Restoring the 1957 Ferrari 250 Tour De France Body...
This third segment deals with the restoration of the 1957 Ferrari Tour de France's body.
This particular Ferrari has an extensive race history and much of it has been documented in Ferrari history books. Included in those books are photos of this exact car showing body damage suffered in races. Most repairs had to be made hastily (read that as poorly) to get the car back on the race course. Through the years they had been given a lick and a promise but never restored properly.
Owner Fred Fischer delivered his Ferrari to D & D with instructions to restore the original body skins when practical for histories sake - but fabricate new ones when the originals aren't structurally sound, ie. the nose panel had been crunched then "fixed" several times leaving the metal very thin in spots.
Fischer pointed out that since the body on his car was hand-built and some "fixes" performed poorly, questions could arise as to the correct way a particular part, etc., should be restored. "When those questions surface, contact me immediately," he advised and a Ferrari expert will be brought in to "guide us" in then right direction. He was rightˆthere were times when we were scratching our heads. Thanks to Fischer and the experts, we were back on track in short order.
A subtle effect of race crashes is what experts call the "mudslide effect" – a misalignment condition found in the Ferrari's hood. It had not been directly involved in the front end crashes , but it had been ever-so- slightly shifted backwards and sideways. When we laid sweep templates across the hood and nose the buldging effect could be seen easily. Persuading the various pieces to relinquish their gripes and join in harmonious flow wasn't so easy. Lots of delicate stretching and shrinking operations ensued. Sweeps were used to check our progress. Sweeps are illustrated in photo 10. They are large metal versions of the plastic French curves once common in pre-computer drafting departments.
We also should point out that our Coordinate Measuring Machine at D & D is a great tool. Its use in the Ferrari restoration was covered in a previous segment in this series.