Vladimir Ivanovich Kirillov
Post Number: 922
|Posted on Tuesday, 05 June, 2018 - 09:50 am: |
Jetsetters ! This tale is about what happened in an Italian Specialist garage around 1974. Have a bucket ready!
I was working for crap loot for a very greedy Italian Australian who owned a large repair shop in the guts of Brisbane City.
I was somewhere between 17 and 18 and was after an apprenticeship to become a qualified mechanic.
So this mongrel promised me an apprenticeship but never got around to signing my indentures regardless of how many times I asked him.
Now what this fellow really needed was a savage head bashing - that may have helped with his attitude.
On the brighter side I got exposure to Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin and indeed a early 1960s Maserati 3500 GT in immaculate condition and painted a deep burgundy colour and fitted with a straight 6 (with twin spark plugs for each cylinder) with 5 speed gearbox. The Fiats were or course low class crap and the Alfas not much better.
The car was owned by a well dressed young toff who got the car as a gift! Naturally, because of what it was he loved this car.
Sadly, the clutch was not working properly and I was given the job of removing the gearbox which was quite a job because the car had aftermarket airconditioning that sat on top of the gearbox tunnel and on this particular model the gearbox had to come out through the interior of the car as its tubular chassis underneath prevented the gearbox being removed from underneath like most other cars.
The car had beige leather interior and as I said was bloody immaculate.
I have always wondered why to fool boss allowed me to remove the gearbox given that I was not even an apprentice let alone a qualified mechanic but I think it came down to greed - as I was paid barely enough money to live on.
Anyway there I was pulling out this gearbox from the inside. On this model the doors would shut by themselves because of gravity. There was not a mechanism to hold the door wide open and I needed the door open to do the job.
I solved the problem by being the young loon I was and placing a stubby screwdriver in the door jam between the door and the front mudguard. And it worked well even though it was a dumb arse foolish thing to do. Remember this was a Superleggera body hand crafted out of aluminium - Superleggera being Italian for "super light"
All went well until a 4th year apprentice came by and closed the bloody door leaving both the driver's side front mudguard and door mangled. I remember his swearing !
Later that day I was removing the clutch after first having removed the gearbox and who should come in but the owner!
Upon seeing his brilliant hand built and rare Maserati damaged by my inexperience he exclaimed loudly with considerable anger "Who was the fly brained fu**wit who did that !!!!"
For some sad reason I wanted to start laughing like twit but I steeled myself. It was not until I was travelling home on the train and was across from a very porkable attractive young girl my age or probably younger that I burst out with incontrollable laughter. I remember the young girl started to laugh with me and later I regretted not introducing myself with a view to later having a nefarious get together.
But the really shocking thing is about this horrid story is the fact that the greedy Italian who owned the place denied the damage was done in his garage. I thought later and now think what a mongrel toad he was for not admitting that I had done the evil deed. He should have paid for this chap's Maserati to be repaired but he didn't.
I have never forgiven myself for this caper and remember it intensely.
It's just one of the many reasons I have always done my own repairs and can't trust another person with a spanner near any car of mine.
Post Number: 17
|Posted on Tuesday, 05 June, 2018 - 04:51 pm: |
My interest in cars began in the 60’s of the last Century when my uncle Brian Jennings had a used car yard in the Western Suburbs of Sydney. Now Brian had befriended two Italian immigrant brothers, Frank & Joe Passerotti who had a service station near him in Sydney. This remember, was when there was actual service at a service station including cleaning the windscreen, checking the tyres, engine oil and the like & complete with the repair shop alongside. Needless to say, the Passerotti’s convinced my uncle to import into Australia Italian classics namely Ferrari, Maserati, Lancia and Alfa Romeo and it was a Ferrari 250 GTE 3 Litre 2+2 Coupe that I was a passenger in, one day in 1964 when it almost ‘Failed to Proceed’. It was a Sunday when we drove around to Joe Passerotti’s home, (Then, everybody ceased work on Friday afternoon or perhaps Saturday midday if you were a shop-keeper) to explain that the prancing horse was missing and farting and did he mind looking at it there and then. (After all it was the Sabbath.)
Joe’s immediate answer was; - “Even if you were to come with a Ferrari in the middle of the night - I would fix it.”
So with that, we proclaimed what we thought the cause of the miss-fire was, and interrupting us Joe simply commanded;- “Start-it-up so I can listen!.”
Which we did. It was only running for 30 seconds when Joe said; - “Stop. You must not run a Ferrari like this as it will damage the engine.”
My Uncle Brian & I started to ramble on about perhaps one of the six Weber two-barrel downdraft carburetors was out of adjustment and other similar audacious statements when Joe said;-
“I tell you what. I make a little bet with you. I bet you my HOUSE it is a cracked distributor cap”. (None of this ‘I-bet-you-two-bob’ stuff here!)
So we lifted the bonnet of the Ferrari to find a cracked distributor cap.
(Oh! The PASSION the prancing stallion [Cavallino Rampante] creates. This is somewhat similar to “I’ve always wanted to work on a Roller” once said to me on the Nullabor, when a diode assembly in the alternator of my Shadow broke down. But that is a tale for another day.)
Vladimir Ivanovich Kirillov
Post Number: 926
|Posted on Wednesday, 06 June, 2018 - 08:31 am: |
Harry a price of 5000 oz pounds !! Obviously the advertisement is pre 1966. To put this in perspective I bought a low mileage 1974 HQ Holden panel van, 6cyl three speed manual from a car dealer for $3000 AUD in late 1975 and that was considered expensive.
But look at the prices of Ferraris these days - its totally insane. You really need to be either a very successful businessman or drug dealer to have that kind of coin to throw at a car and then I imagine you would need a pack of bodyguards to watch the car because you would have another pack of thieves right on your tail and ready to pounce at the first opportunity.
Even un rare Testarossas have doubled in price world wide in the last 8 years.
Enzo Ferrari I have read was a total pig of a man, and a real rude pig at that.
I think it has to be a school boy wonderlust thing that sees old Ferraris go for millions of dollars.
The parts if available would be eyewateringly expensive and the mechanics that can fix them would really be wallet rapists in disquise.
Could you just imagine how dangerous it would be to drive a Ferrari in the USA with all the loons, drugs and guns. Might as well go straight to the shooting range with a target painted on your back and let them blast away at you.
Russia would not be much better because I am certain that one of the 2000 mafia families there would be having a polite word with you along the lines of "money now or your hands and feet".
Its bad enough to own a Rolls Royce but a Ferrari well I really think you have to be at least partially suicidal to own and drive one.
Post Number: 18
|Posted on Wednesday, 06 June, 2018 - 03:38 pm: |
Yes Vlad, The date of the advert is 30th July 1966. (I was 20). Then my Uncle had Lancia Aurelia’s, Alfa Romeo 2600, Maserati Sebring and the like. All Grand Touring cars.
He did say to me once about R-R.
“No matter what model or condition a is R-R is, It is always a Rolls-Royce”