News

3500GT Barnfind

Discussion in 'Maserati' started by mfletch, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. mfletch

    mfletch Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2008
    480
    #1 mfletch, Jan 8, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Ok, it was not really in a barn, it was buried in my brother's garage for the past 30 years. I just had it transported to my garage today to start the restoration. I found the car 30 years ago advertised in the "Magic Ads" for $3500. I was only 17 years old at the time. I talked my older brother into buying it. It had a problem with second gear, so he parked it and removed the transmission. Other than the transmission problem, the car was in good running order when it was parked. The previous owner told me that she had just had the engine rebuilt. The car sat in his garage untouched (other than by a few rodents) since the transmission was removed about 30 years ago.
    I am an active member of Rennlist. I have rebuilt a couple 99 996 Porsches that were salvaged due to an engine fire and a dash fire. I have also rebuilt a couple 330i BMWs, a Mercedes SL600, and a Range Rover. This is going to be a new adventure for me. I plan on doing a driver's quality restoration. I will be using "Brian Moore Restorations" for the paint & body work, with me doing all the disassembly and assembly. I do not know of anywhere in the Sacramento area for the transmission or interior work. I would appreciate any recommendations.
    If there is any interest here, I am happy to post pictures and describe the restoration as it progresses. The car is a 1959 3500GT VIN 101530 with a Touring number of 6732.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  2. italiancars

    italiancars Formula 3

    Apr 18, 2004
    2,353
    Hershey, PA
    Judging from the photos of the car on the trailer, I'd say DO NOT paint it. Keep it as is, do a mechanical restoration. The car appears to have a nice patina.

    Joe
     
  3. TrentS

    TrentS Formula Junior

    Nov 22, 2005
    783
    South Florida
    +1

    Unless I'm missing something on the other side, the exterior looks amazingly good. I'd just clean it up, do what needs to be done to the interior, and a mechanical restoration and you'll have a very cool looking original car.
     
  4. bernardo66

    bernardo66 The Crazy Cat Man
    Moderator Owner

    Dec 14, 2003
    20,150
    Montreal Canada
    Full Name:
    Bernie
    x 2. Get it up and running, and clean.
     
  5. mfletch

    mfletch Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2008
    480
    #5 mfletch, Jan 8, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Thanks for the responses guys. I am going to have the owner of the restoration shop take a look at the car, before I start doing anything, other than the transmission. He also had stressed to me that a car is only original once. I trust him to be honest and tell me what can be preserved. Here are a few more pictures. There is a patch of bondo (about 10 inches by 8 inches) behind the driver's headlight. There are other door dings etc., but nothing major. The trim is slightly corroded.
    If I end up selling the car, wouldn't it be worth more restored, than selling it as a survivor?
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  6. Mrpbody44

    Mrpbody44 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 5, 2007
    6,946
    Jacksonville FL
    Full Name:
    Steve Metz
    Keep the car the way it is. I do not think restoring the car would be a good idea it is not in that bad a shape. I judge some major car shows and we love cars like this. There are not many out there that look good that are original.
     
  7. mfletch

    mfletch Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2008
    480
    Mrpbody44, thanks for the input. I appreciate your expertise.
    You guys are doing a great job of swaying me toward keeping it original. I will have to figure out what gaskets and seals to replace on the body, how to bring the trim and paint back to the best possible finish, and how to restore the interior while keeping the original patina.
     
  8. italiancars

    italiancars Formula 3

    Apr 18, 2004
    2,353
    Hershey, PA
    The major trim pieces (bumpers etc.) take to a chrome shop to have them polished, the minor stuff take off the car and get a dremel. Another thing that doesn't do a bad job is a Mother's Power Ball. On the leather try Leatherique, the stuff is amazing. I used it on my Islero (actually all my cars) where a trim piece of leather was so stiff that you could hold it out and the leather wouldn't fold over. Now I can form that same piece of leather into a ball.

    Leatherique.com


    Joe
     
  9. velocetwo

    velocetwo F1 World Champ

    Dec 11, 2006
    12,459
    Left Coast
    I would start by just having it cleaned to a high level, I have used Brian Moore on a number of cars and he can do this. If you start replating or having chrome done the car will look odd because it has patina and the trim doesn't . Just keep cleaning it.

    I would pull the engine out and detail the engine and engine compartment. Once the engine and tranny are out you can have them worked on anywere.
     
  10. italiancars

    italiancars Formula 3

    Apr 18, 2004
    2,353
    Hershey, PA

    Yes you probably would get more as a restored car than a survivor, but if it cost $2 to restore something and your return is only $1 more than unrestored. It is more profitable not to restore it.


    Joe
     
  11. Ferraripilot

    Ferraripilot F1 World Champ
    Project Master Owner

    May 10, 2006
    16,009
    Atlanta
    Full Name:
    It's man
    +1 on just cleaning it up and driving it. The car looks fantastic and I am sure the interior can be transformed with leatherique. Fchatters have some fantastic resources at our fingertips so please let us know what you might need.

    Good Luck and thanks for posting it!

    John
     
  12. velocetwo

    velocetwo F1 World Champ

    Dec 11, 2006
    12,459
    Left Coast

    +2 on the Leatherique, and yes thanks for posting, love to see these old "original" cars!
     
  13. rdefabri

    rdefabri Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 4, 2008
    27,065
    NJ
    100% agreed - the cost to restore this to "original" shape would be significant, and the patina is desirable. I'd get the mechanical sorted out and take it from there.
     
  14. Ferraripilot

    Ferraripilot F1 World Champ
    Project Master Owner

    May 10, 2006
    16,009
    Atlanta
    Full Name:
    It's man
    It could possibly be a great find for the preservation classes which are becoming so poplular. Original preserved cars are bringing higher dollars at every auction and I have no doubt that due to their rarity they will be *the* cars to have in the future. The car is original *once*, and if you can keep it that way and it still looks presentable and driveable, I highly recommend it.

    My '76 308 GTB is 100% original and has every record including the window tag since brand new and I promise you in 20 years it will be the type of original find to have (no matter the model). Over-restored cars are all too common and they undoubtedly bring something beautiful to the table for the marque, but the original history that is available that is within gentle preserving should undoubtedly be kept that way for as long as possible.
     
  15. mfletch

    mfletch Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2008
    480
    #15 mfletch, Jan 9, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    You guys are great. I really appreciate the responses and advice. After spending a couple hours cleaning the car, I am reasonably sure that my goal with this car will be to preserve it, rather than restore it.

    Joe, thanks for the advice on the Leatherique. It looks like some of the interior can be preserved. The more that I clean, the more convinced I am to keep the car original.

    Velocetwo, Brian is a great guy. I'm glad he is available to guide me on this project. The engine compartment definately needs some work. Do you have any idea what the correct original finish on the headers is?

    John, thanks for the advice and encouragement.

    Rdefabri, thanks.

    Here are some more pictures. They are the before and after pictures from this morning. The decomposed rat found a bag of almonds in my brother's garage and snacked on them inside the MaseRATi.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  16. jmuriz

    jmuriz Formula Junior

    Dec 9, 2003
    387
    Arlington, VA
    I agree with the others. Have a skilled detailer do a full detail job on the car, then replace only what needs replaced. Amazing car/project for sure!
     
  17. italiancars

    italiancars Formula 3

    Apr 18, 2004
    2,353
    Hershey, PA
    #17 italiancars, Jan 9, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2009
    Please keep the car, do not sell it. It is tooooooo tempting, it is a prime candidate for Joe's Home for Previously Unloved Italian Cars. Love the color combination.

    Probably stuff the rat, encase it in plastic and mount it on the hood.


    Joe
    Islero #6243
    Khamsin #1226
    Ghibli SS #2110
    Mistral #1216
    Mondial Cab #49713
    Lele Marlboro #184
    Laforza #158
     
  18. velocetwo

    velocetwo F1 World Champ

    Dec 11, 2006
    12,459
    Left Coast

    I think the headers are a charcoal grey, but that's a guess, I am sure there are some 3500 experts that can confirm the exact color. I took my headers to a powder coat shop over in Rocklin CA. and had them coated with a high temp coating. They always looked good after that. When I lived in the Bay area there was a guy in Pleasanton named Gene Gorman he owned many Maserati's and was a wealth of knowledge.


    The rat looks preserved well, so I am sure the leather is too!
     
  19. Ferraripilot

    Ferraripilot F1 World Champ
    Project Master Owner

    May 10, 2006
    16,009
    Atlanta
    Full Name:
    It's man
    I agree with the above posters. Have the car cleaned and detailed by professionals. After that, you will have a good idea what you are to be working with for sure. Looks like there is some surface rust that I am sure has made its way to the fuse box. Not a big deal cleaning up all the contacts throughout the car and checking resistance.

    This is one of those projects that you actually see light at the end of the tunnel when first beginning which is of course a rarity when dealing with these machines.

    Can we see what the front seats look like?

    thanks and good luck!
     
  20. Ferraripilot

    Ferraripilot F1 World Champ
    Project Master Owner

    May 10, 2006
    16,009
    Atlanta
    Full Name:
    It's man
    Regarding the engine, does anyone want to key in on what steps should be taken now to get the process moving on getting it to run again?

    I have never worked on an engine that has not been run in many years before, but I would think it would be a good idea to get the thing flushed out somehow before anything else. Marvel Mystery oil in through the plug holes and allow to soak for a while? Cam overs off and clean the mechanical contents underneath throughly?

    Would like to hear what is to happen next. Very curious
     
  21. Ackmann

    Ackmann Formula Junior

    Nov 23, 2007
    499
    Salem Oregon
    Full Name:
    Wayne Ackermann
    Fun Post!! Love the project and wish it were mine. I am happy to see that you've decided to to PRESERVE this car versus restore it as I agree that will make this car more valuable in the long run anyways. I suggest to clean it up the best that you can on your own (As long as your having fun with it) and then if your like me it still won't be as nice as I expect so then I would take it in to the pro's and give it the final touches. Your total bill should be less since you've already done the rough stuff.

    I'd yank the engine, unbolt the bolt-on items for individual inspection and then take it to a engine specialist for professional evaluation. Most guys that have been in the business awhile with a decent rep will be strait with you and just do what needs to be done.

    Please keep up the photos as well as the diary of the project as we can all enjoy the process through your efforts.
     
  22. mfletch

    mfletch Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2008
    480
    #22 mfletch, Jan 10, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Jmuriz, I'm hoping to get some advice on how to detail the paint and do most of it myself. Thanks.

    Joe, it looks like you already have quite the Italian car collection. I wish I could keep it, but my heart belongs to a little blue 911. Wifey has a SL600 for her toy car and we have a Rover for family duties. She is currently tolerating two projects cars (the other is a BMW)...so I'm already pushing my luck. Parking for 5 keeps me out of too much trouble.

    Velocetwo, it sounds like you are local. Thanks for the advice.

    Lvferraripilot, electrical problems will be the easy part for me. Attached is a picture of my 911, before I rebuilt it. I'm thrilled to get to work on something without computers. I'm really having fun on this one so far. I can't wait to hear the engine run again. I'm hoping to change the oil, replace the fuel lines & filter, and maybe it will start. I'm sure I will have to rebuild the Webbers also. I'll post pictures of the front seats as soon as I remove the old seat covers. I'm pretty sure they were chewed on by the resident rodent. Thanks.


    Ackmann, your advice sounds good on the clean-up. I'm hoping the engine will not need any internal work. The Alfa that was sitting in the Garage next to the Maserati (for about as long) started right up and ran fine. The engine is really clean. The previous owner said she had it rebuilt before my brother bought it. I doubt it has many miles on it. I might get lucky and be able to remove & clean the accessories, clean the engine & detail the compartment, without pulling the engine. We'll see....

    Thanks again for the advice guys. I really appreciate it.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  23. velocetwo

    velocetwo F1 World Champ

    Dec 11, 2006
    12,459
    Left Coast
    I would get in touch with some Maserati experts and take your time with the engine. Theses engines are very expensive to rebuild and if I recall the tolerances on the rings are very very tight. In addition the steel used on the rings can be brittle and crack if not treated properly. I have heard story's of guys having the rings break after the car sat for under a year. I guess what I am trying to say is proceed with caution before turning the motor over and consult the experts on how to baby it back into working order before you turn the key
     
  24. mfletch

    mfletch Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2008
    480
    Velocetwo, you may have just saved me some serious money and frustration. Thank you. I will be sure and consult an expert before I think about trying to start the engine.
     
  25. wbaeumer

    wbaeumer F1 Veteran
    Consultant

    Mar 4, 2005
    7,578
    Congratulation for "finding" this car again after so many years in storage!

    The color-combo of #530 is wonderfull, so - please don`t paint it new! Keep the patina of the car as much as you can. I strongly assume#530 has 4 drum-brakes?

    Ciao!
    Walter
     

Share This Page