Yikes! A Leaky Ferrari? No Way!

Today we at Ricambi America received one of the very last Ferrari 328 GTS targa roof gaskets available.  In fact, this might be the last “new” one on earth — we’ve been looking for these things for a long time.   There are some Ferrari parts which, as simple as they appear, have gone literally extinct.   When these kinds of things  wear out, Ferrari owners are faced with some unpleasant alternatives, such as finding a used/salvage item, making their own version, or just running their car in a “less than original” state (yikes!).

In the case of this rubber gasket, it is a critical seal that forms an air and water seal at the front of the windscreen where the removable targa roof is fitted.  (It is shown as Ferrari part #24 in this diagram) As the gasket wears out over time, water can leak into the cockpit.  Of course nobody really plans to drive their Ferrari in the rain, but it does happen.  Getting wet in the process is pretty miserable.   More common however, is that washing the car becomes a big hassle, because with a failed gasket, a reasonable amount of water suddenly finds itself on the leather seats, carpets, etc.

OK, so now that I’m holding the last brand new rubber gasket on earth, should I sell it for a nice price?  Nope.   I’m busily contacting custom rubber manufacturers to investigate re-manufacturing.   Initially, I thought “oh this should be simple stuff” — it doesn’t need to be disclosed as a rare Ferrari part (thus avoiding the “Ferrari tax”) we often to suppliers who think we just rolling in money.

Sixteen telephone calls later (yes, sixteen), I have finally reached a supplier who can likely handle this job.  Why so complex?  It looks simple right?   Well, the original, Genuine Ferrari part is a rubber extrusion with odd foam molded end caps.   The combination of rubber and soft foam is simply not a ‘common’ occurrence in the custom weatherstripping world, and it took several different avenues to find a capable manufacturer.

When will this be complete?  There is absolutely no ETA…   maybe 90 days, maybe 120 days…. or maybe never if the costs of re-manufacture come back to us too high.  We’re aiming for the sub $500 retail price point, but simply have no idea what the manufacturer will quote back.
More goodies and great Ferrari parts to come!

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