This post begins to cover the metal work restoration of a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Pininfarina Cabriolet (PF Cab), for the preview post on the measuring box click here.

The first part of this post covers a measuring device we designed and built specially for this Ferrari PF Cab and the second part explains how it was used to rebuild the tail light area.

The objective of the measuring box is to figure out if a car body was built square to the chassis and is symmetrical from side to side.  Before delving into measuring the body, remember that this was a Ferrari hand built body from the 1960’s, so tight tolerances are not expected.  The idea is that the Ferrari PF Cab body and chassis sit on a center line inside a 3-dimensional steel framed box.  The perimeter of the box acts as a measuring datum so that measurements from the box to the Ferrari PF Cab can be taken on the left and right hand sides and then compared to check symmetry.

The 3-dimensional box is divided into 3 planes representing length, depth, and height.  On each axis is 1/2″ machined holes spaced 200mm apart, these holes are locations for the measuring stations.  A line runs down the center of the box and the center of the chassis is aligned with a custom stand to the body.  The center line only runs length ways, as the body is only symmetrical in one direction.  The body is divided into a grid, with the aid of a laser, and numbered to aid recording.

These were the findings of major significance for this Ferrari PF Cab:

  • the front right-hand headlight housing is 10mm further forward than the left-hand headlight
  • the body style line is 6mm higher on the right-hand side than the left-hand
  • the complete rear end of the car is kicked over to the right hand side 50mm from the rear of the doors to the back of the Ferrari.  Not from accident/damage, just how the car was built.
  • the left-hand rear tail light housing peak leans inwards 8mm

 

1960 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cab Restoration

Ferrari body with grid layed out

 

After discussing the above findings with the client, the first issues to address was the left-hand tail light problem.  Now we will show the step by step rebuild and fabrication of the light housing.  Why rebuild this area?  On first sight the sheet metal housing clearly looked as though the top was angled inwards and second, the housing was too big for the light bezel, which formed the appearance of a step.  To be correct in appearance, the surface of the bezel should be level with the surface of the paint.  As part of the ‘measuring box’ process, we recorded results showing the top of the housing was 5mm to the right of center.  To fix these two problems it was most practical and cost efficient to make a completely new housing and then graft it into the fender.  The following series of photos will take you through this process accompanied with brief descriptions.

Photos of Ferrari 250 GT PF Cab light housing restoration

1960 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cab Restoration

First slice to remove original tailight housing

 

1960 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cab Restoration

Pattern

 

1960 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cab Restoration

Offering up the sheet metal to the actual light.  Here you can see that the light now fits perfectly and there is no step

 

1960 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cab Restoration

Reverse view of above

 

1960 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cab Restoration

Beginning to build new housing

 

1960 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cab Restoration

Tig welding new sections together

 

1960 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cab Restoration

Taking a pattern off the Ferrari PF Cab for angle reference

 

1960 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cab Restoration

Transferring pattern from Ferrari to new housing

 

1960 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cab Restoration

New tail light taking shape

 

1960 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cab Restoration

Offering new housing to Ferrari body

 

1960 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cab Restoration

Cleco new housing into postion

 

1960 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cab Restoration

Results from the ‘measuring box’ for squareness

 

1960 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cab Restoration

Dimensionally setting the tail light housing using the ‘measuring box’

1960 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cab Restoration

TIG welding the light housing to Ferrari body

 

1960 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cab Restoration

Beginning of metal finishing process

 

1960 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cab Restoration

Rear view of finished housing

 

1960 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cab Restoration

Side view

1960 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cab Restoration

Metal finished – nice!

 

1960 Ferrari 250 GT PF Cab Restoration

Done!

Check out our services provided at our fully equipped work shop in Denver, Colorado.

The first post in the series about this extensive automotive restoration explains more about the measuring box created to check the symmetry of this Ferrari.  Part Three, covers patterning up the rocker panels, Part Four looks at how the original rocker panels were dismantled, and Part Five shows how the new panels were created and attached to the Ferrari 250 GT.  Stay tuned for more info and updates!

3 Responses

  1. Scott Hill

    WOW!!! Outstanding work. I have often wondered what is done on the inside of the (trunk/luggage area in this example)repair to make it correct? I assume you grind/file, fill paint. However due to angles there are areas I would think you may not be able to reach. How doe sthis affect the overall value of the car v/s leaving it hand built and crooked?

    Thanks great work.

    Reply
  2. John Escolano

    Hello, I am inquiring to see if you are willing to show me the photos of the complete measuring system you designed and are uitlizing, I like the simpleness and would like to create one for my shop, I am sure it is accurite as a laser system costing thosands,

    Sincerely
    John Escolano

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.