1953 Ferrari 375M Spyder

(The restoration project begins)

0286AM rolls into Pete Lovely Racing (now Dennison International) in Puyallup, WA via the trailer it was transported in. The 3rd party transport driver had unloaded the car somewhere in NorCal before actually delivering it though -- and had coasted it down the road near his house. A few pictures and he loaded it right back up into the trailer before delivery to the Northwest. (The gentleman showed up at Pebble and was showing his pictures around) Fortunately no damage incurred due to his stupidity -- but sometimes you wonder about people. (and yes -- that is a 1959 Ferrari Testarossa s/n #0768TR sitting in the parking lot!)

Rust everywhere. Corrosion on everything. All the metal parts pitted. Someone had put the engine back into place before transport -- but not everything was hooked up. But at least all the parts are there.

Another view showing all the flaking paint, rust, corrosion. It does need a bit of work...

The rearend of the car. Notice the heavy rust. Heavy pitting. Countless hours and hours were spent fixing, refinishing, replacing bolts and nuts, remanufacturing parts into working components -- again, hundreds of hours of labor still to be done.

Same as with the front suspension. Lots of corrosion. Lots of rust. Lots of rubber parts degraded to the point of no return. Also imagine the thousands of miles of wear and tear induced via racing and being raced over the roads of Mexico. (note: swaybar was factory installed)

Cracked windscreen. Flaking paint. Yes, that is original red paint on the dash from when it was originally built and raced. Again -- more rust and corrosion. Gauges damaged due to water. All rebuilt and restored. Ditto for replacement of the electrical system and wiring harness. As for the steering wheel missing the rim? The redwood chips created a galvanic corrosion and ate the aluminum away. The wood for the steering wheel was all found once it was filtered out from the redwood chips.

The body partiall de-skinned. Time to get to work. Repair all the structural metal. Replace the firewall due to corrosion. Ditto for floorboards. Remember Ferrari's of this era were originally built as rolling chassis. The individual coachbuilder than created a structural support system in which they pounded the aluminum bodywork to fit of their own design -- thus the very handbuilt and labor intensive method for this process. But Italian labor was very cheap at this time...

The car minutes before I loaded it and brought it down to the painter. Replacement aluminum bodywork is used in places where the original was too far gone or corroded. Many hundreds of hours have taken place so far to get 0286AM back this far.

The unique tailfin and dual sparetire mounts on 0286AM. Interesting story is that during the 1954 Carrera Panamerica race, the extra weight of the two tires and fin caused the rear bodywork and substructure to break off according to Phil Hill. They noticed that it was getting more and more difficult to open the doors as the journey went along. Eventually they added more structural support and rewelded it in a few places to finish the race.

At the paint shop. First skim everything with bondo and start sanding. Many hours labor of hand labor resulted in perfecting the curves and shapes. Than the frame inside was painted and inner panels shot. Next up is the painting of the outside panels. White first -- then the lower panels painted dark blue. The paintwork was done at a hot rod shop -- I'm sure the car caused quite a sensation there!

Piece by piece 0286AM was restored. Once the parts are there, time to start putting together the subassemblies -- like the rearend differential here. Compare with the above picture where it had all the corrosion and metal pitting.

Ditto here in regard to the gearbox. Nobody will ever see it -- but it is as perfect as everything else on the car. Doing a restoration right is a matter of attitude -- one could cheat and nobody might notice, but that wouldn't be the right way. Every part on 0286AM was restored with the utmost of perfection and originality that could be afforded.

The engine after getting back from the engine builder at VRM. Time to start detailing the nuts and bolts, painting as required, making it perfect in every aspect. Everyone look at the engine when the hood is opened up, any mistake here would be obvious when it comes to judging.

The three big giant 4-barrel carburators on the engine manifold. Again note all the the nuts and bolts and washers are perfect. The linkage and shafts are the correct color and tone of black. The velocity shafts on top of the carburators are perfect again with their brushed nickel plating.

Hours after I got the chassis and body back from the painters. It's on the lift and I'm already assembling the front suspension that was restored weeks earlier. At this point, it is a matter of taking all the perfected parts and subcomponents and putting it all back together again. Of course it is never as easy as it sounds!

A shot of the engine bay. Steering box and column is in place, brake lines being made and installed, the electrical wiring harness is being installed and the ends fitted to the required electrical components. Again, more work that consumes time and that most people don't truly notice... but I do and it was done correctly.

A couple of days later after the work of quite a few people in parallel. The electrical is in place and ready to go. The engine is installed as well as the transmission. Fuel lines are created and installed. Water lines and hoses made and installed. Radiator installed. Only a few more hours until it will be rolled outside and fired up for the first time...

The poor sign painter! Originally when 0286AM was painted in Mexico with all the graphic lettering and signage, the painter there was probably paid a few bucks and did the job in an hour. This guy unfortunately had to spend hours studying and deciding how and where all the lettering went -- it was probably the most difficult and exasperating lettering job he had ever done in his life. (but he did do a good job!)



Questions on the images or content of website? e-mail Mark

The images and text contained within this site are Copyright 1994 - 2007 Mark Savory
(unless otherwise indicated)
All rights reserved