MMR Blog

Upgrading a 1978 Ferrari 308 GTS: Muffler Systems

Posted on March 7, 2013 Comments (0)

In 1995 I bought a 1978 308 GTS Euro spec Ferrari with a rebuilt engine and 13K miles on the long non-functioning odometer. It had had a serious accident on the right front corner. This is the fourth in a series of short articles about how we repaired and updated it.

Do you hear what I hear?!

Whether it is the first notes of a Beethoven symphony or the blipping of the throttle on a V-12 Ferrari engine, sound moves us all.

The exhaust sound is arguably the most frequently personalized aspect of performance car ownership.

Aftermarket tuner systems generally differentiate themselves from original equipment by offering improved materials, finishes and designs that are “tuned? to be less restrictive, more powerful and noticeably louder.

Late model automobiles are equipped with stainless steel exhaust systems. They have replaced the steel versions which were given to rusting. However, the two metals respond differently to sound. While stainless is unquestionable longer lasting, it does so at the expense of the more mellifluous tones produced by the softer mild steel which played such a huge role in creating the Ferrari V12 mystique. In today’s high revving and high performance V8s, stainless OE and most aftermarket systems produce a hollow, raspy sound, which has become the hallmark of high performance motors.

While working on my 308 throughout the winter I noticed that the paint was flaking off the main body of its Ansa Sport muffler, pronounced Awnsa, and I wondered what the next step might be. The thought of buying a new muffler simply because the existing one, though structurally fine, was unsightly, seemed wrong.

WASRED muffler

By chance, I was recently digging into the Bobileff Motorcar Company’s site to add them to the MMR Goods & Services Directory as a restorer. That’s when I noticed that they also offer other services and one of them is the ability to rebuild Ansa Exhaust systems. I called and spoke with Gary Bobileff. He is owner of the company and a concours judge, a vehicle appraiser, and a person who is respected in the sport. I posed my problem to him.

Gary informed me that his company refurbishes the steel Ansa units which were built to fit V12 Ferraris of an earlier period. (There is a slide show on the site showing how they repair a Daytona muffler.) I asked him why? “The reason that people have the older Ansa systems rebuilt to exacting original specs is the sound. When installing a stainless system on a Ferrari 275, or Daytona, the sound nearly disappears. By staying with mild steel, the sound resonates not only from the tail pipes, but the entire system. This creates that beautiful melody throughout the rev ranges. This music can only be truly appreciated with an original mild steel system!”

But what about mine? He explained that my muffler, like all Ansas for V8 Ferraris, is stainless steel and that his company doesn’t have the capacity to work on these units. Gary suggested that a local metal refinisher would probably be able to refresh its appearance with the application of a good high heat coating. That would solve my problem reasonably and inexpensively.

The MMR Goods and Services Directory, with the Specialty Services – Metal Coating and Refinishing filter checked, will lead you to a number of good people who can recoat your older Ansa Unit.

But if you need to have your older Ansa system replaced, consider having it refurbished with Bobileff Motorcars in San Diego. Good people doing good things.


Sandy on Assignment:
Cavallino Classic Concorso d’Eleganza
A Gem in the World of Concours

Posted on March 7, 2013 Comments (1)

By Sandy Cotterman, Motorsports Enthusiast

Remember the MMR article, last summer, in search of No. 3 in the world of Concours? I had my own thoughts at the time, and after being immersed in elegance and the spectacular, I hope every Concours devotee will treat themselves to the Cavallino Classic at least once in their lifetime! This four-day weekend held mid-January, in Palm Beach, is a gem in the world of Concours events, with something for every motorsports enthusiast, including and beyond the prancing Cavallino marque.

A Ferrari red sunrise at The Breakers for Concours check-in

A Ferrari red sunrise at The Breakers for Concours check-in.

Why a gem? The breadth and rarity of cars, both on display and in motion, plus the credentials of judges, speak to the respect 22 years of Cavallino holds in the motorsports world. Every event is meticulously planned and orchestrated. Even as an attendee, you feel a sense of genuine camaraderie. By Day 4, when most other multi-day events are winding down, Classic Sports Car Sunday on the lush grounds of Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Club is high energy among the guests and entrants.

Behind The Donald is the favorite GT car, a 1954 Maserati A6G Zagato Coupe

Behind The Donald is the favorite GT car, a 1954 Maserati A6G Zagato Coupe.

To give you a lay of the land, the weekend basically kicks off on Thursday, Day 1, at The Breakers Hotel, so if you aren’t the car nut in the family, there is still more than enough to hold your attention and make you ooh and awe. For registrants, morning “classic lectures”, tech type and historical sessions with the realclassic cars on hand, start the day. Classic competitors are already at the Palm Beach International Raceway for car inspections and practice. After lunch, the magic unfolds as the Ferraris line up and down the imposing entrance to The Breakers, poised for a tour of Palm Beach with their final destination, the Jet Reception… one huge hanger party with Ferraris on the tarmac and private jets to tour at Palm Beach International Airport.

Top pick at the Jet Reception, a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder

Top pick at the Jet Reception, a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder.

A photo finish for Jim Fuchs in his Ferrari 512 BBLM No.447 in the 1961-1980 Disc Brakes category

A photo finish for Jim Fuchs in his Ferrari 512 BBLM No.447 in the 1961-1980 Disc Brakes category.

Friday at the track becomes my all day itinerary. It was a little light this year, with the added Ferrari Challenge Series at the Daytona 24, but a plus for me to get close to the track and drivers. Only in its second year, this annual classic competition for the vintage and classic racing Ferraris and Maseratis added a new event for 2013—a Pre-War race for Alfa Romeos and Bugattis. Close your eyes and picture a hand full of Bugattis and a couple of Alfas positioned for the start. I was transported into another time and place!

An impressive line-up for the 1947-1960 Drum Brake group

An impressive line-up for the 1947-1960 Drum Brake group.

First in line gets a push!

First in line gets a push!

A treat to see so many Alpha’s up close, this year

A treat to see so many Alpha’s up close this year.

Ever stylish, the Bugatti T35’s came in blue and silver, my track favorites

Ever stylish, the Bugatti T35’s came in blue and silver, my track favorites.

It was all about the Alpha’s when it came to pre-war podium finishes

It was all about the Alpha’s when it came to pre-war podium finishes.

After a day at the track, the Palm Harbor Marina is the place to be for the traditional Yacht Hop. The night before, I learned the price tag to order a private jet. In comparison, a yacht is a bargain! So what’s a yacht hop? Exactly that! Shoes off, as you hop on deck to get a tour of these sailing beauties while sipping champagne at sunset.

At the Yacht Hop, everyone picks a favorite

At the Yacht Hop, everyone picks a favorite.

Saturday is the day… Concorso d’Eleganza, sprawled out over the croquet lawn and adjacent golf fairway of The Breakers with little treasures even in the parking lot! A dawn patrol of its own, you can watch the 100 or so Ferraris systematically line up for check-in and judging placement before the actual event begins. I’ve become fascinated by the Italian body builders… opps, coachbuilders. This year’s event paid tribute to the Pinin Farina designed Ferraris.

This 1957 red and white Ferrari 500 TRC was definitely a winner

This 1957 red and white Ferrari 500 TRC was definitely a winner.

My choice as an elegant favorite was the 1951 Ferrari 212 Inter Vignale Coupe

My choice as an elegant favorite was the 1951 Ferrari 212 Inter Vignale Coupe.

Owner Andreas Mohringer and his No.9 Ferrari 375 MM Spyder are familiar favorites among the Concours and vintage racing circuits

Owner Andreas Mohringer and his No.9 Ferrari 375 MM Spyder are familiar favorites among the Concours and vintage racing circuits.

The finale to the weekend is worth the splurge, Classic Sports Sunday at Mar-A-Lago and yes, The Donald was there! This beauty contest of multi-marque cars brought out the spectacular! Marque awards are chosen by a Committee of honored judges but the real pleasers for the day are all people’s choice awards. I definitely had my favorites. Agreeing with the Ladies Choice award, I was taken with the 1958 HRG Twin Cam Spider, a British car I had never seen before. America’s pride was strong as the 1929 DuPont LeMans Speedster walked away with the American Best in Class as well as the people’s choice overall favorite, “If I could Take One Home”. The stunning 1946 Talbot-Lago T26 Cabriolet took my breath away along with this year’s Best of Show and Best in Class.

The 1954 XK120 OTS Jaguar enjoys the calm before Classic Sports Sunday begins

The 1954 XK120 OTS Jaguar enjoys the calm before Classic Sports Sunday begins.

Ladies Choice and British Excellence in Class winner, the 1958 HRG

Ladies Choice and British Excellence in Class winner, the 1958 HRG.

If I Could Take One Home, the people’s favorite award, the 1929 DuPont LeMans Speedster

“If I Could Take One Home”, the people’s favorite award, the 1929 DuPont LeMans Speedster.

Best in Show and Best in Class, the 1947 Talbot-Lago Cabriolet

Best in Show and Best in Class, the 1947 Talbot-Lago Cabriolet.

The people I meet make my motorsports adventures. Among Sunday’s featured marque, winning both Pre-War Excellence and Open Excellence in Class was the stunning 1929 Rolls Royce Phantom I Springfield and its owners, Robert and Agata Matteucci. Seeing the Matteuccis and the car that took me on a dream come true at Pebble Beach made my Cavallino Classic weekend sparkle!

The Pebble Beach Rolls Royce back in Florida

The Pebble Beach Rolls Royce back in Florida.