Tuesday, 30 May 2017

IHWC 2017 Roadtrip review part I

I'm back, so watch it ;-)  I had a great roadtrip last week and the 400 behaved very well. Although I bumped into an issue - pun intended. Nah, quite frankly I'm pissed off by it. We stayed over a few days in Turin and when leaving the city in the morning we obviously had to cruise through the heavy traffic. I was standing still in front of the red traffic light and all of the sudden someone hit me in the back. It was an eldery man who clearly wasn't paying attention. Luckily he spoke English quite well. He pointed out the damage wasn't significant and wanted to continue his journey. Luckily my co-pilot was next to me and calmed the situation and arranged/agreed all the paperwork. Apart from the small damage it's also all the hassle I have to go through to get this all fixed again. Plus I don't expect they can't fix the bumper dents so likely it needs a new immitation - which I consider a shame as I prefer to keep the car as Original as possible. Of course I know there is Always a risk when making such roadtrip but I refuse to stay at home and lock this beauty away. What's the point if you can't experience this great GT. Rant over.

On my way to pick up the co-pilot in France the airco/air blower was functioning great. Untill my co-pilot decided to turn it off. When turning on again it no longer worked. So the whole week we were without cold air. I have to admit it was a little flaky prior to this as it was working intermittently. So I suspect the relais is now 100% dead.

And last but not least the front right suspension developed a nasty squeeky noise. The Italian roads are not the finest (especially compared with the Dutch road infrastructure) so this became a little annoying as well (when driving slowly). I suspect the shock absorber needs a little WD40 or such, at least I don't think it's a big issue.

Other then the above it was an excellent drive and I'm again impressed by the handling and build quality of the 400. The automatic gearbox is incredible smooth. Shifting manually in the mountain climbs was easy. I'm still of the opinion the auto gearbox is the best match for this type of car. Also high speeding on the Autostrada was a true pleasure. Éffortless driving is the best way to desribe it. It's very addictive. Not to mention the countless tunnel runs. The thing I'm even more surprised about is the oil usage or should I say not using any drop of oil. Trust me, I have been using the car in all conditions intense, hot and cold weather, mountain driving, city driving, autostrada driving (2+) and I checked the oil every day but it was a useless exercise. In total I have been driving 3500 km for this trip. Prior to the trip the only thing I had done was checking the oil and tyre pressure. That's all.

Now I have done in total 10k since the last maintenance. So yes, once the bumper is fixed I will get another large maintenance job done; refreshing all fluids and filters, adjusting valves, check the distribution chain, brake pads and whatever else might be necessary.

As for the trip we had a great time and visited neat places, ie Nardi and Villa d'Este to name a few. Expect a nice video compilation later this year. One of the guys had brought a professional drone so I'm very curious to see that footage. For now you have to suffice with a few pictures I made.

Start of the trip with 109.912 KM on the meter:

Filling up:

Almost empty - filled up with Shell V-Power


All participants lined up at Autobau CH

On the top of the San Bernardino pass

Varenna Lake Como - ferry crossing

And the the other site in Menaggio

Some Shell gifts, I guess one for every 50 liter, so we got 2 in one tank stop:

And back home with the Nardi steering wheel cover in the garage. the 400 does have a Momo steering wheel though, but the 400i does have a Nardi (so if you are a 400i owner this might be a nice gift).

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Roadtrip : Italy here we com 2017 - IHWC

Yes, coming week I will be driving along with the 400 and the guys to Italy for another fantastic road trip. You can follow us on the following links.



The vignet for Swiss is on:

For those who need a refresher, here a nice Dutch article about IHWC:


Carello Fog Lights Part III

Yes, another outstanding item that is now finally fixed. One of the very first items I bought for my 400. When checking my blog I see I had them already in 2013 !

See blog:


Not that long ago I discovered these historical photo's about my car which showed they were originally fitted. See blog:


But somewhere they have been dismantled. So I also asked the garage who were doing the front window replacement to get these installed and working again.

So this was finally also taken care off as well:

The car is now really getting in good shape and I only have a very few items on my wish list to complete. Watch this pace

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Ferrari 400 Front window screen replacement - delamination - milky window - windshield - PART II

So yesterday I picked up the car as it was finally ready. I'm really pleased with the end result. And I'm also glad this nasty milky spot is gone and the rust tackled. The company owner told me there was only one true specialist in the Netherlands who can do this job and apparenty that person is located in Zeeland. I think that's slightly exaggerated but I do agree it's a specialist job and a time consuming task. He also noticed there was a bit of oil  leakage. This was apparently caused by the oil filters being slightly loose. So this got fixed as well and another 2 liter oil was added. I guess on my previous road trips I used the car appropiately, still slightly worried the oil filters does go loose. Glad they spotted this. Another good reason to take your car to a classic restorer like this company.

As you have seen on the previous blog they did do a thorough job with welding and repainting the window surroundings. The window is fitted perfectly and all the surroundings are very clean. See the supporting pictures below. The first picture is one taken 2 years ago at the car valuation, look at that large white spot:


To my surprise I noticed the windscreen is produced by Pilkington!

So I guess these so called classic car window companies are simply resellers. Originally the front and rear windows for the Ferrari 400 are produced by Sigla (West Germany)

While the side windows are produced by Saint Gobain. Not sure why they choose two different brands? Anyone?

And for the finishing touch I of course had to place the Original Michelin Tyre decal

This is an item I already bought some while ago, a very nice repro.

(see blog http://erwin400.blogspot.nl/2014/11/michelin-tyre-information-sticker-front.html)

And now on the window:

Well, what more I can say. Job done!

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Ferrari 400 Front window screen replacement - delamination - milky window - windshield - PART I

This was an item which was on my target list for a longer time. The milky spot is very large and clearly an ugly sight. When I purchased the car I noticed it had this delamination issue but at that time it was completely transparant thus not visually hindering. When I went to the first 400 club meeting in Brussel in 2013 it was heavily raining and this is when the milky spot manifested since. I was hoping it would fade away afterwards. It did slightly though but only minimal, meaning a large milky spot remained. Perhaps I should have acted upon it earlier as by now I have a lot of photo's whereby it's visual, which is a bit of a shame (understatement). As said, I was hoping with more time it would fade away. Which we know by now it didn't - in fact it even grew larger but that faded away a little:

In any case this gave me plenty of time to look for a proper new windscreen. At first I wanted to buy a good used one. But these appearred to be almost equally expensive as a new one. Then the thought occurred to me that I might end up again with another delamination issue on a used one, so maybe better buy a new one. Why is it this problem is frequently occurring on Ferrari's ? One friendly French owner shared with me the invoice for a used one at Eurospares which costed 1.314 GBP (including shipping and VAT). The next dilemma for me was the colorband. I figured it would be nice to have a time period correct green shade band. Then another owner showed me a picture of his with a blue shade band which I liked as well. In the end my car had no shade band and since I like to keep it as close as possible to the Original state I decided to keep it like that - I was also a little worried the colorband would not match well with the color of the car. Another thought I had was to give the car a total respray and with the front window removed that would be a nice trigger. Especially if it appeared the windows sponings are underneath rusty or such (although there is no clear sign of it). Then again, a full respray is maybe a little too much at this stage. So I continued my search to find companies who could deliver a new windscreen for an acceptable price. Especially since I'm paying this out of my own pocket and not make falsely Insurance claims. I truly hope never to make any Insurance claims to start with as that will mean it will have gotten a (severe) damage somehow - but if so I expect a hassle free payment - but let's no go there. I have gathered the following company addresses:

The first 2 companies are based in Germany and not far away from the border, so these will be easy to collect against minimal transport costs or shipping costs:


(Price € 999,50 + € 83,61 shipping - Incl VAT.)


(Price 937,- Euro)


(Price 895,- GBP + 200,- GBP shipping)


(Price 791,- GBP + 195 GBP Shipping)

By now I also got ahold of this Swiss company (Troeschautolgas):


(Although not listed on their website I know from my source the price is 970 ChF - Swiss Francs).

For the folks interested in a rear window:

At Eurospares a rear window is listed, but it's non-heated:

Ferrari Part #257-40-504-10

 Fits: Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2 Coachwork, 400i (1983 Coachwork), 412 (Coachwork)

#257-40-504-10: Rear window  (not heated)

On FChat I found an interesting topic which reveals the following:

Good news;
We finally have another small batch of the original-style heated rear-glasses for 365/400 GT/4 2+2 coming out of the ovens in late January 2009!!

If you have interest, please send me private mail, and I'll keep you posted!

your 'resident windshield producer' from Finland,
Antti Wihanto
www.sicurvetro.com+358-40-551 9841 (+7 hrs to EST, +10 to PST; OK to call days or eves my time

The first company listed was the cheapest one - and as you will see on their website they can deliver even different color glass and also different color shade bands. Upon writing this blog I can see the prices even have increased a little. So I'm glad I had made my order last year. However at the time I also noticed a huge price difference between the 365GT4 2+2 and the 400/412 window. I got an offer for € 779,- Incl shipping and VAT for the 365GT4 2+2, so that's about € 300,- cheaper than a 400/412 window. And as far as I'm aware the windows are identical for the entire series. Meanwhile I also got in contact with another Dutch owner with a 365GT4 2+2 who was in need for a front window. So, if somehow it would not fit my 400 he was interested to buy it from me. Always nice to have a back up. So the order was placed and it would take up to 3 months before it could be delivered.

The next step was to find someone who could perform this job. I didn't want to pick the usual companies like Carglass since it's not a regular car, although I'm pretty sure they are capable. The most important reason is that I'm unsure if there was any rust on the pillars / window surrounding that would require treatment. If so then I wanted someone who was capable to have that fixed as well. I asked my nephew who I consider a real pro on this matter (he's a car restorer but mostly new/young damaged cars). To my surprise one of his contacts appeared to be a car glass window expert who assisted brands like Koenigsegg. How is that possible!? Then again I sensed my nephew was not keen on taking this task onboard just in case things didn't work out. Besides they are very busy with running their own business.

Then just about a week later or so I did visit the following company: http://classicsportscarsholland.com/workshop/ It did happen to be located nearby where I live (10 min drive). I was more or less stunned to say the least. The owner appeared to be a relatively young person but very knowledgeable. I got to hear his background and shown around the entire place which I found highly impressive to say the least. It was packed with vintage Maserati restoration projects and such. Clearly this was the right place to get the front window to be replaced, so this was quick and easily agreed. It also meant I could have the window shipped straight to this place. All sorted.

The window was finally ready by early December. The Dutch tax ruling for my car unfortunately meant I can not use it on the road in December, January and February. As a solution he offered to use his company plates to allow to drive it on the road. His workshop was closed the last 2 weeks of the year. So we agreed to do it early January. Although the winter was very mild it just did happen we had the occassionly ice and snow in January which resulted in salt protection on the roads. By now it's definately gone so the car was delivered last weekend (early March)

Unfortunately things got slightly delayed so we are now another month ahead (April). I was called by the company and they did involve a specialist to cut the window out (and leaving the upper dashboard in place). And worse, there was rust on the pillars/sponings. So welding and painting was required, making the exercise more expensive. See supporting pictures:

I was glad I made the right choice to pick this company as they could now treat it well since it was necessary. I wonder if these rust spots/holes are the cause for the delamination issue?

And today I received the additional pictures about cleaning and welding the sponings

We are now another month further (May 9th) and still the work didn't progress. I was promised the car would be ready by the 8th. I was never in a hurry but this was going to take to long. Especially as I'm going to take the car for a roadtrip to Italy by the 21st of May. So I phoned the company and I was informed there was a problem with the paint color they ordered. Since the car had been sprayed before there was a small mismatch and they wanted to get it as close as possible so it would be hardly noticeable. For this they took a sample from the boot. So if all goes fine it should be ready by the end of this week.

And today I got the pictures send of the spraying completed. So hopefully by this weekend I can pick up the car:

Unfortunately it's still not ready as they are pending on another company who will place the new window. The same company who cut it out. So by tomorrow 17th of May it should be ready. Fingers crossed.

Today I have been in contact with the company owner and I was told it was ready but it needs another day for the glue to harden. As such I will wait a little more and I'm going to pick up the car on Friday evening. At least we now can also conclude the 365GT4 2+2 front window fits the 400 as expected.

I have been in touch with another owner who also had his front window replaced and it's almost the same story, no rust indication whatsoever but once the window was out there was rust underneath, so you have been hereby warned (this car happens to be in the same color as mine):