Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Product Spotlight: Lizard Skin Sound & Heat Insulation

Two problems that Dino owners battle with is heat and noise in the cabin. Heat problems come from two main sources:

1. The main chassis tube that passes through the cabin has the radiator coolant lines running through it. As a result, this tube heats up and radiates a lot of heat in the cabin.

2. The rear firewall does not do a very good job of insulating the cabin from radiant heat from the engine.

Both of these conspire to heat the cabin quite a lot. Early cars have no air conditioning making hot summer drives uncomfortable for even the most dedicated enthusiast.

The second problem is one of noise. Not the glorious sound of the V6 Dino engine but rather noises that are the product of vibrations that resonate in the occupant compartment. Previously sound issues were addressed with self-adhesive matting products (which are expensive, bulky, and heavy) while there was no real options to deal with the heat.

The folks at Mascoat Products have a solution with their Lizard Skin line of coatings. Sold as a sprayable liquid, they offer both a sound and heat insulating coating that can be used separately or layered to offer double protection. While almost unknown in the exotic car restoration world, these products have a very established track record in the American restoration and Hot Rod environment and we look forward to using it as our initial tests have blown us away.

Keep reading for images of the Lizard Skin going on at RM and you can read more about the product at:


We also posted a video below that profiles Lizard Skin

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Italian functional art: The fuel filter / pressure regulator

Occasionally there is a part of an Italian car that captures one's attention as being just too beautiful to just serve a functional role. On the early Dino's the fuel filter / pressure regulator assembly is one of these. Sculpted of cast aluminum and metal with a thick clear glass bowl, this component seems lost in the engine bay and for us it was more a question of missing.

You see when we bought 01464 a previous mechanic had replaced this assembly for a simple pressed steel fuel filter hastily safety wired to the firewall. We knew something was not right and a quick check in the parts book revealed another part to source. Made by the FISPA company these items are sometimes used in old Alfa Romeo's and we quickly found a replacement in need of a total re-build. The original seals were dry and brittle while the case and hardware were well tired.

Fast forward past many hours of cleaning, plating, and re-building and we have an assembly that looks like it was made yesterday. Although it can't be easily seen, we know its beauty is there and we can't wait for the chance to fit it on the car.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Dino Swag: Our Store Is Open

We would like to invite visitors of our blog to check out our store:


Here you can find some Dino clothing to compliment your passion.

Just note that the clothing is being made in one production run only. The order goes in on October 30th 2012 so be sure to get in before then because there is no guarantee of stock after this date.

All inventory will ship within one week of the order deadline.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Avoiding embarrassment: Upgrading the fuel level sender

There are few things more embarrassing in the automotive world like running out of fuel. The Dino did not have the worlds best fuel level gauge and ours did not test well so (because the mechanism lives in the fuel tank out of view) we decided to modernize the internals while keeping the visible areas looking original.

First step was to restore the original part. This included, cleaning, glass blasting, re-plating, and then re-blasting the electrical contacts and insulators so that they look new. Once this was done we needed to measure the original assembly to locate the new internals. With a little cutting and some skilled work from The Mig our sender was complete.

Perfect original looks when installed with modern mechanics. Now there will be no excuse for running out of gas.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A childhood collection acts as a parts source: Tire valve caps

Recently we learned that Mercedes tire stem caps are near identical replacements for those originally fitted to the Dino. For those interested there is more information here:


Returning to our project, the discussion of tire caps sent Paul and I on a trip down memory lane some 30 years ago when we were very young and used to collect tire caps. The caps were kept in a green soap container and we used to choose the very best ones to put on our bicycles. To us this was our connection to the car industry and our first taste of car parts ownership.

Sure enough a quick visit to my parents house revealed the soap container exactly where we remembered leaving it still with its stash of 30+ year old tire caps. Inside we found 5 matching caps which we dutifully set aside for use on the Dino.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Time, Skill, & Patience: Block sanding and panel gapping

If anyone ever asks what is the key to a really good paint job the answer is always in the prep. Quite simply the more time and care that is placed in the surface under the paint, then the better the finish on the car will be. Paint hides NOTHING so the final result mainly comes down to prep.

A few days ago we showed images of our Dino in bare primer awaiting 3 rounds of block sanding. For those who do not know, block sanding is a process where the final fine shaping of the body is achieved prior to painting by using long sanding blocks that, when guided by patient and skilled hands, define the subtle details and lines of the car. As material is taken off, more is added by way of high build primers. In all the process is repeated 3 times over the course of the whole shell in preparation for a final primer and wet sanding (the final step taking some 60 hours alone). The images here show the car after the first round of block sanding.

In addition, at this time, the body panels are aligned and all of the gaps in the panels are made equal. If you look on almost any Dino the trunk lid never seems to line up to the rear quarters. We were pleased to see perfection here and in every other gap we inspected.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fly hunting in Pebble: Choosing the correct yellow

The opportunity to restore the Dino is a lifelong dream that has taken us on some journeys we could have never imagined. Among them was a unique situation that took place a few months back as we were on the search for the correct shade of yellow for our Dino.

Most people will tell you that Ferraris are painted 'fly yellow' but just as there are over 119,500 species of flies in the world, so too is there more than one shade of fly yellow. Even with the correct formula there are minute differences as various paint systems have pigment variations that subtly affect the colour. The human eye is the ultimate judge and we had some very talented eyes helping us out.

Enter stage left Don McLellan RM's chief quality control guy and world renowned car designer, and fellow Dino owner, Freeman Thomas to help in the selection. The venue was equally impressive as the images below were taken on the fabled green of Pebble Beach amongst the competitors of the Concours D'Elegance.  Freeman, well busy with the task of being a show judge, was kind enough to bring along his original Ferrari paint samples along with specialist colour testing cards to aid in the process.

Below are images of the men deep in thought, and later, images of Paul with a priceless Testarossa quite obviously satisfied with his selection. It was a scene we could not have imagined in a million years and one that will last us a lifetime.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

All metal beauty: The first coat of primer is on

With the metal work completed our Dino is now wearing its first coat of epoxy primer. As we mentioned earlier the plan was to spend more time in metal work to achieve the best possible surface on which to go to the blocking and painting phase. While this sounded good in theory, it did not prepare us for the reality of what we saw.

The images you see below are of a bare metal body wearing nothing more than a coat of primer. There is not an ounce of filler ANYWHERE on the car. The guys at RM have done a stellar job and we were just taken aback by how far we had come.

The next stages are to final fit the panels to get the gaps perfect and then block sanding will begin. For now just take in the beauty of an almost naked Dino.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Leave your comments! We love to hear from you

I have spoken to a lot of Blog followers who have no idea that they can participate by leaving us comments. It is fast, easy, free, and does not require any sign in or credentials of any kind. We appreciate hearing from our followers and it motivates us to keep posting even after a long day of struggling with uncooperative parts.

We always read the comments and will reply to whatever is written. For someone maybe wanting to ask something in private they can also use our contact form where an e-mail can be sent directly to us. Again we try to answer these messages in a timely fashion.

In order to help out those who may not be familiar with how to leave a comment, here is a quick photographic how to:

1. At the bottom of each post is the place to leave a comment. It will either say 'No Comments' or 'x# of Comments'

2. You can choose how you want to leave a message whether it be anonymous or leave your partial or full name.

3. If you choose to leave your name, you do not need to fill in the URL/Website portion. Leaving it blank is fine

4. Fill in your comment and hit 'Publish'

5. We just need to make sure that the comment is being made by a person and not machine so it is necessary to type out what is on the screen and hit 'Publish' one more time.

6. With that you are DONE! and we thank you.

Or if you like an e-mail can be sent:

1. Click on the CONTACT button:

2. Fill out the form and click on SUBMIT. A special 'Thank you' page awaits to those who choose to do this.