1747: Grille Polishing

Polishing begins

I asked the owner of PF Coupe 1747 if he wanted to have the grille polished a few weeks ago, and we agreed it would look nicer if we brought back the shine. David and I are trying our best to preserve the original details on this car, but at the same time improve the cosmetics so 1747 will have a good showing at the Ferrari Club National Event in June. Ferrari grilles come with a high level of polish when they came from the factory, so bringing back the shine would not be over doing it. The only problem is shining up a Ferrari grille is a little involved!

I began by removing 17 little screws and nuts that hold the grille together. With the shell separated from the egg-crate section, I sanded and polished the shell to a high shine with a buffing wheel on a flexible shaft. 
wet sanding

The next step was to disassemble the egg-crate section and begin wet sanding all the pieces. I took some notes so I could put the grille back together, but these grilles are stamped and numbered from the factory to make reassembly easier.
before after

After years of exposure to the elements, dirt and corrosion collects on the aluminum. This grille was in pretty good shape, but still needed sanding to remove the imperfections on its surface. The right side of the picture shows the difference after sanding with 2000 grit sandpaper.

After all the pieces were wet sanded, they were buffed on a buffing wheel. It’s probably one of the worst jobs in restoration next to scraping undercoating on a Ferrari. Even with protection, the polishing compound gets everywhere as you buff each piece. It’s slow work where the aluminum gets polished in one inch sections at a time. You also have to keep your concentration up, because one wrong move and the buffer will snatch the piece out of your hand and toss it across the shop, often bending or damaging it, and at the very least scuffing it where you have to start all over again. Ah, the glamor of Ferrari Restoration!
assembly begins

Many hours later, I had a grille that looked great. I tried not to polish the grille too much so that it looked brand new, but kept it looking “right” in relation to the car.

The chrome horse on the center of the grille was polished and reinstalled as well. The chrome is wearing thin, but had just enough patina to show she’s been representing Ferrari for many years on this old car!

Reminder: If you have a Ferrari related project, car, or idea you’d like to explore, I’d love to talk to you. I can also help if you’re thinking of buying or selling. This website represents what I love to do, share, and how I make a living, so if you’d like to do something together, let me know. It all begins with an e-mail!

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