Looking back at 2018 Monterey Car Week.

Finally time for an update!!

We have had some time to relax after the hectic Monterey Car Week. The Iso insiders already knew I was working on getting the unbelievable Grifo #405 ready to be shown. This car was found in Oregon after being stored for 38 years in a humid environment, never moved from it’s position other than finally moved from an open pole barn to a concrete building. Not on it’s own power, the motor and brakes were locked up and basically the car was unsafe when found. It had a total of 005950 Miles racked up before being stored. It was my intention to show it in the Preservation Class at Pebble Beach. After several discussions with the “judges” I decided to not change anything about the car until it was shown on the lawn… Unfortunately on April first (no joke) I received a letter from the “committee” explaining that without further given reasons this Grifo would not be accepted in their Preservation Class. So I had 4 months to get the car ready for Monterey Week!

First I had to pull the motor because it was just a lump of rust and it was seized – water had been running into it and I wasn’t able to turn it even with the tallest wrench.

To just get an idea of what humidity does to a car take a look in the trunk. (Which I called a bio-hazard) The aluminum vent tube form the gas tank was corroded off the tank – it had to be rewelded to be safe and functional.

At the same time I opened the transmission and found the owner hasn’t been too nice on the synchros. I put in original ZF parts and the motor received new bearings, seals and gaskets but stayed as standard as it was. No modifications, all clamps and hoses were either restored or exchanged for OEM ones. Built to 1973 Mustang specs, with it’s unique dual point distributor – it was soon ready to rumble!

Talking about rumble: this Grifo still had it’s factory original exhaust system! So I restored it and this is now the only Grifo I know of with a factory exhaust system.

While the drive train was out I could tackle the body and suspension parts and get the engine bay ready for serious detail work. All steering, cooling, electrical and brake parts were restored to stock configuration. Even the hood springs got their cloth liner back.

All components got powder coated and all usable hardware was cad plated – luckily my daughter June we on vacation to help me figure out the mess I made with the nuts and bolts, hahaha!! She learned when she was just 7 or 8 so she’s used to it.

I turned everything from a rusted pile into a factory new look, complete with all new bushings, bearings and shocks.

The paint itself was left untouched, my “dent-guy” Steve made sure the old “mechanics dents” were taken care of and the panels are straight like new. Cheers Steve Brown!

The drive train was put back, everything restored like factory specs and the first test run was done 8 days before Monterey Car week began!

The interior was taken out and the rodent nests removed, it needed a new headliner because that’s where they lived. The bumpers were straightened, all stainless polished and a few days before Monterey I was still mounting the bumpers.

The car was scheduled to be on the lawn in Monterey Saturday morning but Friday night the trucked called me to tell me his truck broke down – I had to figure out how to get the car to Monterey! After a long night of phone calls and not being able to hire anyone to pick it up I decided to take it out of the trailer and make it’s first test drive right up to the lawn! To make a (very!) long story short; it got there in good order and we had time to detail it for the show. It was shown with fully original interior (except new headliner), fully original paint, wheels, tires, exhaust system and sheet metal.

Needless to say – it was a great success! We had 8 Isos on the lawn – one of the biggest attendances the last few years. Grifo 405 won Second in class and a First prize with the Iso-Bizzarrini Club. The people I spoke to about the car all agreed that this Grifo is very unique and the Iso community is better off because it still exists.

Ricky got his prize later at the Iso-Bizzarrini dinner after a job well done supervising me in the shop. What a great experience to have been part of the resurrection of Grifo 405! Thank you for everybody who attended, gave their input and enjoyed it as much as I did!

Monterey week is nearing…

News from Iso Central…

Now Monterey is just 10 weeks away I came to realize how many projects I’m working on at the same time. I don’t have/take the time to take pictures to post but here is an overview of the Iso/Bizzarrini interiors that are still out. And that doesn’t include the 2 Rivolta GT’s and one early Fidia I’m working on: one A3/C for paint; one for sheet metal; two Iso Grifo’s still have the suspension and motor and transmission out and one Fidia is now 7 months late for upholstery…

Nervous yet??? 😎

Maybe someone can determine what cars these consoles go to?

Getting ready for Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance

After a few weeks of preparation, the illustrious 1967 Bizzarrini Strada of my late good friend Gerd Eckstein was picked up today on it’s way to the Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance in Pebble Beach, California. It was purchased from Mr. Colosio in Italy and after driving it to the Monza (Italy) race track together I shipped it to his home in California in 2005. He showed it at Pebble Beach that year and again at Concorso Italiano in 2006 – in both places it won it’s deserved prizes.

It has not seen much use in the following years and now it needed some work for the upcoming 50 Year Bizzarrini show. The car had received a (partial) new paint job in its original color around 2000 and we had to put some effort in to revive it so it would be presentable for the show. There were also some mechanical issues which were solved and it was brought back to perfect running and driving condition. This week, Gerd Eckstein’s son Michael and daughter Verena will be driving it on the Tour d’ Elegance so I had to make extra sure the car would give no trouble. Actually, this was the first time it was in the same location as another car Mr. Colosion owned; the most important Bizzarrini Grifo A3/C B0211 – the first car Giotto delivered with the new style rear glass. It seems the world is a small place – especially when it comes to such rare cars.

Today was the day it was picked up and we had to scramble to get everything done in time, Bill the paint detailer was still putting the last work in and even Dixie and Talia helped. It looks radiant and will honor Mr. Gerd Eckstein posthumously by its presence as this is the first time the Iso-Bizzarrini world knows he will not attend in person anymore. Luckily his family keeps his dream alive and make sure his legacy goes on. I’m proud we were involved in it and look forward to seeing a mostly unrestored Bizzarrini with such provenance on the lawn among all the other magnificent cars Giotto left us with. Have a safe trip!

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