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John Hajduk

Discussion in 'Chicago' started by norbert, May 17, 2017.

  1. norbert

    norbert Formula Junior

    Jun 22, 2003
    375
    A name probably not known by many here if you are not an older Ferrari guy....

    I probably first met John near 1978 or so. We began to talk about cars and then of course Ferraris. He was a good friend of Joe Marchetti of Como Inn fame. He told me one of the concoctions that he and Joe used to eat together was a whole tin of oil packed sardines between two slices of bread...

    John moved from a few mechanic jobs, from limo company to a shop that did a lot of Alphas.......He took his tools home after work and did jobs on the side like most....When I first met him, he was in his shop in Bensenville. I would go over many times just to see the cars that I knew little about. It was the time that Enzo had just passed. Ferrari prices were going crazy then. There was a father and son who were buying several cars a month. There was the worst condition Daytona that I ever saw that was sitting there one day when I was there. Rusted wheel wells in back and all...It had just been sold for like $400K as it sat. John brokered a lot of cars, but he only asked a 1% markup on most.

    Then he moved to IN, and with no notion before moving before, he entered the through bred horse racing business also. He had near 50 horses in training at one time....
    Engines were coming in from Europe and all over the US all the time because John would never charge the crazy prices that others would to rebuild Ferrari engines. He told me one time in the not too distant pass that he may have rebuilt more 166mm engines than anyone else in the World. Dealers of known reputation would send him engines over the years as if they were doing the work themselves and then mark up John's bill to them by 30-50% or more many times.

    A couple of years ago when his good friend Peter Dyson, who left us a few months ago, purchased Moble cars in England, Peter asked John to design from the Kawasaki block up a new engine for the new M600 car. John had tech guys in the shop doing the CPU when I would stop by, and I saw the first engine run on his dynamometer. (If you Google M600 Noble, see the run at the Nurburgring track with just street tires.)

    A very unassuming man, John always projected the image of just a blue collar guy, yet he could be the hardest executive negotiator that anyone every knew when circumstances dictated.

    Always a friend, always a car guy, John will always be missed in my life because he was one of the straightest and most honest people in his profession that I will have ever known..
     
  2. F1tommy

    F1tommy F1 Veteran
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    Dec 15, 2007
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    Tom Tanner
    Wow, I met all those guys..Very sad news. Was John's shop on Irving Park road in Bensenville by the airport??? Also sad that Peter Dyson passed late last year.
     
  3. norbert

    norbert Formula Junior

    Jun 22, 2003
    375
    John's Bensenville shop was north of Irving a mile or so and east of Hwy 83. It was in an industrial park area.
     
  4. F1tommy

    F1tommy F1 Veteran
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    Dec 15, 2007
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    Tom Tanner
    Interesting, I don't think I ever saw it. Anyway very sad news.

    By the way, I was thinking of the shop on Irving Park Road in Bensenville just across from O'Hare that worked on very exotic cars in the late 1970's until the early 1990's. I remember seeing a Porsche 906 and Ferrari 166 Barchetta) Touring along with many other production Ferrari's sitting out front(275 GTB's, 330 GTC's, Daytona's, 512BB ect) after being worked on.
     
  5. norbert

    norbert Formula Junior

    Jun 22, 2003
    375
    The only business I ever knew of was Euro Sport. Brian and his brother run that business yet today with Porsche being their specialty. (They also have had a location at Autoban since that track opened. Two great car people. They did work on a Porsche I used to have, and I couldn't have been more pleased. Brian set up the K-Jetornic system on my 308 several years ago. He asked so little money. I gave him more then he asked.)
     
  6. F1tommy

    F1tommy F1 Veteran
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    Dec 15, 2007
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    I will have to talk to them and ask if they know who it was. It was east of the railroad tracks on Irving(now a runway at O'Hare). I have pictures of the red Ferrari 166 with full leather interior and long hood with no scoop(it was a real one) and a cream colored 330 GTS taken in the mid 1980's.
     
  7. It's Ross

    It's Ross Formula 3

    Jul 30, 2007
    2,000
    Barrington, Ill. USA
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    Ross
    I remember that shop, across the street from Nashville North. My office was a bit further east on Irving Pk. I often encountered exotics coming and going or perhaps being test driven on that long sweeping curve around the north end of O'Hare. In particular a Countach that went by me once at approximately the speed of light.
     
  8. tifoso2728

    tifoso2728 F1 Veteran
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    Apr 30, 2014
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    Motor Kraft. Scott Taylor worked there before he started working for Hil Raab.
     
  9. Dave330gtc

    Dave330gtc Formula Junior

    Mar 12, 2002
    601
    NW Indiana
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    David Smith
    I got to know Scott Taylor pretty well and he rebuilt my 330 engine. As I lived nearby he would call when there was an interesting car at his shop on Hil's property. We went on some great test drives together. Amazing wealth of vintage knowledge. More than just Ferrari.
     
  10. norbert

    norbert Formula Junior

    Jun 22, 2003
    375
    Nice to know much of this comes to peace with others...Small world of those who care...Just a wonderful feeling of memories...thanks to all....Norbert
     
  11. robertgarven

    robertgarven F1 Veteran
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    Feb 24, 2002
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    Ventura, California
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    Robert Garven
    Was his name spelt Hadjuk? Does anyone have any photos of his shop? Is it still in business? Supposedly he rebuilt the engine in my Dino. He will be missed
    for sure even by those like me who never were lucky enough to meet him!
     
  12. CornersWell

    CornersWell F1 Rookie

    Nov 24, 2004
    4,565
    IIRC, JH passed away. I believe his son took over the business.

    JH had also purchased most/all of Bob Wallace's shop and inventory prior to his passing.

    CW
     
  13. absent

    absent F1 Veteran
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    Nov 2, 2003
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    mark k.
    Hajduk is correct, his father was Polish.
    John was one of the best engine rebuilders for vintage Ferraris in the country.
    To this day, cars at auctions are listing proudly: "engine rebuilt by John Hajduk at Motorcraft".
     
  14. robertgarven

    robertgarven F1 Veteran
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    Feb 24, 2002
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    Robert Garven
  15. norbert

    norbert Formula Junior

    Jun 22, 2003
    375

    When I have a moment, I will post a few photos.....
     
  16. norbert

    norbert Formula Junior

    Jun 22, 2003
    375
    I would tell John all my latest "Polish Jokes". He would tell me all of his concerning horses and horse racing.....
     
  17. norbert

    norbert Formula Junior

    Jun 22, 2003
    375
    Larry Hajduk, the son who worked with John all his working life is well and rebuilding Ferrari engines today. He is more than capable of performing any repairs and total rebuilds on any vintage Ferrari engines. (The shop has done many mechanical rebuilds on later Ferrari engines and other exotic engines. A lot of dealer work that the dealer pretended to be doing themselves, but in the end only marked up Motorcraft's actual invoice to the dealer.)
    Need a phone number for the shop: 317 846 5203
     
  18. robertgarven

    robertgarven F1 Veteran
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    Feb 24, 2002
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    I am glad for this info, I would like to talk to him. I do all my work and having a few problems maybe he can solve.
     
  19. norbert

    norbert Formula Junior

    Jun 22, 2003
    375
    Hope everyone realizes that Larry isn't a Q&A person for Ferrari problems. Please remember that if one goes to a Ferrari dealership just asking questions as to how to do a repair or fix a problem...well....
     
  20. robertgarven

    robertgarven F1 Veteran
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    Feb 24, 2002
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    Robert Garven
    I understand. Well I have a engine they rebuilt with less than 500 miles I am trying to get sorted..... My question would be what did you do, so I know how to fix it.
     
  21. absostone

    absostone F1 Veteran
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    Jul 28, 2008
    5,045
    Fchat
    Whats up with the Engine?
     
  22. w.Hudkins

    w.Hudkins Karting

    May 16, 2006
    160
    Indiana
    Full Name:
    William Todd Hudkins
    #22 w.Hudkins, Jun 17, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
    Larry is rebuilding my 250 engine now. Several other vintage engines are also being rebuilt as well. I visited Larry last Thursday, and we are progressing! I should have my engine back in August. Lots of interesting stuff in his shop. I was lucky enough to have met John years ago and spent some time with Scott Taylor, Scott was always providing me advice when I would be at Hilary’s. Most don’t know this, but Scott was a very good driver.

    Since owning my car, I would always try and stop by Motorkraft and see what was cooking, John was always happy to spend a few minutes with me when I visited his shop. Very nice man.

    I wish both were still here.
     
  23. norbert

    norbert Formula Junior

    Jun 22, 2003
    375
    I will still have a few photos that I have taken over the years at John's shop in IN. They were "monents" most every time I stopped by....Like I left 3-4 hours later than I thought I would have most every time...Sorry, my retirement life really hasn't been. Will get the photos up soon.
     
  24. robertgarven

    robertgarven F1 Veteran
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    Feb 24, 2002
    5,055
    Ventura, California
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    Robert Garven
    They built the engine in my car and I called the shop and left a message but never heard back from them. I always like documentation on my cars and hope someday I can talk to someone there and find out what they did etc......
     

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