Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We went too far with the ignition restoration and Gran Turismo saved the day

Sometimes it is possible to get overly carried away and our experience with the ignition key housing revealed a Pandora's box of misery with a pleasant happy ending.

It all started when we decided to take the ignition lock out of its housing. Most Ferrari's have the paint on this housing chipped and ours was no exception. Now the smart thing would have been to mask it off and re-paint it but we wanted it perfect and durable so we decided to powder coat it. As we quickly learned this assembly was never made to be taken apart and dis assembly involves undoing a number of operations that were only meant to be done once and never touched. To anyone who is thinking of taking their lock out DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!! It is a terrible job and you will likely break something. Mask it off instead and paint rather than disassemble. As it was I did break the lock and faced a horribly expensive NOS replacement.

Here is where Brett at Gran Turismo in Alliston Ontario saved us. He supplied us with the lock assembly out of a scrapped car for little more than a thank you as he was just enthused to be part of the restoration. I will take this opportunity to offer a plug for his shop as he does very good and honest service at reasonable rates. You can be sure of proper and conscientious work if you take your car there. Check them out at

In the end we were able to finish the lock housing in a fresh coat of durable powder coat, re-build our lock and even re-key the assembly to our original key. This is one job I do not want to do again.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

An introduction to Luigi; Dino's older brother.

The Dino is not the first Italian car to pass through our hands and it is not likely to be the last. Earlier in the blog we posted photos of the Dino with his younger brother (Ferrari 308 GTB). Now it is time to introduce his older brother Luigi who shares shop space with 01464.

Named after the popular character in the Disney movie 'Cars', Luigi is a 1964 Fiat 500D. This is an earlier model Fiat 500 fitted with factory reverse opening 'suicide' doors. We undertook the restoration of this car almost 2 years ago and, while it has many less parts, we lavished the same attention to detail as on the Dino and are really proud of the results.

With 17hp and a true 56 second 0-60mph acceleration, Luigi is in no hurry to get anywhere which is just fine with my wife Annetta who has this gem as her very own.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Extra care taken on the 'loud pedal'

Any sports car owner appreciates the feeling of pressing down on the accelerator and unleashing power that is well beyond the scope of a mere people moving appliance. While in modern terms the Dino does not belt out unimaginable horsepower it still gives the driver a special feeling of connection with the high performance engine it is linked to.

Our Dino's accelerator pedal had seen newer days so we decided that a proper restoration was in order. I think from the photos it will be apparent that this pedal is ready for action.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Perfect mousehair and perfect installation thanks to HVL and Westminster

For years Dino and Ferrari Daytona owners have lacked a proper replacement for the original mousehair material that covered the dash. The available replacements were the wrong colour, thickness, and did not wear very well. Those who found rolls of original material, and paid dearly for it, found out quickly that the NOS covering would fade in the dark and did not last very well at all.

All those problems are now a thing of the past thanks to Henk at . Henk has managed to track down the ORIGINAL MACHINE that made the mousehair and has formulated a flocking (the fuzzy stuff) that looks 100% perfect and has modern wear and fade resistance. We would like to thank Henk for his dedication to make such a perfect product and offer Dino and Daytona owners a solution for their worn dashboards.

For his part, Pete at Westminster Auto Upholstery in Anaheim was again a star and did a masterful job of re-covering the dash.

Below are photos of the finished product. Mind you it is very difficult to photograph this material but in the flesh it is as perfect as you will ever see.