My Car Quest

May 16, 2022

Personalities: Gary Bobileff of Bobileff Motorcar Company

by Wallace Wyss –

When I first met Gary Bobileff back in his bearded youth, he was trying to sell me a sports car. I think it was a Ferrari 500SF or some such, with special custom bodywork but he admitted it drove like “an old truck.” This was before coachbuilt Ferraris were worth millions. I walked away and thought I was smart by buying a new 308GTS.

Gary Bobileff of Bobileff Motorcar Company

Now flash forward 40 years or so, and, after seeing him as a judge at many concours, I ran across him recently and he invited me to his new shop (Bobileff Motorcar Company) in the San Diego Miramar area.

It was a rainy day when I arrived and his planned Cars & Coffee was rained out but I got more chance to see what he was restoring. He started out by giving me chapter and verse on the Lamborghini Miura He is, to put it mildly the No. 1 champion of the Miura.

Gary Bobileff of Bobileff Motorcar Company

Of the 754 built, he reckons he has worked on or restored one-fourth of them–doing everything from repairing wrecks to building Pebble-eligible show cars.

He took me through what made it such an extraordinary car for its time. I was impressed that one shop could do a mechanical rebuild, frame repair, an engine rebuild, transmission rebuild and a blue paint job that is to die for. Gary is also the only American recognized by the Lamborghini Factory as being a Lamborghini expert, and the only American to be an official Lamborghini Factory Judge at Concours globally. Gary is also one of several Americans that certify classic Lamborghini’s for the Factory in Italy. (By the way I tried to ask him about the Detroit engineer who put a Chevy in one but Gary’s a purist, and didn’t like that idea at all).

He also has love for the early front engined GTV, 350 and 400 Lamborghinis. With his British metalmen/fabricators, a fellow who can live up to his nationality by forming metal on an English wheel, he is doing almost complete rebodies of cars that were rusted, hit or rode hard and put away wet 50 years ago.

Bobileff works on vintage and right up to modern Ferraris, but I would say his expertise is in carburetored V12s.

Gary Bobileff of Bobileff Motorcar Company

Only occasionally does he veer from working on the Holy Trinity–Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati. I asked him why he did such a complete ground up restoration on an Intermeccanica Italia when their value is not firmly established and he said it was for a customer and the car had been in the family 40 years and wanted it done right.

His shop goes back to 1979 and has moved three times, this last time into a custom built facility that includes a paint booth, a body shop, an engine building room and a mechanical dis-assembly area.

I was quite impressed with his new shop–especially by the office which has a desk that should be in a concours itself. The final touch it needed was an oil painting by yours truly, so I left one…)

I noticed his library is one of the most complete I’ve seen on Ferrari and Lamborghini. (I forgot to look if any of my books are represented…) He also has the latest magazines like one called Magneto which is a few levels above OCTANE in quality.

Maybe I’ll see him at the La Jolla concours, where his expertise in all three brands will no doubt be on call…Lamborghini is lucky to have him as their biggest fan in the United States.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is a fine artist, depicting Lamborghinis in oil on canvas on commission. For a preview of prints write malibucarart@gmail.com

 
 

Gary Bobileff of Bobileff Motorcar Company

Gary Bobileff of Bobileff Motorcar Company

Photos by Wallace Wyss.
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Personalities: Gary Bobileff of Bobileff Motorcar Company
Article Name
Personalities: Gary Bobileff of Bobileff Motorcar Company
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I am impressed that Bobileff Motorcar Company can do a mechanical rebuild, frame repair, an engine rebuild, transmission rebuild and a blue paint job that is to die for.
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Comments

  1. I remember seeing him as the head judge at Concorso Italiano when he judged my Bizzarrini.

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