Ferrari 250GTE Details

January 22, 2021

I got a Ferrari 250GTE delivered to my shop a couple of weeks ago and the first thing I had to do was pull it inside with the forklift. The car was having some issues with the starter and it was easier to fire up the forklift than try to see if I could get the car to start off the trailer. The time I spent fixing the forklift this past summer paid off!

I shot a video of the car when it first came in going over some of the work I wanted to get done after I sorted out the starter. The car is pretty nice with fresh paint and interior, but the engine compartment is not that great. Even though a previous shop rebuilt the engine, they didn’t do much with getting the details right under the hood. I think with a little time and effort, the engine compartment will be at the same level as the rest of the car.

I removed the horns from the car to refinish in the correct red color. Someone previously painted them with some black paint and they looked horrible.

The original color on these FIAMM trumpets was a semi-transparent red color that you can see under the black paint. I’ve been using a particular clear-red model paint that seems to work fairly well, but I wanted to try out some new paint. I have a second set of horns in my stash of parts, and may try to do a comparison, but first the old paint had to be removed.

The base of the horns will get a silver hammertone finish while the trumpets will get a silver base coat. In the past, I used to polish the trumpets before painting them with a candied red paint, but found the polished alloy trumpets wouldn’t allow the paint to stick really well. Painting the trumpets with silver paint worked better providing the reflective base under the clear red paint.

The fuse cover in the engine compartment needed to be stripped so a fresh coat of wrinkle paint could be applied.

Ferrari 365GTB/4 Windshield

January 17, 2021

The Windshield on this 365GTB/4 leaked pretty badly on my customer during the first rain storm the car saw. Many of these cars never see the rain, so people may never know how well sealed the windshield gasket fits until things get wet. Daytona windshields are notorious for leaking for a number of reasons. and I believe the factory resorted to sealing the edges of the glass to the body because even when they were new, they had problems.

This car was new to me, so I had no idea how this windshield was installed. The seal around the perimeter of the glass seemed to be intact, but from the video my customer sent me, water was getting inside the car pretty well. The only solution was to cut the sealant out and see what was going on.

I was pleased to see the integrity of the body was in good shape, so the leaks were not from rust or a deformed window frame, but there was very little sealant anywhere else than the edge of the frame. I could see any gaps between the glass and the rubber would have allowed water infiltration.

I got a new gasket and began the arduous task of fitting it to the glass. Anyone who has done this with a Vintage Ferrari knows this task can end badly. Anything from broken windshields to bent trim pieces can add up to a disaster, not to mention hours of repetitive strain on the hands getting these parts to fit and stretch into place.

The goal was to fit the gasket onto the glass, then get the chrome trim to fit on the gasket, then to get the whole unit to fit to the body of the car without breaking, bending, or killing me in frustration!

I had to start by making sure the glass would fit in the car with the new gasket. Reproduction gaskets can change in dimensions and cause all sorts of problems. Fitment of each piece affects everything else afterwards, so care had to be taken each step of the way.

Next was the installation of the chrome trim. That nearly killed me! I would get the piece 99% installed, but the last bit would be out of alignment forcing me to start all over. Squeezing the barb of the chrome trim into the rubber gasket would strain my hands into submission where after a couple attempts, I had to take a break for a few days so my hands could recover!

I finally got the trim piece onto the windshield gasket, but I was only half way there. I still needed to get the windshield installed in the car! This was done with a lot of lubrication and a rope to pull the seal around the lip of the windshield opening. This again was met with several attempts because movement of the glass, rubber, or trim a half a millimeter would sometimes not be apparent until the glass was installed and required removing the whole unit and starting again!

After several attempts I got the glass to fit to my satisfaction. Some of the rubber gasket will have to be trimmed with a razor blade, but gap was relatively even all the way around the opening.

The gap around the windshield surround will get a bead of silicone to seal the gasket. Looking at the before pictures, I think I have the same width gap as before.

I will be making sure I not only seal the outer lip of this windshield, but also the inner lip, as I believe this was the source of the water infiltration. Wish me luck!

Here’s video I made of some of the process.

Ferrari 330GT Exhaust

January 16, 2021

I removed the exhaust from a Series II Ferrari 330GT 2+2 that looks largely original. Exhaust has been a big topic of conversation on my forum, on the show field, and among owners looking to replace systems on their cars. I’m certainly not the expert on this matter, and have watched systems change from availability, reproductions, and access to original systems to copy. I’m going to attempt to share what I know, and explain the history of how we came to where we are today.

When I first started my restoration on my 330 America twenty years ago, there were basically three options available in the US, buying an ANSA, a Timevalve, or Stebro exhaust system. I’ve seen systems made in polished stainless steel from other manufacturers like Tubi and a couple of UK manufacturers, but these were not commonly installed on the cars I saw.

In the late 60s, ANSA became the official exhaust supplier for Ferrari starting with the Daytonas. Throughout the 60s, several manufacturers supplied Ferraris before ANSA, like Abarth, Cereto, and Spacem. We know this because build sheets from the Factory specified which exhaust was installed on the car. These companies stopped making exhausts for Ferrari by the late 60s, so ANSA being the OEM to Ferrari at the time, built systems for the earlier models. So if you owned a Ferrari that needed an exhaust system, ANSA was the only supplier throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

The combination of short drives that didn’t evaporate the water inside the exhaust, and systems made out of mild steel caused ANSA systems to rust from the inside out. The other manufacturers saw a need in the market for a stainless steel exhaust system because ANSA systems seemed to rust pretty quickly. By the 2000s, there were several choices of exhaust systems to buy for a Vintage Ferrari.

I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but in the late 2000s people started noticing unrestored Ferraris sporting different exhausts than the ANSA systems widely used by the restored cars. At the same time, Ferrari started Classique Certifications to certify car “as they left the factory,” and it didn’t take long after looking at an original build sheet that Ferraris built before the 70s had something else besides ANSAs!

I, along with several other restorers, worked at collecting old exhaust systems to try and recreate a correct replica of the original exhausts made by Abarth or Cereto. The details are subtle, but significant if you know where to look, and the Ferrari judges at the National Level Concours know as well.

Today, it’s widely accepted that the correct exhaust for a Vintage Ferrari may not be an ANSA, but many of these systems were installed on restored cars and unsuspecting owners when their exhausts rusted out. ANSAs are still being used and installed, but as an owner or restorer, you know what is “correct,” and what you’re buying. As far as I know Stebro is no longer making exhausts, but Timevalve can make either reproduction in stainless or mild steel systems. A couple of restoration shops also make “correct” systems, but may not be at a commercial production level. Only time will tell how long the reproduction mild steel systems will last compared to the ANSAs, but I have found the sound from the mild steel systems better than the stainless steel systems simply from the difference in materials. I also suspect some of the rust was due to the quality of the steel used to manufacture an exhaust systems. We will see if how the reproduction systems fare over the years.

The choice us up to you, and the cost is similar. ANSAs sound fine, and the reproductions do too, but it’s always good to know what you’re buying and why.

The mufflers I removed from this 330GT look like an original Abarth system. They are distinguished by the bracing plates welded between the cans. The center section has two long mufflers, and seem to be narrower and flatter than than the ANSA systems.

The biggest telltale on this system is in the exhaust tip. Abarth, and even Cereto systems have a separate chrome sleeve for the exhaust that slides over the rear exhaust tips. ANSAs have a complete chrome tip that is masked at about mid way and painted black towards the front section of the exhaust.

Here’s another shot of the bracing found on this exhaust.

I have to be careful what details to copy off of original exhausts as things are modified through the years. The muffler at the bottom of the picture was patched with a flat panel while the upper one still retains the original strengthening bead. Another detail I did not find on these mufflers that I’ve seen on other systems is concave beads running lengthwise on the mufflers. I’m not sure why these weren’t on these cans.

Another modification was a pair of resonators were also replaced on this system. You can see the crudely welded parts to the ones at the bottom of the picture.

Ferrari Gas tank

I wrestled the gas tank out of the 330GT restoration I’m doing at the shop this week.

Externally it’s in pretty good shape with hardly any dents. It’s always disappointing to find a big dent right at the center of the gas tank where the drain plug sits from someone jacking the car up from the gas tank! Straightening out that damage is not so easy. Luckily, this tank is perfect.

Since this gas tank probably hasn’t been out of the car since it was new, I wanted to show something a lot of shops miss when putting the gas tank back in the car. I know a lot of people use this website for reference when restoring a Vintage Ferrari whether they admit it or not, but I’m happy to share information so small mistakes don’t keep being made. This tip is about the spacer that usually rots away and isn’t replaced.

Ferrari used a soft bushing material that crumbled away with age that spaced the gas tank several millimeters on both sides of the mounting tabs. This isolated the tank away from the chassis of the car, but I often find no spacers installed on restored cars. I use Delrin, or polyurethane spacers that will last a lot longer.

Because of these spacers, it’s important to remember that the gas tank could have a bad ground affecting the fuel sender. Adding an extra wire to the tank for a good ground will help.

With pictures and the addition of videos I’ve been doing lately, I still can’t convey the smell of old gasoline to the viewers. Consider yourself lucky!

Ferrari 330GTC Bodywork

January 9, 2021

I stopped by The Panel Shop in Stratford Connecticut to drop off some parts and to inspect the body work being done on a 330GTC that a customer of mine owns.

Mark Barton and Steve Hall have been doing my metal fabrication and bodywork for many years and you may have seen their work on various projects at Francois’ shop and now mine. These two fabricators are Englishmen that were classically trained in the UK under Rolls Royce and Aston Martin, so they carry on the decades traditions of English metalworking. I am always in awe of their skills, and will try to showcase their craft as often as I can!

My roll in the process is to provide them with as much information on these cars so they can reproduce the details correctly. I often bring down gaskets, trim pieces, and seals so they know exactly the distance they need to get the parts to fit right. I brought the bumpers down last time and we can see how Mark had brought the bodywork to fit the chrome pieces exactly. We’ll get them even better with the rubber seal and grille installed.

Once Mark gets the bumpers installed properly, he’ll weld up this hole in the bumper for me that once held a bracket that spanned across the nose of the car. I’ve seen this on several GTCs in the past, and was installed to protect the nose between the two small bumpers from impact, but I think it really detracts from the shape and beauty of the 330GTC. It’s the only time where I will make an executive decision to eliminate something that may have been installed on the car since new.

I’ve been working really hard on creating videos on some of the cars I’ve been working on, and I want to thank you for the positive words of support. Although I don’t expect to be the next YouTube star I feel the videos really help explain some of the things I do better than just pictures. Subscribing, or liking these videos will help propagate these videos across the internet and allow like minded viewers who enjoy Vintage Ferrari content see and strengthen the community. Thanks for watching!

330 Trunk Lock

January 1, 2021

I have a 330 at my shop that is waiting for a custom exhaust system, so we wanted to fix a couple more things to make this car nicer. One of these things was the trunk lock. The chrome on the lock mechanism was pitting a little bit and looked even worse on this freshly painted car.

After removing the latch mechanism, I unscrewed the big nut holding the lock in place and worked on disassembling the lock.

The lock is held together with a small set screw and I made sure not to strip the little slot for the screwdriver when unscrewing. I’ll be dropping the parts off for plating this week.

Happy New Year and Thank You!

Happy New Year everyone. I won’t predict how 2021 will turn out, but will try my best to make the most of it.

I want to thank everyone who generously donated to this website during the month of December. Not only will it help fund what I have planned for the 2021, but it’s also nice to know you all appreciate the work I put into this site.

Below is a list of contributors:


Thanks Everyone!

Vintage Ferrari Engine Comparison

December 29, 2020

I realized I had three engines at my shop that I could use to show the differences between two and four cam engines. It also gave me a chance to show where some of the internal numbers are on a Ferrari block and explain what the Ferrari Factory is looking for for Classique Certifications. Click on the video below.

If you click on the YouTube logo in the video it will take you to the YouTube channel where you can add a comment below. Let me know what you think. Thanks!

December is almost over and there’s less than a week left to this fund drive. I want to thank everyone who’s donated so far. Your donations go a long way to pay for the server fees, maintenance time, and work that goes into this website to keep things moving smoothly. I’ve been blogging for so long that I don’t ever see stopping this blog, but I have also been trying my best to keep up with the times by working on video content on my You Tube channel and I hope you have enjoyed seeing the content in a different medium. I often ask myself why I spend so much energy and time to put this content on the Internet, and it’s obvious I enjoy sharing and helping people, but it’s also nice to see and hear your appreciation. As a creator, it’s hard to do what we do without affirmation and I want to thank you.

For those that want to send a traditional check, my snail mail address is: LLC

PO Box 36

Hollowville, NY 12530

Sun Visors

December 24, 2020

I’ve been looking at a lot of Vintage Ferrari sun visors lately, especially the ones found on 330s.

Ferrari, or Pininfarina, changed the way they made visors by heat sealing the edges of the vinyl material by the mid 60s.

The edges of the passenger side visor also had the vanity mirror sealed in the same way.

On previous models like the 250s, the sun visors were made in the more conventional method of sewing an edge and can easily duplicated by an upholsterer.

The problem with the later 330s and newer cars, the heat sealed vinyl is hard to duplicate without the proper equipment. As far as I know, no one is doing this for Vintage Ferraris. I think I’ve seen reproduction visors for Dinos, and even Porsches that had similar visors, but I have not seen anything for Vintage Ferraris like the 365s, or 330s.

The problem with these sun visors is the foam inside deteriorates and crumbles to dust. Since there is only a wire frame inside the visor for structure, they become puffy bags of loose foam and dust. Later cars like the Dinos used a perforated vinyl, so when the foam deteriorates, it migrates out of the little holes and shakes out of the visors directly into the eyes of anyone inside the car!

Since recreating the heat sealed edges is not easy, many upholsters resort to sewing the edges of the visors.

As hard as they try, it never looks great, but there is often little choice.

I have a car that is missing a set of sun visors, and I have not been able to find a nice set to replace the missing ones. Any used ones will usually have crumbling foam and not worth the expense. I have a set to copy, so I went ahead a fabricated the inner structure for a new set.

I used the large hub socket to bend the rod into the shape of the visor.

Now that I have the under structure fabricated and welded together, I have to decide how to cover these with vinyl. I would love to make exact reproductions of the originals, but don’t know anyone has solved this issue. I could always bring these down to my upholsterer and have him sew a couple of covers for these frames, but before I do so, I’m asking for your help. Does anyone know if someone can heat seal the edges of these visors? Any upholsterers out there or someone who knows someone who can do this? It would be great to solve this problem.

December is almost over and there’s just a week left to this fund drive. I want to thank everyone who’s donated so far. Your donations go a long way to pay for the server fees, maintenance time, and work that goes into this website to keep things moving smoothly. I’ve been blogging for so long that I don’t ever see stopping this blog, but I have also been trying my best to keep up with the times by working on video content on my You Tube channel and I hope you have enjoyed seeing the content in a different medium. I often ask myself why I spend so much energy and time to put this content on the Internet, and it’s obvious I enjoy sharing and helping people, but it’s also nice to see and hear your appreciation. As a creator, it’s hard to do what we do without affirmation and I want to thank you.

For those that want to send a traditional check, my snail mail address is: LLC

PO Box 36

Hollowville, NY 12530

Nothing is Easy

December 19, 2020

I’m sending a SI Ferrari 330GT 2+2 back home to its owner and I wanted to make sure everything was working properly and sorted before putting it on a truck. While I was under the car changing the oil, I noticed a bolt was missing on one of the bumper brackets.

These are M8 bolts, but when I went to screw it in place, I found the edge of the bracket was just interfering with the bolt’s threads.

Instead of grinding away the little bit of extra material, I found it easier to simply cut the opening with a M8 tap so the bolt woul fit.

With a new bolt threading into the bumper bracket, I still needed to cut the bolt down so it wouldn’t bottom out on the tube it was securing. It took a lot longer to install one little bolt than you would think!

On the test drive, I found the side view mirror was loose and constantly needed adjusting. The would drive anyone crazy, so I needed to tighten the mirror by first removing it. Sometimes, mirrors are attached with simple sheet metal screws, and although it makes it easier to remove, the sheet metal screws will loosen and may even pull through the sheet metal. Luckily, or unluckily depending on your perspective, this mirror was mounted with machine screws on the front fender.

Getting to the back side of the machine screws required jacking the car up, removing the inner fender shields, and holding the securing nuts to unscrew the mirror.

With the mirror off the car, I was able to tighten the two screws that affected the friction of the adjustment. It may have taken longer than anticipated, but it was worth not having a drooping mirror!

I took the car out for a couple of test drives to make sure everything was working and I found the overdrive stopped working! I drove this car several times this Fall and the overdrive engaged every time, but it chose three days before it was ready to go home to fail! Overdrives failures can be one of two things, electrical, or hydraulic. Depending on the location of the failure, I was concerned I would have to remove the transmission cover to reach some of the components. As always, I checked the easiest and most common failures. Here’s the order of my checklist. 1 check if safety switch on top of the transmission is getting power and switches when transmission is in 4th gear. Check. 2 check if power from safety switch is reaching switch on steering column. Check. 3 see if power from switch is getting to relay on fuse panel. Check. 4 see if power to relay is kicking over the relay-Nope! So the problem was electrical. I disassembled the relay to see if it could be repaired, but it looked like it burned out. I couldn’t source a proper Lucas relay in time for the car to be shipped, so I replaced it with a modern relay that will probably be more reliable. We can swap it out for the correct relay in the future, but only you, me, and the owner will know what’s hiding behind the fuse box cover!

I took the car out for a couple of test drives to make sure everything was working and finally felt it was ready to go home!

I want to thank everyone who has donated to this website so far. December is the one time a year I ask for contributions to this website and we’re more than half way through the fund drive. Your donations go a long way to pay for the server fees, maintenance time, and work that goes into this website to keep things moving smoothly. It also inspires me to keep doing what I’ve been doing for over 20 years and to try new ways to get Vintage Ferrari Content to the Internet. Thanks again!

For those that want to send a traditional check, my snail mail address is: LLC

PO Box 36

Hollowville, NY 12530