365 GTC/4 SF

The body shell was stripped to the bare metal after removing everything that could be removed & this was how it looked on arrival at the body shop. Removing the wheels & suspension created its own problem as it was then not possible to move the car around.I had not planned ahead as well as I should

The good condition of the smooth surface is evident & it is only the areas of the body which trap rod dirt & moisture that were in need of repair.For an old car the Pininfarina body work was amazingly good.I am told by the body shop that Scaglietti built cars do not fare as well

By comparison the boot lid was badly rusted in many areas. The boot lid  & the frame were heavily corroded & clever repairs by a skilled metal worker were needed.The flat lid was separated from the frame & the  trailing edge extending just short of the angle was cut away,A new section was made & was made up & s welded into place & lead loaded before painting.

Both lower door sections  were badly corroded. Over a 35 year period the drain holes at the bottom of each door had become blocked with deposits that had accumulated over time. Moisture held next to the relatively unprotected internal metal caused these rust  problems. Both doors required new bottom sections to be made & welded into place as the lower section were not repairable.

I constructed a  steel trolley to so I could move the stripped body around the paint shop & after painting around my garage to complete the restoration.Two caravan jockey at the front wheels & two fixed rear wheels welded to some box section steel tubing made the trolley which made moving the shell easy.

The rear quarter panels were relatively rust free but the area behind  each  rear wheel had suffered badly.The quality of the work required & the subsequent lead loading is highly skilled & time consuming.The result  with the highest standard of preparation & painting is clearly evident.

The badly rusted frame took much time to make & weld the repair pieces   together with remaking the number plate lights apertures.Many hours were spent producing this result & which  due to the skill & attention to detail.It is almost eight years since the boot lid was remade & it really is a good as the day it was finished

The overall rust damage on a 35 year old car was not too severe probably due to the lack of use in bad weather. Unexpected metal repairs led to both time &cost escalation.The complete removal of rusty metal & making new repair pieces to a high standard plus all the associated works proved a lengthy & expensive process.

The Cromodara  magnesium alloy wheels were in a poor state & restoring them was a difficult process. The tyres & hubs were removed from the wheels before gentle bead blasting to remove paint & corrosion.Then treatment by an Alu-chrome process to seal the alloy before repainting in the original silver grey with a lacquered finish.The chromed trim ring was refitted back over the hub & sealed  with inner & outer silicone bead on.

Removing the paint was tedious & needed two weeks & 25L of Nitromors Automotive paint stripper.I used wire wool,rubbing pads & a blunt wide spatula.Protective gloves & eyewear were necessary as the stripper was really irritant.The huge amount of old paint & stuff  that came off the car was also  a surprise ..

The front nose section is made up of a framework of square tubing on to which the body panels are welded. Bead blasting of the chassis had also cleaned up the frame which was really helpful as access was difficult. There was some rusting where the front bumper was bolted on but the panels were surprisingly intact,

Almost 40 years had little adverse effect on aluminium & the advantages of the metal over mild steel is clear. The bonnet is a beautiful piece of hand made one off craftsmanship that is welded to a steel frame. The frame had minimal areas of superficial corrosion which were  easily made ready for primer & paint. The alloy was undamaged

Repair sections of metal for complicated shaped areas was achieved by welding small sections in place to keep the exact contours were maintained.These were originally hand made cars & differ side to side by varying amounts repairs & reinstatement are better achieved by sim

The restoration of the body was entrusted to Haslams Body Repairs of Bolton, Lancashire. A small family run business who work to very high standards. I was not delighted by the finished result & 10 years on the finish is still excellent.

Cromodora alloy wheels fill  the wheel arches really nicely & the lovely shaping of the flaring sets off their appearance.I view this is a beautiful car & the Pininfarina design is such that the more you look at the detail the  more you see to admire.

The debut nickname "Il gobbone" (the humpback) is inappropriate but I think that choosing white for the Geneva show car was not a good choice .

Electrically operated headlamp pods are controlled from a steering column lever which also controls dip & main beams. The metal pods area a simply shaped & For a pop-up headlamp unit it is an easy way  not to break up a flowing bonnet & body  line.

Many hours of labour intensive work & the body was ready for priming and an acid etch yellow primer was the first layer on the bare metal, The complete exclusion of oxygen from the metal prevents rusting & ensures longevity of the final paint finish.A grey primer is the final coat prior to receiving the colour.There final surface is produced by the repeated hand flatting & rubbing down.The final result is dependent on how carefully this surface is prepared.

My car has been in the paint shop since November 6th 2001 & I have no  idea of the number of of primer & colour coat it has received.What was very interesting was the method of applying colour to the doorjambs,sills,windscreen rebates, headlamps surrounds before the actual  painting process began.It is not possible  to get paint into these areas when applying the surface finish with consistent,horizontal passes of the spray gun.

This is the first time for a long time on  its wheels & suspension.It was good to see but there is still some way to go!!

The complexities yet simplicity of the design is ever present. From the most basic of door mirror to the subtle use of chrome trim around the windows & upper door openings.

There is a complete absence of chrome below the waistline & a simple aluminium sill trim at the very lowest sill level.It is an outstanding & beautiful design

The pods are hand made with a fibreglass lamp surround for the dipped & main beam to cover the adjustment screws & attachments is body colour. Side on the pods are discrete when raised & fit well with the cars lines

The original Ferrari Pininfarina scripts & badges were so badly corroded that they were beyond reuse.

I have found almost perfect replacements for both & they are now on the car.The replacements are much better made  than the originals but the script & badge are an exact replica.

This view of the rear quarter shows a really clean line.The simple round filler cap does not interrupt the design flow & the shaping above the filler cap which extends from the door jamb subtly diminishes & then disappears further towards the Kamm tail.

Recessed door handles are  from Fiat 124  Alfa Romeo Spyder  &  on the 365 GT 2+2 +365 GT4 2+2 but go well with the door contours on the GTC4

A simple single finger pull action is sufficient for operation in a subtle & understated design.

The finish is excellent & a dark colour really suits the size & shape of the bigger cars.I think that  reducing the  colour impact of the black bumpers supports my view that the car couldn’t look much better in any of the period colours.


Copyright © 2013 - Ian Levy