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Keeping your Ferrari all original - required or desired!!!

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by Bob Zambelli, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. El Wayne

    El Wayne Global Moderator
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    And Gerald Roush, who was a founding member (back when it was the "National Advisory Council for the Preservation of the Ferrari Automobile") sums up the judging criteria as:

    "This is an oversimplification, but the standard by which they set up judging is originality, i.e. exactly the same configuration and with exactly the same specifications as when the car left the Ferrari factory or as modified by or with the permission of the Ferrari factory. Every car is assumed to be 100 point before judging, and deductions are made for any deviation from originality. There is some leeway for safety items and items that wear out."
     
  2. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2002
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    James: Forgive me a thousand times over for questioning the story, but why in the world would McLaren throw his helmet down on the sill with enough force to make a permanent dent? I mean, he would have to REALLY throw it hard, hard enough to ruin the helmet, and take the chance of having the helmet bounce and break the windscreen, or bounce back up and smack him in the face. Was Bruce really that much of a hothead? Heat of battle?

    And every driver who climbed in and out of the car must have stepped onto that same spot, and the crew who taped down the deck obviously climbed all over it (you can see them in the pictures), and when Bruce had to cut through the firewall to fix the coil bracket later in the race he must have worked right there.

    So, what is the provenance of the story about the helmet-throwing incident? To me, it just doesn't make sense........but there must be a great story there somewhere!
     
  3. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Jeff
    The source is one of the crew chiefs. Standing on the tub won't dent it.
    Also to get in you stand on the seat. A tool might have done it at the time of the repair but I was told it was Bruce who made it with his helmet and if you see the dent it is a helmet shaped depression. The depression isn't that visable in pic.
     
  4. Bob Zambelli

    Bob Zambelli F1 Rookie
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    So, since so many mods were mentioned, has anyone come up with a good, invisible pointless ignition system for vintage V12s? BobZ mentioned the Bosch Blue Coils as being great. Setting points looks like fun the first few times, but maybe not after that. I saw an ad that said Lumenition does Magnetti Marelli and I've got a line into them.

    Willis - there is an optical ignition system that is a snap to install into the V-12. I've done a number of them and they are PERFECT!!! It's made by Allison. You buy two 6-cylinder units and install both pickups in the SAME distributor. Set the timing once and check it every 100,000 miles. There is nothing to wear out and you do not need the ballast resistors if you keep the original Marelli coils. The only possible malfunction would be if the phototransistor or LED gets dirty - slim chance. Don't get sucked into a high cost system - the Allisons were $60.00 from J.C. Whitney a few years back.
    It even reduces the duty cycle of the coil - As I recal, the system hits the coils with a 5 millisecond pulse, no matter what the engine speed.
    Go for it!!!
    Bob Zambelli
    PS - you're right - setting the points is not fun. When I pull the engine out of my 330 GTC, I will fit the Allisons.
     
  5. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

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    James: Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question about the helmet-throwing incident.

    I'm just a magazine/book reader. The main reason I found it hard to picture McLaren losing his temper and throwing his helmet relates to his comments as quoted in "Sports Car Graphic" 9/67 p. 79, in the coverage of LeMans. You would think Mr. Rogers was being quoted about the incident.

    It's great motoring history.
     
  6. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
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    BTW where did you read about the coil? I checked the race reports and didn't find that. The tail is mentioned as is changing the clutch cylander.
    (Shelby race documents)
     
  7. Glassman

    Glassman F1 World Champ
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    I have a 1959 250 GT that has fender mounted rear view mirrors. I have a picture of the car taken in Sweden in 1960 that shows the mirrors on the car. They look ridiculous, but I cannot picture the car without them.
     
  8. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

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    James: The "Sports Car Graphic" article is interesting because it quotes McLaren directly. I will quote the section involved, forgive me again if this is old stuff, I found it interesting.

    The completely trouble-free run of the winning car was in marked contrast to the chapter of accidents (metaphorically speaking) which befell the yellow painted car No.2 shared by McLaren and Donohue. First they ran into clutch trouble when all the free play vanished. There was no adjustment left, so the pushrod from between the slave cylinder and the clutch lever was removed and replaced with a shorter rod, which cost them about half an hour.

    But the big drama happened around breakfast time on Sunday when McLaren was nearing top speed (215MPH) down the Mulsanne straight. He heard a terrific explosion right behind his head. At first he thought it was too loud for an engine blowup. This is where Bruce takes up the story:

    "Then I remembered I had a big engine, so I thought big engine, big noise. It must have blown up, but then I checked the oil gauge and found I still had pressure, so I thought it must be the transmission, but I checked that and found I still had a gearbox. So I thought maybe it's an axle, so I gave the throttle a few blips and satisfied myself that I still had axles. That got me puzzled, so then I looked in my rear-vision mirror, and there I saw a lovely lot of daylight that hadn't been there before. The body had blown off.

    "So I motored back to the pits and told them that I'd lost the back of my car, and they said, 'Yes, we can see you have, and if you don't mind, we'd like you to go back and get it.' So off I went, and sure enough I found it halfway down the Mulsanne straight, looking pretty sad and sorry.

    "It was quite an act getting it back on the car because it was so big, but somehow I managed to get myself under it and walked back on to the car, climbing up over the engine then scrambling out as I got it in postition. Then, with the aid of a lot of tape and some bungey cords I happened to have around, I managed to more-or-less fix it in position, then I drove slowly back to the pits, holding it on with one hand through the open door."

    The fiberglass was taped up all over after Bruce got the car back to the pits (the Gurney/Foyt car was also beginning to break up around the body fastenings and that, too, was given a precautionary taping). Everything would have been fine, except for Bruce's final spot of drama not long before the finish.

    This time he had a complete electrical failure, but, because of the masking, he was unable to lift the engine cover. So he had to hack his way into the engine through the back wall of the cockpit, where he found the coil bracket was broken, and the HT lead had pulled out. He borrowed a bit of body tape off the rear deck, fixed the lead and tied the coil to the water pipe, and again got the car - now looking really tatty - back to the pits once more.

    He reckons he's never had such an eventful drive: and what with all that and a pair of punctures, plus putting in consistent three minute and thirty second laps between times, he was pretty creased up to the end of it all.

    So that's where I read about the coil......
    Do you have lap charts for the race? I wonder if there is a really slow lap in there somewhere towards the end, with no pit stop to explain it.
    And that's why I questioned the report about throwing the helmet - he makes it all sound like a doodle, not like he was furious about it.
     
  9. El Wayne

    El Wayne Global Moderator
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    Jeff, great stuff!
     
  10. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Jeff
    I'll check the lap charts. As for the coil repair there's a panel behind the seat's that comes out easily so I doubt he'd have to hack through but I'll look for signs he did. The marks near my elbow may be from tools but the depression def. looks like it's made by a helmet and that's what one of the crew members told me happened. It's too bad I can't ask him...
     
  11. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    Bruce McLaren was apparently a lovely chap and a great ambassador for my country, but he was also a racing driver :).

    I think most racing drivers would be excused for throwing down their helmet (and it probably would not take much to dent such a race car) when they realised that their race has been compromised by half the car's body blowing off ... also that story has been created after the race and well after the incident, so I guess by that stage it is history and thus no need to continue to be excited about it, hence the 'makes it all sound like a doodle' maybe.

    As Jim said it is a terrible shame that we cannot ask him, as not only did we loose a great chap, I think we lost an innovator that could have rivalled Colin Chapman ...

    Pete
     
  12. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

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    What interests me is scorching Lime Rock in 1:01 in a basically street trim 512TR or getting down near 2:00 at Watkins Glen in my 512TR race car. You cant do 1:01 at LRP in a road 512TR without racing seats, harnesses, aftermarket wheels, slicks, & an oil cooler. I did do that with stock 512TR brakes, Hoping to see 0:59 or better with the F50 brakes on the road car but I didnt get enough time at LRP this summer to crack 1:00.
     
  13. WillS

    WillS Rookie

    Nov 14, 2003
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    BobZ,
    Thanks much for the tip about the Allisons. It looks like the Allison ignition set-up you mention was bought out by Crane ignition and costs about $125.00 each now. Still not bad at all for price. This set-up has an externally mounted amplifier box, which I would like to avoid if possible. Did the systems you installed have an external amplifier box? I corresponded with Pertronix and they make a unit for Ferraris that is entirely enclosed within the distributor, but they are $350 each, one for each distributor. Decisions, decisions.....
    I got my new set of valve adjuster screws from Partsource--after comparing new ones, I'm sure happy I decided to replace the old screws......that was a great tip--thanks much....:).
    Regards,
    Will
     
  14. Bob Zambelli

    Bob Zambelli F1 Rookie
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    Hi, Will - yes, the Allisons have external amplifier boxes. Is that a problem? It was done to allow cooling air to circulate around the very rugged but heat sensitive power transistors. Mount one on each fender well and you're in business.
    I guess you can pay $700.00 for two systems that may cook inside your distributors (THEY DO GET HOT) or go $250.00 and look at two small amplifiers under your hood!
    Regarding the internal systems, ask about the warrantee. As I recall, the Allisons had a very long warrantee.

    By the way, are you thinking of swithching wheels on your GTC?
    Bob Z
     
  15. WillS

    WillS Rookie

    Nov 14, 2003
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    Hi Bob,
    I'm just not an admirer of external ignition amplifier boxes. Ever since I had a V12 E-Type I've learned to intensely dislike them. Pure unreasoning prejudice.....

    I've looked and looked for wheels without much luck. I have some Pirelli P77 205/70/14s on the car now and it looks like it's on roller skates. I'm sure they handle better than XWXs though. I put some more info on the "Vintage Front Engine V12 Tires" thread about wheels & tires--have a look.
    Will
     

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