A Tale of Two Ferraris...Again

  • One for the road and one for the race.

  • One for the road.

    Ferrari Super America coupe number 3747. We first encountered this magnificent grand touring Ferrari 400 Super America quite a number of years ago, 12 to be exact. The job at hand at that time was “restore it to exhibit standards” and it’s owner was a seasoned veteran of the high speed classic car world; in particular Ferraris. To say it had to be correct, look just right and most critically perform perfectly was a given.

    Knowing this collector as we do, the notion of perfection, that occasionally unassailable but sticky restorer’s goal and objective, was always on our radar. In the words of our supporter, this car’s long time owner and Ferrari collector extraordinaire Peter Kalikow; it came out just right! It looks and runs and FEELS just as it should with those few hand made idiosyncrasies (dare we say imperfections) intact and true to original form. This car gets driven and shown and used and enjoyed and savored by an owner who really knows what Ferraris are and should be. Appreciated for its grace & pace amidst other rewarding Ferrari virtues decades after it’s first life. We are all well rewarded.

    In particular project director Charlie Webb is enthused to see the years of reward for his work. We are both proud and pleased to see it all working so well some 12 years after it left the shop restored. Pictures worth a thousand words? Well then, what follows are thousands and thousands more words to tell the tale.

  • Though acquired prior to our restoration in Europe, this car was originally imported by Luigi Chinetti for sale in the United States. Chinetti told a story about Super America 3747. The car had been ordered by a special customer of Chinetti’s and arrived at the corner and 54th & 11th Ave, Chinetti’s New York city headquarters to be prepared for delivered to the customer. It was Chinetti’s policy is that all cars be delivered with a full tank of gas. After all the initial prep and final tuning, a technician dutifully took the car to the local filling station. On the way back a taxi cab decided that this car was just a little too shiny and should not to be delivered to its customer that day. Ah, what to do? As any self respecting NY taxi knows, a little whack to a Ferraris sensitive left rear hind quarter will tame the beast. We found the proof once underway; with key parts removed, the fixed dent was still there; Note the photo inset left. Clearly just where described to the new Ferrari owner at pickup by Coco Chinetti.

    CAVALLINO CLASSIC, JANUARY 2004, 3747 FINDS 3 AWARDS

  • 2012 Villa d ’Este, Lake Como Italy

    September 2013, 12 years after it’s arrival at the shop and over a decade since restoration:

    See our coverage of the 2013 Alden Sherman Classic here.
  • One for the race

    Ferrari 166 MM 0300 was a more recent story. Long time client and collector Dennis Nicotra said, “I’ve just bought this terrific Ferrari and I want to restore it to its original race winning condition.” Following that it goes to Cavallino then off to Europe to be seen in its original competition environment. Here’s the catch, It’s past mid-September, Cavallino is in January...can you do it? WELL…Noting that Carrozzeria Vignale received Ferrari’s Chassis on April 1, 1953 and delivered Jacques Herzet a coupe he raced on May 17th (finishing 2nd in The Coupes des Spa Francorchamps), what else could we say but, "YES!" One Proviso: quality and attention to detail is paramount, it cannot bear any scars of a rushed restoration. The car must be exactly as it was when winning the SAR cup race in Belgium, April of 1954, then on the Oblin coachworks exhibit at the Brussels motor show thereafter. Yes was provisional, we’ll have to see after we’ve had a good look.

    Evaluation underway very soon thereafter; then tested, inspected and all those boxes of bits unpacked. The car was all there, the original unmolested chassis solid and key parts removed decades ago in a previous restoration boxed and in tact. Even the headrest which the first owner driver, Jacques Herzet had fitted was in a box with it’s Dunlo-pillow pad. Though freshening, configuration corrections and restoration was very needed, key components were all correct and fundamentally sound. YES, WE CAN DO THIS within the time frame was the final answer and to work we went.

  • It was a busy 3 months. We were rewarded by it’s owner’s appreciation of the projects timely accomplishments, Marcel Massini’s attention and praise not to mention all the notice the finished project has garnered. 0300 was Invited to and exhibited at the St James Concours on the Royal lawns September 5-7 2013 in Central London among an entry list of only sixty important cars displayed in the gardens of the 300 year-old Royal Palace Marlborough House. Our thanks to Mr. Nicotra, Charlie, Craig, Mark, Dave and ARI crew in addition to all those who were so on point in making this lofty goal an accomplished reality. Yep, it’s that old pictures worth a thousand words scenario again, enjoy the show.

  • Early January 2013…DONE!

  • So what’s our 2nd point?

    Done right, done well, done on time and it was indeed a pleasure. We were pleased to bring our craft to bear on these great cars, but it is the enjoyment and appreciation their owners and viewers share with us that means the most. We take satisfaction when the work endures as it has on 3747. We savor challenges of each restorations then and now not to mention the comments elicited everywhere the cars land. The variety herein exhibits some of what Ferrari is about and has accomplished over decades past and continues at present. When all is said and done it is Ferrari who created the magic then two dedicated enthusiasts that enabled our process. In some small but meaningful way, we feel apart of it. Results, awards and practicing ones craft to high levels of satisfaction. Does it get better? THANKS again & again!

    - Kent Bain, Raconteur & director, Automotive Restorations Inc.

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