Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sport & Specialty

(Left to right:) Hotshoe, Steve, and John talk restoration in front of the paint booth where Steve works his magic.

In October I raved about an Aston Martin DB2/4 restored by Sport & Specialty.  The firm was owned and operated by a friend of John Saccameno's who moved it to a farm in Durand, IL, 20 years ago. Steve Messer joined him 11 years ago.  Steve had previously operated his own shop specializing in Corvettes.  He's Sport & Specialty's Foreman, and is personally responsible for the outstanding paint on the Aston.

John Saccameno is well-known to Hotshoe and me as a wheel-horse of our sports car club.  He races a vintage Alfa Romeo GTV that's a special favorite of mine.  He often helped out at S & S and used the shop for his own cars.  Two years ago, the owner died suddenly and unexpectedly.  John continued to help to keep the enterprise going.  A year ago, he took the plunge and bought it.

Sport & Specialty was known for its restorations of British cars, including Jaguars and especially Austin Healeys.  But John and Steve are using their knowledge of Alfas and Corvettes to widen that range. They can work on anything, and have.  In addition to full restorations and freshenings, they do maintenance.  Here's a visual tour of Sport & Specialty, snapped on a recent visit.  For me, it was a "kid in the candy store" day.  And here's a link to the S & S website:

Above and below: I thought I knew Alfas fairly well, but this one was news to me.  It's a special body by Ghia on a
1900 C Super Sport chassis.  Less than 10 were built.  This one was a Turin Show car in the mid 1950's.

Another First (for Pilote): this Alfa has "five on the tree," plus reverse of course.  Steve rebuilt the shift linkage,
which wasn't easy.  Restoring Giuliettas and Giulias is Old News to Sport & Specialty.  There was a Giulietta
Spider in the shop when we visited.

Above and below: this Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 is a major project, currently awaiting the interior from the upholstery shop.
The original body was rear-ended and had its left-front wiped out in the same collision.  The donor body was right-
hand drive.  Sport & Specialty is converting the "new" car to left-hand drive.

Engine in the 330.  Is there a prettier engine than the Columbo/Lampredi Ferrari V-12's?

Sport & Specialty's previous (and continuing) bread-and-butter: a "ground-up" XK-E.

This is a rare car: one of 640 factory-prepared Austin Healey 100 M's.  (Most were dealer-installed upgrades).  The
previous shop used Bondo in the footwells and failed to remove all dents and rust from the frame.  Sport & Specialty
is taking it down to bare metal for repair before repainting the frame (and entire car).  S & S is also rebuilding the
power train.  Healey restoration requires care because the factory combined steel and aluminum panels, which
must be separated to forestall electrolytic corrosion.

 Above and below: John's corner of the shop: the engine disassembly/reassembly bench.  Steve rebuilds engines too.
John had disassembled a Healey 100-6 engine just before we visited.


Wannabe Hotshoe said...

To say the least, I was impressed....with the guys, with the shop, with the expertise, with the depth of spare parts.....beautiful paint and strategies to support originality.....Way Cool. They don't do short cuts. When it's done, it's right. I got this weird feeling that the cars were alive, and smiling. They knew they were in good hands. It was a fun field trip for me and Pilote........

Watchtower said...

In the sixth picture from the top, while looking thru the Ferrari's windshield there is a red convertible in the background, any idea what that was?

Pilote Ancien said...

It's the Alfa Giulietta Spider mentioned in the text.

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