Even though I used to have another PF coupe, I still ended up with a few hard to find parts that were missing.
Since Tom had brokered my purchase of those cars (and the sale of one), I was able to finagle a visit to see what parts I could find.
I visited Tom a few years ago when he just had a small building in San Clemente and the water tank building in San Juan Capistrano (and some parts at his house too). Since then, he's greatly expanded, first buying an avocado ranch with several buildings, selling the San Clemente building and buying spaces in two others.
We started at his newest acquisition in the Seagate office park in Oceanside. Tom has made a showroom area with an office overhead along with a large shop area. In the showroom, you can see the Tom's famous eBay find, the chassis of 0202A along with some rare carburetors and brake drums.
The office area (left) has a large floor area for Tom's bookkeeping along with book shelves for reference works. The shop area (right) was also spacious and partially filled with cars for sale and ones that Zac is working on.
One interesting item in the shop was an original Ferrari factory dynometer that Tom has acquired. He hopes to have it at the Quail next year with a engine being tested on it just like the factory used to do. I wonder if any of my engines were tested on this same dyno? Notice the rubber donut and drive shaft just like a car would have.
Tom purposely doesn't have a lot of parts at this location, but there were a couple of items there that he had picked up for me. I also dropped off an incomplete 355 toolkit and complete 308 jack and tool kits as he keeps the tools there.
The next stop was at the avocado ranch. I had heard about this, but didn't quite envision what it would be like. I expected that it would be out in the sticks on flat ground, hot and dry. Well, I was right for 3 of the 4. It was in the sticks, hot and dry, but instead of being flat, it was on the top of one of the highest hills in the area with massive views clear to the Pacific ocean several miles away. For those who don't know (like me), that's an avocado tree on the right.
Tom isn't known as the King of the Toasted Ponies for no reason:
Another interesting car was this 365 GT4 2+2. Notice the wheel chock and carefully planted shrubbery.
The first car on the way in was this 355 GTS that had too close of an encounter with something. Speaking of close encounters, one of Tom's car trailers had one too.
And there are a few spare clips from various cars along with the Devin fiberglass body that was on 0202A.
Well, enough pictures and back to the parts I came for. What I needed most was the proper valve covers. I'm not sure how, but the two valve covers that came with 1643GT were 5 stud (on each side) covers while the heads had 6 studs. I wasn't even aware I had a problem since the side studs had been pulled from the heads. The covers are the same length, so fit onto the end studs that hadn't been removed. I was measuring to order new studs and did a count, thereby noticing the difficulty. I went down with pictures of the valve covers from 1851GT and it's a good thing I did as Tom had several sets of various covers. Here we are trying to find the proper set for my car.
Did I mention that Tom has lots of wheels? These are only the mundane (alloy and common wire) ones.
Among the other cars sitting around is this 330 GT (6515) that Tom bought in MN.
Another very rare item was this original cardboard box that held the toolkits for a 365 2+2.
It's hard to read the list, so here it is:
1 rear reflecting mirror
1 gear lever knob
1 cigarette lighter
1 ash tray
2 tins of paint
1 set of frames for registration plates
2 sets of keys for car
1 leather envelope for papers.
In other words, all of the small items that might disappear during shipment. Of course these boxes would just be unpacked at the dealer and thrown away at the time.
When Tom runs out of rack space for exhausts, the avocado trees suffice. Or maybe this is Ferrari art?
From the farm, we went to the warehouse location.
This is where most of the parts ended up when Tom sold the San Clemente
building. That deal closed fast, so Tom had to get things packed
quickly so most items are still in unmarked plastic tubs. Tom went
through about 30 of them before finding the one that contained the old
gas lines for the fittings I needed. Don't be alarmed by the
Porsche sign, as Tom rents out part of the floor space. He also
has a unique rack for holding crankshafts.
There was a 330 GT (10029) there that Tom recently sold to Italy being packed up for the trip. Hopefully this doesn't become a donor car. Perhaps in Italy where appropriate labor is cheaper and with better availability of parts, this car will be saved.
Tom also had the used water pump housing that I needed, but the inside was pretty corroded, so I decided to get a newly cast reproduction from Roelof Parts in the Netherlands.
Along with my other small items, I picked up an original rear US license plate frame for Michael Greenspan's 330 America. These were used by Chinetti in the early/mid 60s on cars they imported.
The last items I got were a set of good collector pipes (header to exhaust) for the 330. One side on mine is rusted out and the other has never fit properly. My wife happened to ask Tom if he had any and he came up with these.
There are for a GTC, so will need some modification but should fit fine once I'm done.
The parting picture is a reminder that Tom isn't in the retail parts business anymore.
All in all, a very productive four hours spent with Tom as I got the valve covers, brake dust shields, starter heat shield, gas and oil line fittings, oil filler tube clamps and 330 collectors.
We drove down in just two days, but came back north taking several days on the California and Oregon coasts.
Copyright © 2004-2014, Kerry Chesbro