Archive for The Shop

Peter Markowski on Jalopnik

Restoration and Performance Motorcars founder Peter Markowski tells us how it all started in this Jalopnik interview (click here). Special thanks to HittingRedline, of my favorite youtube channels, LeadFootyt, Michael Ballaban, and of course Opposite Lock on Jalopnik which is one of my favorite blogs (besides ferraricraft.com of course). Watch our video first, and then use the above links to blow the rest of your morning watching car videos and reading stories.

Published on Oct 31, 2013

See more at http://hittingredline.com/ .

The RPM shop is one of legend to anyone that has looked through a car show pamphlet in Vermont, but the classic picture of the red barn with three Ferrari 330s out front is only the beginning of the story; RPM can be found at any given time with a plethora of vintage sports and luxury cars, almost all of which possess a genuine and interesting history. See the above video for a brief selection of the cars and projects present at the shop when I visited in early August of this year, and be sure to check out RPMVT.com for more updates on the shop’s current vehicles.

I would also like to thank Peter Markowski for his generosity with his shop and his time – without his help, this film would not have been possible.

 

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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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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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Do We Make Parts

People frequently ask me if we have to make lots of parts to keep old cars operating like new. We end up making things here and there but it’s amazing how much is available from very organized parts suppliers and places that make reproduction items. This is a part that we just couldn’t find, it’s a oil pump pick-up to a front wheel drive V-8 Cord 810. The original part was bashed up, the screen was missing and the little elbow pipe was kinked so we made an entire new part. The copper screen came from a local art store, I guess they use it for making sculptures that are covered with clay or paper mache.
This part is identical to the original with silver solder attaching the tubing and screen.

Oil Pump Pickup for Cord 810

Oil Pump Pickup for Cord 810

Oil Pump Pickup Copper Screen

Oil Pump Pickup Copper Screen

Cord V-8 oil pump screen

Cord V-8 oil pump screen

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Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce Corniche

Rolls Royce Continental

Is this a Rolls Continental? I think its a 1954. If anyone out there wants a very nice example of a Rolls Royce that has a classic look and can keep up with modern traffic, here is your car! It has those iconic Grey Poupon Mustard Trays in the back seat for the filming the next Wayne’s World Movie.

Pardon Me? Do you have

Pardon Me? Do you have any Green Poupon!

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Composite Component Engineering

Steve Maxwell “Max” works in the “second building” next door to our main shop and makes spectacular parts out of Carbon Fiber, Kevlar and other composite materials. This is a complete front clip to a Triumph Spitfire, one of many body panels he’s made molds for. He makes tons of body panels for Datsun 510 Race Cars as well as Formula Ford’s, Hyundai and Subaru  Rally Cars and the occasional Classic Italian parts for me. I’m always blown away with the quality of work that Max churns out and amazed at his attention to detail to make the parts very rugged while staying extremely light weight.

Later this week I’m going to show you photos of brake cooling ducts that he makes for a major Catalog that sells race car parts so stay posted for these incredibly light weight and rigid examples of “black art”.

Body parts for Triumph Carbon Fiber

Body parts for Triumph Carbon Fiber

English Sports Car body panels

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New Water Pipe Run, Get’em While They’re Hot!

Stainless Steel Water Pipes 250, 330

Stainless Steel Water Pipes 250, 330

Tubing for Ferrari engine

Tubing for Ferrari engine

Since I have the jigs, stainless steel tubing and motivation, I decided to stock up on some commonly used water pipes for Ferrari 250′s. The top photo is a mixture of trashed original parts and my re-made parts that attach to the water pump and have a barb for the heater return and a threaded boss for the thermostat bypass. The pipe in the next photo is a custom job for a repilca 250 that was sent to me for duplication. This part doesn’t follow any of my jigs so I made a crude jig to complete this order. I’ve done 4 pipes recently for 1962 Ferrari 250′s, an early 1962 GTE, a ’62 250 PF Cab and two 1962 Short Wheelbase Berlinetta. Even though they should all be the same, all 4 of these are significantly different with barbs going in different directions and the main bend radius unique from one to the other. I’d like to know how these were made originally because there isn’t any consistency in  the style of construction or shape.

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Runs Geat, Needs Everything

Head gasket and oil leaks

Head gasket and oil leaks

Since the late 80′s or early 90′s we have been servicing the car that goes with this engine and it has always been one of the best running examples we know of. I remember riding in the truck with my father to get the car on a cold and foggy night, probably around this time of the year, no, it had to have been early November. It was a brutal trip through that pea soup thick fog as we went over some of the mountains in the Berkshires on route 22.

The current owner of the car drives the wheels off of it and we have overhauled a number of components like the brakes, transmission, and fuel pump but now it’s time to address the engine. It runs great, starts instantly and doesn’t smoke but there are so many oil leaks that we have to break it down to clean it off in order to remedy them. We were blown away because as well as it ran, the compression and leak down numbers were bad displaying 30% loss in some cylinders where there should be no more than 5-10%.

So, apart it goes – it’ll run through our “process” that includes getting the rear main bearing cap cut and grind the crankshaft for a conventional lip seal, new forged pistons and a needle bearing roller follower set among thousands of other things. The motor mounts are blown out and the water pipes will likely have holes in them and will need to be replaced so we will be busy this winter getting all these 250′s back together for the spring.

As much as I hate to mention it for superstitious reasons, we’ve had great success with Ferrari engine overhauls over the last half a dozen years. A few times a week other shops call me asking how to get head gaskets to seal and how to make water pumps turn without leaking or how to make mechanical fuel pumps to work as intended. Their shops are struggling to find the exact formula, and we seem to have it locked down lately. Nate has assembled so many of these engines, he seems to have a real formula on setting the clearances, knowing the tricks to seal them up and making sure every detail is nailed down too.

Clutch housing on 250 engine

Clutch housing on 250 engine

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Fine Tuning of the New Camera

Blue Sera BB

Blue Sera BB

Ferrari 512BB Blue

Ferrari 512BB Blue

The new Canon G10 is working out well as you can see from these photos. Admittedly, part of the reason they’re so sharp is because I shot them at the end of the day with that mystical diffused light coming through high clouds which eliminates the major dark and bright patches on the car. Bill gave me some tips on standing way back and using the zoom to fill the lens with the car which gives the image such better depth. This camera has been great. Keep an eye out for more amazing displays of photography in this blog!

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While We Are On The Group “B” Rally Subject

More Group B Fun

More Group B Fun

While I am obsessing about the Audi Coupe, here’s a good article in Hemmings Motor News on the Cars of the Group B Rally series in the late 80′s. The RS200 Ford is my all time favorite and one of these days I will own one.

You can’t really look back at the Class of 1986 without taking a look at the Group B homologation specials that reached their zenith that year, the last for the highly advanced, extremely powerful and now legendary rally cars.

The original intention of the FIA-sanctioned Group B rally and sports car racing category, accepted for the 1983 rally season, was to replace Group 4′s homologation regulation of 400 units with half that number to encourage more manufacturers to join the fracas. With a need to produce just 200 cars, the acceptance of all-wheel drive, exotic materials and very low minimum weight restrictions, manufacturers pulled out all the stops and created street-going race cars, like the outrageous, flared-fender MG Metro 6R4… read more at Hemmings.

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