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

 

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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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Ferrari Window Regulators

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.

Window Regulator Ferrari 308

Ferrari Cable Window Regulator

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!

Cable Operated Window Regulator

Waxy Green Grease to Chip Out

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.

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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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Super Low Miles on a 308 GTSi Quattrovalvole

1985 Ferrari 308 GTS

1985 Ferrari 308 GTSi QV

308 GTSiQV LR

308 GTSi Quattrovalvole LR

Interior 308 GTSiQV

GTSi QV interior from the Top

For the ultimate Ferrari 308 enthusiast, I have located and purchased this spectacular 1985 Ferrari 308 GTSiQV with only 5600 miles for re-sale. It is totally complete with hand books, tools, jack roll, trouble light and often missing boot for the removable top. It even has the original Goodyear NC/T Tires!  This car is truly amazing and needs nothing to be shown or driven, except maybe tires that aren’t 25 years old!

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Ferrari 330 and 365 A/C Vents

Ferrari 330/365 A/C Vent

Ferrari Air Conditioning

Awhile back I published a post on reproducing the often broken or missing vents and knobs for the Ferrari 330 and 365′s that showed the  prototype to review before the final production. The final order of vents have arrived in a box and I challenged myself to make the delicate and finely detailed knobs that go in the middle of them.

Late production 330 GT 2+2′s had optional Air Conditioning with 3 louvered vents in the middle of the dash with little thimble sized knobs that you twist to both direct the air flow and operate the fan speed and temperature of the A/C system. The middle vent had a blank knob and the outer vents said “aria” I II III (for the three speed fan motor) and the other outer vent had a knob that had the script “freddo” that controls the temperature of the air outlet. I found some very good original knobs and cleaned them up, chipped the white paint out of the script and sanded the delicate fluted lines on them to make a good mold. Then I made tooling to make consistent parts time after time to fit the “D” shaped switch shafts. The results are amazing, I am so impressed at how great everything came out.

I didn’t make the louvered vents, these parts were extremely complicated because the outer cylinder of the vent is on a different angle than the louvered slats, how do you make a mold that not only pulls apart straight but allows the louvers to be on a 45 degree angle! Since I paid the big bucks, I own the multiple piece mold and may tell you the secret someday.

The only part I have not made are the chrome trim rings that go on the outer edge of the vent. Later this month the tooling will be finished up to stamp them out of brass and have them chrome plated to match the rest of these lovely little parts.

In this photo you can see the simple little tool to make the fluted knobs. I can only make one at a time but the same tool makes the “Aria”, the “Freddo” and the blank knob. Since I am using the slow cure plastic, I can only make two knobs per day but will experiment with faster cure resins to churn them out a little more rapidly. (if anyone actually orders them)

A/C vents for Ferrari's

330 or 365 Air Conditioning vents

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206 Dino

1969 Ferrari 206 GT Dino

Dino 206 GT Ferrari

On Thursday, my daughter Ruby and I are going to Europe to look at a car that I put a deposit on, this super rare and original 1969 Ferrari 206 GT.  When I asked her if she wanted to go she said “no” but I don’t care, she’s going with me. We’re flying into Vienna and renting a car to tour around a little and see a city that my friend Pete says is outstanding, Bratislava in the Czech Republic. Pete has traveled all over the globe and loves Eastern Europe so much that he has pitched his travel show idea to a number of networks in the last few weeks. This guy is a real character and I think he has a sure shot at being on T.V. with amazing stories that he’s posted on Motley Planet.

Anyhow, this car is supposed to be exceptionally original with low miles and only two owners from new. It even has the cheap orange crushed velour that is vaporized on almost all other 206′s which is testament to its originality.

If the car meets Ruby’s ultra critical standards, the freight forwarders I use in the Netherlands will get the car to Port Roosendaal for delivery to Port Elizabeth in New Jersey by vessel. Ruby and I will take a bunch of photos so we can share them while the car is locked in a container with containers of tulips and wooden clogs stacked on top and all around it for 3 weeks.

 

 

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330 GTC Rust repair

The GTC project is getting some attention after sitting idle for a few weeks. The car is very solid but suffers from the same problem as all Ferraris which is water getting trapped between layers of unprotected steel and corroding it away. The GTC has a very elegant circular vent in the “C” pillar to let air pressure out of the cabin when the doors are closed and when the vent system is used. Since this vent is an open hole into the interior, a little catch tray with a drain pipe is attached to the inside of the pillar so water doesn’t ruin the headliner and flood into the interior. A hose that can be seen under the car allows this tray to drain onto the ground but over time it plugs with debris and the water builds up and leaks inside the rear fender arch making the car disappear into a cloud of brown dust.

Understanding that this car is 45 years old, the bodywork is in amazing condition but you can see the concentrated rust damage connection to the leaking “drip tray”. The front of the rocker panels is rotten away which makes sense because of all the water spray getting inside while driving in the rain. Pininfarina did a great job sealing these car up when new and we will follow their technique so when we’re done, we’ll use the same super thick and rugged seam sealer (that smells like Star Wars Action Figures) allowing the car to last another 50 years when we finish with it.

Rear fender arches GTC

Remaking fender arches Ferrari GTC

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Air Conditioning for 330 GTC

The orders keep coming in for A/C systems for 330′s so here are some photos of the process. The top photo shows the fabrication of the compressor brackets which use extremely thick steel as a substitute for proper engineering. We joke that well before the brackets are going to flex or distort, the studs that secure them to engine will break off. Anyhow, we copy parts accurately but can see that they are way overbuilt.

We also make the evaporator housing which holds a very dense core and squirrel cage fan. The original housing is made from steel but we make it from aluminum since it’s so much easier to work with and the part has a bunch of bends and needs huge holes drilled in the sides.  Since the part is buried under the dash, no one will ever know the difference especially if we give it a coat of light gold paint.

I have all the other parts coming in soon like the condenser, the compressor, drier bottle and all the fittings to complete the kit. It’s such a huge collection of parts and I have lots of stuff in stock but there is always one things that is missing. When its all together I will take a photo of the complete set up. I have a higher amperage alternator to send off with this kit, it’s an 80 amp unit from a 365 GT 2+2 but the 330′s with A/C originally came with Lucas 60 amp alternators

Ferrari 330 GTC A/C system

A/C System 330 GTC Evaporator

A/C Brackets for Ferrari 330 GTC

Ferrari Air Conditioning system

Interior Evaporator Housing

Housing for A/C Evaporator

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330 GTC Restoration

Over the last Month I’ve been disassembling a dark blue1967 Ferrari 330 GTC to re-finish the paint, chrome and interior. Even though Pininfarina did a spectacular job building these beautiful Ferrari Coupe’s, there are some things that I can’t live with. These photos show the fit between the “B” pillar cover trim and the “C” pillar window surround trim just behind the door. The gap was enormous on both sides and was filled in with black urethane rubber from the factory. I ground off the chrome and copper and welded some new brass on the trim (which is made of brass) to tighten up the gap.

Trim on GTC Ferrari

Trim on GTC Ferrari

Ferrari Pininfarina detail

Ferrari Pininfarina detail

Brass welding and fitting

Brass welding and fitting

Another area that bothers me on the most of the Ferrari GTC’s that I have seen is the fit of the center console at the shifter opening. Like the other cars I have looked at, the shifter isn’t centered in the opening so naturally, I have to adjust this area too. This GTC used to have an odd reverse lockout tab like some of the 60′s race cars, but it didn’t fit so someone bent up the sheet metal in the opening on the left side of the opening.

GTC Interior

GTC Interior

Now it fits properly

Now it fits properly

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