Reflections on the Restoration
0300 has had quite a life! “A distinguished existence” hardly covers it. The saga of an exceptional vehicle in active use, finding considerable competition success coupled with truly exceptional survivorship is more to the point.
Understanding this history and assuming that this car was to have all ravages of time erased; at just what point in history should a sensitive restoration of Ferrari #0300 M embody? Clearly 0300’s highpoint for it’s original owner, the enthusiast for whom it was built, Jacques Herzet, occurred in April of 1955. His appreciation is reflected in the unprecedented exhibit of a fully functional and active (may we mention once again), winning competition car at the Brussels motor show in 1955. This is a clear reflection of both the designer, Martial Oblin and Messer Herzet’s appreciation of 0300. It is also a reflection of the respect exceptional cars of the era commanded for their owners.
Is there anything unusual about this Ferrari on a coach-builders stand at a motor show? Yes, in this case a great deal. This was an active race car. The very same vehicle that had completed and WON ITS CLASS at the SAR cup race the day before! Imagine the speed of the trucker getting it back to Brussels after it’s win so quickly. Once back in Brussels, the cleanup and preparation must have been a passion fueled undertaking.
Restoration of this vehicle demanded respect for these “flavors”. Years had passed but a great deal of the original car was still there. The mandate: save what existed, convert the ravages of time to the original form. Resurrect the Ferrari 166MM Brussels show car as of April 4, 1955. We are confident that we have achieved exactly that.
All of us involved in the restoration of this car share a similar respect for this machine. We have taken great pains to disassemble. Carefully keeping an eye out for all those telltale details that relate to 0300’s history. We were delighted to find these in abundance. Perhaps the most significant of which was the old brown cardboard box that came in the cockpit with the original headrest and all those hand built original body fasteners (preserved by some caring custodian many decades ago). The list goes on, suffice it to say that a great deal of the car you see illustrated herein is original .
Wherever time and wear mandated restoration, it has been carefully orchestrated to be as original. Correct, never overly detailed as this is a race car. Always true to original design, concept and technique. The photos tell the tale. We at Automotive Restorations Inc. are pleased to have been a key part of this historically driven restoration.
If we could only go back to the developmental era for the sports car. We hope this car and all it represents takes each of you back for just the brief moment in time. It was indeed a special era...It provides a window into another time and the club like “joi’d’vive” the early post war era of sports car racing exemplified.