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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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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Brake Fluid Reservior for 250 GTE/SWB/Lusso

So often we try to repair old parts to maintain originality or because new stuff isn’t available and if I tallied up the hours spent patching the often rusted and mangled brake fluid reservoirs for Ferrari 250′s I’d get really depressed. I found a few of these New Old Stock reservoirs with the correct caps and quickly bought them all! Since I have a few more than I need, I’ll sell a few.

Brake Fluid Reservoir 250 Ferrari

Ferrari 250 Brake Fluid Bottle

Brake Fluid Can Lusso, GTE

GTE/Lusso/SWB/PF brake fluid bottle

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Antifreeze Doesn’t Last Forever

What makes antifreeze go from alkaline to acidic? Does combustion gas leak from the head gasket and contaminate it or is it the heating and cooling process? Regardless, we have had two corrosion situations from acidic coolant recently, a pair of 330 cylinder heads and the core plugs in a 365 GTB/4 Daytona. To be fair, the core plugs are very soft alloy in comparison to the engine block so they are kind of sacrificial, unfortunately they are difficult to change. These plugs were so delicate that just by scraping the crusty coolant off to find the source of the leak, the screwdriver poked right through them like they were made from waxed paper.

Daytona engine block

Ferrari 365 Daytona Engine repair

Core Plugs for Daytona Ferrari 365

Ferrari 365 Core Plugs

The 330 heads are a combination of a bad casting and corrosive coolant. I saw a youtube video showing the process of building a modern Ferrari 612 engine where an MRI test was used to determine the thickness and integrity of a cylinder head casting. They didn’t have this technology in 1966 and this is the evidence of it! The deep pores in the exhaust port aren’t from corrosive coolant, it’s from a horrible casting. The pitted areas around the water passages are due to corrosive coolant rotting the material away.

330 Head Gasket leak

Head Gasket leaking on Ferrari 330

Cylinder head Leaking on 330 Ferrari

Welding holes in Ferrari 330 V-12

Like a dentist, I drilled and scraped the corrosive material out so I could weld the holes that were leaking coolant into the exhaust and intake ports. I don’t often remove valve seats and realize what a difficult job it is but I found a great way to get them out easily. I take a valve with the same size stem as the original (8mm for Ferrari) but has a slightly smaller head. I weld the head to the seat and drive the valve and seat out with a hammer from the back side!

Ferrari 330 GTC Head Repair

Repairing 330 GTC Heads

Anyhow, after welding, grinding, pressure testing a number times, I finally have the heads sealed up and looking great. After grinding and cutting the core plugs out of the Daytona block, we installed the new ones and sent the car home.

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Silver and Grey

Sepia tone Ferrari

Altered photo of Ferraris

I’m not feeling too inspired to write on the blog but thought I’d try to make a photo look like it was taken years ago. Not that successful. These are two cars that I really like, the convertible is an outstanding original example of a Pininfarina Cabriolet and the other car is Ian’s 330 2+2 that we just finished re-upholstering.

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Ferrari 250 GT Lusso Engine is Finished

Assembling a 250 engine

Ferrari 250 engine Assembly

Ferrari engine, 250 completed

Test run and complete


The Lusso engine is finished and running well. Nate did a nice job detailing it and once we take it off the stand we’ll do some more work to make it look super sharp. Mickey refinished the fuel rail that was mixed in with a huge order of 330 GTC and Maserati Ghibli parts and forgotten about for months but its all together now, making steam

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Blaupunkt Frankfurt Radio

This is a very nice Blaupunkt Radio that is period correct for late 50′s  to early 60′s European Cars. It has all the little details such as the knobs, facia panel and amplifier. If you are interested in purchasing it let me know.

Frankfurt Blaupunkt

Frankfurt Blaupunkt

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Hundreds of Hours of Labor

Carrozzeria Touring Berlinetta

Carrozzeria Touring Berlinetta

Ferrari Headlight detail

Ferrari Headlight detail

Touring Carrozzeria Body Dashboard

Touring Carrozzeria Body Dashboard

High Build Primer Ferrari

High Build Primer Ferrari

Here are a series of photos of the block sanding process on the Ferrari 166 Touring Berlinetta. The sheet metal is all sorted and gaps are perfect but the body needs hundreds of hours of serious elbow grease (sanding) to make sure it is all straight as an arrow. Syl isn’t scared of the “mud”, he completely fills in all of the door and hood gaps allowing him to block sand right across them so when the light hits the highly polished top coat you won’t see any waves or change in reflection.

Even though the grill we made fit the opening in bare aluminum, Syl spends hours making it perfect with skim coats of body filler and attacks the headlight rim contact areas with the same level of perfection. There isn’t any room for error when working with super fine trim that is used all over this car like the delicate headlight rings and the low profile windshield and rear glass surrounds. Imagine these surrounds,  start with a long  section of 1/4″ aluminum rod and whittle it down so only a quarter of it is used.  We re-made this trim because the delicate original material was destroyed when the car was disassembled.

Right now, the car is sealed up in high build primer with a blue tinted epoxy primer that seals the polyester filler from moisture and greasy finger prints. Now we have some more fitting here and there before it goes back to Syl’s shop to work out some more details such as the incredibly complex belt-line crown that goes from the headlight to the tail light..

We’ll probably have more hours in sanding and painting the dashboard that it would take to paint an entire late model car like a Mercedes or Honda. The dash on this car is a thing of beauty but it requires a perfectionist sicko to finish it because like the rest of the car, the trim that surrounds the gauges and switches are like string bikinis

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Very Nice Looking V-12

Ferrari 250 GT 6 Carb Manifold

Ferrari 250 GT 6 Carb Manifold

TR Engine for 250

TR Engine for 250

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An Amazing Way to Build a Trunk Lid

This is so cool, it must be some sort of World War II Aircraft Manufacturing technique for welding aluminum by smashing it together that was used for cars. This trunk lid was made by Carrozzeria Touring in the late 1940′s and as much as I curse the way they build cars, this is some of the most amazing craftsmanship I have seen. Since it isn’t adding any new material its keeps the panel very light and super strong and without the heat of welding, the panel doesn’t warp and distort. I’m guessing that the force of smashing the two aluminum pieces together in a focused area causes enough heat to melt and stick them tight.

Welding aluminum with a punch

Welding aluminum with a punch

Aluminum welding technique

Aluminum welding technique

I’d like to see other examples of this attachment procedure and find out what it’s called.

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