Detailing a 275GTB/4
I've been working on a nice 275GTB/4. My customer wanted to talk to me
about showing this car at Cavallino and how I felt about helping him
take it there. I confirmed he wanted to take it to Cavallino 2015,
about four months away, and not Cavallino 2016! Every Ferrari
Restoration shop knows how much time it can take to detail a car for
Concours, especially when it's a car that was not restored from
scratch. This car, was a very nice car, but in the light of "Concours
Judging" there was a lot of work to do. I wanted to rise to the
challenge of the work, but I had to make it clear, I would give it my
best shot without guarantees for an award because of the time frame of
all the work.
On first impressions, the engine compartment was nicely detailed, but a
closer look revealed some issues that could get points deductions in
The paint on the air cleaner top was uneven, and rough. It was also
dented. The paint would have to be stripped off the whole assembly, the
top fixed and everything repainted to match the rest of the engine
The plating on the fuel rails was wearing thin so they would have to be
removed and replated. The water pipes were all wrong, but the wrinkle
paint on the valve covers looked pretty good, so I will leave it alone.
The water pipes on a four cam car are supposed to nickel plated, but
the texture is a matte finish under the plating. A previous owner or
shop mistakenly added some "bling" to the engine compartment by
polishing these pipes before plating. This would definitely be a
deduction at a concours. so the nickel finish will have to be
acid stripped, and I'll try to recreate the matte finish with a media
blaster before sending it out for re-plating.
Every step of this process reveals more work, and a decision if there
is enough time to disassemble, finish, and reassemble the part painted,
Some obvious errors will have to be corrected like the fuel hoses.
First off, they were changed at different times, so the three visible
hoses on this car don't match. Secondly, the ferrules are incorrect and
the plating on the banjo fittings was worn. It's a shame to have to
take these fuel hoses apart, toss out perfectly good $$$ yellow hose to
make new lines with the correct finishes, but that's what this Concours
stuff is about!
Little details like the bolts that hold the distributor caps down need
to be removed so they can be plated in white cadmium, while the lock
washer goes in the batch for black oxide!
This car has a set of 15 inch wire wheels installed, but are incorrect
for a street driven 275GTB/4. The correct stock wheel for this car was
a 10 hole 7X14 Camagnolo. The spare is a 6.5 inch wheel, so
it will fit in the trunk. I found a set of decent cores that we will
send our for refinishing.
The first step, however, was to get the trim rings off without damaging
them. Although they look pretty good, they will still need to be sent
out for plating so they will be PERFECT!
At the back of the car, I had to remove the rear deck lid so the
outside hinges could be removed for chrome plating. The front and rear
glass was also removed so the window frames could be re chromed.
Someone must have gotten a little carried away with a DA sander when
they wet sanded this car and caught the front and rear windshield trim
on several spots, cutting through the chrome. This was a very expensive
I know some people are going to read this post and think "My God, why
do all this work on an already nice car?" Then there are just as many
people who follow along trying to get their personal cars to this level
of perfection. Wherever you fall in the spectrum of Ferrari enthusiasm,
know that there is something in it for all of us, and I enjoy
being involved in all of it...expect the crazy deadlines!
Set the Date! Tomyang.net Fall
October 25th, 2014 1pm-5ish
Vintage Ferrari gathering in New England. Come join Tomyang.netters for
an afternoon of fun, food, and Ferrari talk!
contact me to RSVP and for directions to the party!
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, and now it's how I make a living, so if you'd like to do
something together, let me know. It all begins with an e-mail!