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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A Very Early Ferrari 166

Early Ferrari engine

Engine to Ferrari 166 Coupe

This engine goes to a very early Ferrari 166 that needs to be overhauled. The heads have some major cracks which is allowing coolant to completely fill a few cylinders. We’ll weld the heads and convert the original “hair pin” valve springs to coil type springs.  I am sure it needs new connecting rods since it hydraulic locked a few times and the crankshaft is undercut so much that we may need to make a new one. We’ll get this thing back together eventually and see if she can spit hot flames once again.

Berlinetta Ferrari 166 Touring

Two Very Early Ferrari Berlinetta

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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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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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The Red Belly is Coming Along Nicely

All the sheet metal is painted and the chassis is nearly finished. We are going to start to throw some big pieces at this 1951 Ford 8N pretty soon and I’ll keep you posted on the progress. The gray painted sheet metal parts look a hell of a lot better than they did from new but at least it will hold up for years without burning off in the sun.

It makes me think that building up a simple tractor like this is the opposite of building a house. With a house you start with the big, dramatic task of framing and finish off with the small details like base boards and electrical outlet covers. With a tractor, you start with small bearings and gears and build it up and out into larger and larger components and finish with the big Dumbo Ear fenders and art deco hood and elegant grille.

Red Belly 8N

8N Ford Tractor

8N on the wheels

Restored Ford 8N on wheels

Ford 8N Sheet Metal Gray

Ford 8n Gray Hood

 

 

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Maserati Ghibli Fuel Tank

When we recently inherited the Maserati Ghibli Project, I was amazed at how nearly every component was banged up, broken, rusted or just plain old trashed. Have a look a the front suspension components in these photos, how does this sort of thing happen!

Front supension components Ghibli

Maserati Ghibli Front suspension

Front suspension arm Maserati Ghibli

Maserati Ghibli Front suspension Arm

 

Among all the chaos, I observed a detail that no one has seen, not even Maserati Guru’s that was stuck to the gas tank. I measured out the size of the logo and the font and emailed the image to my friend Justin who runs a very creative graphics shop called JD Designs. He cleaned up the image, fine tuned the colors and made these perfect cast vinyl decals so we can fully detail this car and send stickers to other Ghibli owners. Justin has worked with us in the past to make the graphics for the 212 gauges and some of our advertising material and is a pleasure to work with

Since the original sticker was a little torn up, I wanted to make sure the words and spelling were correct so I visited my good friend Google who located SMA in Parma Italy. Since they still exist and are at the same location I was able to confirm these details to make an accurate reproduction.  I hope they don’t sue me for re-producing their image even though they seem to have changed their look over the years. Fabbrica is Italian for Fabricate or “Makers” and Serbatoi is translated to “Tanks”.

Maserati SMA Original Sticker

Original SMA Sticker

SMA Maserati Sticker

Reproduction SMA Sticker

 

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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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Morgan +4

'64 Morgan +4

Morgan S.S.

We re-painted this 1964 Morgan a few years ago and our upholstery guy just installed a new top. Some other things are being addressed such as a new leather wrapping on the steering wheel and some other upholstery details. Casey installed a gas tank with  very advanced mechanism for a Morgan, a fuel level sending unit and gauge.

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Ford 8N Parts for Sandblasting

Ford 8N Rear Clamshell

Ready to be blasted

These parts are going to be sandblasted and re-finish in the Dove Gray paint used on Ford 8N tractors. Some of the later machines had a more “tan” or “buttery” gray paint when the earlier machines used a cooler shade of gray. We are currently working on the exact shade of red for the undercarriage which should be a little more tomato orange than blood red.

 

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1969 XKE Jaguar For Sale

About 5 years ago I took a photo of this car after it showed up unexpectedly from Louisiana. Out of sight, out of mind the adage goes, we put it on the back corner of one of the buildings and after asking the owner what he wants to do with this XKE, he informed me that he wants to sell it. Does anyone out there want this thing or is Gullwing Motorcars going to pick it up! Later this week I’ll get it up on the lift and check out the car but I think its solid and complete except for the soft top frame. Even though the owner had the brake system gone through awhile ago, there isn’t a firm pedal and the clutch doesn’t work but I pulled it around the shop in gear and the engine turns and we should be able to do a accurate compression test.

Series II XKE Roadster for sale

Once was ivory, now is red, a solid XKE

E-Type engine

Series II 4.2 liter Jaguar E-Type engine

 

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