XRF Metals Analyzer Inspects Vintage Ferraris
April 6, 2010
An advanced XRF analyzer from Ashtead Technology (Houston) is helping a Ferrari dealership to ensure authenticity of rare sports cars worth millions of dollars.
In the latest example, a Niton XLt 898D analyzer was used by the skilled engineers at Continental AutoSports (Hinsdale, IL) to examine the chassis quality of a rare 1962 Ferrari 250SWB, itself worth in excess of $1 million.
XRF analyzers provide fast, nondestructive, qualitative and quantitative assessment of metals and alloys in a variety of materials. The handheld 898D provides the operator with the speed and efficiency of X-ray tube excitation, weighs just three pounds and is fitted with two rechargeable lithium batteries.
To help reduce fraud within the classic car industry, and in accordance with the Ferrari Classiche Certification Committee, vintage Ferraris go through an extensive inspection, including metallurgical tests. The committee requires the use of a Niton XRF to ensure originality of the chassis as part of the metallurgical testing.
Using Ferrari's extensive historic archives, the committee evaluate the technical characteristics of each individual car put forward for certification. The technical examination of the car is the most important step in the process because it reveals whether the car is fully functioning, and whether its chassis, engine and components are original, or at least comply with the original specifications.
Scott Wallace, technical services manager at Continental AutoSports, says, “The 898D allows us to ensure that these expensive and highly sought-after cars are exactly what they claim to be. The results of the evaluation play a key role in the certification process and so it is vital that we have the latest and most advanced instrumentation available.”
Dave Burnett, Ashtead Technology’s Midwest regional general manager, whose branch supplied the analyzer, adds, “A major benefit of renting is that customers have access to the most up-to-date NDT instrumentation on the market, while avoiding the capital cost associated with buying outright. In this example, our client needed a specific metals analyzer to meet the requirements set out by Ferrari and we were happy to oblige and also provide additional technical support and advice.”