Join Date: May 2008
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Ferrari Life Posts: 83
I haven't posted since 2010 so feel like I need to re-introduce almost.
I've got a 77 vetro GTB which has had some work done recently to continue to improve the car. I was happy with it anyway, but after a club track day last year, I had a good chat with a Ferrari mechanic that runs his own (one man) business, looking after local cars.
He had observed the car sitting too high, plus being way too soft in the front shocks, just seeing it on the track.
So off the car went to him for replacement springs and sway bar bushes. Interesting the new springs are lower, but also significantly lighter than the old ones. The sway bars were previously fitted with rose (heim?) joints on the ends which he advised actually detract from the handling and also the feel of the car.
So with new ride height, koni's reset to firmer settings and the new sway bar set up, I picked the car up and looked forward to more (and better!) drives.
He warned the suspension would settle further and that next time I brought the car back he would (at no charge) remeasure the ride height, and reset the springs to exact ride height requirements.
After all this I was a little disappointed that the car felt better, but not by much.
That is until the next visit.
Prior to this we had discussed the abomination of the rear exhaust muffler the car had since I bought it. It was bulky and needed one of those box like affairs fitted under the rear bumper to contain its ugliness.
Marc (the mechanic) recomended a stainless exhaust which he said would improve sound, performance and looks. Where do I sign?
Took the car in for the spring reset and the new exhaust.
He called me a few days later and said he expected I would be very pleased. When removing the old system, he said it must have weighed 40KG (100 pounds) and as far as he could tell it was off a 208GTB (the italy only turbo 2 litre tax special).
The new exhaust ended up liberating some power and revs, but the best thing was the difference made by taking so much weight out from under the rear bumper.
My first drive after picking the car up was, happily, to my sister in laws place in the hills north of Brisbane. Not high, but a nice curvy road with good surface and visiblility. On the way home (downhill), the best way to describe it, was that it was the same feeling you get descending when you are on skis, or on a good bike. It just CARVED!
My confidence in the car went up by a significant amount. Before every corner was quick enough, but something just did not feel right and in reality meant cornering was always tackled keeping something in reserve.
Now it's beyond go kart like. I am really happy with it.
As a side note, when picking the car up, next to mine was a 275GTB/4 with the six carbs. Engine was out for a refresh. Very very nice seeing that all up close.