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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Lamborghini Periscopica

Its really hard to explain why the early Lamborghini Countach LP400 is called a “Periscopica” or Periscope without standing in front of it. Since there are so few cars in existence and you don’t see them every day, I thought I would show some close up photos on the car  I recently purchased in Italy. Later this month, the it should be here at the shop.

Early Lambo Periscopica

Lamborghini LP400

Look in the center of the roof, see the recessed channel, in the front of that channel is a little piece of glass. When sitting in the drivers seat and looking in the rear view mirror, you look through this little piece of glass to the rear of the car. Visibility is so horrible out of the back of the car so they felt that this was a good solution. For some reason, it was not continued on the later Countach’s

1975 Lamborghini LP400 Countach

Lamborghini LP400 Countach

This photo shows how deep the channel is.

Countach LP400 Headliner

Ceiling shot of the “periscope”

Here is a horrible blurry shot of the headliner and how the glass looks.

Periscopica LP400 Glass

Glass at the front of the Periscope

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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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Lamborghini Countach

The Iconic Countach, every guy under the age of 40 years old had a poster of this car on his wall. But even old men and 7 year old girls can’t take their eyes off this car. This is a 1986 Countach with downdraft carburetors which typifies the look with the red paint, phone dial wheels and rear wing however, the earlier and more rare Periscopio  LP400 cars are consistently selling for $1.5 or higher. My friend Serg just found a LP400 “Periscopio” car for me in Italy which we quickly secured and now I am doing a deal on a silver 1975 LP400 so I am officially in the Lamborghini business.

5000S Downdraught Weber 1986

Lambo Countach 5000S

Lamborghini Countach LP400 1975

1975 LP400 Lamborghini Countach

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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 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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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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Silver and Grey

Sepia tone Ferrari

Altered photo of Ferraris

I’m not feeling too inspired to write on the blog but thought I’d try to make a photo look like it was taken years ago. Not that successful. These are two cars that I really like, the convertible is an outstanding original example of a Pininfarina Cabriolet and the other car is Ian’s 330 2+2 that we just finished re-upholstering.

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Nice looking GTC from archive photos

Nice looking GTC in blue

Nice looking GTC in blue

I was organizing my photo program a few days ago and found this photo of a nice looking GTC to share with you.
We had 3 dark blue GTC’s at this time and I think this car was sold to a guy in Switzerland.

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Ferrari 250 Engine Finished and Tested

Casey just finished assembling this engine after all kinds of people blessed it to make sure everything is in the required specification. The reason it came apart is because the valve guides were loose in the heads and allowing oil to flow right into the exhaust and eventually fouling out the spark plug. When we disassembled the engine we found that the cylinders were polished to a very high level of shine and couldn’t imagine that the piston rings would ever seat. In conversations with Hastings Piston Ring Company it was learned that the cylinders needed to be honed to a coarse 280 grit rather than the ultra smooth mirror polish. Since the engine was apart, we decided to have a specialist cut the rear “slinger” off the back of the crankshaft so we could install a conventional lip seal to prevent oil leaks.

The engine is running great and just today we took the car out for a drive in the Arctic Cold air where it performed perfectly.

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