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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Some Photos Around the Shop


Exhaust Pony Motor Part

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!

Heat Shields Ferrari Header

Ferrari 330 Exhaust Heat Shield

We had a 1966 Ferrari 330 in the shop that was missing the exhaust header heat shields. We ended up making new ones.

Ferrari 330 GTC Repairs

Ferrari 330 GTC for some minor Repairs

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.

Maserati Ghibli V8

Maserati Ghibli 4.9 V-8

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.

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Ferrari 365 GT 2+2 Wheels

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.

Mag Wheel Repair to Ferrari

Wheel Repair to Ferrari 365 Mag Wheel

Ferrari Wheel Repair, Welding

Repairing Ferrari 365 Wheel

Ferrari Mag Wheel Welded and repaired

Ferrari Welded Wheel


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.

365 Ferrari WHeels Magnesium

Magnesium Alloy Wheels for Ferrari 365

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.



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Ferrari 330 and 365 Wheel Restoration

Lets see if I can describe this story so its understandable…. In the mid 1960′s, Ferrari was drifting away from Borrani wire wheels on their street cars and started using Campagnolo cast alloy wheels. The first style was the heavily ribbed and complex “starburst” wheel used on the early 275 GTB and GTS, followed by the smooth and sculpted “10 hole” wheel shown in the photo below. A 14″ size was used on the 330 GTC and later 275′s and a 15″ version was used on the 330 and 365 GT 2+2. The offset was different on the 330 and 365′s but they are identical otherwise. In this photo, the 365 wheel is to the left and 330 to the right. The 330 Rim edge is much deeper than on the 365 wheel but otherwise they are very similar.

365/330 Wheels Campagnolo

330/365 Ferrari 15″ wheels

A man in Texas asked for my help to find a set of 5 cast wheels and straight ear center lock nuts for his 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. I called my usual contacts and realized very quickly that these are extremely rare parts and the center lock nuts were simply no longer available.

I did find a complete set of 365 wheels with the more “shallow” rim section but nothing for the 330 type wheel, however, the 365 GT 2+2 at our shop was rolling on the wheels that belong on a 330! I sent my customer a proposal that if he wants wheels for his 330, he’ll have to buy the five 365 type wheels that I found which would be fitted to our 365. He would have to pay me to crack test and refinish all 10 wheels which is a huge job because all of the wheels need welding and cleaning up and go through the process of preparing Magnesium Alloy for painting. After a huge sigh of relief, I just finished packing and shipping the 5 perfectly re-painted wheels to Texas with brand new looking cad plated hubs and original style valve stems and tires.

Since the stars were aligned just right, I found a set of 4 totally ratty straight ear lock nuts a little later in the project.  I welded and straightened the bent and smashed knock off ears in preparation for re-chrome plating and when Mickey sent them back all shiny, they looked just like jewelery. Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of them all glossy and perfect.

Ferrari 330 Knock off

Ferrari 330, 365 GT Knock Off Nut

330/365 Straight Ear Wheel Nut

Knock off Nut for Ferrari 330

Repainted Ferrari 330 Wheel

Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Repainted Wheel

Re-Painted Wheels

330 GT 2+2 15″ Wheels Painted

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206 Dino

Ferrari 206 DIno

Ferrari Dino 206GT

Since I haven’t posted anything in awhile I thought it would a good re-entry to post a few photos of the 206 Dino that Roman and I delivered just before Christmas. The car has made a nice progression from when we first got it, wheels re-painted, bumpers repaired and chrome plated, all suspension corners were taken apart and rebuilt. This is one of the best Ferrari’s I have ever driven.

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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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Dino 206 GT in Europe

Upholstery Dino 206 Seats

Original Dino 206 seats


206GT Ferrari Dino

1969 Dino 206

Ruby and I had a look at the 206 on Friday, I really like the car. The interior is so cool because unlike most 206′s, it has the original seat upholstery with a loose weave pattern that can easily tear from a rivet on your jeans.

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Maserati Ghibli Project #2

Hi Jack, to answer your question, the car came to us as you see it and was transported by our creative and hard working friend Tom Munier from Exotic Car Transport in Orlando Florida. He and his driver are Saints for dealing with this move which as you can see is bulky and cumbersome with two 4″ by 8″ by 4″ tall crates and one slightly smaller crate. The car was on the “rotisserie” which seems like a well made unit but is the most awkward and impossible thing I have ever tried to move. Tom’s Car Transportation Company is one of the best in the business and I recommend everyone call him if you need a car moved (after you call me first).

We have to repair some things on the body and address every little part that bolts to this car. One of the guys spent the week categorizing many worn and broken parts and it seems that we have nearly everything especially the hard to find stuff like castings and interior trim. Some of the exterior trim is a little trashed but overall, we are starting from a complete deck of cards.

I have always liked the appearance of Maserati Castings because they looked like they were inspired by the human skeletal system. We had a Maserati A6GCS at the shop awhile ago and the rear axle center section casting looked like head protection for a man in armor. The A/C compressor bracket is a light and amazingly strong aluminum piece of beauty with rib like reinforcements and an odd use of negative space to keep things interesting.

Engine Block Casting Maserati V-8

Maserati V8 engine block

Sleeves for 4.9 Ghibli Spyder

Ghibli Spyder sleeves and crankshafts

Engine Parts for Maserati Ghibli 4.9 SS Spyder

Ghibli SS engine parts

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Ferrari 212 Body on a Pedistal


Ferrari 212


212 Display

Ferrari Display 212 Barchetta


Pedistal mount for Ferrari Body

Display for Fontana 212 Original

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Restored Porsche 911 Wheels

One of the last details on the 911 Targa restoration project is to bolt on the newly refinished Fuchs alloy wheels. I sent these to a specialist who uses the same anodizing and paint process that was used from new. I’m really pleased with how they look because the gloss of both the aluminum and black paint is just right, not over polished.

Refinish a Porsche FUCHS alloy wheel

Refinish a Porsche FUCHS alloy wheel

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