500 Mondial Series 2 - Page 2 - Ferrari Life
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post #21 of 796 Old 08-13-2009, 12:01 PM
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Very nice indeed.

I can certainly appreciate the love for the car.

You have done an outstanding job.

Keep us entertained, please.
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post #22 of 796 Old 08-13-2009, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Admiral Goodwrench View Post
Hi guys,

Have just returned from the Ferrari Club of America National Meet in Elkhart Lake, WI. While there I had a very good time with two particular highlights.

Tom Schultz, author of the two definitive books on Road America, introduced me to Dick Wuestoff and Augie Pabst. They had raced 0714 MDTR with the 625 motor in the September 1959 Road America 500 running against my car 0556(0446)/MD driven by Robert Ready Davis and Jack Hergenroether. They finished 9th and my car DNF with seized differential. That misfortune enabled me to acquire the disabled car nine months later.

The second highlight for me was the opportunity to run a few laps at the track which for the car was a 50 year gap. I went out right after a big downpour had passed. The combination of a wet track, healthy motor, skinny tires, and old cold brakes made for a very fun drive. A little bit of fishtailing coming out of some of the turns tested the old reflexes but nothing dramatic ensued.

Our son Bryan has posted some of the video extract on youtube at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnbAYXd1ic4

As they say keep the shiny side up, I did.

Best regards,

Robert

Dear Admr. Phillip;

I truly enjoyed your article in the latest Cavallino. As I related to your son, Bryan [we have been exchanging emails lately], the thoughts that your Mondial was sitting in a Rambler dealership only yards from my father's work site [Mustang, Navy CDR], brought chills and memories all at the same time: What a find. I can only imagine you feelings seeing the car sitting in the back room.

I truly like your description of stewardship. Reminds me also of another view of Jim G's stewardship of the oldest Ferrari, which he has custody. Once, when someone asked him how he detailed his car [not saying you didn't or shouldn't have for the P-Beach] his reply was " I never detail any of my Ferraris, just wash and wax". Many, I'm certain, couldn't believe such.

You sir, are an inspiration, and why I'll always, God allowing, have a Ferrari in the garage, and, like today, drive it daily [wife drives the 456 to work] as we want to enjoy them as much as possible.

Regards,
Rik Granucci

Guide to the Galaxy: Don't Panic
Rik -- LAH !


Current:
Past:
1990 Mondial T Cabriolet SN 86247 : Red/Tan
1995 456 GT 2+2 SN 99987 : Roso Metalizzato [Fer 311/C] & Tan
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post #23 of 796 Old 05-19-2010, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Williamsburg, Virginia

Dear Dinosaur followers,

Well, the fun continues into 2010. On the first and second of May, HelenAnn, Bryan and I went to the Williamsburg Winery for the "Ferraris on the Vine" event. David Carte did the hauling duty for our car and the Marriott 288 GTO. It was unusually hot and humid but a breeze helped make it a bit more comfortable. They had a huge tent with room for all the entrants cars and dining tables. As most of you know, during the major conservation project on the little blue car David discovered that the seat surrounds were in fact made of grape vine canes. So we literally took "vines in the Ferrari" to "Ferraris on the Vine."

Saturday evening found us at the head table with Dan and Evi Gurney who were delightful dinner partners, even if there was a lot of Porsche talk. David E. Davis and Dan Gurney and Wangers (of Pontiac GTO fame) were informally interviewed on the stage about the old Car and Driver "GTO vs GTO" story. Sunday morning we all drove downtown to the Merchants Square in old Historic Williamsburg where they removed the vehicle barriers and parked us in that walkway. For a couple of hours all the tourists and other interested folks had the chance to see the cars up close and as usual I was answering questions the whole time about the little blue car. Most of the way back to the winery the escort police car was pretty pokey but for a couple of stretches he did move out a bit. I still get a thrill when the sound of the motor makes that distinct change in timbre when it comes on the cam at about 3700. Then when I get in the throttle it acts anxious to really get up and go. Of course with under 1600 pounds and 172 BHP the p/w ratio isn't all that bad.

Later in the afternoon we added to the trophy collection with the prize for "the car that Dan Gurney would most like to drive home". That is probably a unique award, and I am delighted to have it.

Best regards,

Robert

PS - photos by Chris Schlumpf
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post #24 of 796 Old 05-19-2010, 07:33 PM
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Looks like a great time.

Is there any chance we can see the little blue car at the Rockville car show this year?
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post #25 of 796 Old 05-20-2010, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Dear L.C.,

In the hope that it will not rain I have asked Matt Brown of White Horse Auto Concierge to save a spot for me on his special trailer to and from Rockville for the 2010 show. Now is the time to get started on the weatherman so he doesn't repeat the double washout of last year. As you know I have removed the windshield wiper that I installed in 1963 for the drive across country.

Best regards,

Robert
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post #26 of 796 Old 05-21-2010, 01:11 PM
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Fantastic stories, Admiral. I'm guessing part of the fun of owning this fantastic machine is the privileged interaction you get with so many fantastic motoring heroes. That trophy surely is one to cherish!

Having seen 4 or so 750 Monza's and many other delectable Ferraris on the road a couple of weeks ago in Italy, I just can't get over how fantastic the cars from that era are. To see that they're still on the road is just brilliant. A completely useless comment to end this post with: keep enjoying her!


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post #27 of 796 Old 05-21-2010, 06:23 PM
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Admiral,

It was great to see you at the Ferraris on the Vine event.
Here are some of the pictures I took that weekend.

#1 = my tdf blue 550 parked near your 500 Mondial on the streets of Williamsburg.
#2 = some young Ferrari fans putting their little sticky hands on the car!
#3 = a low angle shot of Bryan and the front of the car.
#4 = happiness is being behind the wheel.

- Ron
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post #28 of 796 Old 05-21-2010, 08:32 PM
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It is so beautiful ! The owner looks so happy and the car looks so happy with such a caring owner too. I can simply stare at the car all day long and enjoy the lines and curvatures, similar to staring at a glamorous lady with a drop dead curvatious body. This car looks so wonderful in the lawn and green setting rather than on a tarmac. I cannot even imagine what the experience is like sitting behind that wheel. Nothing but compliments, Admiral. w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #29 of 796 Old 05-22-2010, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Dear Jimmy, Onno and Ron, and the rest of you dinosaur followers,

From time to time I do go out to my little shop and just sit and look at the car. Clearly I am biased but I do not find a bad line on it. Today Michael Bayer and Bryan and I started taking the brakes apart as the brake shoe linings are original from 1955 and are simply no longer effective. As a result do not expect to see me driving around the streets of Arlington for the next few months.

Ron, the 550 looked sharp and it was good to see you at Williamsburg, and happiness behind the wheel is spot on. The photo of the dirty sticky fingers did not surprise me for you can just see my elbow to the right of the picture. Sticky fingers are not bad as the residues can be cleaned up. What was scary was the youngsters walking up to the car with their digital cameras swinging from straps on their wrists!

As two significant side notes indicative of how rapidly the years are flying past, I first met my testa rossa 49 years ago today, and next month will mark fifty years of custodianship of the Mondial. In a reflective mode on the passing of Gerald, I am the sole surviving driver of the thirteen who have raced this car. Just another reminder to enjoy every day to the fullest now for later may not come.

Best regards,

Robert
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post #30 of 796 Old 05-22-2010, 10:32 PM
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No-one can stop the passage of time, so we must make the most of what we're given. I like vintage cars not soley for themselves but because the people that own them seem to have a zest for life and they seem to be out and about doing what they like rather than sitting on the couch watching other people do something. Owning a classic Ferrari, even if it is not quite a year yet and even if it is a model that hasn't quite got the allure of Robert's amazing Mondial, has already given me a couple memories to cherish for the rest of my life. If there are people out there that are wondering about it: if you have the opportunity, you should take it!


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post #31 of 796 Old 05-23-2010, 02:44 PM
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Admiral,

It is always great to see you and your car. Thanks for the kind words.

Here is another picture I took at the Ferrari on the Vine event:
- The key to the 500 Mondial being held by its driver/mechanic for the past 49 years.

Here's wishing you many more years of fun driving + light wrenching + just looking at, your wonderful Ferrari!

- Ron
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post #32 of 796 Old 06-14-2010, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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one half century!!!

To try and keep things from getting on too many scattered threads I will copy a posting made by my son Bryan on "that other site" to this thread. I must admit that looking back it certainly does not feel like one half of a century ago that I started down this path. In retrospect it certainly left me in fairly slim times financially!

The photo below is in front of the admin building at the long since closed Naval Air Station, Oakland, California. It was taken just after I had finished nine months of work getting it into running condition and painted. As I recall, that weekend I ran the High Sierra Hillclimb taking a first in class and breaking the previous years course record. That really gave my ego a boost.

Best regards,

Robert


50 years ago today - 500 Mondial

Fifty years ago today, my father put a downpayment on 0556(0446)MD, rescuing it from the corner of the repair shop of a Rambler dealership in Richmond, CA. In his words:

"On Tuesday 14 June 1960 I gave Bob Davis a deposit for the Mondial with a check for $25.00. On Wednesday 22 June my checking account balance was $4.49. The next day, Thursday 23 June, the Bank Of Scranton came through with a personal signature loan for $2,500.00 and the following day, Friday 24 June 1960 I wrote two checks, one for $1376.65 and the second for 823.35. I have no recollection as to why two checks. The total for the car was $2,225.00.

The loan amount was for more than the car cost as I knew I was going to need some extra money to make repairs etc. and that $275 was going to have to go a long way. At the time I had just finished paying off the loan for the 1957 MGA. For a frame of reference the price of high test gasoline at my service station at the base was selling for 19.9 cents per gallon. My take home pay was $243 per month, the monthly loan repayment was $116.67 my rent and electrical bill ran about $94 per month, the phone bill was about $14 per month. That left precious little to eat on, and nine times over the rest of that year the checkbook balance was under $20.00 which often left me reflecting on the accuracy of my parents pronouncement that I had "taken leave of my senses" when I bought that wreck!"

He and the Mondial have been quite a team for the last 50 years!
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post #33 of 796 Old 06-15-2010, 08:17 AM
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Dear Admiral,

I congratulated you on this wonderful milestone in the mirrorthread on F-chat already, but this site also needs some responses. So once again, thank you for sharing that wonderful story with us, and I wish the blue beast and you many more happy miles together! She could not have asked for a more caring owner.

Here's to the next 50! Cheers!


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post #34 of 796 Old 06-15-2010, 01:41 PM
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Nothing but true passion. The story is what is amazing. w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #35 of 796 Old 06-15-2010, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Dear Dinosaur followers,

Thanks for the kind words.

In looking at the photo above I am reminded that the size of the car is very different in person than in photos. The wheelbase of the 1965 VW bug is over five inches longer than on the Ferrari. I know that is a hard mental picture to imagine.

Thanks to Bryan and Michael, the brake shoes are now off and it is time to retire the 55 year old linings.

Best regards,

Robert
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post #36 of 796 Old 06-15-2010, 05:46 PM
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congrats admiral! always love hearing the stories. I'm happy i got to know you and your car. One of the best stories in the ferrari world in my book. and sadly probably one of the last of it's kind. I imagine most of the cars of your caliber reside with a very different kind of owner now.



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post #37 of 796 Old 06-23-2010, 03:59 AM
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Admiral,
What a wonderful story and fascinating read. Congratulations on 50 years of ownership and wishing many more to come.
Barry.

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post #38 of 796 Old 09-05-2010, 10:10 AM
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Dad discovered while on the track at Road America for FCA 2009, that the 55 year old drum brake linings were past shot. We disassembled and he drove the shoes and drums to Rochester Clutch in upstate NY (where a lot of the NASCAR folks have their brake/clutch work done). Ferrari SpA graciously provided the original specifications for the lining depth (7mm), and Rochester made sure the drums were truly circular, re-lined the shoes, and matched that lining radius to the drums.

Dis-assembling/assembling the shoes is a major pain, since the return springs seem to me to be overdesigned; they are huge (about the size of one's index finger) and require an immense amount of force to close the 3/4" gap between them and lock them into each other. It took us about an hour to get the first (of 8) sets hooked.

Our friend ( and cousin) Harlan Hadley came over yesterday to see what we were up to, saw the spring issue, saw a pair of long-nosed needle nose pliers nearby and asked "do you mind if I destroy these?" Harlan and I sketched a little bit and took turns using the bench grinder and dremel on the pliers. I did some additional tweaking this morning and now we have a tool that reduced the spring task from 60 minutes to about 4 seconds. Now I think Harlan and i will get rich selling this device to the, oh, five guys in America who really could use it.

The pliers now have a narrow hook on the one side, and a machined cup in the other face, which is about 1/4"? shorter than the other leg.

Progress, and very satisfying work.

Pics - the spring arrangement; the new tool; and the 4-second operation - grab and twist.
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post #39 of 796 Old 10-04-2010, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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FCA National Meet 2010

Dear Dinosaurs,

This unbelievable saga has added another chapter.

This past week we took the little blue car to Millville, New Jersey for the 2010 Ferrari Club of America National Meet. By some miracle we did not share in the torrential rain which blanketed the eastern mid-Atlantic states on Thursday, the day of the Concours competition. The judges did their work and at the end of the day the little blue car had another Platinum Award to add to the shelf. I also went through the seven page Coppa Bella Machina check list with the inspector including the mandatory road trip to check out brake pull or steering wheel shimmy or missed shifts or a myriad of other proper car operating details.

On Saturday the air was chilly and the sun was very bright. The opportunity to bed and test the new brake linings was at hand. After a couple of laps as a passenger in an instructor car I headed out. After a few laps the brakes settled in and probably were working better than at any time over the past fifty years. The motor could not have felt stronger and seemed anxious to really get going.

By the third session I was very comfortable about the course, braking points were deeper in the approaches, the curbs at the apexes were slight enough to not unbalance the car, the sound of a very healthy motor and the whole experience was really enjoyable. The grin on my face must have been visible even behind the full helmet face shield.

At the awards banquet the dream started all over, somewhat reminiscent of 2008 at Pebble Beach. When all the camera flashes were finished, our table had the following for the little blue car:
Platinum Trophy
Coppa Bella Machina Trophy
Best Scaglietti Designed Race Car Trophy
Phil Hill Best Competition Car Trophy
and
Enzo Ferrari Best of Show Trophy!

I think that completes the trifecta: Pebble Beach, Cavallino and FCA National, plus similar results at Mar-A-Lago, Reading Concours and Milwaukee Masterpiece. Methinks that I should now retire the car from the Concours rat race, and see if I can have a few more fun laps on a track.

Saturday was just an incredible day and the experience of the track laps brought back many memories of the good old days in the sixties.

Enough for now.

Best regards,

Robert
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post #40 of 796 Old 10-04-2010, 05:51 PM
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Congrats admiral, you deserve it. great story. wish i could have made it up this weekend.



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