Lamborghini 400GT Islero

As mentioned in a previous post, early production Lamborghini’s really impress me. This Islero is part of a large collection of cars that lives at our shop and it didn’t get the memo that Italian Sports Cars are problematic. Its not like the car has never needed anything, about 4 years ago the entire suspension was overhauled as was the transmission. A few years ago we replaced the clutch and fixed an oil leak but at this time, it starts easily, runs great and goes down the road like a champion.

The car makes a great visual impression with good paint and an outstanding orignal interior but the hidden areas are more impressive. The undercarriage is immaculate and detailed nicely with plated hardware and powder coated components. The shocks are overhauled and all wheels are in excellent condition. The engine is amazing with no smoke or leaks and you can lug in 4th and feel it pull seamlessly to redline. Speaking of that, the huge dial tach and speedo are so cool, this car is awesome.

The seller is not thrilled about selling this car but he needs to free up some space for an upcoming project. He drove the car a lot and never worried of problems when he was behind the wheel.

Lamborghini Islero

1969 Lamborghini 400GT Islero For Sale

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Alfa Romeo Zagato 2600

We are very close to finishing up the body work on the Alfa Romeo 2600 Zagato after some hassles on getting information on this rare car. This car was very rusty as though it came out of the Long Island Sound but now the body is all steel again and its going to be sealed and painted to make it last forever. The car was built with layers and layers of steel sandwiched together in certain areas which caused massive puffy rusted sections on the bottom of the doors and rocker panels.

We also had to remedy some accident damage and make a bunch of missing trim and even the front turn signal marker lights. Thankfully I found lenses but couldn’t find the bulb holder assemblies so we had to make these as well as bumpers, a full trunk lid and other parts.

Alfa 2600 SSZ

Zagato Alfa Romeo Restoration

1966 Alfa Romeo 2600 Zagato

Alfa Romeo 2600 Zagato 1966

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Lambo Miura and Alfa 2600 In The Snow

Image of Lambo Miura and Alfa

Lambo and Alfa in cold weather


These photos are fun because you rarely see valuable cars like these exposed to the harsh winter weather. At some point, they were just used cars and probably sat out in the weather all the time but you don’t see that too often these days. It may be crazy to imagine but about an hour earlier we had these cars out on dry, clear roads.

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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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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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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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Making expensive parts work

These headlight rims were purchased with headlights and buckets to “bolt in” to the front end of the Touring Body 1949 Ferrari 166 Coupe. The parts are beautiful and very expensive (even though the chrome plating is flaking off) but there is no way to secure them to the car! I have to make these brass tabs which will be soldered onto the rims so I can use a bolt to secure them to the bodywork. I drilled the holes in the parts for more surface area for the silver solder to adhere the tab to the rim. Once I am done I’ll send the rims to the engraver to have the delicate “Carello” script scanned into the computer so when they get re-chromed we can engrave this important detail back in. What an expensive detail!

Carello Ferrari Headlight 250, 166, 212,

Carello Ferrari Headlight 250, 166, 212,

Trim Rim Ring Carello Headlight

Trim Rim Ring Carello Headlight

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Vintage Rallies Close to Cannonball

A group of three approaches the top of the pass.

A group of three approaches the top of the pass.

We have a very close relationship with Rich and Jean Taylor at Vintage Rallies, and I wanted to create a video to promote and build their events. So, earlier this summer we gathered some favorite customers and friends together for a spectacular day of enthusiastic driving on wonderful back roads. We closed down the shop, and Nate, Casey, Peter and I were actually able to enjoy the cars we work so hard on.

We made sure that every car had a camera and a co-driver to run it. The result, a brief, but fun piece that shows just beginning of some of the capabilities that these cars possess. Video after the jump (click here). » Continue reading “Vintage Rallies Close to Cannonball”

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Starting and Driving the Bentley 4 1/2 Litre

We took a Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Tourer down the road to listen to the gears – and it happened to be a splendid day to make a video. It amazes me that a pre-war car can drive so fast and so smoothly – though still being a good bit of work to drive.

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Northwest Passage with Pre-war cars

As we’ve been traveling through the Canadian Rockies on Route 1, the Trans Canada Highway, Route 93 and other roads,  another group in Pre-War cars has been mixing it up with our group of sports cars. To see a 1911 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost “floating” along at 70 MPH is a sight to behold because it looks so effortless and elegant with the huge wheels and locomotive styling. This group is staying at the Banff Springs Hotel as we are so I am passing cards out to see if I can work on any of these icons. Sure, it would be great to see more of the inner workings on a Silver Cloud or on this Peugeot but  I’m more interested in getting some tips!

Peugeot Pre-War

Peugeot Pre-War

Silver Ghost, Wrath, Cloud?

Silver Ghost, Wrath, Cloud?

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