Rehabilitation Tales

By: Judd Goldfeder

Jan and I have owned our 365 GTC for seven years. We purchased the last affordable 365 GTC sold in the world. I had always admired and coveted a Ferrari - the sight of my first Ferrari in 1950 is a story for another time. We bought the car to drive and enjoy. The great Gods sometimes smile on the uninformed as with little knowledge and much intuition on my wife?s part we purchased a car which was remarkably original - original paint, tool rolls, very good interior, and very little rust.

One of the first events we entered was the La Carrera Classic in 1987 where we met several other Ferrari owners who also enjoyed driving their cars. We were the ninth fastest finisher, averaging nearly 100 MPH (lots of torque and horsepower made up for a lack of driving experience). We participated the next year and hoped to average over the magic 100 mark but it was not to be. A rear tire decided to release all of its air while we were traveling about 120 MPH - it?s all on video as a friend had a camera in the car behind us. Again, the Gods smiled and we stopped safely, changed the tire and proceeded on.

For the next several years we entered Concours not expecting to win a prize but for the camaraderie of sharing with other car lovers and participated in numerous club events.

That brings us to 1994 and planning for the FCA National Meeting. Jan and I had wanted to have the car repainted and generally "freshened" but felt we could not afford it. Announcement that the FCA National Meet would be in Monterey motivated us to reconsider. We found that because of the depressed state of the restoration business, we could afford to do a cosmetic restoration (I call it a rehabilitation) of the car. It did not need any mechanical work as it runs and stops fine.

365 GTC Before The "ugly duckling" 365 GTC before its "rehabilitation."

When I talked with Gary Bobileff, who has done all of my mechanical work over the past several years, about restoring the engine compartment the price quoted was beyond the budget. We talked and compromised on cleaning, replating, and painting everything which could be done without removing the engine or radiator.

Next, the Gods smiled again and I was introduced to Roger DeSesa and Bob Robinson. They had done restoration work for friends and had worked on a 1935 Bentley which we recently purchased. My charge to them was that I wanted to keep the car as a "driver." It was to be repainted the original color (I had the information on the factory build sheet), all chrome would be redone, stainless would be polished, and replacement parts (including weather-strip) would be either NOS or correct reproductions. I was responsible for finding the replacement parts and, believe me, that was an adventure. Some things had to be reused, some rare parts were located and some were made. Fortunately, we had all the original parts so we knew what we needed.

Over the years I have heard numerous "horror" stories so this project was started with some trepidation. The restoration went well because Roger and Bob are honest, conscientious professionals who take pride in their work and meet their commitments. My experience in working with them over the three months while the car was in their shop was a pleasure. They did what they promised and their workmanship was outstanding.

365 GTC After Judd and Jan?s beautiful trophy-winning 365 GTC "rehabilitated."

90 days later, just in time for the FCA National Concours, the moderately attractive duckling had been turned into a beautiful Ferrari. It was better than we expected. The car was driven from San Diego to Monterey four days before the Concours. Roger and his wife c