Vintage Maserati

Vintage Maserati service and restoration

Reposting with some updates. Vintage Maserati A6GCS, Maserati A6G/2000, Maserati 3500GT, classic Maserati Merak SS and Maserati competition version A6 1500 3C. Service and restorations by Exoticars USA, Milford NJ. All mechanical services, complete and historically correct autobody services for vintage, classic and late model Maserati. We are serving the Maserati community since 1979.

Vintage Maserati the last surviving competition version A615003C Maserati
Our client’s ex-Isabella Quarantotti and Donatello Mennini 1949 MASERATI A6 1500/3C BERLINETTA Coachwork by Pinin Farina

Sold for $ 891,000 at the Quail Lodge Auction on 15 Aug 2014 at Carmel, Quail Lodge & Golf Club.  Some history of the car can be found here.

In the gallery below,  Maserati A6GCS,  Maserati A6G/2000 and  Maserati 3500GT. This is apparently the last surviving competition version A615003C  vintage Maserati. We performed extensive restoration  services for this car including engine work , engine compartment complete overhaul, chassis, brakes, interior, fuel system, etc. Of course almost no parts are available. Many parts that would be routinely thrown away on a more common car were repaired and quite a few missing or non-repairable components had to be custom made new.

Recently Liz Taylor’s provenance rich 3500GT coupe was in the news, going across the block at Gooding & Company’s   Pebble Beach auction in August 2017.

More recently we performed a complete mechanical and body restoration for a 1977 Maserati Merak SS. Vintage? Not yet. An enduring classic piece of rolling sculpture? We think so.

classic 1977 Maserati Merak SS complete restoration
1977 Maserati Merak SS complete restoration

Ferrari parts sticky?

Ferrari parts sticky no more
A recently received shipment of beautifully restored Ferrari interior parts, thanks to ‘Sticky No More’ Inc.

Ferrari parts sticky

Are your interior Ferrari parts sticky? The best present you could give your significant other Ferrari owner is a ‘sticky no more‘ treatment to rid interior buttons, control knobs, ashtrays, etc. of the horrible tacky, gooey surface these pieces acquire over time.  These sticky parts cannot be cleaned in place on many models , due to the tiny original white markings which rub off during the cleaning process.

Our solution to eliminate the stickiness is to carefully remove all the affected pieces and ship them to well known expert Robbie Padgett in MD for top notch restoration.  The pieces are cleaned and the original style markings are carefully laser etched. We have never been dissatisfied with this service and recommend this solution to correct the awful interior sticky part nightmare that really degrades the Ferrari driving experience.

Consider having this service done over the winter non-driving months as well as any other cosmetic items to avoid having your Ferrari in the shop during the good driving months.


Be road ready

road ready for Ferrari rallyWe strongly recommend checking your Ferrari (or any vehicle) before going on a long club drive, rally or extended road trip. At a minimum, annually check your Ferrari thoroughly for road trip readiness and to prevent damage to car systems due to low use or prolonged storage.
Engine oil: Check oil level and the oil change due date. Change engine oil before a long road trip if you’re close to the due date to protect your engine. Check your owner’s manual for recommended motor oil types.
Transmission and differential fluids: Check your owner’s manual for fluid change intervals which are quite a bit longer than for engine oil. While your service center tech is under the car changing manual transmission oil and the differential oil, have them lubricate the drive-shaft U-joints and other grease points.
Hoses: Rubber hoses deteriorate over time. Check them for bulges, blisters or squishiness (not good) which indicate weak hose walls. If hoses are cracked or blistered, replace them.
Belts: Check the engine accessory belts for wear. If belts are torn, cracked or showing the fiber cords, replace with new belts. A loose belt will cause loud screeching noise. If your finger can depress the belt more than a half-inch of deflection at a point halfway between pulleys the belt is stretched. If it’s old and worn, replace it. If the belt is not worn out, it should be re-tensioned or it may fall off. On newer cars, if your car has less than 50,000 miles, the serpentine belt is probably ok but check the owners manual because they also need to be replaced at time intervals whether they seem worn or not. If your car has cam belts (timing belts) make sure they are less than 5 years old.
Engine coolant:. Always check that the coolant reservoir is topped up.
Don’t mix coolant types Not all coolants are the same – don’t mix them! You must check your owner’s manual for the recommended coolant, there are numerous types. Be sure to use the same coolant type as is already in the engine. If the coolant in the reservoir and the radiator is cloudy, murky, it’s well past time for a change.
Tires: pressure: Know your recommended tire pressures. Consult your owner’s manual or check on the driver’s side door. Check tire pressure before you leave with a good gauge. Low tire pressures cause the tires to run hotter from the extra friction. It also wastes fuel. If a tire is not holding pressure, it has a leak and likely may blow out soon. Check for any bubbles or cracks in the tire walls and get a new tire if you spot a problem.
Tire date codes: Rubber tires begin to deteriorate and fall apart after 5 years, whether or not there is tread on them. Learn how to read the manufacturers date codes on your tires and replace before 5 years.
Tire wear: Check the tread on all four tires for uneven wear. If the tire tread-depth is less than 2/32” buy new tires. You can use an inexpensive tire tread gauge or in a pinch use a penny. If the depth is below Lincoln’s chin line, it’s time to change.
Brake system: Brake fluid over time attracts and absorbs moisture and will corrode your brake components internally. Check your brake reservoir for clear amber colored fluid, and make sure that it is topped up. If you haven’t had a flush in a year get it done before your trip. The less you drive a car the more important brake fluid changes become. Water-laden old brake fluid also lowers the fluid’s boiling point. A lowered boiling point can lead to a squishy brake pedal.
Battery: Check that the terminals are corrosion-free and the positive and negative leads are tight. If there is corrosion – white chalky stuff on the terminals – clean it off with a wire brush. Tighten the battery leads. If one falls off while driving, it can cause a “voltage dump” that could ruin the alternator. If the starter sounds sluggish, it could be terminal corrosion or a failing battery.
Finally, road test the vehicle before your trip: Take a quick drive at speed and listen for noises. Be alert for vibration and poor handling and watch for inoperative gauges or gauge warnings. Any noise at the wheel could signal a defective worn out wheel bearing or a worn CV joint. Pulling to the side may indicate an under-inflated tire,  worn tires, a slipped tire belt or possible alignment problem. Defective brake rotors or worn brake pads can cause your car to shimmy or squeal while braking. A soft brake pedal may indicate a hydraulic leak or bad brake fluid. Check that all exterior lights function. Headlights that flicker at idle may be caused by a loose alternator belt, a failing alternator or corroded battery terminals. Make sure air intake openings in the body are not obstructed with leaves and debris which could cause overheating.


Ferrari transmission conversion

Ferrari transmission conversion for Ferrari 575

Ferrari transmission conversion

Recently we completed a Ferrari transmission conversion project for a client who bought an F1 Ferrari 575 Maranello, after he was unable to locate a suitable, increasingly-scarce 6-speed manual example. It is not news that many Ferrari enthusiasts are happier driving with a manual transmission vs the steering column mounted ‘paddle shift’ F1 semi-automatic gear-shifting. We were challenged with the assignment to convert the F1 transmission over to traditional manual stick-shift. We were able to locate the necessary parts and custom machined some extras fittings that were needed. End result? A happy customer driving his Ferrari the way Enzo intended. For track driving, F1 shifting is quicker and more efficient. For pleasurable street driving, nothing beats the original manual shifting mechanics. We think it is a shame that more and more manufacturers no longer manufacture models with a manual transmission option.

As the man said: “Real men use 3 pedals.”   What do you think?

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Ferrari Clutch

Ferrari clutch assemblyFerrari clutch replacement service

Call and we’ll be happy to provide clutch replacement services for your Ferrari,  Lamborghini or Maserati, for F1, E-gear, Cambiocorsa and stick transmissions.
Ferrari clutch pressure plateWe install factory new clutch kits from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati or Aston Martin.

We have installed Ferrari clutches for 38 years with excellent results and customer satisfaction.


Lamborghini Miura Restoration in NJ

Lamborghini Miura Restoration project arrivalLamborghini Miura Restoration in NJ

Over the years many Lamborghini Miura restorations have passed through our doors. Since we currently have 2 Miura projects in-house, an engine rebuild and a complete ground up restoration, we thought we’d take the opportunity to share the journey for anyone in the midst of a restoration or contemplating taking the plunge.

The Miura pictured above was non-running when it arrived at Exoticars USA.  After some preliminary engine work (carburetors, gaskets, rough set timing, new spark plugs and wires), we took a video of the first time the engine had been started after a 25 year sleep:

Lamborghini Miura fire suppression system

Lamborghini Miuras

blue Lamborghini MiuraWe’ve previously blogged about Lamborghini Miura restoration (wheels) , about adding an essential fire protection system in the engine compartment, about Miura engine rebuilding and about restoration work in general.


Lamborghini Miura service

Lamborghini Miura engine reinstallation after rebuild

Lamborghini Miura SV

We will revisit this subject again and build a story about the processes involved in getting one of these iconic beauties out of the barn and back on the road.




Porsche convertible top waterproofing

Porsche convertible top waterproofingFor proper care of your Porsche Boxster or other Porsche convertible top, we can perform the manufacturer recommended Porsche convertible top waterproofing and treatment. The special Porsche convertible-top care product eliminates leakage in the convertible-top cover or at its seams or folds.


Optionally you can or you can do it yourself, annually,  following these steps:

  • Wash the top and allow to dry.
  • Mask off top to protect paint and glass ( as pictured).
  • Treat convertible-top cover with the special Porsche convertible-top care product.
  • Do not allow convertible-top care chemical to contact windows or paint.  Remove immediately if there is contact.

Maserati Ghibli classic

1967 Maserati Ghibli CoupeMaserati Ghibli

A 1967 Maserati Ghibli coupe is coming up for sale at the RM auction in Arizona 16 – 17 January 2014. Yes, we do have experience doing complete restorations on the Ghibli. If you have one of these V8 Italian beauties, keep up with the maintenance. If your model is lacking, they are highly sought after and well worth restoring. Below, a gallery of complete Maserati  restorations  we have performed over the years. Classic, iconic Italian automotive works of art!
2014 Maserati Ghibli coupeIt is no wonder Maserati decided to revive the Ghibli in 2014 with an updated model.

Go here if you are interested in specifications and to learn sales prices of the Maserati Ghibli at recent auctions.


Spring rate testing


All springs have a Spring Rate.  It’s the amount of pressure, in pounds, required to compress a spring one inch.


The machine in the photo’s foreground determines the Spring Rate by squeezing it down with a hydraulic cylinder.  The dial indicator tells us when we’ve compressed the spring exactly one inch.  The load cell at the bottom sends a signal to the digital read-out with the Spring Rate number.  It helps us when we want to install stiffer or softer suspension springs in a car to alter handling characteristics, ride quality, ground clearance, etc.


Car shows Amelia Island Concours

Devin roadster winning at Amelia Island Concours 2012
Devin roadster winning at Amelia Island Concours 2012

Here is our customer with the 1958 Devin he restored with his nephew accepting an award at the 2012 Amelia Island Concours.   We helped by fabricating a new windscreen and some final odds and ends. The Devin is featured in next month’s (Dec 2013) Hemmings Motor News in an article on the 2013 Saratoga Springs Concours held this past September.

Devin roadster winning at Amelia Island Concours 2012
1958 Devin roadster winner

This puts us in the mood for car shows on warm sunny days, Florida looking better and better as the days shorten here in NJ.

It doesn’t get any better than this picture, does it?  Congratulations, Phil!