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Tipo815 03-29-2014 11:02 PM

Rebirth 05-061
3 Attachment(s)
Arguably one of the most well known S7 TTs and not for something positive (unfortunately). As most S7 enthusiasts are aware this is the infamous “tow truck mishap” car that was repaired, repainted and listed for sale about a year ago. Although it’s been a long road from then to now I’ll try to focus on the highlights.

When I first found 061 she was for sale at Bentley Gold Coast. Despite her storied past I was interested in her for two reasons. I had owned a perfect 900 mile TT a few years back and had regretted letting her go the day she left. So I was intent on replacing her plus 061's past would afford me an interesting opportunity I would not have otherwise had with a "perfect" car. That opportunity was to restore 061 back to her former glory AND in the process paint her the color of my choice. In this case Ferrari Bianco Fuji Pearl White!

The question for me at the time was whether or not she was mechanically sound. For this I turned to the head tech of the S7 production line who I had been introduced to when I owned my previous S7. He agreed to visit 061 for me and inspect her thoroughly. After two visits, a test drive (at speed) and a thorough inspection of the chassis it was determined that 061 was actually in decent mechanical condition. Nothing that couldn't be rectified, replaced or repaired easily.

Then came the inspection of the exterior and subsequent repairs to the body. One word. Horrific! Literally beyond comprehension. He described the body work (and repairs) as having been completed by a butcher in a barn. Drip marks, bondo, dirt in the paint, cracks showing through, missing carbon fiber wheel well covers, etc. Essentially a physical wreck! He said that if anyone had actually been interested in the car and had come to inspect it they would have walked away in 10 seconds. Photos never showed any of these imperfections but he said it literally looked like someone had used a rattle can on the car! Again, I wasn’t too concerned about her physical condition since I was planning to repair and repaint her. So I made my deal with Bentley Gold Coast and 061 became the newest addition to the family!

Fast forward 10 days and 061 finally arrived in Southern California. Nothing could have prepared me for the car that backed out of the trailer that day. Nothing. She wasn’t even a 10 footer. I was standing 20 feet away and I could see the waves and discoloration in the paint from the sidewalk. Physically speaking 061 was a wreck. Bad beyond words. So bad that I couldn’t even drive her. Straight into my warehouse and then straight to my body shop the next day. By the way 061’s interior was actually in remarkably good condition with the exception of the yellow painted panels (which are normally silver and which I reverted back to silver). The leather was actually very clean.

My body shop was equally blown away by what they saw when I dropped her off. They could not believe it. We spent hours discussing the rebuild which would entail stripping the car down to its bare chassis and drivetrain and rebuilding her from there. Every panel would be stripped down to raw carbon, repaired as needed with carbon (versus the bondo that was used) and repainted. Estimated time for completion - about four months and a hefty repair bill! But I knew this going in so I was prepared!

As you’d expect from a project of this scope nothing goes quite as planned. What my body shop discovered quickly was that the S7 had not been built very well originally. Once stripped down it became evident that the carbon panels (having nothing to do with the incident) had very poor tolerances and finish quality. The body shop asked me how much I wanted to repair over and above what was related to the incident. In other words - to correct what Saleen had originally failed to make perfect from the outset. Obviously I had no intention of turning this car into a concours winning car. I simply wanted it to be “nice” and presentable but I also know myself. I couldn’t accept “that’s good enough” if I knew I could make it better!

Almost eight months later 061 finally left the body shop. Literally double the time and double the original repair budget! I will never admit to how much money I spent on 061 as it’s irrelevant to me. I plan to keep her indefinitely. To say that she is perfect is an understatement. I was not happy about what it cost me to make her perfect but when I laid eyes on her that day the expense was worth every penny. Words cannot describe what a S7 TT in pearl white looks like in person. Every part has been repaired to perfection, every seam is in perfect alignment, every panel perfectly painted and the paint looks like glass!

She may have a storied past but that doesn’t matter to me. Had she not had a storied past I would never have repainted her for fear of destroying her value. But her past provided me with this opportunity which I would have otherwise never had. 061 has been reborn and in many ways is better than the day she left the factory!

Dave 03-29-2014 11:56 PM

Car looks great! Thanks for sharing your story and photos.

Saleen only produced one white S7, so your 061 is in rare company.

Dutch-Twister 03-30-2014 04:54 AM

Great looking car.
May cost a small fortune, but the endresult will always give you a smile on your face.

olecoot 03-30-2014 07:49 AM

If this is the S7 that was painted metallic yellow, I had seen it at the Nationals in Conroe, TX last year. It was exactly as you described in the quality of workmanship on the body.

She looks amazing now. Your body shop is to be commended.

Specracer 03-30-2014 08:05 AM

Great work, now you can drive it, and not fear running up miles on it. Enjoy!

Werecow 03-30-2014 12:19 PM

The car is gorgeuos!

Barricade 03-30-2014 02:06 PM

Wanna trade??? Wow...gorgeous!!

I wish I could find one in need of repair.

Barricade 03-30-2014 02:16 PM

Wait....was this the yellow one that was at the Nationals?

Dave 03-30-2014 02:19 PM

I believe a rumor once stated that both the yellow Twin Turbo seen above and the yellow N/A seen at the Saleen Nationals were repaired by the same person.

If true, the yellow N/A S7 probably needs the same amount of repair and is for sale.

The Twin Turbo was Lamborghini Yellow while the N/A is Saleen Speedlab / S7 Yellow.

From rumor, the TT was repaired first and sold.

FR500GT 03-31-2014 01:37 AM

I would love to see this thing in person. Just curious, was your last S7 TT black?

Tipo815 03-31-2014 12:44 PM

Thanks for the compliments. It really did turn out better than I could have ever expected!


Originally Posted by FR500GT (Post 119125)
I would love to see this thing in person. Just curious, was your last S7 TT black?

Yes. :)


Originally Posted by Dave (Post 119104)
I believe a rumor once stated that both the yellow Twin Turbo seen above and the yellow N/A seen at the Saleen Nationals were repaired by the same person. From rumor, the TT was repaired first and sold.

Yes. The TT was repaired and subsequently sold to Bentley Gold Coast and then to me. However, the repairs couldn't even be called repairs. As olecoot mentioned my description of the so-called repairs was dead on. Really a travesty on a car like this.

Werecow 03-31-2014 02:22 PM

Makes you wonder what they are selling the other one for?

Dave 03-31-2014 06:53 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Werecow (Post 119135)
Makes you wonder what they are selling the other one for?

eBay #: 181306852723

Ended: Jan 28, 2014 09:19:53 PST
Winning bid: US $175,000.00

2004 Saleen S7 in Speed lab yellow. This was the Saleen press car. Extremely fast and extraordinarily rare. Only about 20 race cars were built, 20 twin turbo cars, and less than 40 naturally aspirated cars (of which only two were yellow). After that, none were built. This car was signed by Steve Saleen, his wife and his daughter and his designer Phil Frank at the national Saleen competition in Houston this year. It has only 1600 miles since new. This is NOT the yellow car that fell off the back of roll back truck in Dallas and was for sale in Chicago. (that was a twin turbo car) That was number 61, this is number 37. This car had never had so much as a bolt replaced. However, it did a solo spin out in the California desert last year and had to be resprayed. The rockers and bumpers were scratched and cracked, but were easily repaired with original carbon fiber epoxy resin. Not one single thing needed replacing beyond the headlight covers. Trying to find one of these cars to purchase is essentially impossible as they have all been tucked away by wealthy investors. This is one of the last opportunities to own a true American Super Car! Where else are you going to get one? Turn key, ready to go. No trades, cash, gold coin, or bank wire only.

FR500GT 04-01-2014 03:16 AM


Originally Posted by Tipo815 (Post 119134)
Yes. :)

Jeffrey right? I knew that garage looked familiar haha. We have a mutual friend, Charlie, who introduced us a few years back at your warehouse. Glad to see you're back in a Saleen! I'll keep an eye out for your car next time I am able to make it over to cars and coffee.

Tipo815 05-02-2014 12:47 PM

In case anyone is around this upcoming Saturday (05/03) I plan to bring the S7 to Lamborghini of Newport Beach's Cars & Coffee in Costa Mesa.

FR500GT 06-13-2014 01:09 AM


Originally Posted by Tipo815 (Post 120750)
In case anyone is around this upcoming Saturday (05/03) I plan to bring the S7 to Lamborghini of Newport Beach's Cars & Coffee in Costa Mesa.

I was out of town that weekend but I saw the pictures. I just did the HRE open house last weekend and plan on doing Targa Trophy next weekend. You should look into it if you haven't been to one before.

Nth Moto 12-02-2014 10:26 AM

That car is absolutely stunning in Bianco Fuji! Bravo on a job well done to both you and your body shop. It's fantastic to see a car rebirthed into something so beautiful!

Meikol02 12-02-2014 12:02 PM

Gorgeous pretty much says it...

HarriVaherPhoto 04-15-2018 02:51 PM

This car is now in Monaco!

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