April 2001 Newsletter


I did an informal evaluation of a ’64 Coupe that belongs to the son of the original owner. The 356 was in very good shape for an original car. Just a little tired. There had been a partial repaint due to minor accidents but other than that all original.

I love to evaluate original 356’s to confirm my knowledge of the factory procedures. But I’ve learned what may be original on a 356A is not necessarily the same on a 356C.

What was neat about this Ivory ’64 was the owner had his father’s invoice from Vern Hagestad Motors. The price of the 356 was $4,200 and there was a good tradein allowance for a Karman Gia. The dealer charged $7.30 to install a side mirror and $125 for a radio. $125 for a radio in 1964! What a rip-off and it wasn’t even a Blaupunk, it was a Sapphire which is a VW radio. Of course Vern Hagestad also sold VW’s. So we know the dealers would buy 356’s with few options for inventory and then add the options (profit) upon sale. This explains differences between the factory info Kardex and options that were added by dealers.

Tech Tip

I get a lot of questions on what tires to use on a 356. While this is a personal decision there are some combinations of tire sizes and wheels that won’t work well i.e. poor fit, rough ride or wrong size. The 356 Registry web site has a technical section with a good table on tire sizes. You can review it at www.356REGISTRY.org.


BJ’s Coupe is at Autoweave for an updated black interior which was the original color on this Ivory ’64 Coupe. BJ will have some finishing work when it comes back and then this 356 will be back on the road after twelve years. Remember this 356 was stored outside in Elizabeth, CO.

The Shop ’61 Coupe is at the painters and will be Black. The original color was Fjord Green but a black interior was installed to replace the original brown. It still had a beige carpet but I will replace it with black. So it will be a black on black. Should be for sale this summer.

The ’60 Cabriolet has been blasted and the metal work will start soon. I’ve welded on the hard top and am trying to get a reasonable fit for the doors. This will square up the car before we start on the floor.

Rhome’s ’61 Roadster came back from the paint shop in Royal Blue. This is a stunning 356 color; maybe the most intense., With a beige interior and top this will be a great looking Roadster. We put all the parts on the car and are now storing it until final payment. We are now storing three 356’s which are done but not picked up by owners. While I charge for storage I really need the space for projects. So we are working on this space problem.

Tom’s ’54 Cabriolet which has been in storage for years will be going back to Hawaii. However, we have to get it running or Matson Shipping (they own Hawaii!) has a hefty surcharge. I’ll also make sure we take detailed pictures and Tom gets a lot of insurance. I’ve heard many horror stories on shipments.

Serial Numbers

The 356 REGISTRY Is collecting serial numbers and other data on 356’s. We mayjust have a true registry in the future. While I’ve provided data on my 356’s and will provide more on cars I’ve worked on, you can also help. If you haven’t provided info to the 356REGISTRY call my shop number (303) 840-2356 after hours and leave a message on the answering machine. Provide at least year, model and serial number (found easily on driver side door hinge area). More data on original colors and options if you have it and let us know if the 356 is operable or a project and where it is located. Your name is optional. I’ll collect and send to the 356 REGISTRY. Please do this, the information will be of value to all of us and by using my answering machine which is in the basement shop you won’t be disturbing us.


I spend about 30 minutes a day checking out the 356 information on 356TALK. Recently there was a question about whether Speedsters had cigarette lighters. Research to date had said no. But then one owner said he had one and then others also. I also jumped in as the New Jersey Speedster (in storage) also has one. So once again we’ve learned almost anything was possible on 356’s. They were made by hand!

To get on 356TALK go to the 356Registry web site (356REGISTRY.org) and follow instructions. You will receive 30-60 e-mails a day but there is also a digest which comes once a day and allows you to skim through the topics.


A correction on the Charity Concour to be held June 10th at Arapahoe Community College. The charity is United Cerebral Palsy, a great organization. Please attend!

And don’t forget the Rocky Mountain 3 56 Club 15th birthday party at Ed Caroll Porsche in Fort Collins on June 15th.

The new meeting place for the RM356 Club is at the Ranch CC. Try to make a meeting, it’s great.