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14.11.2011, 15:43:40 cet

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Ferrari Classiche for your Historic Ferrari

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Almost two years ago there was a new milestone in the Ferrari story, with the official opening of the new Ferrari Classiche workshop and offices on the 25th of July 2006, although it had ben operational in a lower key format for over a year before that. As befits a department involved in the company痴 heritage, the new division痴 operating base is sited on historic ground within the original Ferrari factory premises in Maranello, Italy. The invitation only opening ceremony was attended by selected international journalists, including noted luminaries like Paul Frere, Karl Ludvigsen and Gianni Rogliatti, together with Ferrari dealer/concessionaire personnel.

The modus operandi of the Ferrari Classiche department is to cater for the needs of clients owning classic examples of the marque, by providing a certification programme, repair and restoration facilities, together with a programme for re-manufacturing obsolete parts. The facility is available to any owner with a Ferrari road car over 20 years of age and to competition models of all ages, apart from those looked after by the F1 Clienti department. The department comprises of a 960 square metre workshop plus a 100 square metre office and archive area sited alongside it, forming a completely self contained unit within the factory premises.

The person initially charged by the management with setting up the division was Roberto Vaglietti, who started working for Ferrari at the beginning of March 1971 as a test driver, moving to the Servizio Assistenza Tecnica department in 1978, to which he was promoted head of the division in 1992, a position he maintained until the end of 2005, when he took over the Ferrari Classiche department on a full time basis. With his official retirement in January 2008, there was a management restructure, with overall responsibility coming under the Corse Clienti umbrella managed by Antonella Coletta, with Marco Arrighi taking the role of Ferrari Classiche co-ordinator, whilst Roberto Vaglietti maintains a position as a consultant to the department.

The clinically clean and airy workshop is the responsibility of Andrea Rastrelli with an assistant, who have twelve technicians working under them, with the facility to draw on further qualified personnel with a depth of experience in classic Ferrari models, to assist at times of high workload or specific processes. It also has full access to all the normal factory facilities like the foundry, machine shops and upholstery department, plus all the official suppliers. The care taken of client痴 cars is immediately evident whilst walking around the facility, as those not currently being worked upon are kept under dust covers, and those being worked on are carefully protected against accidental damage.

On the office front the co-ordinator of certification activities is Francesco Scaletti with Chris Vlahos, Marco Jasonni and consultant Angelo Amadesi, together with administration staff. Like their workshop counterparts they have full factory back- up, but in this instance it is in the form of extensive archive material, held in an adjacent room. The amount and detail of material dating back to the very first car produced, the 125 S in 1947, is truly amazing, particularly when one considers that at the time it was a fledgling company. As examples of the details in the archives, there are complete parts lists with descriptions and part numbers down to the last nut and bolt, together with copies of the original drawings for individual components. That a company starting out in car manufacturing would log such minute details is incredible, and a reflection on the precision of the founder, Enzo Ferrari, and those he employed, although it was probably also a legacy of the Auto Avio Costruzioni machine tool manufacturing days which preceded car production. Whatever the initial reason, they have survived for over sixty years, providing an invaluable foundation for the re-manufacturing of parts, and determining whether a component fitted to a car is correct. In addition to this, the archive contains individual build sheets, detailed race records and season results, dynamometer sheets for engines and the original punches used for chassis, engine and transmission stamping, which varied in style over the years.

The parts re-manufacturing programme mentioned earlier is now well established. A complete 275 GTB engine has been manufactured for an American client, and some of the parts that have been re-manufactured, either by Ferrari SpA or original official suppliers, include both 2 and 4 cam 275 series cylinder heads and blocks, 250 GT engine blocks, heads, cylinder liners, crankshafts, camshafts and studs, crown wheel and pinions for the 365 GTB/4 and 250 LM, 400 SA cylinder blocks as used in the 400 SA series as well as the 330 LM berlinetta, a 250 Testa Rossa engine block, together with 512 BB/LM camshafts and pistons, and a batch of 512 M engine blocks. The new engine blocks are stamped with the engine type number, i.e. 擢ERRARI 213 for a 275 GTB, on the raised plinth where the chassis number is normally stamped on the block, with the Ferrari Classiche logo adjacent to or above it, together with a 渡umero interno (internal number) in the rough casting as on period blocks. Discussions are taking place with a number of original parts suppliers to try and establish re-manufacturing programmes of obsolete items to the original specification, and obviously any parts supplied would be recognised as original under the certification programme.

During our visit there was a wide selection of classic Ferraris in the workshop, some there for certification, some were having remedial works carried out and others in the process of a full restoration. They included a 212 Inter Coupé, a 250 Europa GT, a 250 GT Boano Coupé, a trio of 250 GT 菟asso corto berlinettas and a pair of 750 Monzas, plus a 250 Testa Rossa. This was chassis # 0752 TR, belonging to Sir Anthony Bamford, for which they have just manufactured a complete new engine, which was in the factory engine test department on the dynamometer, prior to installation. To date the department has received more than 800 applications for certification, of which some 600 have been processed, whilst they have carried out, or are in the process of completing twenty five full restorations, together with numerous partial restorations or remedial works, to ensure that cars are in conformity with the original specification.

Anybody interested in obtaining certification for their Ferrari should make the initial approach through their local dealer or concessionaire, although Ferrari Classiche are happy to deal with individual clients on a personal basis where possible and practical.

Keith Bluemel