20 Years. A look Back and Some Perspective: Part II 8/11/00

When I first got my 330 America in 1999, I thought I would have it back on the road in about a year or so! Little did I know how much work it would take or the problems I would encounter, but I persevered. I set aside all my Fridays to devote to the car. We shot a four day work week for the Letterman Show, so I was able to take Fridays and work on the car. I would leave NYC and drive an hour to the shop and usually meet Francois to discuss what work I would need to do that week. I spent the day working on the car and returned late in the evening on Friday night. Saturday morning I would collate the pictures I took with my new digital camera and write a post about what I did. Writing a website log on the Internet wasn’t really called a “Blog” back in those days and software was nonexistent. My nephew, who was going to school for computer science wrote a piece of software for my website to post my entries:

8/11/00 One Year Anniversary

August 7th marks the first year anniversary of my Ferrari. Although there isn’t a precise date I can mark as when I got my 330 America, I’m going to designate August 7th because that’s when I began recording my restoration.

It truly has been a great year filled with hard work, and unexpected rewards. I’ve learned so much about Ferraris, and automotive restoration in this past year, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds! There have been some discouraging times, but I’ve learned not to dwell on them, and move on towards completing this car, a metaphor for life if there ever was one!

This “Restoration Diary” has been one of those unexpected joys that has made the job even more enjoyable. Not only can I have a record of my work, I can also share it with other enthusiasts. I’ve made some good friends through this site, and am surprised with the amount of interest there is. I may have to buy another Ferrari to restore just to keep up the site!

Even back then, there was growing interest in this website. Little did I know it would continue to grow!

Here is an update on where various parts of the restoration is going:

Engine: I’ve fitted the new guides to individual valves, so François can press them into the head. He’s been pretty busy with two full restoration projects in his shop, but hopefully he’ll find a day to fit the guides and valves. Once that happens, the engine will be ready for reassembly.

Suspension: All the major components are together, but the front springs are yet to be installed. Without the weight of the engine, we cannot compress the springs.

Brakes: The calipers have still not returned from “White Post,” but I’m told they will be back any day. New brake lines will need to be bent, and aluminum clips will need to be fabricated.

Fuel Lines: I’ve purchased the stainless steel fuel lines for my car, but the old fittings will need to be removed so they can be silver soldered onto the stainless lines. François will show me how that’s done as soon as he gets a chance.

Upholstery: The leather has been purchased, but work has not yet begun. I haven’t really been pushing Frank, because I need some time to save some money. With the pending engine work I’ll need to pay for along with the chrome plating, having the upholstery work on hold keeps my expenses in check. Frank has told me that he can have the work done in a month once he gets going, so I should know when to start pushing.

Chrome: François dropped off my chrome pieces last week at the platers. How long it will take is anybody’s guess.

Windows: The logistical problems are usually what holds things up in a restoration. All the window mechanism are cleaned up, but I can’t reinstall them because a chrome strip needs to be installed first before anything else can proceed. That piece is at the chrome plater’s!

Grille: I’m not sure what’s going on with the grille. Rudi wants to finish what he started so I have to honor his wish. When he will be able to work on it? No one knows. I have all the old pieces to reassemble the old grille, but I know it will look pretty tattered on a newly painted car. I guess time will tell what will happen.

The grille would continue to take me on a journey to completion through three different shops. I eventually had a friend digitally scan and laser cut the pieces that were welded together to form the outer shell. The new grille is still on the car today, a monument to the work we did on this project!