Theiler Automobil Technik customized 308 engine? | FerrariChat

Theiler Automobil Technik customized 308 engine?

Discussion in '308/328' started by Du_Man, Dec 25, 2019.

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  1. Du_Man

    Du_Man Formula Junior
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    Apr 23, 2003
    278
    Dallas, Texas
    Full Name:
    Derek
    As I am looking over my newly acquired 1980 308 GTSi SN32001, I noticed the Theiler nameplate riveted to the custom painted red valve covers and the stamped number 1218. I had no knowledge of Theiler.

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    I did some google research and landed back on Fchat here where I learned about Herman Theiler -
    https://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/threads/theiler-auto-technik.198120/#post-146961668

    I put the feelers out on that post but I thought I would ask again here in the 308 corner. The Theiler story sounds very cool. I would really like to find out what the stamped number 1218 means to this engine. I assume if there is a plate, it means a little more customized engine work.

    I bought this sad 308 GTSi here in Dallas a few weeks ago -
    https://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/threads/first-post-need-help-with-a-308.607152/
    The initial inquiry pictures that Dallas308 posted showed this "blinged" 308 with gold emblems, custom wheels and red painted valve covers. I think I chuckled a little when I saw the "Quattrovalvole" emblem on the rear panel. But now I am thinking there was a reason to add that emblem to the rear of the car - maybe Theiler's work?

    On the other Theiler post, the guys mentioned that Herman did a lot of customized Ferrari work during the 90's and produced catalogs of his offerings. I probably need to contact Nick Scianna as he seems to have a lot of knowledge of Theiler's work and possibly would know what the stamped number might mean.

    Any additional info on Thieler would be appreciated! I assume with his death in the early 2000's, his records may be unavailable to us to decipher the engine stamp. I am photographing the car this holiday while I plan out my restoration path for the next several years. This engine is a "box of chocolates"!! I don't plan just yet to open that box, but are there outer clues that would tell me what's inside the engine? I have no records/history of the vehicle. All I know is the car sat for almost 12-14 years in Dallas until I bought it and was brought to Rockwall, Texas around 2003 from California. Earliest Cali emissions record is 1998.

    I would love to restore sn320001 and pay homage to Theiler's work. Sounds like a cool American SoCal story - a very talented immigrant who came to America and brought his love and passion of Ferrari!

    Derek
     
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  2. Tustin308

    Tustin308 Rookie

    May 20, 2019
    39
    Tustin, CA
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    Arthur Trejo
    I was a client and friend of Herman Thieler since 1990. He took really good care of my 308 up until I stopped driving it in 1998. Herman rebuilt my engine in 1990 and from what I remember he was very meticulous and took pride in his work. He did not modify my car very much but did an awesome job rebuilding it. I was tracking my 308 at the time so he add an upgraded engine mount, brass water pump impeller, sway bar and connecting links which he fabricated himself in his shop. To answer your question I don’t remember anything significant about the number on the Automobil Tecknic badge. Looking at my old repair invoices it does not appear anywhere on it so it might be meaningless. I would say if Herman rebuilt your engine then it will be in good shape. I say this because I recently restarted my 308 running this year and after sitting idle for 20 years my car turned over without much trouble. If course I had to replace the fluids, battery, some injectors and the fuel filter but other than that it started right up. I was very happy to hear it running.
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  3. Du_Man

    Du_Man Formula Junior
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    Apr 23, 2003
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    Derek
    Thanks, Arthur, for telling me about your experience with Herman and your 308. From the little info I have read earlier and now your experience, I have no doubt his work was top-notch. I will just have to poke around and see if there was any customized work.
     
  4. Tustin308

    Tustin308 Rookie

    May 20, 2019
    39
    Tustin, CA
    Full Name:
    Arthur Trejo
    Your welcome Derek. Congratulations on your 308. It good to see other Thieler cars are still out there. From what I see from your engine pic it looks like you have Herman’s custom engine mount. Mine is silver in color however yours is black. You may also have the brass impeller in your water pump. I know Herman installed these on several 308s as they lasted longer than the stock impeller. Mine is still working great after 20 years of stilling idle. Nick would be an excellent source of information on engine upgrades because Thieler did a lot of upgrades on his 308. Good luck on refurbishing your car.
     
  5. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Three Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    34,574
    Austin TX
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    Brian Crall
    The stock impeller was brass.
     
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  6. Martin308GTB

    Martin308GTB F1 Rookie
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    Jan 22, 2003
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    Funny. Some folks think it's F-Voodoo, what originally came from the factory. I mean the brass w/p impeller.

    Best from Germany
    Martin
     
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  7. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Three Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
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    Brian Crall
    What bothers me are the crooks elevating their status and filling their bank accounts by doing that.
     
  8. Martin308GTB

    Martin308GTB F1 Rookie
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    Jan 22, 2003
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    Martin N.
    Health issues teached me to consider the funny view of such things more. The folks, who believe such BS :)

    Best Wishes for the New Year
    Martin
     
  9. Du_Man

    Du_Man Formula Junior
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    Apr 23, 2003
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    Derek
    1978 Ferrari 308 extreme track car project on eBay right now........ "Engine and transmission modifications were made by well-known tuner Hermann Theiler."

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    baby got back!!

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    https://www.ebay.com/itm/154465107637?_trkparms=aid=111001&algo=REC.SEED&ao=1&asc=20160908105057&meid=866fa6f259314f2c8445c13f25bc8a66&pid=100675&rk=6&rkt=15&sd=224451798016&itm=154465107637&pmt=0&noa=1&pg=2380057&_trksid=p2380057.c100675.m4236&_trkparms=pageci:0d9a9997-bdc3-11eb-8661-2a91656a25a6|parentrq:a65296651790a0f310ed44ebfffa610c|iid:1

    Still trying to get a copy of his "catalogs/308 mods offerings to see if I can discover what Herman did to my 308 25-30 years ago. But I thought this eBay listing is interesting. He liked to powder-coat the cam covers!
     
  10. Vonbarron

    Vonbarron Formula 3
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    Aug 26, 2014
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    That’s a project right up my alley, but I can’t see past 15-20k
     
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  11. lm2504me

    lm2504me Formula 3
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  12. Du_Man

    Du_Man Formula Junior
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    Apr 23, 2003
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    Derek
    very cool!
     
  13. lm2504me

    lm2504me Formula 3
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  14. Du_Man

    Du_Man Formula Junior
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    Derek
    Thanks for sharing that invoice!

    Nick has also been more than kind to respond to my inquiry about Herman and if he knew anything, or of someone that could tell what the registration numbers stamped on his riveted engine logo badges meant/denoted.

    Hyenahf (from a 2008 post) mentioned he had some Theiler catalogs/reprints in his possession. Not sure if he is around anymore on the forum, but I will message out to him and see if digital Theiler catalogs could be produced for history/recording.

    #12 post https://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/threads/theiler-auto-technik.198120/
     
  15. ferrariowner

    ferrariowner Formula 3

    Feb 21, 2014
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    Ron
    Derek, if you are in Rockwall look up Bob Norwood . He is the king of modified Ferrari’s. He is a wealth of knowledge and good guy.
     
  16. Du_Man

    Du_Man Formula Junior
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    Apr 23, 2003
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    Derek
    Thank you, Ron, I really should contact Bob Norwood.....he might even know my 308 as it spent some time in that area of Texas about a decade or so ago.
     
  17. ferrariowner

    ferrariowner Formula 3

    Feb 21, 2014
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    Ron
    Last time I talkied to Bob he lived in Rockwall. Keep us posted on anything you find.
     
  18. Vonbarron

    Vonbarron Formula 3
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    Aug 26, 2014
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    Just so everyone knows, this car sold privately for 33k. No I didn’t buy it, my offer was 20k
     
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  19. Du_Man

    Du_Man Formula Junior
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    Apr 23, 2003
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    Derek
    Sorry, the bid didn't win.....hopefully we see it again in the future!
     

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