the side of the road.
The car is now for sale at the shop. I checked it over and while it has some needs, its a totally complete and straight car that’s ready to be serviced and driven, or broken down for restoration. “L” series cars are more like the 206 Dino having center lock wheels, folding foot rest and that funky long glove box door. One of my favorite features is the wood rim steering wheel which was missing on this car so I just purchased one from a friend to make this a more accurate example.