THE VINTAGE FERRARI SPECIALIST

Monterey 2021 Part VI

August 30, 2021


I arrived super early to help uncover some cars that were showing on the lawn at Casa Ferrari.

Just outside the entrance to Pebble Beach, Ferrari invited a selection of cars that were made by Ferrari from the 50s, all the way to the modern cars. They were parked in age order, surrounding a group of new Monza SP1 and SP2 cars celebrating the sports racers from the 50s. These cars were special order cars sold to special customers that showed the enthusiasm that Ferrari liked to see, and they rewarded them with the opportunity to spend even more money!

The 1958 and 1959 Testa Rossas that we were driving earlier in the week were invited to show at Casa Ferrari, so I benefited from this invitation by sharing in the food and drink Ferrari provided with access to Casa Ferrari. Thank you Ferrari!

One of the benefits of attending the Concours at Pebble Beach are the displays the manufacturers bring to show at Monterey. I found this Ford display interesting comparing the original GT-40 to the modern Ford GT that it inspired. Look how large the newer Ford is to the original!

I made it out to the Ferrari section out on the main lawn at Pebble beach to see my friends Greg and Parker. Greg won third in his class which is very impressive for a world stage!

I was excited to see the “Triposte” Ferrari, a 365 Prototype Ferrari once owned by Luigi Chinetti Jr. This car is just back from a full restoration, but I remember over a dozen years ago when this car was at Francois’ shop getting a tune up!

The McLaren F1 may have three seats, but this car was one of the first to do it in the 60s!

I won’t name names, but anyone who has shown a car has been caught in a compromising position trying to rectify a problem with a show car. Good luck guys!

Francois and his wife Pam were also hanging out at Casa Ferrari, so I managed to get a picture of us. I can’t express the love I have for these two people and how much they changed my life in the world of Vintage Ferraris!

I met Jim Glikenhaus several years ago on the commuter plane between LA and Monterey during Monterey week. Before I had a chance to tell him how much I was entertained by his posts about his cars, he told me how much he liked reading my website! We’ve been friends ever since. While he was showing a Pebble, his Hyper car was setting fastest times at testing for Le Mans!

I finally got a chance to catch up with my friend Jeff with the yellow Monza. Being the only yellow one with the center stripe, I kept spotting the car all over the Monterey Peninsula, but no Jeff. We finally got to spend some time around the car on Sunday, the last day of car week. Jeff was heading back East, but had one concern. The cars were not allowed to leave the lawn until later in the afternoon, but his flight out was before the cars were allowed to exit. I offered to drive the car to the transporter parking lot after juggling around my schedule. He handed me the keys to his $1.7 million dollar car and headed to the airport!

The Ferrari people herded all the cars parked on the lawn in front of Casa Ferrari and we exited the show field. It must have been quite a sight to see over 25 of these cars leaving together.

I caught some confused looks from friends I knew who spotted me behind the wheel of this yellow Monza SP2. At least they were nice enough to snap a picture to document the occasion!

I realized after delivering the SP2 to the transporter lot, I would still need a ride back to my car. Since my friend with the Testa Rossa was leaving Casa Ferrari, I called Steve for a my ride back to the rental car! I also took the opportunity for a impromptu photo shoot with the two open sports racers in the same hue. Where else but Monterey can you call up a ride and real 1958 TR shows up. That’s one hell of an upgrade in an Uber XL!

If you haven’t seen the video from an earlier post, here’s the ride back from the transporter lot.

Both TRs were tucked away as I got ready to head out to the Bay Area and eventually home. It was a fantastic week with some memories that will last quite a long time. Of all the images I took during the week, I think this will be the one that will always remind me to Pebble Beach 2021!

Monterey 2021 Part V

August 29, 2021


I was excited to go to Concorso in Seaside CA just north of Monterey. It’s been two years since this show was last held, and I was looking forward to seeing some Italian cars and some old friends.

I arrived super early before the crowds so everything was completely covered dew.

I grabbed the chance to take some photographs.

Some people were able to load their cars on the lawn the day before, so their covers were still on.

A familiar face was sitting on the lawn waiting for her owner to come back. It was Tom Mingle’s 275GTB/4 that he’s owned for 40 years. She shows all the marks of a well used car and history with Tom. Some people would love to restore this car to brand new, but I like the patina this car wears. Obliterating all the history would be discounting everything this car and Tom shared through the years!

The judges were in full force looking over the cars here for the show.

I spent some time with Tom Martinez going over his 330GTC and the recent work he had done on the car. He’s an active member to my forum and contributes his experience to the Vintage Ferrari community. It’s always fun to catch up in person as we’ve all been relegated to virtual connections for over two years!

A very interesting car was found across the lawn in a section for modified cars. From far away, it looked like a familiar NART Spyder Francois looks after in CT, the original one seen in “The Thomas Crown Affair,” and won its class at 12 hours at Sebring driven by Denise McCluggage and Pinky Rollo, but I knew this was was back in CT with the owner’s collection.

Under the hood of this imposter was something very impressive, a 550 Maranello running gear!

The engineering that went into this car was outstanding, and I heard it was completely fabricated from scratch. No 275s were supposedly harmed to make this recreation and yet it seemed correct in shape, size and proportions. The center tunnel was a little higher to fit the torque tube of the Maranello drivetrain, but the execution was top notch.

I even peeked underneath to see if I could spot a hint of it’s old chassis, but I found a fabricated rear section as well, so I would have to believe what I heard.

After getting home and looking my pictures of this car, there was something strangely familiar and yet something not right about this car. Besides the fact that it was a “tribute car” to the original NART Spyder, there was something in the shape that didn’t sit right with me, then I realized what it was. The grill opening is more similar to that of an E-type than a 275GTB!

Here’s the nose of the real 4-cam 275GTB with a long nose. The opening is curved in an arc following the curve of the bumpers. When you look at the yellow car, it is flatter as you would see on an E-type. Also, take a look at the marker lights. They’re sitting differently. A lot of work went into this car, and yet there are subtle differences that are not quite right.

If there was one picture that spoke “Ferrari Fan” at Concorso that would be this one. The woman in red would be a close second.

Monterey 2021 Part IV



Walking into Laguana Seca on Friday morning of Monterey week, I was met with a line of Ferrari Monzas, the two or one seat sports racers that Ferrari are building in limited numbers and made available to special customers. These cars were seen parading around the Peninsula all week as Ferrari shuttled them to some of the events like Quail, the Historic Races, and Pebble Beach. I spotted this yellow one belonging to a customer of mine.

It felt good to be back at the track after a two year hiatus due to the Pandemic. I felt attendance was down due to the lack of spectators from Europe, the UK, and other countries that were banned from coming into the US without a quarantine. I also felt some people may have stayed home domestically just to be safe.

It’s aways good to hear a Vintage Ferrari at full tick echoing off the hill at the Corkscrew!

One of the joys of going to Monterey during car week is to see the special cars that people bring to showcase their work. I found this car in the paddock that caught my attention. It started life as an original Mini, but is now a rear engine, rear drive, Japanese powered custom car built in Vancover Canada called a Spectre Type 10.

Singer did this type of high level customization to Porsche 911s, and these guys took this concept and applied their talents to a Mini.

The level of design, fabrication, and execution was impressive.

Monterey 2021 Part III

August 28, 2021


Friday of Monterey week started with the Werks Reunion at the Blackhorse Golf Course in Seaside CA, just up highway one from Monterey.

It’s a free event for spectators and it brings out hundreds of Porsche fans and owners. If you like Porsches, this is like going to heaven. In certain parts of the country Porsches are not that common, but Californians love them, so you can imagine how many turn up for a car show! Almost every model and variation was represented. I myself started as a Porschephile, so it was easy for me to slip back into the Porsche lingo, and blend in.

Even the car park was filled with hundreds of 911. After a couple of hours of immersion, I was ready to look at something else!

What I chose to look at was Ferrari parts! T Rutlands opened a branch of their parts business in Monterey right by the airport next door to John Bagioli’s shop Forza Motors. I stopped in to say hi to both shops and take a peek at what they were up to.

T Rutlands is constantly acquiring inventory from other shops and retiring technicians, so their used parts is always changing.

Just seeing the parts laid out reminded me of several customer’s cars looking for particular parts.

If I were next door like John’s shop, I would be over here every day picking through their inventory!

If you need anything, call Dave at T Rutlands.

Monterey 2021 in Car Video

August 27, 2021


This year in Monterey, I had the rare opportunity to ride and drive a couple of special cars. Here’s the video of the experience!

Please don’t forget to like and comment on the videos so I know you’re out there and want to see more. I’m having fun sharing them with the Ferrari fans that like this kind of content, but it helps inspire me to do more when I get feed back! Thanks!

Monterey 2021 Part II



There was a lot of ground to cover this year in Monterey, but that’s the same story every year. The auction previews were happening, the shows were starting, and add to that we haven’t seen each other in two years, so all the car enthusiasts were ready to go!

There was a heavy anticipation at the auction houses to see what the market would do. They all agreed that did fairly well in the past year or so transitioning to fully online auctioning due to the COVID Pandemic, but agreed it was nice to be back in person and showing cars in the flesh.

There was still a very strong online registration, and many people were planning to see the cars during the previews, but bidding for their cars online. Perhaps being in a crowded room during a pandemic was not the idea of health safety.

Dean Batchelor’s unrestored 330 GTC was up for auction at Bonhams, and I wanted to take a closer look.

I was disappointed to see the front shock mounts had not been repaired as per a factory recall in the 60s. I would have expected someone as knowledgeable as Mr. Batchelor would have known about this dangerous flaw and fixed the car. There is original, and there is dangerous. If you want to read more about this recall, click here. If you purchased this car, or know the person who did, please let them know!

There was a GTE up for auction that was on the verge of being a restoration candidate. All the details were there, and it wasn’t missing any major pieces.

The only disappointment was the application of burl wood on the dash! Not fitting of a GTE!

Monterey 2021 Part I

August 22, 2021


I arrived in Monterey and got in touch with Steve Hill who was planning on showing two Test Rossas at the Casa Ferrari Event at Pebble Beach in a couple days. They were at Steve Fremgen’s shop, Coppa Bella Motors and I invited myself over to see the cars!

Steve Hill manages a few Ferraris from the Bay Area along with his own cars. I’m working on his aqua colored GTE in NY, but Steve Fremgen has been taking care of the big guns! Fremgen and I have emailed each other through the years, and it was great to finally meet in person. He too is a one-man shop, so we compared notes and commiserated about the trials and tribulations of running a shop by ourselves.

This 1958 Testa Rossa just needed a little tweaking to run on the street for the weekend. As much as they’re drivable on the street, the spark plugs were changed for around town tuning, which is not what you would see on the track.

Steve also had a 1959 Testa Rossa and when Fremgen had it ready, we took it out for quick drive. The shop is just outside of Laguna Seca so we took blasted down Skyline Road to the track to get some fuel. I shot some video of this drive, and when I get back home from CA, I’ll post them.

We stopped by the Intrepid trucks in the Paddock to get some race fuel. It’s always fun to drive past a race track gate keeper that hardly stops you because you arrived in the right car!

Steve and I went for an extended drive around the neighborhood to make sure the car could handle stop and go traffic and idling around town before the weekend where she would be required to do it every where she went. The 59 TR did fine.

During one of our drives down Skyline, we avoided running over a local. Of all the years I’ve been out in Monterey, I’ve never encountered a Rattle Snake. I’m not scared of snakes, and jumped out of the Ferrari to take a quick picture. I just hoped it wasn’t some kind of sign for the week to come!

Ferrari 330 Head Removal



It took a several days, but I finally got the first head off the 330 engine. One head stud was really corroded and was locking the head onto the block, but with steady pressure and penetrating oil, I got the head to move off the block.

The second head required the same treatment by using a steel plate and steel bolts exerting pressure on the top of the head studs to slowly pull the head off the block. You can see the white powder that is from moisture corroding the steel stud next the aluminum head. This little bit of corrosion will lock the head to the stud, and cause all sorts of problems. As the head is pulled, I had measure the distance it was moving to insure it wasn’t moving unevenly and cocking itself to the head studs.

Eventually, both heads were safely removed from the block without damage.

The next step is to remove the pistons and rods so the crankshaft can come out.

Here’s a video of some of the disassembly.

Little Details on a Ferrari 250GTE

August 8, 2021


After getting back from our road trip in this Ferrari 250GTE last month, the new owner made up a “to do” list for me before sending the car to its new home. The wire wheels needed to be refurbished, so the tires were dismounted, and the wheels were shipped out.

I installed a set of seat belts that matched the interior of the car better than the black ones that were in the car. I also installed a set of belts in the back seats as well so the kids can go along for the ride!

The rubber boots that sealed the pedals from the weather were torn up, so I had to remove them to install new ones.

The panel from the floor board comes off so I could drill out the rivets that secured the old rubber and rivet new rubbers back in.

With everything back together, I guess we should replace the pedal pads too, as they’re pretty worn!

The brake reservoir could use some fresh paint, so it was stripped and painted. The brake fluid was doing such a number on the reservoir that you would think it was originally wrinkle paint when it was actually semi-gloss black!

I’m on the hunt for one of these glass lenses for this car. It’s a for the front turn signal on this GTE. The lenses on this car were incorrect, and I managed to find one lens, but still need another one. I’ve gone to the all the usual suspects, but haven’t been able to find another one. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Sunbeam Service

August 6, 2021


I’ve been so busy working on customer cars, I find myself neglecting my personal cars. My poor little Sunbeam Alpine probably gets the most neglect, and yet I still love this little car. She isn’t a cream puff, and has some rust in the body panels creeping in, but the chassis is solid, and there’s nothing better than having the top down on a warm summer evening!

Last summer, I noticed some oil dripping from behind the rear brake drum, and I finally decided to take a closer look. As I was afraid to find, and axle seal had failed and gear oil was soaking the rear brakes.

Looking at the shop manual, I found the seal is integrated in the axle bearing, so the brakes, and axle shafts would have to come out so I could remove the bearing.

Giving some attention to my Sunbeam made me feel good. She deserved my time so I could spend some more time behind the wheel of this little British car on some more summer evenings!