Porsche 356SC Cabriolet

We have had this 1964 Porsche 356SC Cabriolet at the shop for nearly a year and just got word from the owner that the car is for sale. There is a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity verifying that it is matching numbers and was finished in the same colors as you see here, Slate Gray with Fawn Leather.

The SC is the final evolution to the 356 lineup and is very collectible. This car is a very solid and straight example that needs some time to get it running after many years of storage. In the next few weeks we will drain the gas and fluids, bleed the brakes and get her going.

Please let me know if you want first dibs on this treasure, we are asking $185,000 in running condition.

Porsche Cabriolet

Porsche 356SC Cabriolet

Porsche 356SC Fawn

356SC Cab Interior Fawn

Porsche 356 Cabriolet

Porsche 356SC Engine, Solex Carburetors



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Dino 206GT

Late last summer a customer called me to pick up his newly acquired Dino 206GT. He told me that it was fully restored in the UK but needed to be checked out after the overseas voyage and address a few little squeaks and issues. Then he asked, “How long will it take?” Having never seen the car, I told him that I can’t estimate the timing but will get it scooped up right away.

Like the other projects we have received lately, the car was absolutely magnificent…. but nothing worked. Someone made a custom muffler that vibrated and leaked so badly that we had to replace it. The fuel filler neck hose was installed with such a kink that it split allowing gas to spray all over on right hand turns or when filling it with gas. The brand new clutch cable was rubbing so hard against the steering U-Joint that it wore through it and made the steering feel horrible. After moving the cable away from the steering shaft, the steering still felt horrible because the pinion shaft on the rack was loose and moving up and down.

Ultimately, we did a ton of mechanical repairs and ended up addressing some cosmetic items and made the car drive wonderfully. I drove the car home and needed the defroster fan which I could hear humming away but it wasn’t moving any air. When I got to the shop, I found that the fan housing was cracked which someone tried to seal with an excessive amount of silicone. They inadvertently glued the fan blade to the housing and the motor shaft was spinning inside the fan blade! Insane.

This car is so beautiful that I didn’t want it hanging around the shop for too long, you’ll see what I mean from these photos.


Ferrari 206GT Dino

Dino Ferrari 206

1969 Ferrari 206GT Dino

Ferrari Dino 1969


Ferrari 206GT Blower Fan

Blower Fan Ferrari Dino 206

Filler Neck Hose Ferrari Dino

Ferrari Dino Filler Neck hose


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308 Major Service

Belt Service Ferrari 308

Ferrari Belt Service

The Ferrari “Major Service” is super contentious and I am about to add another wrinkle to it all. In most Ferrari owner handbooks, the “Major Serivice” for Ferrari’s with Cam Belts is due every 10 years or 30,000 miles. Most cars with rubber timing belts use 80-100,000 mile service intervals but the belts Ferrari sourced only last for a 1/4 of those miles.

In order for dealers to sell Authorized Used Ferrari’s, they need to perform a thorough check over and if the belts have not been replaced within the last 5 years, they have to replace them. This has gotten many people to believe that the belts have to be replaced every 5 years. Dealers probably like customers sticking to the 5 year interval because belts services are good profit jobs. You don’t have to diagnose anything and are replacing parts which often don’t even need replacement.

We used to do belt services on 308′s, BB’s and TR’s for a relative set price but lately it seems that things have changed. We did a “Major” on a TR this spring that required so many other repairs. The brakes were leaking, shock bushings were toasted and many other items were just worn out and deteriorated.

We just finished another service on a 308 and many things that we never had to address were in desperate need of repair or rebuild. The lower timing belt drive pulley bearings are bad, the shocks all need an overhaul and the suspension bushings are all dried out and falling apart. The distributor advance mechanisms were worn and even the pin that the ignition points pivot on is broken and loose. The radiator was removed to be checked and a bunch of tubes were plugged so we had to re-core it.

So, what we have discovered is that a good running  and driving rubber timing belt car can have many more needs than just a valve lash and water pump. If you go by a 10-12 year interval, I almost guarantee that an oil leak, water pump leak or some other problem will require an engine out or a need to access part of the engine where it makes sense to replace the belts and do other services. So, don’t get caught up in timing belt interval timing but when it is the right time to service your car, be prepared for a heavier cost.

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Ferrari 328 Upholstery

Last winter a friend found this 1986 Ferrari 328 in a nasty old building that was nearing collapsed. I bought the car sight unseen and was saddened by the condition of the interior. It was delivered new to Saudi Arabia with a “Crema” or Cream White interior with the  striking “Blu Chiaro” paint as seen in the photo.

Years later, it came to the USA where someone installed tan seats and spray dyed the rest of the interior to match. When I bought the car, the leather felt like it had a plastic coating and dirty white leather showed around all of the switches, knobs and pockets. This was totally unacceptable.

We disassembled the entire interior, dash, headliner, and trunk to clean and reupholster everything. It took awhile to locate thread to match the “Crema” and to find the pin striped headliner material but it was worth the wait because the finished product is stunning. I didn’t want to recover the dash but the previous owner screwed a radar detector mount to it and mounted another bracket for one of those old school phones. Now, the entire interior is new and all matches.

1986 Ferrari 328 Interior

Ferrari 328GTS Interior

Blue Chiaro and Crema Ferrari 328

Blue Chiaro Ferrari 328GTS

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Lamborghini 400GT Islero

As mentioned in a previous post, early production Lamborghini’s really impress me. This Islero is part of a large collection of cars that lives at our shop and it didn’t get the memo that Italian Sports Cars are problematic. Its not like the car has never needed anything, about 4 years ago the entire suspension was overhauled as was the transmission. A few years ago we replaced the clutch and fixed an oil leak but at this time, it starts easily, runs great and goes down the road like a champion.

The car makes a great visual impression with good paint and an outstanding orignal interior but the hidden areas are more impressive. The undercarriage is immaculate and detailed nicely with plated hardware and powder coated components. The shocks are overhauled and all wheels are in excellent condition. The engine is amazing with no smoke or leaks and you can lug in 4th and feel it pull seamlessly to redline. Speaking of that, the huge dial tach and speedo are so cool, this car is awesome.

The seller is not thrilled about selling this car but he needs to free up some space for an upcoming project. He drove the car a lot and never worried of problems when he was behind the wheel.

Lamborghini Islero

1969 Lamborghini 400GT Islero For Sale

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1991 BMW M5

BMW came out with the E34 M5 when I was in those impressionable teenage years, unknowingly lusting for cars I would buy 25 years later!  Well, here I am, have the M5 and now looking to re-sell it. This car is truly outstanding and I really like it but it doesn’t fit into my life very well right now. With two kids, 3 dogs, lots of sports cars and pickup trucks at my disposal, I never use this car. Its so outstanding to drive and behold that it should be used more frequently.

This example is a late production car with the cool 5 star twist wheels and shows 116,000 miles on the odometer. The interior is in amazing condition without the door panel problems or major scuffs and rips.  The rear “shelf” under the rear window is a little wrinkly and the drivers door has been re-painted but the rest of the car is in immaculate original condition. This car has to be seen and driven to understand how special and robust a hand built BMW can be.

E34 BMW M5 for sale

BMW M5 1991 for sale

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Ferrari 250GT Lusso Job

This magnificent Lusso came in for some work a year ago after a very nice restoration. The owner has had the car forever and had it restored to a high standard. He asked us for some help sorting the car after the restoration so I happily accepted. I really like these jobs because all the difficult body and cosmetic work was done and its up to us to get things working as they should.

The rear axle wasn’t assembled properly so we did a full overhaul with our tapered bearing conversion. We changed the ratio from 7-32 to 8-34 to make the car more user friendly on bigger American roads.  We have a few little tricks to make sure these axles are dead quiet when going down the road and this one is silent. You can see in this photo how the front of the pinion teeth were grinding against the bearing. Also note the bearing race was crudely ground to remove it from the pinion.

Ferrari Lusso Pinion Gear

Pinion Gear for Ferrrari Lusso

Ferrari rear axle gear ratio chart

Rear axle gear ratio Ferrari


Once we got the car on the road after the axle job, we found the engine to be running poorly and had strange oil pressure so we broke it down to find improperly installed main bearings, rough looking cams and some strange ignition “updates” which really never seem to work as well as the original set up.

Type 168 Ferrari 250 Engine

250GT Lusso Engine type 168

When we finally got the car on the road, the brakes pulled hard to the right because caliper jump line was crushed for some strange reason. After replacing a few front end components, we aligned the suspension and started driving the car for weeks to correct all of the little details that rear their ugly head in the worst possible situations! I drove it home on cool nights to make sure the heat and defrost worked. I filled it with gas to make sure it didn’t leak when full. It takes a team to shake down these cars. After I put 200 miles on the car, Nate drives it and finds that the cooling fan isn’t working properly. I was so happy with how this car came out.

Brake Caliper Jump Line Ferrari 250GT Dunlop

Brake System Ferrari 250 GT

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Fun With Video Production Ferrari and Maserati

Last summer Zach, Bill, Tim and I worked hard to make some video to show some of the wonderful cars at the shop under motion. Please have a look at the video link and let me know if you want us to do video features of your car or if we can help market your car for sales or media features. We have a great team and wonderful roads to showcase your car.



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Lamborghini Pride

For some reason we have been working on more Lamborghini’s and I am very impressed with how robust and (relatively) trouble free they seem to be. I can tell a lot about a car by how it exists around the shop, does it start readily, leak oil , run on all cylinders after sitting? Is the battery always dead, sticking clutch, all the things that rear their ugly head from lack of use. With the Lambo’s that are at the shop, they  seem really robust. It seems that Ferrucccio Lamborghini really did make a better sports car after frustration with Ferrari!

Keep in mind that when I refer to Lamborghini, I am talking about the parts that they actually made like the engine, transmission, axle and suspension components. Everything else was made by Bertone or Touring which is subject to lots of criticism! They had much deeper industrial roots which gave them more experience in designing rugged components and wonderful castings. They also hung it out there with super advanced designs for engine and transmission layout. The Miura is amazing with the transmission tucked into the side of the engine block. The Countach is amazing with the transmission under your elbow and a final drive located at the rear axle line so all the mass is in the middle of the car. The Urraco is amazing to have a unit body and transmission off to the side like a VW Rabbit. So smart to keep the center of gravity low and forward. Really advanced.

One of my favorite cars was the yellow P250 Urraco that came in from Italy. I drove the car all over Vermont and shipped it to Florida to be my “rental car” at Amelia Island. It was so practical, like a pickup truck with the best sounding V-8 in existence.

My appreciation grew after we did an engine out belt service and i discovered the simplicity and elegant design of the mechanical units. First off, its not a massive heavy tube chassis with insanely heavy double a-arms and hubs. This car has identical McPherson struts on both axles. Simple, Light, Effective. The wheels are incredibly light too by the way. It has a steering rack like a Porsche 911, the pinion goes into the center of the rack and its tucked into a compartment to keep it out of the weather.

The power plant is mounted to an easily removable sub frame so you don’t have to risk chipping paint or breaking a rear window to extract it from the chassis. The engine and transmission castings are very nice and layout of things like the water pump and distributor are genius and easy to access.

With some cool cam profiles and equal length headers and collectors, this small displacement V-8 sounds like an F-1 engine. This coupled with a light weight body shell and suspension makes this car very agile.

Subframe and engine P250 Urraco

P250 Urraco Engine Subframe

P-250 Urraco Water Pump and Distributor unit

Water pump and distributor drive housing Lambo Urraco P-250


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Three Very Cool Cars, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Jaguar

I just wanted to share some photos of a few cars that are kind of the same era. The D-Type is a replica in Aluminum and probably one of the most fun cars to drive at the shop.

D-type and SWB

Ferrari SWB and Jaguar D-Type

Aston Martin and Ferrari 1961

Ferrari SWB and Aston DB4

Ferrari and Jaguar Competition cars

D-Type and SWB

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