330 GT Registry
BY PARKER HALL
Reprinted by permission of author from Cavallino #99
The outside plug 250 series Ferraris were delivered with a simple tool roll intended for minor emergency use and occasional light servicing. The normal “outside plug” 250 tool kit is shown in the photo in the GTE owners manual. The GTE manual was the only one published for the outside plug 250s and is thought to have been issued as original equipment for the whole range of 250s from the introduction of the GTEs with car s/n 2031 through the last Lusso, s/n 5955. Outside plug 250s built prior to the introduction of the GTEs were given the earlier “inside plug” parts book and owners manual. The tool kits would most likely match the engine type, with the GTE tool roll being appropriate for all of the outside plug cars.
The tool bag is typically made of black vinyl with leather straps. The bags for all of the 250s were made of the black pebble grained vinyl, whereas the later cars typically used a smooth textured vinyl in either black or dark brown. The tool rolls were purchased by Ferrari, probably from the lowest bidder or the company offering the most favorable credit terms. They were nothing more than an expensive nuisance.
The tool manufacturers could easily have changed specifications or components during the run of the 2,000 or so cars produced in the 250 outside plug configuration. The intent here is to present what is thought to be correct based on the available information and the experience of the restorers. This is what the concours judges expect to see; however, exceptions are the rule with Ferraris and the judges are always eager to find new bits and pieces. As the tool rolls were often changed from car to car, and various improvements and additions were made by the owners over the last thirty five years, it is critical that exceptions are well documented with original photos, letters, notes, etc.
The GTE manual shows the tool kit on page 88 and lists each piece as follows:
1. The jet key: This is a small tubular wrench with a cross handle used to remove the carburetor plugs to get at the jets.
2. The pliers.
3 & 4. The screwdrivers: Two wooden handled flat bladed screw drivers were included. The exact original pattern is not commercially available today; however, a couple of the serious restorers have made very nice reproductions.
5. The grease gun: The grease gun is the typical small tubular piece with a screw type handle. The one shown in the photo has the cast, flat type handle as opposed to the machined billet type handle used on the earlier cars. Also included were a short length of braided wire covered hose and an adapter to be used in greasing the button type grease fittings.
6. The lead hammer: This piece is incorrectly identified as a copper hammer. Copper hammers were commonly used in English cars of that vintage. I’ve been told that there was an Australian lady working in the parts department and that she may have been the source of this error in translation. The French and Italian versions of the GTE manuals list this piece as a lead hammer, as do the earlier and later English manuals. These hammers were similar to the small ones used in the very early 250s, but have a slightly larger handle diameter and a slightly larger head, again using the circumferential mold parting line. The handles were painted gray, prior to molding on the heads.
7. The steel hammer: These were a 500 gram European machinist’s design with a wooden handle. The steel head was typically painted black, with the “500” gram designation cast into the face opposite the handle. The handles were unfinished wood, probably a type of European beech or hickory. I have seen a handful of original steel hammers lined up on a work bench and there were slight differences in the heads and handles. Perhaps different suppliers had slightly different specifications, or perhaps these were “running improvements” made by the same supplier.
8. The spark plug wrench: The outside plug cars use the plug wrench with the short shaft and the curved handle. These wrenches had a very unusual “U” joint which is not commercially available.
9. The hub puller: This piece is used to remove the brake rotors and is identified as the “Rudge Whitworth” #42 design.
10. The jack: The jack shown in the photo is the “robin’s egg” blue type supplied by “M. Riganti” and has the hexagonal head with a red/silver foil sticker.
11. The oil filter wrench.
12. The fan belt: The fan belts were supplied by Pirelli and came in a cardboard box type sleeve.
13. The 250's used "Beta Auto 55" wrenches. I think these were correct through the 250's. The later cars used "Beta 55's". Beta 55's are still available in Italy, however they are a slightly different pattern. (Ed. Added by author after original publication)
The error in identifying the lead hammers points out that even the official Factory literature is occasion ally incorrect or misleading. The 330 tool bag drawing graphically demonstrates these inaccuracies. The drawing appears to be simply a copy of the older “inside plug” 250 tool roll drawing recycled for the 330 manual. It shows the older type lead hammer, the old type grease gun with the machined handle, and the mid 1950s type “clam shell” jack. All of these items are correct for the mid 1950s, but are not appropriate for the 330 series cars. No doubt, to the artist, a lead hammer, grease gun or jack are just common pieces and no attempt was made to identify a particular design or manufacturer.
The 330 manual does show another piece which I think is appropriate for the outside plug 250s, the adapter for greasing the drive shaft “U” joint, the “Colonnetta per ingrassaggio centragglo sterico.” The GTE manual discusses using this piece while greasing the “U” joint but it is not shown in the photograph.
One last piece probably should be included in some of the tool bags, and is even more difficult to document. The accompanying photograph shows the small oil bottle and card board box supplied by Fiamm with the “Road Master” horns. Several of these bottles have shown up in the old tool kits, this one from an original 275. Sometime during the run of the outside plug 250s Ferrari switched from the French Marchal “Stridor” horns to the Italian Fiamm “Road Masters”. Logic would say that the cars with the Fiamm horns would have the oil bottles in the tool kits. However, the inclusion of the oil bottles could have just as easily been a mid production “improvement” by Fiamm. I wish I knew the answer to this one; perhaps someone out there does.
Very little of this work is original to me but is the synthesis of information from a lot of true enthusiasts to whom I owe a great deal: thanks Sue, Dyke, Hill, Jim, Chris, George, Wayne, David, David, Bobby, Lance, Doug, Ed and Eleanor. Please send any comments, ideas, facts, fictions, or theories to me care of Cavallino.