Rebuilding the GTC Nose

Mark Barton from the Panel Shop came up to my shop to compare measurements and shapes of panels he’s made for the Ferrari 330GTC we’re fixing with another one I have at my shop. He brought lots of cardboard to make some templates of the contours of the nose.

He fabricated the top sheet metal pieces to the nose from scratch and has the grille roughly attached, but needed to check the angle of nose before he attached it to the bottom half of the nose.

There are many shapes, angles, and compound curves to check. The bottom lip of the grille on most Ferraris sits slightly back from the top so the angle is crucial to get right before the sheet metal is welded in place. There is not only a curve that rises towards the center of the hood badge from each headlight from left to right, but also a curve that starts from the edge of the grille and heads toward the windshield. The radius of these curves are increasing and decreasing all across the bodywork and is one of the reasons it’s so hard to get right.

Getting these shapes right in sheet metal is the right way to do it, not with plastic filler. I see a lot of body shaping done with layering on pounds of plastic filler because shaping a car’s body when it’s covered with filler is a lot easier than making these shapes right in metal. The problem arises when a door ding turns into a crack in the plastic filler, or moisture gets behind the body filler and bubbles up the filler. Unfortunately, after the paint is applied, both results look the same to the untrained eye until there’s a problem.