More Battery Bracket, and a Shift Knob

More Battery Bracket, and a Shift knob

François welded the bottom frame for my battery bracket, so I brought it over to my car to mark and drill the mounting holes. A few more details have to be addressed before it’s permanently mounted in place, but it’s another step closer!

I bought some bevel headed screws for the bracket at the local hardware store. It was amazing they had the correct M6 bolts. It would have been better if they had stainless steel ones, but we can’t have everything! I marked the positions of the holes, and drilled the bracket. I also counter sunk the holes so the screws would sit flush when the battery is in place, just as from the factory.

I decided to try my hand at making a shift knob today. It was almost too hot to work at my shop where it was easily 95 degrees in the shade, and François shop always seems cooler on days like these. I couldn’t think of a better day to use his lathe!

I’ve spent my idle time thinking about shift knobs. (All part of the Ferrari obsession!) The original GTE shift knob always seems too small for me. It borderlines on the design of “dainty.” DOn’t get me wrong, if I had an original shift knob, I would probably keep it, but if I’m going to be making a replacement knob, why not make one I’m going to enjoy using?

One of my favorite Ferrari shift knobs is the one from a 250 Lusso. Many vintage Ferraris since then have have used this design, and it features a two finger indent that my middle and ring finger fall perfectly in place. The one I photographed above actually comes from a 500 Superfast that was in François’ shop. I also had a chance to look at a knob from a 275GTB and found the profile to be slightly different. I made a cardboard template of that one, and used both the knob, and the template to guide me when I made mine.

We first drilled and tapped the block of aluminum to the diameter of the shifter. After that, we found a bolt to screw into out newly tapped block and mounted it in the lathe. Getting the block of aluminum straight took some finessing, but eventually, it turned straight.

A LOT of aluminum had to be removed, and shavings got everywhere. It was so hot today, I didn’t wear socks, so every so often I would have to take my sneakers off to get an aluminum shard out of my shoe! I guess if I didn’t wear shorts, it would have helped, but it was just to damn hot!

In Florence, there is a museum that houses some unfinished sculptures by Michaelangelo. You can just see the figures emerging from the marble. The humble master sculptor once said that the beautiful figures already existed inside the stone and it was only his job to remove what was in the way! As I persisted in removing the aluminum, I began to see my shift knob emerge!

At the end of the day, I had completed the rough shape of the shifter knob. The finger indents still need to be made, but I feel pretty good about where I got today.

Previous Restoration Day
Next Restoration Day
Ferrari Home Page