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3500 GT Restoration Project

Discussion in 'Maserati' started by italiafan, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. italiafan

    italiafan F1 Veteran

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    #1 italiafan, Feb 7, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I just got back from my Barn find...quite literally this 3500 GT has been sitting in the barn for over 20 years.

    The current owner bought it in 1972 in Rome when he was in the US Navy.
    It is a 1959 3500 GT silver/black. Touring Superleggera.
    4 Speed.
    He says it is 100% original.
    Touring # 6400
    Engine/Chassis # 101412

    It will need some major work!

    I'm not sure I am up for the challenge, as my first restoration project, but I think I really want to give it a go.
    He recommended I join the Maserati club to try and get parts, and of course I wouldn't even consider it without FerrariChat braintrust.

    There appears to be cracked filler over the aluminum in several places.
    I didn't see much in the way of rust.
    There is a large dent on the right fron twing, but otherwise no major body damage.
    The interior needs to be completely redone.
    The steering wheel is cracked.
    It is missing the wring around the Trident on the front grill.

    Thoughts from the braintrust here would be treasured!

    Thanks.

    Rob
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  2. italiafan

    italiafan F1 Veteran

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    #4 italiafan, Feb 7, 2009
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  3. wbaeumer

    wbaeumer F1 Veteran
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    First owner of #412 was Giorgio Marzoli from Palazzolo su Oglio, Italy.

    I have not much about the car but I found a [name & location deleted by wax] as one of the later owners. Can you fill up some gaps here?

    Also - you have a PM!

    Ciao!
    Walter
     
  4. staatsof

    staatsof Five Time F1 World Champ
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    Looks pretty darn complete but I think you're in for a big job here.

    That Valvoline oil in the runk is a crucial head start ... ;>))

    Bob S.
     
  5. italiafan

    italiafan F1 Veteran

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    I was in [name deleted by wax] Barn.
    Very nice guy.
    He bought it in 1972. He has all the records but I didn't go through them yet because I'm not 100% sure I am up for this task.
    The next step is to see if I can bring my Ferrari mechanic over to take a look and get an estimate for the size of this job.
    I'm guessing $50-70K.
    My goal would be to restore it to the state it would have been in for a well kept and used '59 car...not going for any concourse wins here (not my schtick).

    I'm wondering if it would be better to get something in better shape and only needs mechanical updating.
    Though my mechanic would let me work on the car with him (and be charged of course) and that experience would be so much fun!
    (Of course I would alos post pix of the complete restoration process on this site too...that also would be fun).

    Still thinking.......

    Your insights about deal killers (things like cracked chassis, etc) would be appreciated.

    I'm also going to ask the[location deleted by wax] section for some help.
     
  6. Mrpbody44

    Mrpbody44 F1 Veteran
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    #8 Mrpbody44, Feb 8, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
    I think you are well over $70K to restore the car, in the range of $90,000-$110,000. The best bet would be to get one in good shape. The time involved in getting this car up and going is huge. Ask me I have done it several times in my life. It will take 3-4 years out of your life.

    How much are you paying for the car? I think in this economy there will be some good deals on restored 3500's.

    Ask your self some questions. How much time do I have to spend on this project? What is my budget? Then double it. How much work will I do my self? How much will I farm out?
    Take a good hard look at your self and your motivations. If you just want a cool car to go on rallies go buy a sorted driver in good condition. I you want to know how Maserati built a car then do the restoration. Taking on a restoration is like getting married and the break up can be just as disasterous finacialy.

    With my restorations I do all my own blasting,paint,welding ,body work and mechanical work. I do not do upolstery and auto transmission work.

    I am not saying don't do it because I do it all the time with the racing motorcycles in my collection. There is a certain satisfaction in taking a car or bike that is trashed and bringing it back to life. 90% of the time it makes no economic sense. But let's lift a glass to those fools like us in the past have done so. With out such foolishness there would be fewer wonderful cars and motorcycles around.
     
  7. italiafan

    italiafan F1 Veteran

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    Thanks...I am so confused at this point.

    I've always wanted to do more mechanical things, like my older bro who rebuilds and races cars.....but while he has been doing that I was the guy studying extra, working in the lab, doing BioChem....grad school...med school...never had the time.
    Now I have the money, but no knowledge or tools for car restoration work. I'd try to make the time since I am now more in control of my life.

    Don't want to bite off more than I can chew and blow it on my first attempt though.

    I might be better off restoring a 1960s muscle car first. '69 Camaro would be sweeeet too! :)
     
  8. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
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    #10 Napolis, Feb 8, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
    To restore this car would be a MASSIVE job. It would cost way more than it will ever be worth.

    Finding parts will be a nightmare.
     
  9. Mrpbody44

    Mrpbody44 F1 Veteran
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    #11 Mrpbody44, Feb 8, 2009
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    I do not think parts are much of a problem with this car. The costs for the supperleggera body work are high and labor intensive. I know I have done one. Restoration costs will be similar to an Aston Martin DB2, Ferrari SA410 or early Ferrari 250 Europa. This is the reason there are so many 3500 projects around. The cars are easy to work on and basic but you have to take a look at the market. Most guys who want a 3500 now want a perfect one. The difference between a driver and a perfect on in the market is huge. So if you are going to spend money you have to have a high level of restoration or you are wasting you money as far as the market goes.

    Keep in mind the paint just to paint the car is $2500. Cost to have an acceptable paint job on the car $20,000-$25,000 Interior work $20,000, Body work I would say $20,000. We have not even gotten to the motor and we are at $60,000-$70,000. We are not talking Pebble Beach work either but good midline restoration work. Double the numbers for Paul Russell ect. I would budget $30,000 to do the motor to fully sorted restoration total $110,000

    Fist project I would suggest a 1972 Afla GTV. Cheap fun to work on lots of parts ect.
     
  10. italiancars

    italiancars Formula 3

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    #12 italiancars, Feb 8, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
    There was a similar thread on a Barn Find 3500 here about a month or two ago. http://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=227872

    I'll tell you the same thing, this car is very original, do the mechanical work, clean up the cosmetics and drive it like that.

    A friend on the West Coast with a very large Maserati collection drives a similar car where the original black paint looks like skin of a reptile. A car is only original once.


    The only problem with that seems to be the damage to the fender. Get that area and any other bad areas taken car of, and try to keep the patina appearance of the car (WD40 the new paint?). The interior seems to be intact just dirty, dry and a bit worn. Pull it out, clean everything up and use a lot of Leatherique rejuvenation oil.

    Not all 3500's had a wring around the Trident and the steering wheel can be repaired.

    Most mechanical parts won't be that big of a problem, unlike Ferrari, Maserati outsourced a lot of their parts. It may take some research on certain items, but that is a hell of a lot easier now with the internet than it was 20 years ago. MIE (maseratinet.com) has an extensive inventory of vintage parts.

    This car would be much more fun than a fully restored car. Maybe it's me but there is something great about unrestored cars from the 50's and 60's that doesn't work as well on an unrestored car from say the 70's, which tend to look more like just an old car.

    Also I assume this car is Drums all around or a combo of disc drums?

    Joe
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  11. italiafan

    italiafan F1 Veteran

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    Thanks.
    I forgot to ask about the brakes.
    I am thinking along your lines.
    Have fun rebuilding the motor and mechanicals (which is really what I want to learn about anyway).
    Redo the interior with a blend of cleaning and mid-level repairs, carpeting etc (assuming the floor boards haven't rotted through). Enlist the help of a local interior guy.
    Fix the body work and possibly repaint with original color (It really is pretty bad looking). Avoid the concourse-type shops.
    Rechrome the brightwork.

    And then get out there and drive the hell out of her.
    Over the years finding the little odd missing parts and have them installed..like the ring around trident, etc. Keep tinkering.

    If I can get away with $15K for th ecar, and another $60-70K in restoration/repairs and have fun in the process then I'll consider the endeavor a success.
     
  12. dsd

    dsd F1 Rookie
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    Best of luck here. The 3500Gt is possible my second favorite car (after a 410SA). As others have said, you will probably be upside down on the restoration, as its a project of love not profit.

    If you are OK with your projected $85k ballooning to $120k, I say go for it. I like to hear about these cars being rescued.

    Best of luck in your endeavor.

    -dsd
     
  13. wbaeumer

    wbaeumer F1 Veteran
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    #15 wbaeumer, Feb 8, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
    Yepppp ....can`t agree more!

    About comments about the costs of the resto and the value of the car adfter that from people who have very deep pockets here: I once told an owner of a 250GTO that I perhaps had more fun with my little cheap Merak SS than he with his multi-million-$$$-car! "You may right!" was his honest answer!

    Not everything is based on money - passion is one of this!

    Ciao!
    Walter

    Ciao!
    Walter
     
  14. italiafan

    italiafan F1 Veteran

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    I agree fully.
    Think I'll set a budget of approx $65K ($15K for purchase and $50K for work) and see what my mechanic thinks about that.
    I'll post once I've had him look at the car.
     
  15. andymont

    andymont Formula Junior
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    #17 andymont, Feb 8, 2009
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    I fully agree with Walter, despite the fact I'm a special lover of the 3500 .

    Rob, IMHO an overall budget of 65K$ (50k € more or less) seems reasonable for a good final job .
    I'm working on the restoration of my cousin's 3500 GTI (AM101*2324), a barn find in similar condition.
    Now the restoration of that car is almost finished , and the final cost is between 35K and 40K euros , exactly the 50K$ you have foreseen.
    Note that the cost includes important internal engine works , like substitution of the damaged crankshaft and refurbishment of Lucas injection system. My uncle bought that non running car, in the same condition you can see, for 100k Lire (500$ of today ) in a gasoline station near Turin in late 70's.

    Here are some pictures of it.

    Ciao
    Andrea
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  16. wbaeumer

    wbaeumer F1 Veteran
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    Andrea,
    when I see your pictures ..eh...do you really think the "...restoration is almost finished" ?? ::))

    Ciao!
    Walter
     
  17. andymont

    andymont Formula Junior
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    #19 andymont, Feb 9, 2009
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    These pictures are of the end of 2005 , when the car has been towed to garage to be deeply explored .
    I've said in the post that the car has been found "in the same condition you can see".
    I think that the car will be ready , probably next summer.

    Ciao
    Andrea
     
  18. wbaeumer

    wbaeumer F1 Veteran
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    Hey Andrea,...I was kidding!! PLease post some photos of the car in its current condition.

    Ciao!
    Walter
     
  19. andymont

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    #21 andymont, Feb 9, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009

    My cousin is the photographer , I'll ask him as soon as possible.

    Walter, what is your opinion about the air-vents over the wings just under the windshield ?
    Mr.Cozza said me that are original.

    Ciao
    Andrea
     
  20. wbaeumer

    wbaeumer F1 Veteran
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    Andrea,
    those vents are indeed original. I saw about 15 cars that had that feature. But its not possible to find out how much cars in total got that specification. I only saw it with late cars!

    Ciao!
    Walter
     
  21. staatsof

    staatsof Five Time F1 World Champ
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    After what Steve Metz outlined for you should not be and he does a lot of the work himself.

    Farming work out is not a trivial mangement job if your goal is quality work.
    You're lucky that in this particular car's case it's an obvious "it's gonna need everything" example. The ones that appear to be just short of a realiable nice runner can be a more difficult decision.
    Unless you're wealthy and passionate I'd pass on this one.

    Also, go drive as nice one first as you may not like it or it may inspire you towards purchase.

    Bob S.
     
  22. italiafan

    italiafan F1 Veteran

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    Thanks...that is indeed very good advice.
    Rob
     
  23. Mrpbody44

    Mrpbody44 F1 Veteran
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    I hate to say this but I have learned from experience, talk to your family about undertaking such a project. I sold most of my cars (9) and started restoring classic motorcycles when my daughter was born. this gave me more time with my family. These projects can consume you and can affect family relationships. My wife basically told me she would would rather me have a 20 year old girlfriend as she could compete with that but she can't compete with a rusty old car for attention. LOL

    It can be a great thing to do with your kids if they are into it. I built a boat with my dad and we restored a car together. but talk to them first.
     

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