August 9, 1995 a red letter day! This was the first day in eight months that both Barb’s car and my truck were inside the garage. We have had up to nine 356’s in the garage and shop since the first of the year. We keep Barb’s Twin Grille Roadster and my Black Sunroof Coupe in the garage, one behind the other. (It’s neat to own small cars). This leave two stalls open for our daily drivers but the last eight months we have been doing final assembly in the garage and welding in the shop.
With the help of Miles, Scott, and Ryan, we moved out five 356’s this month. John’s Speedster got some final finish work and was returned to him in primer for dryfit assembly. Alan’s ’60 Roadster in its new Slate Gray paint and Burgundy interior was driven home but with some problems. He had a ball joint break on the carb linkage and got home on one set of carbs. I felt bad but since I hadn’t touched the linkage I can only recommend that 30 year old parts be inspected and replace as needed. (see me for parts!) Jim’s ’55 Speedster was also repaired and returned to him in primer. He will bring it back for paint after his tour in Korea. The Speedster had previous repair that was incorrect. The whole front section was too low and the fenders were flared. Similar to Joe’s Speedster problem. Well, we made the appropriate cuts and welds and this early Speedster now looks right. Jim drove it back to Michigan. This Speedster has a roller crank and When I test drove it, I learned you really have to keep the rev’s up. At low rev’s it’s a dog, at high revs you can kick the rear end out with the throttle. Some power!
The next 356 out of the shop was the Shop ’65 Dolphin Gray Coupe. I sold it to the second person that answered the ad for the asking price of $15,000. This guy borrowed it for the weekend and when he came back with a grin, I knew I had sold it. I spent a few days upgrading parts and detailing the car and the buyer got one of the best driver 356’s in Colorado.
The last 356 to be delivered was Jon’s ’59 Sunroof Coupe. This was that simple assembly job that should have taken a few weeks. But with all the missing parts, the repaint job and the big problem with the rear suspension, this simple job took five months. However, the 356 is beautiful. Jon chose a Ruby Red with some blue in it and while 356RESTORE didn’t do this paint job it is the nicest we’ve seen. We plan to repaint Barb’s Twin Grille Roadster the same Ruby Red. So the 356’s left in the shop are Rhome’s ’61 Roadster which is finishing out great. Scott is learning how to use a long board on this job. Tom’s ’52 Coupe which has been on the rotisserie for over a year is also nearing completion. Almost everything on the bottom of this 356 has been replace. We are paying special attention, as this early Coupe will be a street rod. Tom will put in a really powerful engine and we want to ensure the forty three year old body will handle the torque.
Mike’s ’65 Coupe sits in a corner needing a major front end repair and a lot of work on the rear. However, we stumbled over a cache of used and OEM 356 body parts. The body shop in Denver that did most of the 356 repairs in the 70’s and 80’s has to sell its building. As a result all the sheet metal accumulated over twenty-five years became available and 356RESTORE bought it.
We got front clips, rear clips, doors, hoods, eight OEM rear fenders, four OEM front fenders and two OEM left front A clips plus bumpers, decos and other parts. So instead of just repairing Mike’s ’65 Coupe, we will clip it just like they did in the days when insurance paid and the Porsche dealers had 356 sheet metal.
Some of these OEM Clips we bought deserve to go on the more valuable 356’s. So we may reserve them for open and early 356’s.
Miles went back to working full time on real estate appraisals and we miss him. He did some great work on Alan’s and Jon’s 356’s. Scott is working part time while actively pursuing a career as a Mechanical Engineer. Scott recently graduated from Colorado School of Mines and is a hands-on engineer. He drives 356’s (since age 14) and has started vintage racing. I would recommend him highly to anyone who receives this newsletter and could use a qualified Mechanical Engineer. Ryan is still helping out and recently got a great deal to finish a Bugeye Sprite in exchange for an enclosed trailer. All in all its been a great month. There is no better feeling than getting 356’s out of the shop and back to their owners.