Monday, December 31, 2012

Ferrari Service Bay Area - 2013 Ferrari 458 GT3 Spotted Testing - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael

Spyshots 2013 Ferrari 458 GT3 Spotted Testing

Ferrari presented numerous racing versions of their V8-flagship, the 458 Italia. There is the 458 Challenge for Ferrari’s spec racing series, the 458 GT2 that competes in the GTE class at Le Mans and the FIA WEC, the 458 Grand Am that campaigns in the US, and the 458 GT3 that has taken various trophies at a huge variety of sportscar racing series around the world.

A prototype of the updated 458 GT3 took to Adria International Raceway in Italy for some testing. The test, organized by Ferrari’s Corse Clienti department, along with motorsports firm Michelotto Automobili, was aimed at evaluating many of the car’s updates.

Spyshots 2013 Ferrari 458 GT3 Spotted Testing 02

With the latest updates, Ferrari has been preparing for the next season. The 2013 Ferrari 458 GT3 will benefit from optimized aerodynamics to keep it out in front of such rivals as the McLaren MP4-12C GT3, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 and Audi R8 LMS Ultra.

It can be identified by its widened fender, a huge GT wing and an aggressive body kit. Its engine has a redline of 9,000 rpm, a limited output of 550hp and it gets a special sequential transmission.

by Fabian

Friday, December 28, 2012

Ferrari Service and Sales San Francisco - 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Series I For Sale in US for $41 million - San Francisco Motorsports - San Rafael

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Series I For Sale in US for $41 million

Ever since its inception back in the early 1960’s, the Ferrari 250 GTO has always been one of the world’s most desirable cars with a handful of 250 GTO’s have been sold for well over $20 million in recent years. In fact, one recently sold for $35 million back in June, making it the most expensive transaction ever involving a car.

However, if the list price of a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Series I finished in red is met, then it’s set to become the most expensive GTO ever sold. Currently listed at $41 million on Anamera, the site promises that this car has been very well cared for in the past, is in exceptional condition and one of the finest 250 GTO’s in the world.

The car is up for sale by Ed Classics in the United Kingdom, and is left-hand drive, manual and features a completely blacked out interior.

At the moment it seems as though this particular 250 GTO will be sold privately, rather than at an open auction, meaning that a selling price is unlikely to ever be known if the car does indeed sell.
Just 36 Series I cars were ever built, making it one of the rarest supercars ever produced and features a 3.0 liter V12 engine producing 300hp and a five-speed manual transmission.

by Brad Anderson

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ferrari Service and Sales Bay Area - Alex is a journalist for the day with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael

 It’s not every day that you get the chance to interview Fernando Alonso, just ask all the journalists who try and prise an exclusive with the Spanish driver out of the Maranello press office. But good fortune fell on Alex, who won the “Journalist for a day” competition organised by the Santander Bank for children of the media representatives who were at the Ciudad Financera di Boadilla del Monte yesterday for the traditional Christmas time event.

In this video you can watch the whole interview in Spanish, also available with English and Italian subtitles.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Ferrari Service and Sales San Francisco - This is the amazing Christmas wonderland Ferrari builds for kids every year - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael

Granted, when we think of a "Ferrari Christmas Wonderland" our dreams naturally manifest something like a red FF with a bow on the hood and keys on the seat, parked in front of a Fiorano Circuit that's ours for the day. A guy's gotta dream, right?

But, luckily for a lot of beaming children and their grateful, non-selfish parents, Ferrari's gift back to the people of Maranello is far more festive. The Italian automaker clearly pulls out all of the stops for its annual Kids Christmas party to celebrate the season. The event, which sees the Ferrari grounds transformed in to a veritable amusement park in a holiday theme, seems pretty massive of scale and impressive in its detail.

Click through to the video clip below to see what we mean, and pay special attention about two-thirds of the way through, when a special contingent of 'Santas' drop by to say "Boun Natale."

Source: Autoblog
by Seyth Miersma

Friday, December 21, 2012

Ferrari Service and Sales San Francisco - Ferrari F150 next Enzo photos - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael


The pictures show the nose of the car and feature swept-back headlights and an attractive sculpted bonnet.

Ferrari has revealed the first official images of the F150 project that will be the successor to the Enzo.

The first official images of the highly anticipated successor for the Ferrari Enzo - codename F150 - have popped up in the Italian sports car maker’s in house magazine. The pictures show the nose of the car and feature swept-back headlights and an attractive sculpted bonnet.

The Enzo replacement is rumoured to use a 7.3-litre V12 together with an F1 style KERS electric motor to develop in excess of 590kW of power. That’s significantly more than the legendary original Enzo which produced 478 kW.

That sort of power combined with significant weight savings - which Ferrari has already foreshadowed at The Paris Motor Show with their carbon fibre chassis – is guaranteed to result in exhilarating performance. The new Ferrari is tipped to have relentless acceleration and a 0-100km/h time of less than 3 seconds. There’s also talk of a double clutch gearbox and ceramic brakes as standard but that’s to be expected for such a flamboyant supercar.

When this top of the range Italian stallion goes on sale sometime in late 2013 it is unlikely to retain the F150 codename given the 2011 legal stoush with Ford over the name. It seems The Blue oval were upset about alleged misappropriating of the famous Ford F-150 pickup name when Ferrari tried to name their 2011 F1 car F150. As a result the successor to the Enzo is rumoured to be wearing a F70 badge.

rear of the Ferrari F70 - codename F150
source: carsguide
by Vlad Manu

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ferrari Service and Sales Bay Area - History of the Ferrari 275 GTB - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael


During the late sixties, Ferraris road-oriented berlinettas split in terms of design from their race cars. After the 250 short wheelbase berlinetta, the dual purpose road / race Ferrari seemed gone. This new distinction motivated Ferrari to manufacture more civil road cars having impressive specification. The first example of this new trend was the 275 GTB. 

The 275 GTB/GTS was debuted in October 1964 at the Paris Salon. It was designed by Pininfarina and built by Scagliettie. The 275 GTB was based on the 250 GT Berlinetta Lusson and the 250 GTO. The GTS version drew styling from the 330 GT 2+2. Production continued through 1966.
The fastback Berlinetta coupe was the GTB series. This version was meant for driving on the road and at the track. The Open Spyder was the GTS series designed to replace the 250 California. This version was more comfortable and more suited for touring. Around 200 examples of the GTS were created during its two year production.

Being light, powerful and strikingly beautiful, the 275 was a very successful car for Ferrari. It sold well, with around 1000 examples made, and, as an afterthought, scored victories in endurance racing after the 250 LM was denied homologation. 

By moving the transmission to rear of the car, better weight distribution was achieved. The engine used was a Colombo-derived V-12 engine that produced 260 horsepower in the GTS and 280 horsepower in the GTB. With the GTB version, an option was given to the buyer to purchase the vehicle with three or six Weber carburetors.

In 1965, Ferrari created three examples of the 275 GTB for the purpose of endurance motor sport racing. The vehicles were dubbed the 275 GTB/C and outfitted with a light-weight aluminum body, air vents for the brakes, six carburetors, and a 320 horsepower engine, and a few other minor mechanical modifications.

In 1966 the 275 GTB was re-introduced with a four-cam version of the V12. Six Webber carburetors aided in delivering around 300 horsepower. To cope with the new power, the GTB/4 was given wider tires and a ZF limited-slip differential. The 4 in the name GTB/4 represented the twin camshafts per cylinder bank totaling four. This was the first quad-cam road-going Ferrari ever created. It was easily distinguished by its bulge in the hood. During its production run lasting until 1968, around 320 examples of the 275 GTB/4 were created.

The 275 P and P2 were purpose built to Capture the World Championship and in the process beat Ford. The 275 P was powered by a 3.3-liter powerplant; a 4 and 4.4 liter version were also used. These mid-engined, open-topped cars were comprised of many of the same components as the road-going versions.

By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2006

Monday, December 17, 2012

Ferrari Service and Sales - Ferrari 458 Spider at the Stelvio Pass - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael

Ferrari 458 Italia in the Stelvio Pass
The Stelvio Pass in the Italian Alps shot to worldwide attention when the team at Top Gear visited this legendary road back in Season 10 for their quest to find the greatest driving road in the world.
The road is still considered as one of the best roads for automotive enthusiasts and in a recent episode of Car & Driver Abroad, Jethro Bovingdon traced the Stelvio Road in the Ferrari 458 Spider to both test the car at its absolute limits while simultaneously experiencing the wonder of such a road.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ferrari Service San Francisco - Evren Milano Designs One-Off Ferrari 770 Daytona - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael

Render Evren Milano Designs One-Off Ferrari 770 Daytona

In an automotive world where one-off supercars are becoming the norm, thanks to the array of special Pagani Zonda’s out there not to mention Eric Clapton’s custom Ferrari 458 Italia, it comes as no surprise that yet another prospective designer has jumped aboard the bandwagon to create what he hopes will be built in conjunction with Pininfarina in a car dubbed the 770 Daytona.
Only one rendering of the 770 Daytona has been released thus far but from the image it’s immediately apparent that this car is certainly something extremely special. Taking heavy inspiration from the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, the front end of the car features completely unique headlights which harp back to the good ‘ole days of grand touring in one’s original Ferrari Daytona.
If the car were given the green light to be produced, Evren Milano believes it could be constructed around either the new F12 Berlinetta or its predecessor, the 599 GTB Fiorano considering both cars have similar proportions.
There is just one small hurdle stopping the 770 Daytona from reaching the production line (even in limited numbers) and that is finding prospective buyers. Additionally, it has not yet been confirmed if Ferrari is in fact in favour of such a venture.
by Brad Anderson

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ferrari Service San Francisco - Over 30,000 fans at Valencia for the Ferrari party - San Francisco Motor Sports San Rafael

Over 30,000 fans at Valencia for the Ferrari party

Cheste (Valencia), 2 December – Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo Circuit was today the stage for the most eagerly-anticipated spectacle of the four days of the Finali Mondiali Ferrari, the event that traditionally rounds off the Maranello company’s competitive season which has been attended by more than 30,000 fans this weekend alone.

The Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 team took to the track together with the main stars who raced for Ferrari this year in the international Gran Turismo competitions. This led to a truly unique show that was worthy of the legend of the Prancing Horse: an appearance by over fifty historic cars. It was led away by two Californias driven by Giancarlo Fisichella and Gianmaria Bruni with Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo and Managing Director Amedeo Felisa on board.

The extraordinary parade then continued with the five models that have raced in the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli championship, which reached its 20th anniversary this year. Each ar in the hands of one of the Scuderia’s drivers: Marc Genè at the wheel of a 348 Challenge, Davide Rigon on board a F355 Challenge, Jules Bianchi with a 360 Challenge, Felipe Massa in a F430 Challenge and Fernando Alonso driving a 458 Challenge. They all exchanged places on the track to celebrate the success of this long-lived championship that since 1993 has offered both professional drivers and gentleman drivers the chance to race on the world’s finest circuits.

The second part of the show then saw a parade by the 458 GTs brought to the track by the Italian team AF Corse, which secured the Teams title in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The team also had a distinguished year in the Spanish International GT Open series and in the Blancpain Endurance Championship, along with the cars of the teams AIM Autosport and JMW Racing who put in prize-winning performances in the prestigious Le Mans Series and Grand AM champoinships. The final act of today’s celebrations then saw Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso at the wheel of two F60s. They put in a few laps of the track and a pit stop simulation before the traditional photo together with all the stars of the intense four days in Spain and a final greeting to all the clients and passionate fans present.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Ferrari Sales and Service Bay Area - Ferrari 288 GTO Buying tips - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael

  • Historically significant Ferrari that bridged the past and future
  • Competition raison d'etre promises a very involving, exhilarating driving experience
  • Despite that mind-bending performance, it is tractable and comfortable enough for daily use
  • Beautiful lines and is much more elegant than its F40 successor
  • Very reliable when driven and serviced regularly
  • Looks similiar to a standard 308 that costs 1/10th the price
  • Bad panel fit and alignment are not up to Ferrari standards
  • Though state of the art in 1984, turbos suffer from the low rpm lag
  • Lacks v-12 wail
  • Limited production numbers reduce quality offerings
Buyer's Check list

Green Flags
  • Documented one or two owner history
  • On street registered cars, proper EPA and DOT releases
  • Major services done, regardless of miles
  • Compression of 160-170
  • No type of body or paint work
Red Flags
  • No records or books
  • Broker to broker owner history
  • Cars used on race track
  • Oil around intake pipes
  • Clutch not functioning problems with the bellhousing

source: Forza 17, June 1999
by Winston Goodfellow

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ferrari Sales and Service San Francisco - Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer Buying Tips - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael

What to look for when buying a Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer

  • The engine is very flexible and robust
  • When properly serviced, it is reliable
  • Body rust is not a problem
  • Good a/c on later cars
  • Clutches can be problematice
  • Interior and paint wears quickly on earlier cars
  • Carbureted cars are expensive and difficult to smog
  • High center of gravity makes for twichy handling at the limit
  • As this was never a US model, you can find shoddy EPA and DOT work
  • If improperly maintainted, it can be expensive to repair
Buyer's Check list

Green Flags
  • Worn paint and interior doesn't mean a car is mechanically shoddy
  • All smog equipemtn is in place and working
  • A straight frame
  • Documented, under 50,000 miles on the odometer
  • Service records that verify milaage claims
  • Current California BAR sticker in the door jam
Red Flags
  • Weak clutch
  • Second gear synchro and transaxle problems (especially on 365s)
  • No smog, EPA and/or DOT releases
  • Chassis with crimped or kinked frame rails
  • No service records to verify mileage
  • Excessive smoke out the tail pipes on cold start
source:  Forza 9, February 1998
by Winston Goodfellow

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ferrari Service San Francisco - Ferrari Belinetta Boxer History - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael

The Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer was produced between 1973 through 1984 with a total of 2,323 examples of all 'BB' models produced. This was a very important model for the Ferrari marque, and one that followed in the footsteps of the mid-engined road car, the 206 GT Dino. Mid-engine placement had been proven to be a useful technique in improving handling and performance; Cooper was one of the first marque's to showcase the potential in motor sports. 

When Ferrari introduced their 206 GT Dino, they also introduced a model that stayed true to their heritage, with the 'cart before the horse.' The 365 GT/4 Daytona front-engined car was a phenomenal vehicle, equipped with a V12 power plant, and soon became legendary.

The 365 GT4 BB, for Berlinetta Boxer, was introduced at the 1971 Turin Motor Show. It incorporated many design features from the P6 Show Car of 1968. Mounted mid-ship was a flat-12 engine which shared its design and construction with Ferrari's racing program. It was introduced to rival Lamborghini's Miura. The production version was shown at the 1973 Paris Motor Show with sales beginning that same year. A total of 386 were constructed with 58 being right hand drive. 

The flat-12 engine was longitudinally mounted in the engine bay at a 180-degree angle with the gearbox mounted directly under the engine. The flaw in this design was too much weight in just one place and not evenly dispersed throughout the vehicle. Sixty percent of the weight was in the rear, as well as the engine sitting rather high since it was above the gearbox. 

In 1976 at the Paris Motor Show Ferrari introduced their next iteration of the BB series, the 512 BB. This version brought changes to the vehicles design along with a five-liter power plant. The triple tail lights were replaced with double units. 

In 1981 the 512 BBi was introduced. The 'i' signified a fuel injection system. The 512 BBi remained in production until 1984 when it was replaced by the Ferrari Testarossa.

By Daniel Vaughan |

Friday, November 30, 2012

Ferrari Service and Sales Bay Area - Turbocharging Pioneers: Ferrari 288 GTO - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael

We often think of the Porsche 959 and the Ferrari F40 as hugely significant cars, and indeed they were, enough that we already covered them months ago in other series. But these cars cast such a big shadow that it's sometimes easy to forget that the 288 GTO came first, and was a major leap forward for turbocharging technology. Much like the Porsche 930, the 288 GTO took racecar technology and adapted it for road use, it just did so with newer technology.

We often think of the Porsche 959 and the Ferrari F40 as hugely significant cars, and indeed they were, enough that we already covered them months ago in other series. But these cars cast such a big shadow that it's sometimes easy to forget that the 288 GTO came first, and was a major leap forward for turbocharging technology. Much like the Porsche 930, the 288 GTO took racecar technology and adapted it for road use, it just did so with newer technology.

The 3.0-liter V8 from the 308 was de-bored, bringing displacement down to 2.8 liters in order to comply with FIA regulations governing displacement for turbocharged cars. Though there were very strict regulations governing displacement, there were none governing boost, and the twin-turbo setup in the GTO pushed power to 400 horsepower. The first street car with twin turbos, the Maserati Biturbo, had debuted just a few years earlier in 1981. But the Biturbo was junk, and has been called one of the worst cars of all time by several outlets, including Time.


The 288 GTO was the first road car which really demonstrated the value of twin-turbos, although these would remain mainly on supercars until the early Nineties, when the Japanese began to adopt them. Ferrari would later build five units of the 288 GTO Evoluzione, which cranked up the boost to make 650 horsepower. All five are still owned by Ferrari and are on display in its engine plant in Maranello. Much of the mechanicals on the GTO came from F1. These included the electronic fuel injection and ignition system, the twin-plate clutch, the dry-sump lubrication, and to state the obvious, the turbo setup itself.


This was also Ferrari's first road car to use weight-saving composites, and the GTO ended up weighing about 700lbs less than the car it was based on. Due to its extreme rarity and highly advanced technology, the GTO was one of the few cars ever produced which became worth more than its sticker price as soon as it was delivered to its first owner. Ferrari does not appreciate customers flipping cars like this, but it was an option for the lucky few who got their hands on these rare cars. The Porsche 959 would appear in 1986 and the Ferrari F40 in 1987, so the 288 GTO's moment in the spotlight was short-lived.


This is really a shame, because the 959 and the F40 weren't as big an evolutionary leap from the GTO as it was from the other turbo cars of the day. But both of these later cars were built in bigger numbers. The 959 didn't sell a whole lot more units than the GTO, but Ferrari would sell about six times the number of F40 units as they had sold of the GTO. So popularity had a little to do with it, but the reason we remember the other cars probably has to do with Guinness. The 959 became the fastest production car ever built in '86, and the F40 grabbed this title away in '87.


The GTO was never built for top speed, and its massive technological accomplishments therefore didn't receive as much attention. The 288 GTO was still an absolutely amazing car, one so good that even Ferrari, who typically hate forced induction, put what they learned from it into its next road-going supercar. The 288 GTO was years ahead of its time, and it brought turbocharging to a whole new level.
source: www.carbuzz
by Jacob Joseph
Turbocharging Pioneers: Ferrari 288 GTO

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ferrari Sales Bay Area - Ferrari's V8: Dino 308 GT4 History

The first Ferrari production V8 model wasn't even allowed to wear a Ferrari badge.

We begin the story of Ferrari's first production V8 with what is probably the most confusingly named model in the history of the prancing horse. This was not the only car called Dino, not the only one called 308 and not the only one called GT4. Most of the other cars to bear these names were more famous as well (the GT4 is debatable) and the Dino 308 GT4 is often overlooked as part of Ferrari history. There might have been more significant Ferraris, but the GT4 shouldn't be ignored.

The GT4 was a 2+2 which first debuted in 1973 to be sold alongside the Dino 246, which at the time was Ferrari's entry-level sports car. This would later be replaced by the V8-powered 308 GTB, which used the same engine as the GT4. The other Dino-badged cars to come before it had used V6 engines, but for the bigger GT4, it was decided that it would be better to move up to a V8. Thus we have the first production Ferrari with a V8, as well as Ferrari's first mid-engine 2+2. The setup, it has to be said, is slightly weird. Thing was, old man Enzo hated mid-engine cars.

Because the setup is even more unusual in a 2+2 than it had been in previous Dino models, one would think this would be the sort of thing which wouldn't have gotten past him. But the GT4 was built at a time just after Fiat had bought a significant portion of Ferrari, and it is suspected by many that the Dino 308 GT4 was the result of Fiat exercising its influence. Though the GT4 was mechanically related to the earlier Dino 246 and Dino 206, this isn't immediately obvious from looking at it. The curvaceous Pininfarina bodywork on the two-seat models was replaced by a Bertone design, and the GT4 was the first Ferrari to be designed by the firm.

The angular look of the design was a more Seventies style, and when Lamborghini replaced the Miura with the Countach the following year, it was obvious that Bertone had anticipated the trend correctly. The design was stretched to accommodate the small back seats. Since this seems like it has to have been done in the same of creating a better seller, this too is assumed to have been a Fiat move, since Enzo didn't really care much about sales of road cars. The 3.0-liter V8 in the GT4 was an all-alloy design with dual overhead cams. There were four Weber 40 DCNF carburetors, and the engine produced 250 horsepower.
This was really quite a good specific output for the time. In 1975, Ferrari introduced the Dino 208 GT4, basically the same car but with a 2.0-liter V8 in place of the 3.0-liter unit. This was one of the smallest V8s ever put into a production car, and it produced 180 horsepower. This was actually primarily for the Italian domestic market, where engines that displaced 2 liters or less got a break on insurance. This was another concession in the name of sales which seems odd and out of place when talking about an automaker like Ferrari. 

But the GT4 wasn't expected to sell any more than that, and it was certainly successful enough that Ferrari decided to bring out another mid-engine V8 2+2 after it. The car still gets some flack today, and an appearance on Top Gear where a GT4 driven by Richard Hammond suffered multiple breakdowns over a relatively short period of time certainly didn't help the car's reputation. But for all its breaks with Ferrari tradition, the GT4 wasn't a bad car. It was perhaps a completely unnecessary car, but there is no doubt there were more than a few highly pleased GT4 owners in their day.

Of course, these were the days when Ferrari believed that Dino-badged cars weren't thought of as Ferraris, but history has clearly proven otherwise. It has been rumored, although never proven, that the GT4 was originally designed by Bertone for Lamborghini, and was only given to Ferrari after being rejected by the bull. Whatever its origins, the GT4 would stay in production until 1980, when it was replaced by the Mondial 8. Ferrari would sell more than 2,800 units of the car during its lifetime, this wasn't a huge number, especially when compared to the 308 GTB, introduced in 1975.
by Jacob Joseph (Ferrari's V8: Dino 308 GT4

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ferrari Service and Repair Bay Area - Ferrari 348 Pre-Purchase Inspection Guide - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael

Ferrari 348 Pre-Purchase Inspection Guide

Ferrari 348

Prelude - you want a clean title and a professional pre-purchase inspection that includes a "leak down" test (in which **you** personally listen along with your mechanic for any sounds of leaks during the test).
Things to look for:
1. Does she start instantly 

2. Does the engine knock

3. Does she rattle or shake when driving above 60mph

4. Does the transmission have a major grinding sound when shifting up
through the gears (don't try a hard downshift, that's a different story)

5. Do all of the headlights, blinkers, brake-lights, fog-lights, parking
lights work and does the horn honk

6. Do both of the power windows and door locks work

7. Any vibrations in the steering wheel while driving, or secondly, is the steering wheel loose or tight?

8. Are the tips of the exhaust pipes coated black or gray (any visible holes
in exhaust pipes)

9. Any obvious paint burns/fade, rust, or clearly bent frame

10. Can the car turn in a slow-speed circle, with the steering wheel turned
all the way to max left, then another circle with the steering wheel max
right, without hearing tire scraping, loud knocks, or having bad steering
wheel vibrations

11. Air conditioning blows cold

12. Anti-lock brakes prevent the tires from locking in a quick stop (say,
from 25 mph to 0)

13. Top goes up and doesn't leak (canvas goes **outside** of black metal bars on sides)

14. Top goes down and the "boot" snaps correctly into place over it

15. Passenger and driver doors open and close tightly, with no squeaks,
rattles, or hesitation. With doors open, do you see any obvious breaks or burns in the wiring harness that runs from the car into the doors?

16. Front trunk opens and closes normally (simply drop it with no added pressure besides its own weight), and applying water to the outside when it's closed doesn't cause leaks inside

17. Rear engine vent cover opens and closes easily

18. Car tracks reasonably straight when you remove hands from steering wheel

19. Car goes into reverse with only minor effort (you may have to push down on the gearshift lever, that's by design)

20. Emergency brake holds car when parked and gear-shift is in neutral

21. Car idles below 1100 rpm, and idles reasonably smoothly (revs easily, puts smile on face)

22. no obvious signs of oil leaks below the engine on the pavement or in the engine compartment

23. no overpowering aroma of fire inside the cockpit

24. no noticeable smell of gasoline

25. radio and speakers function without large-scale hisses or pops

26. no visible smoke beneath the car or in the engine compartment when idling

27. is there a functioning car alarm (is it factory or aftermarket)
28. VIN plate in door-jamb and engine compartment is visible and unscratched and matches the number advertised
29. Front windshield is uncracked and seals appear tight around it

30. power mirrors adjust as expected

31. heater works as expected

32. Any loans against the title, any "duplicate" title history via, any stolen/salvage title history, is the car currently registered and tagged with a correct license plate in its current state/province
33. Open up the radiator and look for corrosion just inside the overfill tank. Sludge in the radiator tank can be a sign of a blown headgasket. Have a quickstop oil change place show you the transmission plug so that you can see if it has many metal fragments on it (i.e. disintegrating tranny or not). See if you have a Ferrari Purflex or high-end Wix oil filter with the date of installation/oil change written on it, or if the prior owner was a cheapskate (e.g. a Fram paper filter). Did the prior owner use a thick oil such as a 20-w50 to hide oil leaks, or do you have a decent synthetic (e.g. 5w-40) in the car?

34. When you first turn the ignition key to "run" (not "Start"), do you temporarily see both Check Engine (non-Euro cars) and both Slow Down lights? This is important, because if those bulbs have been removed or replaced with dead bulbs, engine trouble computer codes are probably being hidden from you. Do you see the ABS light and the BRAKE light? Do these lights turn off within 1 minute of starting the car?
35. Go drive the car. Brake slowly. Do you feel any vibrations? Does the car pull left or right while braking? Repeat this step (to warm up the brakes).

36. Can you shift smoothly into 2nd gear without grinding or clunking?

37. Is the acceleration smooth? Now brake hard. Vibrations? Pulling? ABS engaged? 

38. Has the oil temp risen to the 1/4 mark during this drive? When it gets there, kill the engine (did you hear a loud "box of rocks" metallic clanking noise when you turned the engine off). You want to wait about 10 minutes to see if it will start up again when hot, so kill time by checking the exterior of the car, under the front and rear hoods, etc. OK, time has passed. Does it now start right up again when hot? This is important. Did you hear a loud "box of rocks" metallic clanking noise when starting the hot engine (this is an early sign of the flywheel needing to be repacked with grease...not terribly expensive to do, can even be done yourself, but good to know)?

39. Go idle the car or drive in traffic for 20 minutes. Do the oil and water temperatures both stay at or below their 1/2 way marks, or does the car overheat?

40. After all of the above, will she start up *again* easily, or is the battery "dead"
41. Now look under the rear engine deck at the catalytic converters. Are either of them glowing red?
42. Are all of the rubber CV boots (near wheels, on axles) intact, or do they have a split, crack, or hole? When driving slowly next to a wall, do you hear metallic bearing noises from your wheels?
43. Does the car have a reasonable paper trail for its documented service history?
44. Does the seller have all 3 original Factory keys (black, fold in half)?
45. Examine the shock/suspension set up (most 348 shocks need rebuilding for around $400 or all new shocks for $1,600).
46. Examine the doors/rockers for rust (typically on the bolts).
47. The car should have all service records *after* the last "Major Service." If it hasn't had a cam belt change in over 5 years or 30K miles then budget $4-6KUSD short term because you'll have to have the cam belt changed.

48. Try the climate control buttons; it's $2k and up if they don't work (Freon conversion alone is $300 once it's opened).

49. Look at the front airdam from underneath (Corners especially) for holes, bondo, skidplates and the like. Look under the side rails as well for hard bottoming out. Thanks, SeaBayR

50. The Clutch should be mid throw; at the top it's thin, and watch out for a grabby clutch (may be breaking pressure plate fingers internally).

51. Check for oil leaks near the 1 timing belt (355 has 2) and listen for squeaks from the belt idler pulley, rightside exhaust rattles, as well as warped front rotors causing loud noise upon braking.
Be skeptical. Make the car prove itself to you before you spend your money.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Ferrari Service and Sales San Francisco - Ferrari 348 History - San Francisco Motorsports

Ferrari 348: 1989-1995

Superficially, the 1989 348 looked like an evolutionary development of the 328. Except for the side strakes swiped from its big brother the Testarossa, the styling carried forward general themes established by the 308 and 328. It wasn't much larger than the 328. And it carried a slightly enlarged version of the now familiar Ferrari quad-cam, 32-valve engine. But in fact the 348 was a vastly different car from its immediate ancestors. Even if wasn't a vastly better car.

The biggest change from 328 to 348 was a move from body-on-frame to unitized construction — the first time ever in a Ferrari. For a small manufacturer like Ferrari, such a radical change in how it built cars was not an insignificant development. And that wasn't the end of the engineering innovations.

"...instead of a transverse engine and an inline gearbox, everything has been turned through 90 degrees," reported Motor Trend in its first driving impression of the 348. "The main reason for this was not any philosophical dislike of transverse engines, but simply a search for better cornering behavior. Like the Testarossa, the 328 had too high a center of gravity for ideal handling, and the rearrangement has permitted Ferrari to lower the engine by more than 5 inches."

The transverse gearbox fitted to the 348 also gave the car its official name 348tb, with the "t" indicating the transmission's transverse orientation and the "b" for "Berlinetta," indicating a closed coupe. There was also a 348ts, with the "s" meaning "Spyder" and a removable roof panel over the cockpit. Yet there was another 348 Spyder on the way.

While the 348's suspension was new in every detail and component, it was similar in concept to the 308/328's. There were still double wishbones at every corner of the car with coil springs, and the geometry was massaged to minimize dive under braking. The 348 did, however, get 17-inch wheels instead of the 328's 16s, with appropriately larger tires.
With increases in both the bore and stroke dimensions, the new 3.4-liter version of Ferrari's now familiar V8 was rated at a full 300 hp at a wailing 7200 rpm. And it was pushing around a body with some significant changes. "Despite a 4-inch-longer wheelbase than the 328," reported Road & Track, "the 348 is about 2 inches shorter overall....The side air scoops are as prominent a design element on the 348 as they are on the Testarossa, and provide function as well as form. The upsides of this design include a cooler cockpit because all sources of heat are behind the driver, reduced weight (the plumbing carrying fluids to the front of the car has been eliminated) and a larger, more usefully shaped front trunk.
"The downside is that more of the car's weight is over the rear wheels; we measured a 40/60 front/rear weight distribution for the tb versus 44/56 for the last 328 GTS we tested. Despite significant weight-saving measures, including an aluminum hood and deck lid and graphite-reinforced plastic for the central tunnel, the 348 tips the scales about 100 pounds heavier than its predecessor.

"Some of the 348's additional avoirdupois can be blamed on its greater width, up a whopping 6.5 inches primarily because of those massive side scoops. But inside, the 348 driver will find that a portion of that extra width has gone into a welcome increase in cockpit roominess."

Road & Track's test measured the 348tb getting to 60 mph in 6.0 seconds, which was certainly a solid performance (and better than the 328) but no better than that of some cars costing one-third the Ferrari's $94,800 price. Motor Trend claimed the car rocketed to 60 in just 5.5 seconds and topped out at 171 mph, which led the magazine to conclude that "...this calls into question the purpose of the [larger, 12-cylinder] Testarossa, which is no more practical, doesn't handle as well, and is no longer significantly faster."

The 348 was basically unchanged through 1990 and 1991, while a less restrictive exhaust bumped the 348's engine output during the 1992 model year to 312 hp. Also, a monochromatic paint scheme was introduced and a "serie speciale" model for the tb and ts included thin F40-like racing seats, a wider track and reduced ride height.

A full convertible version of the 348 made it into production for 1994 in the form of the 348 Spider. "The Spider's top is simple, well made and clever," wrote Road & Track. "Stowing it involves releasing a single lever in the middle of the header, pushing the top halfway back, then lowering a handbrakelike handle located next to the driver seat. This causes the structure to descend neatly into a small space behind the seats with a simultaneous collapsing of the fabric buttresses — like little circus tents having their poles pulled out. The top does not compress completely below the rear deck's surface, so snapping on the padded cover is needed to tidy the appearance."

Road & Track measured the Spider zipping to 60 mph in just 5.6 seconds and completing the quarter-mile in 14.1 seconds at 101 mph.

Also new for '94 was the "348 Challenge," a special version of the 348tb equipped with a roll cage and racing seats for the Ferrari Challenge spec-racing series. Basically, the Challenge was a way for really rich guys to go racing in a Ferrari without having to worry about actually preparing a racecar. The Challenge series would continue using subsequent V8 midengine Ferrari models.

The 348 was a success, with the Spider gaining enough popularity to continue through 1995 even though the 348tb and 348ts had been replaced. But Ferrari's dominance of the exoticar world was coming into question. After all, Honda had introduced the all-aluminum Acura NSX in 1991 and that car was instantly hailed as an all-time great — not just a great Honda, but a great midengine, 2-seat sports car. Ferrari was going to have to respond forcefully to regain its position atop the supercar heap.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ferrari Service Bay Area - Driving A Silver Arrow Though The Heart Of Vintage Racing - Goodwood Revival - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael

Goodwood Revival

In the '30s, Germany decided to warn of its impending world dominance in the form of motor racing. It took the rest of the world years to catch up. What Panzers were to British tanks at the start of World War II, Silver Arrows were to the ERA racers that were their contemporaries. This fact was driven home in 1938 and 1939, when Auto Union Silver Arrows driven by co-legends Bernd Rosemeyer and Tazio Nuvolari, respectively, trounced their British compatriots on their home soil at the Donington Grand Prix.

Goodwood brolly girls

After a proper warming up, not to mention a parade of beautiful British brolly girls (seen above), the Silver Arrows took to the track. And so my two-day entrenchment into the glory days of motorsport had officially begun.

I can't speak from experience, as I hadn't quite gotten around to being born just yet, but I'm positive that no loosely structured set of words can capture the true essence of what it was like to experience life in the post-war 1940s, '50s and '60s. So I'm not really going to try. The phrase "You had to be there" pretty much sums up my take. But if there's any way to truly imagine yourself living in the past, perhaps it is at the yearly Goodwood Revival in England.

Consider: Where else will you witness a British Lancaster bomber flanked by a pair of Spitfire fighters circling overhead (below left) while watching a historic race track play host to such notable cars as the Jaguar C- and D-Type, Ferrari 250 GTO (as seen below) and Shelby Cobra? The answer is nowhere, as there are only two airworthy Lancasters left of the more than 7,300 produced; the rest were shot down by Axis forces.

Goodwood Lancaster

Did we mention the presence of Jacky Ickx, Dan Gurney (the event's guest of honor, seen above waving his hat), Sir Jackie Stewart, John Surtees and Sir Stirling Moss? Incidentally, it was at Goodwood in 1962 that Stirling's career ended after an accident, and it was while testing at Goodwood in 1970 that Bruce McLaren, founder of the racing outfit that still bears his name, lost his life.

The annals of motorsport history, in other words, are filled with entries of the Goodwood Circuit, up until the British Automobile Racing Club organized the track's last race on July 2, 1966. No more fitting a location exists for a gathering of such epically vintage proportions.

Trans Am Mustang at Goodwood RevivalCorvette Grand Sport at Goodwood Revival

And we were there for this year's festivities. It was as if we'd died and gone to superannuate heaven. And if that's the case, we were greeted not by Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates, but Carroll Shelby himself, bickering for superiority with one Enzo Ferrari.

Speaking of longtime, hard-fought rivalries (Ol' Shel finally and famously got the best of Enzo in 1965, winning the World Sportscar Championship, and in 1966, providing support for Ford's historic win at Le Mans), is there anything but the passage of time that could put machinery from the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy on the same track at the same time with nary a concern for nationalism? Well, at least not too much nationalism... it's clear that showgoers have a special place in their hearts for classic British iron, and really, there's nothing wrong with that. We drew great pleasure watching Martin Brundle and Adrian Newey – Design Chief at Red Bull Racing and owner/driver of a Lightweight Jaguar E-Type racer – chase down a flock of Ferrari GTOs on their way to winning the hour-long RAC TT Celebration trophy after spinning out on the first lap and retaking the track in last place.

It's not all about being British, though. Witness the Shelby Cup (above), run for the first time in 2012, which pitted a contingent of AC and Shelby Cobra classics against one another in a 45-minute battle. The ground rumbled as American V8 engines took over where typically high-strung and small-displacement British and Italian V12s and inline sixes left off, and we have no doubt that future Revivals will carry on this new tradition. We also know Daniella Ellerbrock will want her Cobra Daytona Coupe to have another crack at victory after obliterating most of the field for the first half of the Cup before retiring in an uncharacteristic cloud of blue smoke.

Surely you've noticed by now that we've yet to mention a single automotive conveyance designed, engineered and assembled later than 1966, the year of Goodwood's last officially recognized race. Now would be a good time to mention that the ragamuffin collection of spectators, of which we were a part, descended upon the Revival in a flock of blue and white Subaru BRZ coupes. Sure, showing up in a brand-new and highly desirable sports car may not be as cool as making an entrance in a vintage Morgan, but our trusty BRZs got us to Goodwood with equal doses of style, performance, comfort and, yes, reliability. Score one for modern technology.

If you, too, plan to head to the Goodwood Revival – and you really should; all red-blooded automotive enthusiasts should have this event on their notary-certified bucket lists – it's best to consider your wardrobe. It would be an absolute travesty to enter the Lord March's supremely detailed retro extravaganza wearing a brand-new pair of sneakers. Consider dress slacks plus a shirt and tie to be the bare minimum if you don't want to stand out like a sore thumb. And trust us, you don't.

In any case, what fun is the bare minimum? The various pages of Goodwood's official place on the Web are littered with images of the best-dressed attendees of the Revival year after year, and are a great place to research your meticulously planned set of threads. If you can't stomach a jacket, perhaps you could consider attending as a Mod (extra points for making the trek on a Lambretta) or Rocker (on a vintage BSA, we suggest). You'll see men dressed to the nines in full military uniforms, vintage racing and mechanics suits, tweed up the yin yang and hats. Lots and lots of hats. Women kit themselves out with any number of too-cute-for-words polka-dot dresses, complete with bright red lipstick, naturally, along with mini dresses and skirts with seamed nylon stockings. We suggest you take a stroll through our high-res image gallery for an accurate take on fashion at the Revival.

It's difficult to sum up my feelings when the time finally came to leave Goodwood for good. I had just finished watching Julian Majzub pilot a Sadler-Chevrolet Mk3 to victory over such worthy contenders as a Lister-Chevrolet, two Lister-Jaguars, a pack of Jaguar D-Types and a pair of breathtaking Maserati Birdcages. Our hosts from Subaru rounded us up for a group shot (that's me smack dab in the center in the double-breasted three-quarter-length trench, newsboy cap and leather wing tips) with the track as the backdrop. I smiled for the cameras and said my goodbyes before proceeding to walk as slowly as possible through the paddock. Time to float back home aboard the ark on my river of rainbows.

source: autoblog
By Jeremy Korzeniewski