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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Ferrari 365GTC Interesting Photo

After a massive amount of work, I brought this 1969 Ferrari 365GTC out for photographs and caught this Barn Swallow in the image!  Photo Bomb! If I new how to edit this image you would see that the bird is very well focused and clear.

Bird caught in the image of a Ferrari 365

Ferrari 365GTC with bird


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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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Jaguar XKE Roadster and Coupe

We just got a few Jaguar XKE’s for our inventory, a green 1966 XKE Series I Roadster and a 1971 Series II Coupe. I first saw this Roadster this spring at a friend’s shop in PA. and stupidly didn’t just buy it right then and there. Anyhow, now its here and looking splendid in its British Racing Green with Biscuit Leather color combination and wonderful overall condition. There has been so much interest in XKE’s lately that I have a few other ones on back burner so let me know if you are interested in purchasing one. I purchased a low miles 1966 Roadster in CA, have a lead on a 1966 4.2 Coupe and a friend in Florida has two magnificent S-I Roadsters, both confirmed 100 point JCNA Judged cars.

The red car came in from Ohio and its an incredibly straight, solid and complete car. I did a blog post on it a week ago but now that its at the shop I wanted to share some better photos of the car. This XKE Coupe has some cosmetic issues that I will may deal with but the mechanical condition is outstanding. The engine was overhauled recently, transmission shifts perfectly, final drive is silent, its simply a great driving XKE. The floors and rocker panels are totally solid and all of the bright trim and glass is perfect so any work to clean up the paint or interior will be well matched to a sound driving car.

Later this week I am going to get some photos of the undercarriage to share with anyone who is interested.

XKE Roadster in BRG

British Racing Green XKE

1971 XKE Coupe Jaguar

XKE Series II Coupe 1971

S-I and S-II XKE's For Sale

Series I and II Jaguar XKE’S



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1971 Jaguar XKE Coupe

Jaguar XKE S-II Coupe

Jaguar XKE Coupe 4.2

The Series I 3.8 Coupe sold recently so we just purchased this very nice and original Series II Coupe. Peter is leaving early next week to pick up the car and get it here for a check up. The car is supposed to be in very good driving condition but as you can imagine, it is going to need some things. Let me know if you want more information on this wonderful XKE!

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1977 Ford F-250 Pickup

Ford High Boy Pickup

1977 Ford F-250 Pickup

Branden found this 1977 Ford F250 Pickup for me a few weeks ago, I’ve been looking for another truck to replace the 1968 F250 that I sold this summer. This truck is super clean and solid and I am looking forward to getting it here so I can make sure everything works properly and use it next summer. Thanks again Branden!

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Ferrari 166 for the 2013 Mille Miglia

Ferrari 166 In Epoxy Primer

166 Berlinetta in Primer

After years of extremely taxing labor, we finally finished up the 1950 Ferrari 166 Touring Berlinetta in preparation for its maiden voyage, the 2013 Mille Miglia in Italy. It was an incredible task spearheaded by Casey who had more on his mind than just completing the car in time to catch a flight to Italy, he was going to celebrate his honeymoon in Italy after the Mille Miglia!

In 1999, a gentleman from Tennessee asked us to begin a restoration on this car and as we dug into it, he wanted everything modified. He wanted an alternator in place of the generator, he wanted fuel injection in place of the carburetors and insisted on aircraft wiring harness and “bear claw” door latches, the list went on and on. We suggested he buy a brand new BMW Z3 and drape a classic style Ferrari body on it but he didn’t think that this was a great idea. He wanted all of these modifications ANY take it to Ferrari shows such as the Cavallino Classic and win! He wanted to have his cake and eat it I guess. Anyhow, we couldn’t destroy this car so we dragged our feet for 10 years and eventually he asked us to sell the car.

The current owner asked us to put the car back together and paint it the original “Touring Blue” color that it was from new. This was a true body off restoration with not one screw or part that wasn’t thoroughly “massaged” and if we didn’t massage the original parts, we made new stuff, lots and lots of new stuff.

We bought brand new parts and restored them because they weren’t good enough such as the re-plating the new headlight rings because horrible chrome that was dull, and restoring the brand new push button start switch that didn’t work. The entire grille and front end was re-made since the car was crash damaged and had ’55 Ford headlights installed as well as the windshield surround that was too delicate to reuse.

Berlinetta Touring Ferrari 166

Instruments for the 166 Ferrari Touring Berlinetta

This car was a labor of love and it brings me to one of my favorite subjects, Human Energy! There was so much Human emotion to dream up these cars and then tons of human effort to build them because every part is hand made and custom fitted to each car. Every day that we touched this car, we were in disbelief at how long it must have taken for it to be build. So, with all of that energy, we essentially built it all over again which takes even longer than building it the first time around!

Needless to say, the car in incredible and it drives very well. It completed the Mille Migila gracefully only needing a brake adjustment and a replacement distributor cap. It rained every day but the little blue coupe took the weather, the mountains, the stop and go pace through town with ease.

Restored Ferrari 166 Berlinetta

Ferrari 166 Berlinetta nearing completion

Mille Miglia Bound

Ferrari 166 and 212 prepared for the Mille Miglia

And Casey spent the following week in Italy with his lovely wife Jessica.

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Carello Tail Light Relay Control Box

As much as it irritates the guys at the shop, we don’t throw anything away so you can imagine the boxes and boxes of “trash” that we have in the attic! Years ago we parted out an Alfa Romeo 1900 and I saved this blown out Carello Tail Light Control Relay Box. Its totally broken, missing the flasher part, the points are broken on the switches and the aluminum cover is gone but the brown plastic base is in decent condition. There was a big chunk broken out of it  but the overall shape was good and the numbers were all crisp and clear.

Carello Relay Box reproduction

Re-producing a Carello Tail Light Control Box

Fast forward 15 years, we need to finish the restoration on the 1950 Ferrari 166 Berlinetta which requires this part to make the brake lights and turn signals work properly. I can’t find anyone with these parts so I am making one. With some polyester body filler (Bondo), I filled in the imperfections on the original part and made a “negative” to fit inside the hollow portion. Then I poured silicone mold making stuff around the part to pick up the numbers and details. Next, I poured in the brown-tinted liquid plastic that hardened to become the base of the relay box.

Carello Tail Light Control Box replica

Replica Tail Light Control Box Carello

Making the aluminum cover was a pain in the neck because it has to be perfect with no file or sanding marks to look like it came out of a factory press machine. I sent some photos of the original part to the engraver who replicated the script perfectly.

Carello Relay Box Cover Aluminum

Aluminum Relay Box Cover Carello

Instead of using the electro-magnetic relays, I’m using a solid state controller hidden inside the box so that everything looks totally original from the outside while being a little less problematic on the inside.


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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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Expertly Prepared XK-120 Jaguar

My father just completed the 2012 Mille Miglia with some friends and all I can muster is a photo of one of my favorite cars on the tour. I think we slept for a total of 6 hours over a course of 3 days and when you combine that with jet lag, I can hardly type this post.

This XK-120 is cool because not only is it well prepared mechanically, there is some artistic license to make it look sharp such as discrete exterior lighting and these huge holes on the hood. I especially like the interior, clean and purposeful while using some gorgeous materials and colors. Well done “Two Boars” racing!

XK-120 Jaguar Mille Miglia

Mille Miglia Prepared Jaguar

Jaguar XK-120 Roadster Mille Miglia

Mille Miglia XK-120 Roadster

XK-120 Jaguar Mille Miglia Prepared

Racing style Interior XK Jaguar

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