Thanks to a reader of this newsletter we had some visitors from Germany drop by to check out the shop ’57 Coupe. While vacationing in the U.S. the father told them to look for a 356 Porsche. Turns out there are very few good 356’s for sale in Germany or Europe for that matter. So, the two young German men came to 356RESTORE and were blown away! They couldn’t believe the 356 Porsches or the commitment to their restoration. They shot a couple of rolls of film and I’m sure I’ll hear from the father.
We had a good turnout at Snowmass. Over twenty 356’s with lots from out of state. We had five cars from New Mexico, three from Utah and a beautiful black coupe from Kansas. Weather was great, the accommodations, food and company excellent. Barb drove her Twin Grille Roadster with the top down and this is the only way to enjoy the mountains. However, I’m not a good passenger in a 356. Its OK when you have a steering wheel and brakes for feedback but without them the passenger is just along for the ride. Of course, I didn’t have time to prep the Roadster so we had a small oil leak, the oil temperature gauge was bouncing all over the place, the wipers wouldn’t shut off and we had a shimmy from 57 to 64 miles per hour. The solution of the shimmy was to drive at 70 mph. So we made it home in three and half hours including a lunch stop in Georgetown. The solution to the other problems waits on my having time to work on my own cars.
We finished the work on Norm’s ’52 steel bodied factory race car (SBFRC). There was more metal work then expected (always true!). Paint had been applied to dirty surfaces (remember; clean, shiny metal!) and rust continued to do its thing. In addition to the metal work. I fabricated a rear valance. This is a piece that goes where the integrated bumper would go on the early 356’s. Bur the valance is a flush piece like you see on the Gmund coupes. To make this valance I was fortunate to have the wooden buck we made when trying to bend the rear aluminum bumper deco for the ’52 Coupe from Lincoln. To make the valance I formed sheetmetal to the buck, cut notches to make the curves, welded the cuts, fit the car and finished. We decided not to make a front valance due to some existing problems with the front clip. We also replaced the side and rear plexiglass, put in a new split windshield, added a Carrera exhaust, wire mesh headlight covers and leather hood straps. I think this 356 is an excellent example of the early race coupes. Hope you think so also; check it out at Steamboat during the Labor Day races. It’s the black number 52.
While I worked on the ’52 SBFRC Ryan was finishing up the paint on Warren’s ’65 Coupe. We’ve had this 356 for two years and it never got priority as the owner was in Florida and other projects got in the way. Anyhow, Warren should get his 356 back soon and Ryan will resume work on Bruce’s ’59 Convertible D.
After I finished Norm’s ’52 I started on Bill’s ’63 Super 90 Coupe. This is the remaining car I planned to have finished for Steamboat. While the ’63 won’t be raced it will be there after not turning a wheel since 1980! Bill rebuilt the engine and had the 356 painted. I get to do the reassembly. So far it’s going quite well and I’m sure we will make the Steamboat deadline.
After Steamboat, I’ll fix the minor problems (tachometer cable, turn signal, distributor) on the Shop ’57 Coupe and contact those interested in buying this 356. I’ll also have to install the windshields in Warren’s ’65 and make it pretty. Then there is the Shop ’64 Cabriolet which got stalled at the upholstery shop (Ron is doing the interior for the Marlboro train and ran into some rework but it was not his problem, the customer goofed). I also have to make arrangements to get Dr. Jack’s ’65 Sunroof Coupe down from Vail and pick up the shop cars I’ve got stashed in various storage spots. So the fun never ends!
One of the advantages I have is access to numerous 356s during restoration. If I’m working on an A Coupe or a C Cabriolet I usually can find a similar 356 to check out wiring or parts placement. While I have the parts book and shop manuals sometimes they are not clear. It is always a lot easier to check out a similar 356.
I invite you to do the same. If you have questions on 356 assembly just drop by and check out the cars in the shop or in storage. At the present time we have access to Pre-A’s, A’s, B’s, C’s.
I’m really getting excited about Steamboat! Porsche will be featured and we expect lots of 356’s. The vintage race cars (last year there were 240) practice on Friday, practice/ qualify on Saturday and race on Sunday (Monday is a rain day if needed). On Saturday there is also a Concours at the courthouse downtown, an art show, vintage plane exhibit, and lots of parties. Hope to see you there; look for me in the pits by the 356s on the lawn in front of the condo or at Turn 2.