Virtual Ferrari F1 2000, Come Play!

Virtually of course!

Although we couldn’t produce a real one to show you.., yet. We do have a second best option to “play” with today for a bit of diversion.

A 3D virtual Ferrari F1! That’s right, you can zoom, rotate, flip and in general get a great look at this fantastic example of 3D and great looking ultra automobile.

Remember that back in 2000 the F1 2000 won Ferrari the constructors championship as well as the drivers title for Michael Schumacher and the first title for Ferrari in quite awhile. Anyway you don’t need me to rewrite the story. You can check it out on the F1 Technical Blog, where you can read the full specifications of the car, along with it’s lustrous history.

But don’t forget, AFTER you’ve finished reading, come back and entertain yourself with this cool virtual one. All it would need is that Ferrari engine sound in the background and.., perfection!

To play with the virtual F1 press play (the arrow in the center) and after it loads the model, use your mouse to manipulate the car in any direction by clicking and holding your left mouse button down while moving your mouse around the screen. Use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out to get that up close and personal feel. Be sure and check out more automobile 3D models and other things on Sketchfab, it’s a pretty fab way to waste an hour or two.

 

Espresso and Exotics March 26 2016

You may have seen us advertise that if you see us at the Aliso Viejo Cars and Coffee we’ll be at the shop having our own version right after. We call it “Espresso and Exotics.” Here is what it looks like. (Photos above) We drink espresso, eat cookies, look at engines and have lively discussions. Massimo also talks about the projects he’s working on while giving a mini tour of the place. Not only do you get to see engine parts you’ve never seen before, but it’s also a chance to have a rare look at what happens to your exotic after you bring it in for repairs.

On this day we actually skipped the car show and went straight to the shop, arriving around 9:AM. So I must now add that if you don’t see us at Aliso Viejo but still would like to have some added fun after the show, give us a call at 949.680.2799 just to make sure we’re there. Drop by, we’ll have a nice cup of espresso waiting for you, Italian style!

Cars and Coffee Feb 27 2016

Another beautiful Saturday morning for cars and coffee at Aliso Viejo. This time we decided to show off our 1995 Alfa Romeo 164 LS as it had just been detailed and looked spectacular if we do say so ourselves. We set up and then wandered through the event. It was crowded this week, as you can see from the pictures. Many folks came from far and wide. As you know, this particular location attracts a variety of automobiles in various condition which makes Aliso Viejo a very colorful car show to attend. We saw a lot of friends and customers enjoying the day, adding to the fun! A number of Porsche 914s filled up a dream roll on the asphalt including an orange one that had a sticker on it from the 1971 Rally Of Monte Carlo. Now here’s where we got excited, If the sticker isn’t a reproduction then we and this particular Porsche share a common history; Massimo and his brother Bruno Mondino were there at that same rally in 1971!
This week a number of Mini Mokes made an appearance together. They’re such a cute rugged little car with such a rich history that we were just charmed. We learned that the word Moke was an archaic term for donkey and that this mini automobile was designed with the military in mind as a light vehicle but its wheels were just too small. Low ground clearance made it impractical for rough terrain so it became a passenger car. FYI, The Mini Moke had a long production run (1964) through several countries before ending in 1993.

Other cars that caught are attention were 3 Lamborghini’s, (we believe came from the dealer in San Diego) but the show stopping twist, at least for us, was a Ferrari 308 that had been modified into a fully electric vehicle if you can imagine that. In the photos you can see how that looks with cables and batteries. It bore the mark “GTE” instead of the normal GTS. The owner decided he’d had enough and pulled out as we watched it. Even though we knew it was electric, it still left us in a bit of a shock as it accelerated, the only noise it left behind.., a resounding silence. The familiar Ferrari growl disturbingly absent.

As it accelerated, the only noise it left behind was a resounding… silence, that familiar Ferrari growl disturbingly absent.

It was one of those strange disappointments that stop you for a second, and makes you think! We ended up taking a moment to reflect and talked about a future where there were no more of these amazing automobiles and powerful engines with distinctive sounds. It made us miss a future past, a future that we’re at the beginning of now and a past to mourn in our future. Nevertheless, the GTE is  green and promises a cleaner future. A double edge sword and hopefully a fair trade.

 

Source: Mini Moke  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini_Moke

Photo of Lamborghini Countach Italtech GT

Lamborghini Countach Italtech GT

The Name Countach, Nothing To Do With Beauty

There are many different versions around the web of how the Lamborghini Countach got it’s name and they all center around the theme and the assumption that it’s used as an exclamation upon seeing a beautiful woman. Actually the name Countach has nothing to do with beauty but can be used for anything that has made a sudden surprising impact on a person on a personal level. Although I’m sure that it would get used for the sudden appearance of a beautiful woman, in general this accepted definition of the word usage and the accompanying story are simplified explanations and not the officially embraced one by the people of the Provincia Grande. The problem is the language itself. From town to town the Piemontese language breaks down into dialects that change significantly and often bares no resemblance in sound or writing, to it’s cousin right up the street. In Massimo’s native town of Boves the word for rabbit in his version of the language is Cuciu. Coo chu, and in Peveragno less than 3 miles away, the same word becomes Pérru, Pear ru. Yet both languages are considered Piemontese. So Countach is not a word that would be generally recognized by the entire population of a region and out of context, would only be understood by the residents of the tiny town of Vernante itself which leaves just a bit of a hole in the original story.

Another problem with this tale is that even if it were true that this word was used to exclaim the beauty of a woman and mostly used by men, they would have to been very old men as this word is from the 18th century and is only used by the (now) oldest generation of people alive who still speak the old Piemontese language.

“The story is that Ferruccio  Lamborghini was on his way to Monte Carlo via Limone Piemonte and stopped in a bar in Vernante for something to drink. Vernante is a  tiny town on the way to and before Limone/Pimonte.” Massimo describes the whole process of getting to Monaco from Limone. “After Limnon/Piemonte you cross the border at the top of the pass and go down the other side along the Roya into France where you get to Monico/Monte Carlo.., and there was this table in the bar with these old people playing cards and Ferruccio heard the people saying oh Countach, Countach and countach is an expression in our region which is close to where I’m from, that doesn’t mean anything it’s like saying on my god, oh my god, so something surprising happened while they were playing cards and they remarked on it. Around Cuneo and my region that’s what they say happened and how the car got it’s name.”

Photo Map of Vernante

Vernante Home of the Countash name

Do I believe that Lamborghini named his car thanks to a bunch of old guys playing cards in a bar in the small town of Vernante? Yes! Knowing how things go there a bit I find their unsubstantiated story a bit more believable than the beautiful woman thing, (I’ve heard all the exclamations for that!) and besides this is the story that any person from the Provincia di Cuneo (Provincia Grande) has grown up hearing including Massimo, and will retell with pride as they all claim the honor of the naming of the Lamborghini Countach for themselves, by association. So yes, the word countach after the instant mind’s image of a beautiful automobile, the exclamation OH MY GOD, or the more vulgar, HOLY SHIT comes to mind thanks to my husband and the people of and around Vernante and that’s the story I’m officially sticking with!

 

Have your own version? Tell us in the comments!

As told to me by Massimo Mondino:

Mind The Gap!

Mind The Gap! Click To Englarge

Recently we got in a 1964 Ferrari 330 that came from another shop where it was restored. It was suffering from a lack of performance; not performing the way it’s suppose to.., close to it, but just not quite there. So I began to search for the cause. What was holding this engine back?

After checking the distributors making sure the points dwell was right and also that the points were synchronized on my distributor machine, I moved forward to check the spark plug wires. I did a compression test and a leak down finding uneven cylinders. So I went ahead and did a valve adjustment, I found that the valves were too tight. After putting everything back together I set the timing to proper specifications and also removed the top of the carburetors and checked the the floats. I found that the floats were completely out of adjustment. I went ahead and set them to the right specs as well. After everything was reassembled I went for a test drive. Although the car improved a bit it still wasn’t performing as I expected it to. So at that point I decided to remove the carburetors because although they did look like they were (new) fully rebuilt, after finding the other miscellaneous problems on the car, I just had the feeling that something was still wrong between the carbs and the intake, maybe an uneven carburetor base, or too much free play in the shafts which I know from experience, that in the DCZs are a common problem. I went ahead and removed the carburetors completely placing them upside down on the bench, I checked one carburetor at a time for free play on the shaft and using a straight edge, checked the carburetor base to see if it was warped. When I got to the number 3 carburetor I noticed that when I would fully open the throttle the secondary shaft driven by gear, was loose and intermittently, would only open partially and when it did it was never the same. It would open every time at a different degree/angle. Basically the car was running with 12 cylinders and sometimes only with 10 and some. A simple loose clamp was the culprit that created this extremely frustrating, time consuming and hard to find problem.

Moral of the story? In my line of business when it comes down to particular repairs, like a carburetor rebuild, you make sure that when you start putting it together you finish the job, you don’t walk away in the middle of it. It is too easy to forget a really important technicality. Attention to detail is essential in this business. The clamps forgotten by the last mechanic, not only affected the performance of the car but caused concerns for both the customer (prompting them to take it to another shop) and for me, in trying to track down the problem they left behind.”

Ferrari Water Pump Shaft and Gear

Ferrari Water Pump Shaft and Gear

(This is a reprint from my first blog, Sept 2007, of one of Massimo’s most memorable Ferrari stories and one of my favorites as well since I was around and actually saw what had happened, it was fascinating and I thought it was time for a re-share.)

MIA or Missing In Action

A client came in with a blown head gasket due to over heating, on a 1985 308 4 valve Ferrari. Massimo pulled the engine out, pulled the heads off, replaced the head gasket and thermostat. He than checked the water pump and looked through the water pump housing pipe as well, everything appeared fine, no leaks..,

So why had it overheated?

Massimo is meticulous and always double checks everything. And on a hunch, he pulled the water pump cover, but again no obvious reason for the trouble, the shaft had no play on the bearing, seals looked recently done, no problems right?

Wrong.

When he tried to turn the shaft by hand the shaft would spin without consistently engaging the gear. In other words the shaft is supposed to be locked onto the gear so that it doesn’t move at all! First thing he thought of was that the Woodruff key notch, a piece that sits on the key and fits into a spot on the gear wheel, was completely worn out. But when he pulled the front engine cover off and saw the gear bouncing on the shaft he was intrigued.

Moving? He thought, this thing wasn’t suppose to be moving around at all!

After getting down to the Woodruf key itself he saw clearly that there was no notch at all! As you can see in the photo there is nothing attached to the shaft! Instead, the Woodruff key had been pressed in. It is very likely that the shaft came like that from the factory, hard to tell, but because the notch wasn’t milled onto the shaft, the water pump circulated sporadically, which in turn caused over heating and finally catastrophic failure.

So Massimo replaced the water pump shaft and the problem was solved.
But he later confided to me that this was really strange and he’d never seen anything like this in all of his years working.

One of the projects I remember well was from when I was working on an engine rebuild of a 1938-1939 2.9 V Alfa Romeo, not only was this a very cool car to look at but mechanically it was unique, and I’ll tell you why in a moment, so it was with great pleasure that I embarked on this unusual project. As I began to take the engine apart and clean the individual pieces, I noticed that there was writing on the parts, and as I squinted to read the writing I could see that each was not only made by hand but signed and dated with the name of the artisan. The dates were all different, 1937, 1938, and the names, Giuseppe, Guido, went on and on as I uncovered each piece. Even the value spring was signed and dated “1936” in tiny tiny script, Each part of that engine whether large or small, was beautifully crafted by people who were so proud after it was finished, that they signed their names to the work. It made me wonder what they would think if they knew that almost 70 years later someone would take apart this engine and read their signatures and what would they think of the work we do today? How difficult these pieces would have been to create back then when there were no machines to help, when every part had to be exact, planned created, honed again and again until it was perfect; each piece worth signing. But most of all as I did my work, I wondered what happened to them, these people who put so much heart into everything they did. Not long after these parts were made war broke out. Did they survive? What were their lives like after? Did they go on to make more more automobile parts, or something else? There was a time when people cared about the quality of their work and took pride in it and the entire time I was rebuilding this beautiful 1938 Alfa Romeo it was indeed a sentimental journey, and one of the most touching projects I have ever worked on.

 

#VintageAlfaRomeo

Ferrari 330 Update

Ferrari 330 update!

Work continues on the engine of the F330.  As you can see the “before” photo gives you a pretty good idea of the state of the Ferrari engine block. In the “after” pics you can see as well, the block has undergone a a major transformation or an “extreme” makeover if you will, already, even though it is only at the midway point. There’s a lot more cleaning to do, and certainly more rebuilding! This process is always carefully documented and the next step after everything is restored to our satisfaction, is to reassemble what was taken apart, using said documentation. We’ll keep posting/sharing more on the Ferrari 330 update as the work progresses.

 

 

 

We got up early this morning to attend the Cars and Coffee in Alisa Viejo, and boy was it a blast! We brought a Ferrari work in progress to show, but were surprised that almost every vehicle imagined was represented, from Fiat 500 to Rolls Royce! People were laid back and friendly as they sipped coffee and chatted about of course, cars, theirs and others. All the makes and models presented a perfect photo opportunity so we snapped quite a few shots; a riot of color and shape. We’ve uploaded what we saw, including our artistic attempts, so you could see them too! We love Cars and Coffee event in Aliso Viejo, (and anywhere else for that matter,) what a seriously cool way to spend a leisurely Saturday morning!

Photo of the Ferrari 330 Engine Out. If you build it

Once you’ve pulled an engine out of a car you can have unforeseen and new sets of problems, especially for a 1964 330 Ferrari engine, one of these problems being how to hold it? Of course, back in the day, there were engine stands to hold these and other types of exotic engines but today.., eh, not too easy to find, actually lets just say impossible to find. So what do you do when you need an epic engine stand to not only hold, but manipulate this magnificent engine in order to work on it?

If you build it…!

But how to build this specific stand? Thinking it out, we realized it would have to be flexible, able to hold different models of vintage engines, not just this one in particular. We didn’t want to end up having engine stands lining our walls we just needed one all purpose one. It would also have to be able to hold an extensive amount of weight. Additionally it had to hold the engine stable and in certain positions where we needed it to be, and it had to able to rotate 360 degrees so we could work on any part of it as the project progressed.

We envisioned it in our heads, and drew it out, several times, on paper. When we were satisfied we hit the metal yard and bought steel cut to our measurements. We than brought the pieces back to the shop and had them welded together. Then we held our breaths, would the stand be substantial enough? Would the welds hold? Would the engine fit?

When put to the test, the stand functioned perfectly and as a final touch we painted it, Ferrari yellow! Below are photos of our stand project and the final results.