Springer describes his job as taking off parts until there’s no more damage, then putting on new and/or good parts until the car’s fixed. But repairing the F355 required more than just bolting things in place. The Ferrari had crumpled under the impacts, as designed, in order to protect the passenger compartment. While that was good news for the passengers, it meant the damage was wider spread than it first appeared.
“Because of the transference of the impact to the cross members, everything was damaged,” explains Springer. “The closest one to the impact was damaged a lot, then further away it goes bang, bang, bang down the line. Once it does that, it pulls the other rails closer together, so, for example, we had problems with the door gaps at the front and the rear of the door and on the A-pillar, so that took more work.”
Springer worked on the F355 on and off from November 2013 until the following October. Once he was satisfied the body was back in shape, he sent the Ferrari back to Heim for the mechanicals to be reinstalled.
CHRIS GOT THE BODY STRAIGHT and primed most of it,” says Heim. “At that point, I pulled the subframe back out, put everything back on it, and put it back in the car—after replacing crazy things I’d never replaced before. Things like the motor-mount pedestals just don’t get replaced because they don’t get damaged…or, if they do, no one in their right mind is going to fix them. Fortunately, I had a lot of time to put in it, which I needed.”
While the car was in Springer’s care, Heim had serviced the engine and worked on the transmission. “I replaced the bell housing because it was broken,” he says, “and I took the transmission over to Norman Racing to have a crack in the case welded. Also, the clutch shaft tube was slightly out of round, so we replaced that along with the clutch and the bearing-support flange and the seals in the release bearing.”
Replacing the flange revealed a surprise; although Enderby bought the Ferrari new, the gearbox in the car as of 2014 likely wasn’t the original one. “The number on the gearbox belongs to a ’99 car, and I don’t believe Ferrari would have built that transmission in ’97, or late ’96, when the car was built,” says Heim, who suspects the gearbox was replaced by a dealer during some kind of recall or warranty work. “It’s a better transmission. The issue is the late six-speed transmission has its own flange, and they don’t exist. So we had to buy the older style, then take it and the broken one that was in the car to Norman Racing. They measured what we needed, took the new flange, and milled a piece to fit the smaller seal for the later ’box. Little things like that came up, and I had no idea. You never know until you’re waist deep in it.”