April 2002 Newsletter

Racing Season

Nostalgia Racing kicked off this years racing season with dinner and a talk by Arie Luyendyk. Arie is the winner of the 1990 and 1997 Indy 500. Although Arie isn’t a full time driver now, he will compete at Indy again this year.

Arie had some great lines. When talking about NASCAR drivers he raced with he said: “Some of those guys race to win and some to sell T-shirts.” He also indicated racing is not his passion, often he will go boating rather than watch a race.

When asked what he thinks when he is about to crash he said, “I close my eyes, I don’t want to think about it.” ¬†On the technical side he stressed race car weight reduction and balance.

In the past Nostalgia Racing has had Bobby Rahal and Brian Redman as season kick off speakers. Nostalgia Racing will be running at Pueblo May 17-19 with a Formula 5000 reunion and Ford vs. Chevy Challenge. They will be at Breckenridge August 23-25 with a concours (perhaps a race next year!), and at Hallett OK October 4-6 for a Multi Club Challenge. For more info contact Nostalgia Racing at 5889 Lamar St. Arvada CO 80003 or call (303) 456-0041.

Gmund 2002

Last year George Maybee hosted Gmund 2001. This inaugural event was to showcase his new shop which is a replica of the Gmund Austria sawmill where the first Porsche 356’s were built. George is a RM356PC member and long time PCA member.

BJ and I missed this event as we were at Lime Rock CT for the Rennsport Reunion (Porsche race cars). Although we missed the event we did trailer our Porsche Junior tractor up beforehand as George has an interest in Porsche tractors.

This year the Gmund 2002 event will be Sunday July 21st. All 356ers are invited and will be featured on the lawn. There will be judging, eating, swap meet, silent auction and even an autocross for Porsche tractors. Registration starts at 10 AM and RSVP for 356’s is appreciated. Contact Susan Bucknam at portia @ipa.net. She will send a form to fill out for window cards. Please support this event. To my knowledge this is the first event where RMR/PCA has actively honored the Porsche 356.

Other Activities

356RESTORE hosted a garage tour on Saturday, March 16th and a suspension and alignment tech session the following Sunday. A dozen member of the Alpine Region/PCA drove up from Colorado Springs to check out the shop and 356s. For the tech session we had forty-five 356 enthusiasts listen to Al Lager explain proper suspension maintenance, tuning and alignment. Al sparked his presentation with comments from when he worked with Al Holbert and Mark Donahue. What was neat was that having two events on the weekend meant BJ and I only had to clean up the shop once!

Since that event Barb and I have been doing some remodeling upstairs and now the shop is a mess. Carpenters, plumbers and electricians have been tearing through the shop ceiling to reconfigure the upstairs kitchen, dining and living rooms. One advantage to this is we will get some more shop space and have a dedicated room for the messy work. Hopefully, less cleaning in the future and less tracking of dirt upstairs (Barb, Yeah!)-(or promises, promises!)

Progress

Al Eastwood drove his ’59 Coupe over after he cranked it up for the driving season. It was good to see this 356 as we restored it three years ago and Al then took it to San Diego. But he is back and hopefully will participate in some events this year.

Rob’s ’58 Cabriolet is waiting on the painter. The painter can only handle two 356s at a time and he has the Shop ’61 Roadster and Shop ’64 Coupe. Hope to pick up the Roadster and slip Rob’s Cab in this week. BJ has started on the metal work on Chris’s ’59 Convertible D and I have been trying to put the Shop ’56 Sunroof Coupe back together. Many parts were missing on the ’56 and while I have them on the shelf, it takes longer to make them fit. The 356s were obviously “Made by Hand” (or whatever was handy, according to Joe Leoni). I did the headliner in the ’56 Sunroof Coupe and it turned out great. While I’ve done dozens of regular Coupe headliners, I had only done one other Sunroof and wasn’t happy with it. So a call to Ron at Autoweave gave me confidence and it turned out fine. One of the major problems on Sunroofs is the sliding panel. If the headliner material is not flat at the corners it will drag, bind and tear.

So progress continues; I’ve even ordered parts for the Shop ’57 Carrera and hope to start its restoration and we have Gene’s ’62 Cabriolet scheduled for this summer.

I also have to move the Topeka chassis to make room in the storage building. The chassis will go to Al Lager as partial payment for a rebuild of the Shop ’64 Coupe engine. Someone ran the engine low on oil and fried the insides. I developed the habit of always checking my oil level before each ride. With the 356 air cooled engine, oil is critical. I also shut off the gas when parking the 356. As a reminder to turn it back on, I turn down the sunvisor. If you forget to turn the gas back on you will only go about a block.