Okay, so Dino Motors knows their stuff, but a warning to others – they are sloooowwwww. I have to chalk it up to that fact that they have a ton of cars in there and I think many of them are of much higher “premium” – so when they are prioritizing: they probably have to address the million dollar Muira in there before mine. I don’t take this personally – basic law of supply and demand.
So the engine was only firing on half the cylinders because of bad relays – during this investigation – they found a bad water hose (replaced.) The headlights were permanently on. (fixed that) They also fixed the Seat Belts – the previous owners really committed all the horror stories you hear about Ferrari’s – Some examples? The steering wheel was backwards, various installs electronic nonsense. The car had a pretty slip-shod state for all the interior bits which were misaligned and generally blocking things. Dead pedal was installed wrong so it had the potential to block clutch – general crazy stuff like that
Some folks should just not own Ferraris – basically too many folks that go into it half-cocked and end up messing up a masterpiece up…sad really.
What can I say? I’m a masochist, and I’ve been enjoying ‘righting’ the wrongs of previous owners. I mean a hobby is as good as the challenge it presents to you – and I’m for it short of catastrophic failure that results in a parts car.
So I took the car for a spin and it was a lot of fun – sounded and drove great – gets lot of attention. Still need to work on the following however.
1) Hood Latch
2) Antenna doesn’t work
3) Cheese grater has missing “teeth” on driver’s side
4) Lap belts won’t retract
5) Exhaust leak somewhere….
More updates to come!
So one of the many things I’ve been learning about Ferrari ownership is the different paradigms about practically everything. Case in point, the length of time one would expect for work to be done on the car. Since these are exotics, everything takes 10 times as long and unfortunately, things of course cost 10 times as much as other cars. Just one of the things about these hand built masterpieces to know.
Johannes at Dino Motors has been working on my car, and he has been really cool. He’s one of the most sought after Ferrari/Italian independent shops in the San Francisco bay area so he’s always in demand. His shop is full of different Ferraris of varying vintage and he and his trusted partner, Danny – are always swamped.
It’s been about a month since I’ve dropped off my car and he’s been fixing a bunch of few things…thankfully nothing has broken the bank (yet.)
So far the culprit of the engine stall was electrical – (Fixed)
While fixing that – the water pipe busted (Fixed)
They replaced the Transmission fluid as what was in there was pretty old.
They checked the belts and they are cool
The fuse box is in good shape.
Spark Plugs, Fuel/Air Filter are okay.
Some things that they are checking out now is:
Broken hood latch
Broken Antenna motor (won’t go up/down)
Seat belts are stuck
Missing screws in the interior
I’m hoping to get the car back soon
So I got a call from Dino motors and they said that half the engine banks are not firing – that’s what’s causing the funky engine performance. He hasn’t pinpointed the exact problem, although it sounds very similar to what some people have suggested previously…bad ignition system, bad fuel system….hopefully the pain won’t be too bad…
The closest shop to me that I’ve always seen was Dino Motors. I gave them a call a couple weeks ago and was greeted by the friendly owner, Johannes Huwyler. I had scheduled to have the car dropped today, and I was looking forward to meeting him in person and checking out the shop.
Dino Motors was amazing. While small and cramped – it felt I was in the halls of an automotive temple. Everything was nicely laid out and right in front of me was a Lamborghini Miura! I just finished watching Jerry’s Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars getting Coffee” with Chris Rock and this car last week – so it was cool to see it first-hand.
Joahannes was the consummate professional – very friendly, and he took all the time to explain to me amazing things about the car. He gave me a full tour of the shop and it was awesome to get a first-hand commentary on different Ferrari. Saw beautiful 330s, Daytonas, 308/328s, even a 400. I’ll report back on what is ultimately wrong with the car, but so far based on my experience – I feel fortunate to have such a shop close by my home.
1321 S. Railroad Ave
San Mateo, CA 94402
Here is the original window sticker for the car – I thought the $3,000 Gas Guzzler Tax was interesting.
So this was $109,950 in 1991 Dollars – With tax (about 8.5% in California) We’re looking at $119,295 in 1991 Dollars – If this was adjusted for inflation – we’re looking at roughly $200,000 in 2013 dollars. Crazy
I spend a lot of time on ferrarichat.com. Before I had my car checked out by the pros – I thought I would ask around to see if anybody had any ideas on what was wrong. A whole group, fraternity really, jumped in and lent a helping hand. Admittedly, I was in over my head – but some thoughts from my Ferrari brethren were:
1) Coil modules
2) spark plug leads
3) Bad Battery/Loose Battery Cable
4) Broken or loose vacuum hoses
5) Bad air filter and/or pathways
6) Dirty throttle body
7) “Hot start problem”
8) Fuse box failure
9) Engine management connectors
My goal is to bring these up with Johannes (at Dino Motors) and have him go through the list and do his best considering time/money constrains – then repeat the whole process again with “Dr. Brian Crall” with him giving a “second opinion.” It would appear that as long as you do proper maintenance and get all the problems sorted out (and not ignore them) – This should be a fun ride. By the way – I purchased the Ferrari from a Catholic Charity for $27,000
Just took delivery of my 91′ Mondial today (48K Miles) – it is a beauty. It is much better looking in person than in photos. Also, my ‘cherry’ got popped with my first Ferrari Gremlin. When driving at slow speed or a stoplight – the engine will stop spontaneously – requiring a restart. I thought it was perhaps low on fuel, so I took it to the gas station and filled it up.*It does not seem to have a normal auto stop on fuel.
When trying to re-start it – it would not until I applied some gas and started in first gear after numerous tries.
I’ve scheduled some service at Brian Crall and Dino Motors to have them sort out whatever issues the car has…
Now it is a fool’s errand to attempt to “magazine” race using pure numbers. “Fast” is also a relative term, a Hummer will think a Prius is fast. A Prius will think an Accord V6 is fast. An Accord V6 will think a C7 is Fast. A C7 will think a Bugatti Veyron is fast…
I’ve divided cars into 5 main categories when describing straight line performance (what most would use to define “fast”.) I know speed is not just what a vehicle can achieve in a drag race – I’m just talking about what good old’ Americana usually gauges as “fast” in a stop light encounter (which I long ago abandoned to my ignorant youth)
0) 0-60 in the >6’s 1/4 Mile >14s (The Rest)
1) 0-60 in the 6’s 1/4 Mile in 14s (Sporty)
2) 0-60 in the 5’s 1/4 Mile in 13s (Fast)
3) 0-60 in the 4’s 1/4 Mile in 12s (Faster)
4) 0-60 in the <4s 1/4 Mile in <12s (Fastest)
This being said; I’ve driven enough cars to know a vehicle’s dynamics is based not on numbers on paper, but on pure driving pleasure. I by no means want to convey quantitative snobbery. All Mondials are fine vehicles, in fact as I said – they are my “Dream Car.”
A consideration in purchasing a classic is not just pure “numbers” but the subjective qualitative experience. The Mondial I expect will provide this far more than any V6 Accord can.