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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

$25K Project Dino: Our editor-in-chief does not despair-yet

Every project car starts with an avalanche of known unknowns. Sure, we all do our best when inspecting a car for potential purchase, but since we rarely have the perfect tools, time, or space for the job, few initial assessments reveal all the flaws.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/maintenance-and-tech/25k-project-dino-our-editor-in-chief-does-not-des...
32 REPLIES 32
OptimusPrime
Detailer

Good luck with it! I've spent several years and far more money than I care to recall (multiples of the car's actual value) putting a black 1977 Lancia Scorpion back on the road that had also been sitting in a garage for years. The upside to your project is that it will actually be a desirable car when it's finished! And it appears you don't have to farm out as much work as I had to. As of yet, anyway.

Take a good look at the cooling system while it's all apart. My Lancia ended up needing new cooling tubes (that run under the car, back to the engine) due to internal corrosion after sitting for years. Plus a fresh radiator and heater core. You don't want to get the car running, only to block up coolant passages with flakes of rust and other junk.

I also have a set of factory 308 air horns for the quad DCNFs if yours are missing (they are probably just not photographed). I was going to fit them on the Lancia's twin DCNFs, but if a 308 owner is in need, these are the original items and different from aftermarket reproductions.
drhino
Technician

Come on! A Lancia Scorpion is certainly desirable. They look fantastic in black, too.
lweb19
Hagerty Employee

Thank you. Great advice. You'll read in an upcoming update that I got the car running and wheeled it around for roughly 30 miles. I was/am worried about the center cooling pipes. It'd be terrifying to have to replace them after I got the car on the road. 

MATTMERICA
Technician

Can't wait for the next update
Smileamile
Intermediate Driver

I, too, look forward to the next installment. I love reading about these challenges and how they are overcome. We can all learn stuff!!
ConfuciusRacing
Detailer

This car will offer great driving rewards. I owned one when they could be bought for new Chevrolet money, $15,000 with 16,000 miles, at the time I won't say how long ago that was. It was a Series I, Gold with Lobster Red interior. Absolutely filthy, a car that escaped the "ReSpray any pre 1982 Ferrari Red Campaign" which made these cars appeal to a, errr, "larger' audience.

Easily one of the best cars to come from Maranello, 2+2 or not ....and I am sure you have discovered the section of rear wheel well which assesses the timing belt. No engine out service required!
Those fans are used on Jaguars too, btw.
PurelyPMD
Detailer

This is a great journey you are taking - enjoy the drive as much as the trip.
lweb19
Hagerty Employee

Thank you. It's been fun so far, but the big bills for paint and interior are about to arrive. 

r2avanti
Pit Crew

I had a chance to buy a '74 GT4 in 1992, but didn't get it. It was rusty, but ran. Wish I had got it.
People drive cars, individuals drive Avantis
hyperv6
Racer

Ferrari of this era was much like owning a Fiat.

In some ways you could beat on these cars and they just keep going. But in other ways like not changing the timing belts or avoiding high humidity to avoid rust.

My experiences with Italian cars of this era were of amazement and disposable. They can be a joy to own and drive but their lives were limited as repairs often would be more than the value of the car.

I value my experience of these cars but it takes busted knuckles and deep pockets to keep it alive. You do it for pure love!
JSievers
Instructor

Nice article. BTW, the blower motor brushes are not metal per se, they are made of carbon mixed with powdered copper.
Bora169
Pit Crew

Hi Guys,
I spent nearly 14 years restoring a Maserati Bora starting back in 2000, I saw it on a poster back in 1975 when I was in my twenties. Later on one came up for sale over in Melbourne, so filled with enthusiasm and a thick pair of rose coloured glasses I flew from Perth to Melbourne to see the car.
It drove ok except for some strange noises which I put down to the close coupled exhaust system, this later turned out to be a big end knock combined with the piston hitting the head producing a strange pinging sound.
I rebuilt the engine myself together with everything else on the car. Over the years of ownership, I only ever drove it 4000 miles!
the lesson to be learned here is there is a lot to be gained from doing a project such as this but you must remember time is the most precious commodity we have, so spend it wisely!
I eventually sold the car to an engineer in Melbourne for what is still I believe is a world record price for a 1972 Maserati Bora $320,000 in 2015 the Australian dollar was 83 cents US at that time.
I hope he is happy with the car and enjoys my 14 years of hard work to restore said vehicle.
Regards Ken Graham.
Eric
Hagerty Employee

Ken -- would love to hear more about your Bora resto. Would you care to shoot me an email at eweiner@hagerty.com ?

Bora169
Pit Crew

Hi Eric what would you like to know? I think I should write a book about it as there wasn't a thing on that car that I didn't fix repair or fabricate. It is still better to own than a Muira they are the queen of nightmares.

Regards ken.

wdb
Advanced Driver

Gee whiz somebody taking an electric motor apart instead of seeing how well their handgrenade lob into the trash can is today. Glad to hear it! With that fan hanging on the end you may want to make sure the bronze bushings are in good shape too. Wobbly armatures are not a happy thing.

+1 for wanting to see the next episode. Why Ferrari made their engines so needy back then, I do not understand.
TG
Technician

I had a very bad experience with a Porsche and timing belts. At the time, my 944 (with a broken odo) was probably pushing 200K miles, and I elected to do the conscientious thing and replace the timing belts while I had the engine out for clutch and oil leak repairs. I followed all the guidance to tighten the belts to where you can barely make a half twist of the belt on the long run and put it back together. Now I ran it a full year after that before while idling into a parking spot at work (yes idling), the car stalled. When I got it home it had crashed the valves so hard that they were shaped like S's and something in the lower end ended up damaged. I have no idea if it was something I did, or just a 'stuff happens' thing, but I would get a second set of experienced eyes on the adjustment/tension before buttoning things up
lweb19
Hagerty Employee

Oh man. That sounds like just bad luck. 

SuperDeLuxe
Advanced Driver

Ferrari's are like any other expensive toy for rich kids; once it breaks it's time to buy a new toy. People with the wherewithal to fix expensive toys never had the money to buy a new one. A noble pursuit, hopefully it will be profitable in the end, either as a true labor of love or a BAT brag. Best of luck!
lweb19
Hagerty Employee

So far, the parts prices are not insane and the car is relatively straightforward to work on. That said, I do not expect this to be profitable! I'm in it for the love of it. I have to be sensible, of course...

farna
Advanced Driver

How much is restoration, and how much room do you personally have for improvements? Those little fans are pretty small and probably inefficient compared to a more modern multi-blade fan. While not accurate for a resto, it's one place I might bend since modern fans can be installed with little (if any) alteration. Ensuring that it keeps the engine cooled efficiently is better for it in the long run and would be worth the effort to me -- unless it does require a lot of alteration to fit better ones. Keep the old for returning to stock later. If you plan on driving it a lot, it would be a worthwhile consideration. Everything else looks modern enough, and those front brakes look like they would be at home on a full size American car.
lweb19
Hagerty Employee

Great point. It's a tricky one. I thought I could save some $$ with the fans, but it turned out that the plate that holds the brushes was brittle from heat. I'm sure someone with could fab a new plate, but at this point, it makes more sense for me to just upgrade. The things you learn....

Kraftwerk
Pit Crew

These are nice cars. A comrade, Xavier has a dark blue one in Paris, which I drove enthusiastically  through the tunnels. The fan is from the Jaguar parts bin? ..read that here. Dash vents are of some French make, if I remember correctly. Enjoy it. 

RickL
Detailer

Great article. Cars are cars, always something to learn from regardless of marque. Most important thing is when you get it running and roadworthy, DRIVE it and don't worry. Hey, I know a great insurance company you can contact. lol
RandyForbes
New Driver

Nice article! I too would like to see more installments as the work progresses.

The 308 GT/4 has certainly grown on me; it was a bold departure from the 246 GT/GTS design, so it didn't resonate right away (besides, I was too infatuated with the 365 GTS...). Nowadays, I would love to have a Bertone GT/4.

I did some maintenance work on a neighbor's 308 GT/4 a while back, including rebushing the fr/rr suspension (and rebooting the CVJs); it was the first time I'd encountered steel-sleeved rubber bushes TACK WELDED to the A-arms! On most cars, they just press fit and stay put. Unfortunately, we had planned a move from Ohio to Florida, so I had to turn down additional work on this 308, and rebuilding the Webers on one of his friend's 308 GT/4.

I always take photographs documenting work on customer's cars, and making notations on them as needed (it's how I communicate with them). It's a practice I started while working on (BMW) M Coupes/Rdstrs that were shipped to me, where in most cases, I never came face to face with the owners.

308 GT/4 brake work: http://spcarsplus.com/piwigo/index.php?/category/96
308 GT/4 susp. work: http://spcarsplus.com/piwigo/index.php?/category/97
(Larry Webster, you're going to want to see this album_^_350 images...)

I also welded up a couple of missing chunks out of this 308 GTS magnesium wheel (that is some really "dirty" base material, unlike repairing a BBS wheel cast with a more pure alloy):
http://spcarsplus.com/piwigo/index.php?/category/9

Good luck with your project, and remember, if you get frustrated with some aspect of a job__WALK AWAY. When you return to it an hour (day or a week...) later, things typically fall right into place 😉
lweb19
Hagerty Employee

Oh wow. Thanks for sharing! Oh and great advice to just walk away..

SAG
Technician

?
The Ferrari "Dino" was '246'
SAG
Technician

There was a Fiat 'Dino'
SAG
Technician

not even close to the to the 'image'
but a great car
SAG
Technician

maby a early '308 2+2'
SAG
Technician

it was a "4 headlight" car
SAG
Technician

308 2+2 Prototype
SAG
Technician

Prototype
Windshield posts are curved
_2+2 were straight