A Look Back at 2002

A Look Back at 2002

This is the time of year where everybody looks back at the past year, and forward to the new one about to come, so here’s my little bit of nostalgia for 2002.

2002 started two and a half years on the restoration on the Ferrari. In January ’02 I was in the middle of fabricating y-pipes for the exhaust system. After they were fitted to the car, and tack welded to the correct positions, I had final TiG welding done by my friend John.

February progress forward was brought to a complete stop by the discovery of water in the differential oil! The only choice was to take a look inside the differential and check for corrosion or other damage from the water. Unfortunately, this meant most of the rear suspension would have to come apart.

The wire wheels were getting prepped for tire mounting. I learned about spoke tape, and the things people have forgotten since hardly anyone has wire wheels anymore!

By month’s end, I got far enough into the differential to see the ring and pinion gears. Luckily, there was no visible signs of rust, and all the bearings looked good.

March continued the rebuilding of the rear suspension. Since most of the rear suspension had to come out to get to the differential, I fabricated, and replaced all the worn bushings.

It took until well into April before the rear end was put back together! It was a long and grueling detour for my restoration, but well worth the effort. I would have never known how worn out the rear suspension bushing was had I not taken things apart. Months later when I finally got to drive the car, I was rewarded for my hard work with a suspension that is as tight as can be!

Now that the differential and rear suspension were back together, I could continue working on getting my car on the road. Buying tires, and getting them mounted was the next order of business. I had to learn about balancing wire wheels, and how they are different to regular wheels. To save money, I had a wheel adapter made up to mount my wire wheels to a modern tire balancing machine. It took some learning, but I successfully balance all five tires at my local tire shop!

The day to starting up the Ferrari V-12 was getting closer, but one of the things holding me back was an alternator bracket. In May, I decided to have one made from scratch from a template I made from cardboard.

By June I had completed everything that was necessary to start the engine, so François and I started her up for the first time in over 25 years! It was a major milestone that proved that my hard work would eventually pay off, and was a sign of more accomplishments to come!

After the startup, the business of the summer was to get the old Ferrari on the road! The bumpers were hung, and the license plates were mounted!

Every “Ferrari Friday” in the Summer and Fall seemed to pass another major milestone. The hood was installed, and seats were mounted. Here’s a shot of her first bath!

All the work came together in October when I finally got to drive my 330 America for the first time! The movie doesn’t show the ear-to-ear grin I had after that momentous occasion!

The rest of the fall involved troubleshooting small leaks, and electrical gremlins. I worked on the car until that very last minute in the Northeast before the weather closed in on me and my Ferrari. With 400 miles on the odometer, I can see this is the start of beautiful friendship!

Looking for projects to occupy my time until I can drive the car again, I began collecting parts for my seatbelts. We’ve already gotten twice the amount of snow this year than last year, so it may be a long winter. It makes it even worse when I’ve got little read Ferrari just begging to be driven!

Looking forward to 2003, the next step for the car is to sort out the overdrive electrics once and for all. That will have to wait until I can drive the car on the road fast enough to engage fifth gear. The major project will be to get the interior going on the car. The seats and carpets will need to be made up at my upholsterers. Once the seats are done, the car will need to be driven to his shop for the carpet installation. I can safely say that 2003 will probably be the year this 330 America will be completed! Thanks for coming along for the ride!