PF Coupe Exhaust, and Cal Spyder Gastank

PF Coupe Exhaust, and Cal Spyder Gastank


Since the exhaust on the PF Coupe was checked and fitted to the car, we can now paint it and ready it for final assembly. If we had painted it earlier we would have spent the same amount of time touching up the scratches.

Last week I was asking about the tabs below the rockers on the PF Coupe. Several owners responded and told me that they were mounting tabs for a trim strip that is supposed to cover the pinch weld at the bottom of the rocker. My 330 America has a similar one, but the reason I didn’t think of this is because several of these tabs were missing on this car.  This car will have to go without these for now until the owner either finds one or leaves it as a project for the next owner.

This brings us to a very interesting topic of bill-able hours. Kerry Chesbro and I were talking about the difference between working on our own cars and working on a customer’s car. If my car were missing these tabs and trim strip, I would be hand fabricating the pieces and welding on new tabs, but when I’m being paid by the hour to work on these cars, the customer might not want to pay for the several hours of work to fabricate, weld, and paint these trim pieces. The time it takes to collect all the hardware and fasteners is often not even factored into the total cost of the repair. Finding a customer who really understands how much time it takes to do it right is not easy, but we also try very hard not to spend too much time on something to keep costs under control.

Another project I’ve been working on is getting a gas tank fabricated for the California Spyder we have at the shop. The original tank was pretty rusty and after a cleaning and sandblasting, we found a lot of rust and large patch on the bottom of the tank.

The whole bottom half of the tank was pretty thin with the patch falling out, so repairing this original tank was becoming a loosing battle. The best thing was to have a new one made from scratch.

François gave me the task of finding a competent shop to handle the fabrication, and I got bids from several shops. Although this was not a Concours restoration, we wanted a reasonable facsimile of the original tank, but did not want to spend $$$ for an absolute reproduction. The original tank was riveted together and sealed with lead solder at the seams, but reproducing these details for a car that is not headed for Pebble Beach seemed like a waste of money. Besides, under black paint, and undercoating, I wonder how many judges could spot the difference?
New Gas tank

I was highly recommended a fabricator who had made a tank for another shop, and I decided to give him the job. John took the fittings off the old tank and welded them onto the new tank and sent back a beautiful copy of the old tank!
new bottom

The baffles inside and all the dimensions were copied exactly. A thicker gauge of steel was used for the reproduction, so this tank will probably outlast another 50 years in this car.
side view

The mounting tabs were intentionally left off so we can weld them in place to make a perfect fit to the frame rail of the car. After it’s fitted, we’ll send the tank out for sealing to insure the tank remains leak free for years to come, paint it black, and mount it in place. It’s always a shame to have such craftsmanship hidden up under the car for no one to see!

Just a reminder, I’m looking for a new Vintage Ferrari Project. If you have, or know of a restoration project, please let me know. It would be great to restore another car on this website! My E-mail.

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