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

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ferrari Service San Francisco - Ferrari F70 Spied At The Factory With Luca Badoer - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael

Ferrari F70 Spied At The Factory With Luca Badoer ferrari f70 spy 1
The work on Ferrari’s new hyper car, allegedly called the F70, is going well. The latest batch of spyshots show the car on the factory floor, getting ready for a test drive, or rather a track test, with former F1 driver and current Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer at the wheel.

The car is still far from being complete – for one thing it doesn’t seem to have an interior yet – but technically, it’s all set. The F70 will be powered by a KERS-enabled V12 petrol engine. That makes it a hybrid, but it’s not an eat your green kind of hybrid.
It doesn’t have as many electric motors as the Porsche 918 and will be nowhere near as economical as the German car, but it will make something like 920 horsepower and will have atop speed of over 400 km/h. If that’s Ferrari’s idea of a hybrid, bring it on.
Also in the pictures you can see the car’s carbon fiber monocoque joined by the roof. The F70 will have gullwing doors, a bit more elaborate than those of the Enzo.
Ferrari F70 Spied At The Factory With Luca Badoer ferrari f70 spy 2
Ferrari F70 Spied At The Factory With Luca Badoer ferrari f70 spy 3
Ferrari F70 Spied At The Factory With Luca Badoer ferrari f70 spy 4
Ferrari F70 Spied At The Factory With Luca Badoer ferrari f70 spy 6Ferrari F70 Spied At The Factory With Luca Badoer ferrari f70 spy 5

by Aman Barari



Friday, November 16, 2012

Ferrari Service and Sales San Francisco - 1966 Ferrari 206S - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael

1966 Ferrari 206 S Image

Dino Ferrari, son of Ferrari founder Enzo, conceived of a 65-degree V-6 engine prior to his untimely death in June of 1956. The engine was co-engineered by Alfa Romeo designer Vittorio Jano, then working as a consultant for Ferrari. The Dino V-6 engine was badged with a hand scripted autograph based on the Dino Ferrari's signature. 

In early 1966, Ferrari introduced a new spots-racing car formulated for the FIA's 2-liter Group 4 class. They were dubbed the Dino 206S and were powered by the development of the Dino V-6 engine. Ferrari had hopes of winning over the successful privateer teams, many of whom were winning with Porsches.

The engine was introduced as a Formula 2 powerplant, an enlarged version was subsequently used in the Formula 1 cars. One example driven by works driver Mike Hawthorn was rewarded with a Driver's World Championship in 1958

The V-6 continued to be development and enlarged throughout its lifespan, and used in various experimental sports prototypes, including the 246 SP, the 206 SP, the 196 SP and the 166 P.

The Dino 206 S was introduced for the 1966 racing season. It wore similar coachwork to the 330P. The car was clothed by Piero Drogo's Carrozzeria Sports Cars in Modena. The design was aerodynamic and featured a combination of stressed alloy panels and fiberglass over a welded tubular semi-monocoque. 

At the close of the 1966 race season, the 206 S had proven to be a fierce competitor, earning a 2nd place finish at the Targa Florio, 2nd and 3rd at the Nurburgring and a 6th place finish at Spa. 

The 206 S had originally been slated for a homologation of 50 examples, but labour problems prematurely interrupted production after only 18 examples had been assembled.

Not including the Factory Works prototype, this 206 S is the third example produced. It is a restored car that was initially purchased on April 233rd of 1966, by Colonel Ronnie J. Hoare of Maranello Concessionaires Racing Team of Egham, Surrey, England, an authorized Ferrari dealer and racing concern originally founded by driver Mike Hawthorn. The car was painted Ferrari Racing Red and given a Maranello Concesionairs blue stripe. 

Chassis number 006 made its racing debut at the RAC Tourist Trophy in Oulton Park, England. It was piloted by Michael Parkes and wore racing number 42. Unfortunately, the car retired early due to final drive issues, but it still placed 21st overall.

The following June, at the 1,000 Kilometers of Nurburgring, the car started 12th on the grid and was piloted by British drivers, Richard Attwood and David Piper. By lap 28, the car was in 5th in class and 8th place overall. Unfortunately, it would again retire early due to mechanical issues. After sorting out the mechanical problems, the car was brought to the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch, where Mr. Parks drove the car to 6th place overall and 1st in class.

The car was sold in August of 1967 to Gustaf Dieden, through Tore Bjurstrom, the official Ferrari concessionaire of Sweden. Mr. Dieden subsequently advertised the car in Road and Track. It was purchased by Hans Wangstre of Malmo, Sweden, who brought in driver Evert Christofferson as a co-owner. Under the name Team Bam-Bam, Mr. Wangstre and Christofferson campaigned the car in several international venues over the following year. Highlights were a 15th place finish at the Good Friday Meeting at Oulton Park on April 12th of 1968 and a 22nd place finish at the Targa Florio on May 5th.

In 1969, the Dino V-6 engine suffered problems due to the imbalance of the crank shaft. A replacement block was deemed too expensive, so an experimental Volvo B20 engine was installed, effectively ending the cars racing career.

The car was sold to the current owner in 1970. The purchase included all of the components of the original engine. The car was then put into storage. A search for the correct-type replacement engine began. In 1974, the owner contacted the factory and was delighted to find that one engine was left over in the Maranello works. Unfortunately, the price was very steep. In 1988, a decision was made to restore the car back to its original glory. The owner eventually managed to obtain a set of drawings for the specialized 206 S block. The plan was to cast a new series of four blocks using another car in. The owner, at the time, also owned Dino 206 S chassis 016, which also had a cracked block. The blocks were cast at the factory foundry and machined to the correct specifications before the unit intended for chassis 006 was installed in the car. 

The restoration of 006 took several years, including the testing of the new engine. The car has been returned to its original livery, as it was campaigned by Maranello Concessionaires at the 1966 1,000 km of Nurburgring, wearing number 14.

The 1987cc dual overhead valve V-6 engine offers 218 horsepower which is sent to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox. There is an independent double wishbones suspension and four-wheel disc brakes.
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ferrari Sales Bay Area - Ferrari 360 Modena - General Buying Tips - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael

Ferrari 360 – General Buying Tips


General Buying Advice

Here is a list of general buying tips when shopping for your 360 Modena.

1. Demand to see the service record and maintenance history on any 360 Modena you look at. The first question you should ask the salesman is whether or not the car is due for service. This is particularly true for the major services at 15K and 30K miles. The car is due for its 15K service at the 5-year point regardless of mileage. At these service points the timing and cam belts must be replaced. These services can run around $4K - $7K. If you are getting a particularly good deal on a 360 Modena, it may be because it is due for a major service. If it is, be sure to work it into the price of the car. If the car has any holes in its service history, move on. 

2. Get the car personally inspected by a Ferrari certified mechanic. Any trustworthy dealer or private seller will allow you to take the car long enough to get it checked out. Only a trained mechanic can detect everything that may be an issue – things you won’t see. Don’t ever use a mechanic that is hired by or associated with the dealer or private seller – even if the service is offered for free. Have the mechanic tell you how much clutch life is left and that the exhaust manifolds are structurally intact.

3. If the deal is too good to be true, then it is. You should not be paying less than $100K for a 2004 with similar mileage and optioned like mine and no less than $80K for a 1999 of any ilk.

4. Never buy the first car you see. Look at and test drive many.

5. Be sure that the car has all of the original books, tools and records. Things that often go missing are the battery tender, seat covers and the key fobs. You should get two keys and 3 fobs – one red master fob and two black fobs. You use the black fobs and put the red fob in a safe place. If you are not given or lose the red master fob, an expensive re-key of the car will be necessary.

6. Always try to talk to the original owner. Be wary of cars that have had too many owners – e.g., more than 4 in a 5 year period.

7. Try to get a car that has been driven less than 2000 miles a year on average. For a 2004, that would be a car with less than 10,000 miles on it. Mine came in just under that at 9800 miles.

8. Talk to the mechanics that have serviced the car. They will be listed in the service record.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ferrari Service 360 Modena Bay Area - Maintenance Tips and Issues - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael

Ferrari 360 Maintenance

 File:Ferrari 360 Modena Colorado.jpg

Maintenace, is this car going to break down and cost me a fortune? Actually, the 360 Modena is a very solid car and only has a few common issues.

1. The clutch can and will wear rapidly on the F1.

2. Transmission on pre-2001 F1 models needs upgrading.

3. F1 shift from 1 to 2 can be rough, indicating clutch wear.

4. Camshaft variator on early models were subject to recall.

Less common but other potential issues include:

1. Motor mounts on early models can crack.

2. Gasket leaks (like the one I experienced with my gas cap).

3. Alarm system is sketchy and can cause premature battery wear.

4. Bearings and seals in clutch assembly.

5. Starting in late model 2000s the exhaust manifolds are integrated with precats. If intake cam timings are not set correctly there is a good chance that excess fuel will get dumped into the manifolds causing the catalytic substrate to sinter. Extra care must be taken to set the timing by a degree wheel rather than going with the cam shaft factory marks.

6. When any service is done, the owner should ask for a before and after printout of any error codes that were detected and what was done to correct the problem and showing key parameters like exhaust cam angles, cat temperature, oxygen sensors (big gremlin here) and other errors recorded. In short, you must become a bit of an expert on your car.

7. The 360s all still use belts instead of chains. For the F430, Ferrari moved to an all chain system. Thus, for the F430 there is no need to change the timing and cam belts at 15K and 30K miles. This makes the F430 a car with a lower maintenance bill than the 360.

Use a few rules of thumb to be sure that your 360 Modena runs smoothly. always let it warm up from a cold start for at least 5 – 10 minutes. At a bare minimum let the car  run until it idles down. It is best if you get some heat into the oil before taking it above 4000 RPMs. You don’t want any metal-to-metal contact in the engine.

In general, if you adhere to the factory recommended maintenance schedule, the 360 Modena is one of the most reliable Ferrari's on the road. Unfortunately, no maintenance can be done by the owner due to a large amount of proprietary electronics in the car. Very few independent service centers have the diagnostic equipment but San Francisco Motorsports can take care of all your service needssually your only option.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Ferrari Sales San Francisco - Ferrari F355 Buyers Guide - San Francisco Motorsports San Rafael

 Ferrari F355 Buyers Guide


With 1009 bhp per litre, the F355 engine had the highest specific output per litre of all normally aspirated production cars when it was first manufactured.  With a full 8,500 revs available it's a hoot.  Service it regularly and it will deliver with suprising reliability. Here's what to watch out for.

Rattling Bypass Valvle

The F355 has a system for controlling the exhaust output through the use of something known as a bypass valve.  The bypass valve opens up at higher RPM, allowing the exhaust gases to take a more direct route to the tail pipes, thus increasing power and noise.

This means your 355 is quiet around town but when you open it up it screams somewhat.  The benefits of the bypass valve are less if you have an aftermarket exhaust fitted, because even the low RPM sounds with the valve closed will be louder.

Over time, the bypass valves seem to wear and eventually they begin to rattle when the car is idling. There are a few solutions to this:

  • Put up with it, and do nothing. This is by far the cheapest solution.
  • Replace the valve with a new one. They new one will wear again.
  • Replace the valve with a straight tube (no bypass). This increases idle noise levels.
  • Wire the valve open.  If you wrap some strong wire around the valve to hold it in the open position, you will stop the rattle but increase idle noise levels.
  • You may be able to find a that does an aftermarket bypass valve.
Cracked Manifolds

This is a very common issue and every car will suffer from it eventually. The problem lies in the design of the manifold. When constructed, the tubing is bent to the point that i becomes relatively thin, and with the manifolds running at a very high temperature the metal eventually cracks.  This results in a ticking sound at idle and if you put your hand inside the engine bay you may even be able to feel the air compressions that result from the leak.

This problem can be sorted in three ways:

  • You can get a new manifold from Ferrari. I would not recommend this option because this is a design fault and Ferrari have not redesigned the part. Therefore it will fail again and with manifolds being around $3,500 per side this is not cost effective.
  • You can buy an aftermarket manifold. Tubi does one but it is very expensive. 
  • You can get you exisiting manifolds reconditioned.
Removal of the manifolds can be a reasonable job or a fairly big job, depending upon the side that has failed.  Looking from the rear of the engine, at the right side there is an oil tank (the car is dry sump) whic must first be removed before the right manifold can be removed.  This adds a few hous to the job.  The left side can be removed more easily.  The right side will go first.

Electronic Suspension

The electronic suspension has two settings - sport and comfort mode - and these are controlled by the use of electronic shock absorbers.  At the top of each shock is an actuator that cntrols the stiffness of the shock.  These have been know to fail and can be relatively easily replaced.  If there is a problem with the electronic suspension, there is a warning lamp that will light up on the dashboard.  It will come on at ignition time but should go out shortly afterwards under normal operation.

Heater Valve

The heating system operates via an electronic valve that moves to allow hot water through the heater matrix across which air is blown to warm it up.  There are a couple of possible reasons for failure. - either the aircon ECU has failed, which controls the position of the heater valve, or the motor on the heater valve itself has failed.

Sticky Throttle Pedal

Most cars suffer from a problem whereby the throttle seems to resist your foot pressure at the top, of the pedal travel. this tends to make it a little tricky to drive slowly in traffic until you get used to it.  The early cars had a slightly different throttle mechanism and these can be upgraded with the newer parts (there is a quadrant on the throttle cable that was updated). However the problem was never fully corrected by Ferrari, so most specialists when they service the vehicle lubricate the throttle to help with the issue.  After lubrication the behavior is always improved but id doesn't usually last until the next service. 

Valve Guides

The truth is that if it happens it is very expensive, but only a small percentage of cars have actually experienced the problem and most of those did so fairly early in their life.  There is no guarantee by a later car (97 or 98) is much less likely to experience the fault.

The first cars built used bronze valve guides, and these very soft guides tend to wear too easily.  Once worn the guides allow oil to leak past them and this results in the engine burning oil.  Left unchecked, the oil will eventually run low resulting in significant engine damage.  The results of a compression test can give you an indication as to the condition of the engine in respect.

Later cars had their valve guides changed to steel.  It is not possible to tell which guides your car has just by lookin gat the build year or registration number, because Ferrari seemed to use both materials for a while. To find out, get the car's chassis and engine number, and query Ferrari eith through a dealer or directly.