No news letter, we’re on vacation- Aloha!
Sorry no newsletter this month
356 Parts Prices
We’ve mentioned before that we don’t do engine work. So why do we have so many engine parts? We think the reason is that the Porsche 356 appealed to men with an engineering background. It was unique, air cooled and rear engine. Plus, it was German.
Many of these early buyers would do more than just specified maintenance. They would buy parts to improve performance or have spares. These parts would follow the 356 when it was sold. Almost every 356 we have bought came with extra parts including engine parts.
Recently, Stoddard announced a new reproduction part, valve covers. Their price for one valve cover, $320. We have 52 valve covers. We have sold them for $100 a pair and have sold very few.
Thom, the painter is doing a repaint for one of our customers and the customer wanted a new rear windshield. We told Thom we had never bought one as the weren’t being reproduced and were seldom damaged. We would just use new seals and perhaps decos. We have eleven rear windshields. We told Thom to come and pick one. Then I remembered Stoddard is now selling 356 rear windshields. Their price is $928. Thom and I agreed on a fair price for the customer.
So have Porsche 356 parts prices gone up? Have they gone up as much as the 356 prices?
We have Stoddard price list from1985 and 1995 and today’s prices are on their website. A B/C ashtray sold for $18.50 in 1985, 22.65 in 1995 and today it is $77.00. A “Porsche” emblem sold for $23.50 in 1985, $50.40 in 1995 and today is $81.00. An A rocker deco was $46.75 in 1985 and $52.95 in 1995 and today is $77.00.
On the other hand, a teardrop taillight was $109.00 in 1985 and $190.00 in 1995 and today it is $77.00. We think this is because the poor design of the teardrop taillight creates a big demand for replacement. Big demand means larger quantities to reproduce and lower cost.
But how to explain windshields? An A Coupe was $150.00 in 1985, $390.00 in 1995 and $648.00 today. And then there is a baby moon hubcap, $13.00 in 1985, $46.00 in 1995 and $40.00 today.
And finally, a C crankshaft in 1985 priced at $299.00, $1,188.00 in 1995 and either $2.,704.00 for a crankshaft from Porsche Classic or hard to believe an NOS factory crankshaft is available for $4,242.00.
So, the net is mixed, some parts have gone up significantly while others have been stable or gone down. Competition and offshore reproduction has a lot to do with this. In 1985 it was mostly Stoddard, Tweeks, NLA and Doc and Cy’s. Today there are more Porsche parts vendors and we have the Internet.
We picked up the Shop ’64 Sunroof Coupe from Juan the upholster. We have been doing carpet and headliners on Coupes but on the higher value 356s it is best to have a professional job. Years ago we said a sunroof adds $3,000 to the value of a Coupe. Then we said $5,000. Now we say $10,000 but others argue for more.
BJ thought he was done with Barney the Shop ’62 Coupe but then he positioned the rear bumper. The hole in the fender where it attached was in the wrong position! It was too far forward. So whomever did this rear clip in the past really got it in the wrong position. BJ had been making repairs so the decklid fit and the rear teardrops lights were in the correct position. But with another repair we decided to just put a rear clip on the 356. We had one that matches to the factory welds. This will be a better solution that patch repairs.
Jim has not done much 356 restoration as he has been setting up the new shop. The parts cleaner and blast cabinet will not be needed, FREE to pick up.
All the parts are in the shop except for the parts for 356s being restored. These parts will go over when we move the cars. We have a temporary path to the basement door which has been enlarged to seven feet wide. However the path is mud and gravel and will only be safe when it is frozen. While BJ and I were going to trailer the 356s to the new shop, we decided to use Larry of Specialized Towing to move the 356s.
Once the shop is up and running, we expect to move only one or two 356s a month in or out of the basement shop. When we do landscaping the path to the shop will not be obvious as it is now. The rest of the remodel is progressing but is doubtful we will move in by Christmas. The kitchen is in and the appliances due this week. The tile floor is finished but the carpet is not yet installed. The final plumbing and electrical has been started but not yet completed. There is a lot of finish work but in general we are very pleased with the work. This is the first home that we have designed.
Barb is very good at design and there are hundreds of decisions to be made. She will ask Jim about knobs and pulls for cabinets and about paint colors and her choices are right on. Jim did decide on the various plaster options and went with a subtle stucco effect which really blends with the Mediterranean style of the house. Jim of course designed the 356Restore shop and received very positive feedback. Barb refers to it as a museum. Hey, I think there are some tax benefits to a museum!
No Newsletter for November- We’ll be back in December!
Rennsport Reunion V
Awesome! BJ and I had attended Rennsport Reunion I thru IV but this was the best. The first reunion was at Lime Rock in 2001. The venue switched to Daytona for 2004 and 2007. Then to Lagua Seca in 2011.
At Rennsport V, 321 Porsches took the track and there were 1400 Porsches on display from the first Gmund 356 to the latest 919 Hybrid prototype. There were 75 Porsches that competed at Lemans.
The Porsche Club of America arranged corrals for various Porsche models and these corral held over 1300 Porsches.
We had hoped to enter our 356 race car. After the success we had at Circuit of Americas in 2013 at the Inaugural National Vintage Championship we were sure we could be competitive. Scot Petitt would drive as he did at COTA. However, we were not accepted (politics). BJ and I had to scramble to find accommodations as the event had booked up Monterey and Carmel since the day that it was announced.
We found a Ramada in Marina which turned out to be better for track access then our previous visits to Laguna Seca.
Not on the tourist maps but on the map provided by the race track there is an access road on the north side of the track. No permanent signage but the track puts out a small sign on the turnoff road. From the motel to track parking it took twenty five minutes. Much better than the hour or more coming thru the main entrance. Very few cars on this North entrance road, you just have to watch for deer in the fog.
The first day Friday we first did a quick tour. A huge tent with seventy five historic Porsches would take more time later, but first BJ would hit the souvenir store. Souvenirs sell out fast and we have learned to get there early. BJ stood in line for an hour and only a few people were admitted at a time due to demand. While BJ stocked up on posters, pins and programs. Jim watched the first practice sessions. The Gmund Cup race includes the 356, RS60s, 550As and prototypes. The practice sessions went well, a few spin outs but no incidents. One of our favorites is the RS Spyder. It is blindingly fast. We were talking to Steve Rowe in the pits. He was the crew chief on the Jagermeister 962 and told us that they had to warm up all the fluids in the RS Spyders before it would start. One of the best views at Laguna Seca is at the corkscrew. BJ and I went there to not only watch them come through the downhill twisty turn but also to look for the 356Restore paver. Pat had bought one as a gift for Jim and we found it in the courtyard at the corkscrew. Jim also has a paver in the shop. The 919 Hybrid was there only for exhibition runs after it won the endurance race at COTA a few weeks before. Even on an exhibition run it was the fastest Porsche at the track.
Back to the exhibition tent called the Chopard Heritage Display. Seventy five significant Porsches. Better than the Porsche Museum; no ropes to keep you away. Numerous photo opportunities. We noticed that many of these historic Porsches had keys in the ignition; the reason, they were not on display but would be driven on the track.
The event was packed as you could imagine. If you have never been to a vintage racing event, you should attend. No pit pass, the paddock is open to everyone. Take close up pictures, talk to the owners and drivers, listen to the great sound of the Porsche engines.
We received the transmission from the roller we sold. Nice to know there are honest people. Little 356 work this month as BJ continues on the Shop ’62 Coupe “Barney” and then he and Jen took Alex and Sammy on a Disney cruise during Fall Break. Jim started disassembly of the shop and garage in preparation for the move. All of the posters were taken down and the good ones put on poster board. Jim “Never throw anything away” had some classic stuff on the walls. From the entry list for the 1970 Can Am Cup race held at Donnybroke to the results from the Steamboat race in 1997. This was the race where Bill Frey was black flagged and came into Tech only to be told to go back out. As a result he only ran half the track and posted the best tine of the day. A corner worker had meant to throw the debris flag (blue with yellow stripes) but had thrown Bill the black flag (report to Tech).
Its been a long wait and a big disruption to 356Restore but we are getting close. We asked the carpenters for a priority on the basement as this would be the new shop. There are lots of parts to move and arrange in an efficient manner. This would be weeks of work before the actual move. So, finally the sheetrock was up in the basement but then you have the tapers and painters and the trim work. Finally Jim could move parts to the new shelves and of course BJ was on a cruise. Many of you volunteered to help the parts move and thank you but it was best Jim did this himself. Just load the truck, drive next door, unpack and place parts on the shelves in a efficient manner that Jim had been thinking about for a year. First on the shelves was engine stuff. 356Restore doesn’t do engines but many of the Shop 356s we’ve purchased came with engine stuff. And Bill Frey had engine stuff and the parts from Montana had a lot of engine stuff. Many of these parts are used and may never be used again but now they are efficiently stored in the 356Restore’s new shop.
A couple of times a week Barb will receive a text message from Sammy. Usually a smiley face or many letters, this is funny that Sam can text but doesn’t read or spell yet.
Jim sold one the Shop 356s. He never sells a Shop 356 until it is restored. Let’s back up. About ten years ago, BJ was told by one of his RMVR corner workers that there was a 356 for sale in his apartment complex parking lot.
BJ and I headed over there and it was a huge complex hundreds and hundreds of apartments. We drove thru the large parking area didn’t see a 356 which was supposed to be on a trailer. We asked a security guy about it and he said he saw it being moved into a garage and there it was, a rust bucket with a VW engine and custom VW wheels. We thanked the owner and passed on the 356. Months latter, we were contacted by a kid who had bought the 356. He had got it running and had some questions and parts. He called a few times.
Then he called and said he had just bought a 911 and wanted to sell the 356. The price was right for a rusty ’61 Coupe so we bought it for $5,000 less the engine.
The kid delivered the 356 on a twelve foot dual axle trailer which was part of the deal.
We put the 356 in the back of the storage building as a future project and stored the trailer outside at Bill’s place in Franktown.
When Bill passed, we brought the trailer home and noticed from the license tag it had been at Bill’s for ten years. The trailer bed was completely shot. Since we had the remodel project next door, we had the contractor order some 2x12s and replaced the trailer bed. A couple of coats of Thompson’s Water Seal and it looked good. A twelve foot trailer is too short for a 356 which is a little over thirteen feet bumper to bumper.
We advertised the trailer in the RMVR classifieds thinking it would be good for a small race car. We got a call from a guy in the Springs who wanted it to haul his car behind his motor home. His car? A 356! We explained that the 356 would hang over the rear but he didn’t think this would be a problem. We also told him the tires were over ten years old and would have to be replaced. Again, not a problem and he drove up and bought it for $450. So we made a little money as the trailer was free and the lumber was about a hundred bucks.
A while back, we were going through the 356 Registry classifieds looking for price trends. We saw a wanted ad for a T-5 Coupe roller. They wanted the shell for a customer project, no door or lids or parts. We thought about the ’61 in the back of the storage building. It was a project we hadn’t got to in ten years so we offered it, no response. Last month, when we were again perusing the 356 Registry classifieds we saw the ad was still there and sent another email. They said they had been out of the country and could we send pictures, which we did and they passed on the offer. Then they got back to us and said they wanted it. We told them we would leave the doors and lids on but remove all the parts. We also said we would remove the transmission and make it a roller with a dolly we had. They called and said they needed the transmission for transport and they would ship it back. They agreed on the asking price of $5,000 and we sent our bank information. BJ and I hustled to get all the parts off the 356 and clean up what had been a mouse house for ten years. We received the money in a few days and a few days later the transport guy showed up. BJ and I rolled the 356 shell to the street and the transport guy used one of the cars he was transporting to pull the 356 on to the trailer. Never saw that done before!
A few days later the buyer said they had received the 356 and the title and could they send back a 356 transmission they had so they wouldn’t have to pull the tranny out of the roller. We said sure as we hadn’t thought we would get the tranny back. So, why did we sell a Shop 356? Well, we hadn’t got to it in over ten years, it was taking up space and it was another of those “bottom everything” jobs that take months of metal and body work. We made a little money on the deal and got a lot of parts that we can use in future restorations. The one unanswered question was what they are going to do with a rusty roller?
We continue on the reassembly of the Shop ’61 Coupe “Casper”. BJ found some electrical issues which surprised us as the 356 had been driven to our shop and we hadn’t done a detailed inspection. We have a few more parts to install and then we will install the engine which we have cleaned up. The sheet metal stripped and painted and parts cleaned, painted or replaced. Once the engine is installed we will take it to the mechanics for checkout and then it will be for sale. But it may wait until after the move.
The roof is done. Beautiful red Mediterranean tile. So good to see this done as the tiles had been sitting loose on the roof for a few months as that is how they are delivered.
But the big news is the drywall was delivered and will be installed this week. Five hundred 4×12 drywall panels and a hundred gallons of drywall compound. And they will start in the basement which means soon we can position the shelves and organize parts. BJ and I will spend weeks doing this but we look forward to it and we like an organized shop and we have been disorganized for months. We don’t have a move in date but the contractor mentioned “the holidays”. Could mean Thanksgiving or Christmas.
BJ and I will attend this month. We have been to the previous four Rennsport Reunions. Details next month.
Alex was baptized on Sunday morning. She was very happy and all her friends were there.
Crazy! Last month we had nine calls/emails requesting 356 restoration work. New York, New Mexico, California (2) and even one from Elizabeth CO. We also had four calls asking if we had 356s for sale (which we will soon). We decided to do some analysis on the 356 market.
We started with the Hagerty Insurance valuation site. We decided to just analyze the 356C/SC Coupe market as we will have some for sale. We have always thought Hagerty was high as they sell insurance and high values mean higher premiums. For a condition 3 “Good” 356C/SC, Hagerty averages $70,000.
Then, Excellence magazine just came out with their “Porsche Buyers Guide” issue. They got their 356 information from Jeff Trask. We know Jeff and while it wasn’t mentioned in the article, Jeff works at European Collectibles in California, so he sells cars and the California market may be different. Jeff’s valuation for 356 C/SC in good condition was $90,000.
So we have two market analysts but they could be influenced by their bottom line. So we checked the 356 Registry classifieds. We’ve always considered the 356 Registry to be an honest input to 356 values; unlike E-bay. The 356 Registry classifieds had fifty two 356 listed; forty five were for sale and seven wanted to buy. Note: six to nine months ago, there were almost as many wanted to buy as for sale. Market shift? The 356 Registry had fifteen 356C/SC for sale. Since we are looking at good condition, we threw out three high we think were concours level. The twelve 356C/SCs averaged out at $76,000. So Hagerty at $70,000 Excellence at $90,000 and the 356 Registry at $76,000, for good condition 356C/SC Coupes. We did note that the 356 SC commanded a $10,000 premium over the 356C but it was easy to change a 356C to a 356SC by changing the emblem and tachometer. The C and SC engine differ, 700000 series vs 800000 series and 75 hp vs. 95 hp. We have evaluated many 356SC only to find a 356C engine and tachometer. The C and SC rear emblems were interchangeable. When the owner was told this they said they were told it was an SC when they bought it. But we digress. What do we think about the 356 market? Well, its real. We recently stated that the Porsche 356 shouldn’t be considered an asset but we have changed our mind. For folks of moderate means they should think of their 356 as an asset and treat it as such. That means maintaining and driving it, not storing it. (As I was writing this, we just got a call from a guy from California. He said he had talked to me earlier and wanted to know the price on the Shop ’64 Sunroof Coupe. I told him we were waiting on upholstery and we didn’t price them until we drove them. He then asked about prices in general and we told him about our above analysis. He thanked me and hung up). So with all the data , and after driving the Shop ’64 Signal Red Coupe we decided on a price of $68,000. We will probably set a similar price on the Shop ’61 White Coupe and add a $10,000 premium for the sunroof when we sell the Shop ’64 Silver Sunroof Coupe.
As mentioned above, we picked up the Shop ’64 Signal Red Coupe at the mechanics. We completed the remaining assembly and took it for a drive. Drives great! We are assembling the Shop ’61 Coupe and really like the white paint. You don’t see many this color; about 5% of the 356s produced. We even got back to the Shop ’56 Speedster. The issue here was the windshield fit. We were trying to correct the problem without damaging the paint. After many attempts we had to admit that the problem was in the metal and to move the metal we would have to repaint the area. When we though about it , it seemed silly not to spend a few thousands on some paint rework on a 356 worth around $150,000. So we moved metal and are almost there; we had a low spot on the cowl and it looks like the cowl windshield chrome piece was incorrectly positioned. While picking up some parts at Blast Tech we spied an interesting tube frame chassis. It looked familiar and we identified it as a 550 Spyder. It will be restored by a well known Porsche expert here in Denver. We noted the serial number and found it in the Porsche Carrera book. This book has an extensive index of all the racing history for the Carrera engineed cars and the chassis we saw entered many, many races. The parts we picked up at blast Tech were five late brake drums. The cost for media blasting these drums was very reasonable. We cleaned brake drums by hand using wire wheels and it takes a lot of time. Blasting is the way to go. In fact we seldom use our chemical part cleaner or our blasting cabinet. As we sort through the parts we recently bought we except a lot more work for Blast Tech.
As mentioned before Jim is spending a lot of his time monitoring the construction of our new home and shop. The exterior is done. The stucco guys were artist and so were the stone masons. We received a lot of positive comments from our neighbors on the look of the exterior. The interior is almost done. The plumber is finished, the electrician is almost finished as are the HVAC guys. We are close to drywall and they will start in the basement which means we can stock all our parts and finally be able to find parts we need for 356 restorations. Not being able to find parts has really slowed restoration work.
We didn’t see Alex and Sammie much this summer as they had vacations, camps, a Disney Alaska cruise and out of town trips. I just heard Sammie upstairs so its time to say Hi!
We lamented last month about the availability of cotton cord to use when installing a windshield in a 356. The cord has to be the right size and has to be lubricated with beeswax to slip into the seal. Well, Barb found some cord and while it had a vinyl cover, we used beeswax and it worked but with difficulty.
A kind reader of this newsletter E-mailed and said that he soaked his windshield cord in baby oil. We tried it and it worked! It even works better than beeswax!
If you remember Bill Frey had the engine for the Shop ’56 Speedster almost assembled before he passed. The parts and tools were still arranged on the work bench when BJ and I packed up the shop. We were careful to identify the Speedster engine parts. The case was assembled but the valve train, oil pump, tachometer drive and other parts still had to be assembled. Trevor Sewell said he would finish the engine assembly. Bill often consulted with Trevor when he was building 356 engines. We took the engine and parts to Trevor. We also took the 356 engine stand that Bill had built. Gary Moschetti bought this for the Rocky Mountain 356 (Porsche) Club for use by members. So if you need to use it call Trevor at 303.559.0553.
Jim has reassembled many of the parts for the Shop ’61 Coupe (Casper). Probably another weeks work and we can install the engine and take the 356 to the mechanics for checkout. Since this 356 was driven to our shop we expect checkout to be straight forward. However the previous owner had the 356 for forty years and did some strange things to the car.
We took the Shop ’64 Sunroof Coupe to the painters to see if some of the scratches on the left front fender would rub out. Our plan was to rub out the new silver paint, install the interior, check out the mechanicals and sell the 356. The painter said the silver paint looked dull because someone had sanded the silver metallic basecoat. This is a no-no. Sanding a metallic moves the metallic around creating lines and dullness. We could have left it as is, as it didn’t look bad, but we decided to repaint as we are still enjoying correctness in a Porsche 356.
There has been no progress on the customers ’64 Coupe as we won’t have room until BJ gets the Shop ’63 Coupe off to the painter.
The other Shop ’64 Coupe (Viney) is just about done at the mechanics. They took it for a test drive and recommended some brake and suspension work and then alignment. (By the way, Eurosport Ltd has the original alignment machine from the Hagestad Denver dealership. It was used for 356s. Many of today’s alignment machines can’t properly align a Porsche 356).
To be honest Jim has been spending less time on 356 restoration and more on monitoring the new home renovation and the existing home maintenance . It is really convenient to have our new home and shop right next door. The contractor can call us with an issue and we can walk over and resolve it
Great progress has been made. The new roof tiles have been placed on the roof. They will be installed once some of the stucco and stone work is completed as the contractor doesn’t want people stepping on the tiles. While the home was wrapped in Tyrek it also has to be wrapped with a special material which then is covered with chicken wire for the stucco and stone work. Since part of the original walls were brick, the chicken wire could be attached to the brick in preparation for stucco and stone. This was the plan for the original all brick west wall. However the brick had come loose at the top and debris and accumulated between the brick and the framing. So the wall came down and the thirty year old sheathing removed. Then the wall had to be rebuilt as all the windows were spaced for a thicker brick wall. This was done in a week and then all the windows and doors installed. What a change! To see natural light in the new interior. The plumber has most of the work done with his vents to the roof so the roof can be installed. The electrician started and this immediately led to what fixtures do you want and where? Jim actually went fixture shopping with Barb. At one place he saw some outdoor fixtures that blended well with the Mediterranean look of the remodeled house. And they were on sale! Barb liked them also so we bought one for the front door ($85) and five smaller ($68 each) for the other doors. Then we were told that by code, every egress from the house has to have an exterior light. We bought four more fixtures and with the sale price saved over a thousand dollars and everyone agrees they are appropriate for the house. Stucco work has started and those guys fly. They are about half done with the first coat, then there is a second coat and color. The scaffold is up for the stone work but it has not yet started. Barb started to work on furniture placement but working on the 1/4 inch to one foot plans was difficult, so she bought some material and made patterns of the actual size of our furniture to lay on the floor. This solved some issues and also allowed the HVAC guys to plan the floor vents. So, we have a lot of subs working; one day I counted thirteen vehicles. With the plumbing and electrical almost done, we should be able to insulate and sheetrock the basement shop. This will be a big deal, as we will be able to set the shelves and arrange the 356 parts. Having the parts in bins crammed in the existing storage building has affected 356 productivity as it can take hours to find a needed part.
“When does school start?”
Rain, Rain Go Away
We are trying to put a roof on our new home. With twenty seven of thirty one days of rain in May , getting the roof finished was a chore but it was accomplished. But then you have to do the fascia and soffits so the roofers can install the special covering and begin roofing.
The house has been wrapped in Tyvex so that means doors and windows can go in after the Tyvex is inspected. The plumber is running his stacks to the roof so the roofers can get started . The mason has delivered his scaffolding so they can begin to tie the existing brick walls to the structure before beginning to apply stucco and stone.
Since the house was a foreclosure, very little work was done on the property. Jim knew there was a noxious weed problem and began spraying for thistles in early spring. Went through seven gallons and still had to chop a few. The other weed is leafy spurge and will require spraying next spring. With all the rain there is a big thistle and leafy spurge problem in Douglas County. Leafy spurge is that tall weed with yellow flowers.
It looks like we might move in September which will be one year since we started.
In preparation for moving Jim had to organized all the 356 parts in labeled bins. He had them stored in the new home shop area but had to move them back to the existing storage building to give the plumbers and electricians room. With all the other 356 parts recently purchased the storage building is full.
Jim has been working on the assembly of the Shop ’61 Coupe (Casper). One problem was the front windshield installation. We have installed over one hundred windshields- front and back. The windshields have to be removed for painting. The front windshield almost always has to be replaced. After fifty plus years of use they are pitted plus a 356 restoration looks a lot better with a new windshield. They are expensive, about $550. Years ago, there were two suppliers and the windshield price was in the $300 range. But then one supplier decided to get out of the retail trade and the remaining supplier raised his price. You can still get the Sigla windshield which was the original 356 windshield but it is marked at the bottom of the windshield rather than the top.
But back to the windshield problem on the Shop ’61 Coupe. The cord broke! After hundreds of windshields it broke. The cord is inserted into a channel in the rubber windshield seal and then with the windshield in place and held by a helper, the cord is pulled from the inside the 356, pulling the lip of the seal over the windshield opening.
So we need to get a new cord. Jim goes to six stores and all he can find is nylon covered cord. We need cotton cord which will be rubbed with beeswax which will allow the cord to be pushed into the rubber seal channel and allow the seal to be pulled without cutting the seal. So, what to do? We sent the 356Restore experienced shopper, Barb, to find some cord. She bought home some samples and one looked like it would work as it was tightly woven but still had a vinyl covering, (Whatever happened to cotton rope and cord?) We tried it and the beeswax barely got into the cord and it was difficult to push into the seal channel, but it worked and the windshield was installed. Isn’t 356 restoration fun?
Jim also started on the engine for the Shop’61 Coupe. Since this 356 was driven to the shop, we knew it ran. It is a 912 engine. Jim removed all the sheet metal and had it blasted. You do not blast the oil filler or oil canister as the media could get into the oil and destroy the engine. You strip these by hand using chemical stripper. Once all the engine sheet metal is stripped, you prepare for paint. We clean the part and spray with a two part epoxy primer. Then paint with Satin Black for the black parts. The fan shroud is either black for normal
engines or a silver gray for Super engines. The one part that takes time to paint is the heater boxes. They have to work before paint and it is best to restore them as they are very expensive, $500 each.
Jim also worked on the engine for the Shop ’56 Speedster. His friend Bill had completed most of the assembly before he died. Since the Speedster came with a unusable engine , we found a 1956 short block in Florida and Bill had this machined for the new parts he installed. The early engines had the throttle linkage through the fan shroud, while we had an early fan shroud we were missing parts. Cal Ensor found us the correct linkage between the carburetors in Italy. And Norm Petitt had the steel lines for the small solex carbs. We had to make some parts to get the throttle linkage to work and it appears it will work. We will take the engine to Trevor Sewell for final assembly as it still needs the valve train, fuel pump, tach drive and distributor installed. The customer ’64 Coupe came back from Blast Tech and it is in worse shape than we expected. The cost of blasting was more then we ever paid for a 356 as the time to remove the filler was lengthy. The roof which looked good before blasting was full of dents. Almost every external and internal panel had been previously repaired with brazing , fiberglass and overlapping seams, all covered with filler.
We wrote up the restoration estimate and went over each panel with the customer. He decided to proceed. This will be another extensive metal and body work project for BJ. BJ is doing almost all the welding as Jim has to wear glasses due to cataract surgery and has difficulty seeing under a welding helmet.
While visiting the Nashville zoo the girls got to pet a kangaroo. Very fun they said.
We commented last month that we were ready to take the Shop ’64 Coupe (Viney) to the mechanics for engine installation and checkout. Well, we did and then we got a call.
A local guy was trying to locate a 356 for sale for a friend in California. We told him we would have two or three for sale this year. He asked for details, so we told him about the ’64 Signal Red Coupe which should be for sale in a few months. We indicated it was at the mechanics for checkout.
Well he knew the mechanic’s shop and went there and took pictures of the ’64 and sent them to his friend. The friend wanted to send us money! For a 356 that isn’t ready for sale! We told them we don’t price a 356 until we’ve driven them but we would put them at the top of the list. With this market we expect a big list.
So what is selling? Well, the top 356s, i.e. concours quality, are probably selling but we won’t know as they are private sales to collectors.
Good driver level 356 will sell quickly because the buyer knows they can’t afford a concours level 356. The buyer expects to pay more for number matching and COA specifications; but expect to pay less if not matching. Often, they will indicate this in their wanted ad.
Then there are the buyers that want a project. They know they can’t afford a driver level 356. They may or may not have the skills for restoration, but they will have a 356 and they are valuable.
If the project buyer doesn’t have restoration skills. They soon find experienced restoration shops are up to their eyeballs with work. Hopefully, they don’t find an inexperienced shop that will mess up the restoration and we will be back to what we saw over the years.
We think some of these project 356s will sit for a while and once the thrill of owning a 356 wears off, the 356 will go back on the market.
As indicated in the past. The most frequently asked question is “What does a 356 restoration cost?” Since may folks go to our website we have made a FAQ on our home page. Check it out.
The FAQ shows a range of $20,000 to $40,000 or $50,000 depending on the mechanical work. The $20,000 assumes an average 356 restoration, but we haven’t seen an average in years. Projects on the market now are what we used to call rust buckets. Stoddard recently had a contest to find the worst rust bucket and they would award $5,000 in parts. Well, they had about two dozen entries and they were really rust buckets. About half were going to be restored by the owner and half by restoration shops.
So it is a crazy or exciting market depending on your involvement. Yes, the Porsche 356 has increased in value. Will the value hold? Yes, as Porsche only produced 79,316 and they were well designed and engineered.
BJ is proceeding with the body work on the Shop ’62 Coupe (Barney) but then we looked at the rear clip. It wasn’t right. Whoever did the work in the past did it wrong. So , a little more metal work. See previous comments on past poor restoration and the quality of today’s 356 projects.
Jim is doing the reassembly on the Shop ’61 Coupe (Casper). It is going well and we had to order a lot of replacement parts. The bill was $1,750. Yes, 356 parts are going up in price. Not to be unexpected.
The customer ’64 Coupe was disassembled and taken to Blast Tech. We also took some engine sheet metal for the Shop ’61 Coupe. Since this 356 was driven to our shop the engine should be ok, so we will clean and paint the engine and reinstall.
The customer engine was removed prior to taking it to Blast Tech. We will take this to the mechanics for evaluation. As described in out web site FAQ, 356 mechanicals can really drive up 356 restoration cost. Hopefully the customers engine is ok. The recently purchased Shop ’64 Sunroof Coupe is waiting for the painter to evaluate. Best case is the paint will just need buffing. The missing sunroof panel can be painted to match and the engine checks out. The issue with this 356 is it came without a title. We have had this problem in the past. There are companies that work this problem as it is not uncommon in the old car hobby. It just takes time and money.
No, we haven’t moved yet. We are in the final construction phase. The last two dormers are being completed and this has taken time with the rain and snow. We should be dried out by the end of this month. That means basic construction completed and doors and windows installed. Then all the subcontractors come in and progress should move quickly. We probably will move in this fall.
We have the shop move all planned and it will be a big job. Many of you have volunteered to help and we will take you up on your offer. Since the move is just next door, we could probably form a human chain to pass boxes. Joking, as the distance is about two hundred yards.
May 16-17 Spring Race at HPR
June 13-14 Pueblo Grand Prix
Aug1-2 Charity Race HPR
Sept 5-6 Labor Day Hastings Neb.
Oct. 3-4 Fall Race HPR
Oct 24-25 Spooktractular PPIR
I was in the living room reading and Barb, Alex and Sammie were on the floor playing Go Fish! Or as Sammie calls it Go Fishing! When it was Sammie’s turn she wouldn’t take just one card but two or three. I doubt she thought of it as cheating just competitiveness. She likes to win!
As we have mentioned before, since 356Restore sorts out at the top of the 356 Registry vendor list, we get lots of calls. Lately, they have been of the “I just inherited my grandfathers 356 and need to know what it costs to restore it” or I’m going to buy a 356 and need to know its value and costs”. But one contact was an email with three pictures of a silver sunroof ’64 356 that was for sale in Salt Lake City. A guy was acting as a broker for the elderly owner, we said we might be interested but needed more pictures and a price. The owners price was to high as only parts of the 356 had been assembled, we couldn’t tell which parts were missing and were told the sunroof sliding panel was missing.
We let the broker know the problem with the missing panel, the missing parts and cost to complete. The engine was supposedly an SC. The owner thru the broker came down in price. The broker said the owner was difficult to deal with. We settled on a price and sent a down payment to the broker.
We arranged for a pick up date. But snow was forecasted and the missing sunroof and glass would be a problem. We had a sunroof clip that was to go on the Shop ’62 Coupe called Barney. This was per the COA. We decided the sunroof parts would be more valuable on he ’64 SC. We made some Lexan panels we could tape over the glass openings and prepared for the road trip. The snow started in Cheyenne and continued to Laramie. Then low visibility and occasional snow to Rawlins then low visibility and cold into Salt Lake City. We arranged to meet the broker at his warehouse early the next morning. We started to add panels to button up the 356 but decided there was nothing in the cabin that would get damaged. The engine was installed and the deck lid secured, same with the front compartment so we loaded the parts and the 356 and paid by cashiers check to the broker. The broker said he was glad to get what he was owed. Strange comment but we thought probably some issue on a car deal The broker dealt in American classics and had two fifties Cadillac in the large warehouse where we picked up the 356.
We headed home , no snow, good visibility but cold. We saw five semis off the road, probably due to the storm the day before. We got home with no problems and the story should end here but the next day the owner called and gave us some history on the 356. He also asked what we thought of the broker. We said he was nice enough guy who said he also had a warehouse in Las Vegas. The owner said did we know the broker was an excon and he ran an illegal casino in that warehouse. Well, that explained the broker’s comment on what he was owed. It was a gambling debt. No problem for us as we paid a fair price. The plan is to have Thom the painter fix any problems in the paint and hopefully match the paint to the sliding sunroof panel; we will reassemble, check out the mechanicals/electrical and sell
Upon inspection the engine is a ’64 C but it has the SC tach so a switch was made at some time. We have sent for the COA.
BJ has started on the body work on the Shop ’62 Coupe we call Barney (as it was a barn find). He is about a third done and the gaps are great due to the time he spent on metal work.
The Shop ’56 Speedster is sitting awaiting parts. We had modified the windshield side posts trying to solve a problem and decided to start over with new ones.
Jim completed the assembly of Viney the Shop ’64 Coupe and we just heard that the engine is ready after the rebuild. So this 356 should be on the road soon.
The Shop ’61 Coupe Casper sits in the shop awaiting reassembly. We are delaying this to work on a customer project. This is a ’64 Coupe badged as an SC but with a modified
’61 normal engine. The owner had owned this 356 thirty years ago but sold it and recently bought it back. Disassembly has been a challenge as the previous restoration was done with rivets not screws. The hood seal was riveted as was the chrome door tops and rubber threshold. The concern is these screw holes may have been enlarged. When we picked up the 356 there was a large solidified puddle under the car. Turns out the 356 had been stored for twenty three years with gas in the tank. The tank leaked and it melted the undercoat. The tank is unusual. It is a 1962 bottom sender tank modified as a top sender. We have not seen this before but it could have been a dealer modification. Bottom sender tanks were not a good idea and did not last long.
This 356 also had a fuel pump sitting next to the battery (not a good idea) and added driving lights has created a wiring mess in the dash area and front compartment. We may have to buy the front half of a new wiring harness.
Progress continues! We have lights in the basement shop. The new garage is finished with its new roof tiles. With the new garage inspected and approved , the contractor can move bulky material from the old garage and can start on the shop (been looking forward to a lift for many years).
Alex and her mom along with a school friend and parents went to Washington DC for Spring break. Alex visited the White House, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, Arlington National Cemetery, the Smithsonian, the Spy Museum and twenty one other sites. Alex had quite a trip!
We are always learning new things at 356Restore. This month has been computer work backing up photo files, a moving and storage business and if there is time left a bit of Porsche restoration.
There was no newsletter last month as Barb and I were on our annual vacation. Aloha! It was great. Very relaxing; we even have a Maui library card so we can read and relax in the sun.
When we returned from vacation, BJ and I cleaned up Bill Frey’s barn and shop- the Tub Farm. Bill was like myself, never throw any thing away. There was plenty of tools and at least sixty wrenches. Karen will have a garage sale before she moves closer to Parker.
Bill had a rollover rotisserie that is available for free. You will need a pick up truck or trailer. Bill also had a 356 engine test stand. Make an offer, Call Jim 303-840-2356 if interested.
Joe Leoni asked me to assist in the reassembly of a beautiful A Coupe. The owner has a terminal illness and is unable to finish the project. Joe worked on the wiring and I worked on the doors. The owner had replacement chrome pieces that goes on the door tops and of course the attachment holes did not line up. Drilling new holes with only 3/8 of an inch clearance to the painted skin of the door is a challenge. Both Joe and I did good work.
You may have noticed by reading the newsletter the past six months that BJ was doing most of the work and Jim had slowed down. Well, it turns out I was sick and didn’t know it. My diseased gall bladder was removed and I am back and in good health. I thought I was just getting old.
We are finally building! The demolition and expansion of the foundation was completed and the addition and garage have been framed. The first floor is being framed and the loft second floor is next. Then the roof and finally the basement and old garage shops for 356Restore. The addition I referred to above is also known as “The Tower”. It started out as a small shed under the front porch for Jim to store the lawn mower and snow blower. It evolved into a two story addition with storage below and a great sitting room off the master bedroom with tree windows and a three way fireplace. It is all framed and is great.
BJ continues on the metal and bodywork on the Shop ’62 Coupe- The Barn Find. Yes, BJ has been on this awhile as it needed a lot of work. Most of the 356 projects we are seeing are in very poor shape and expensive. There no longer is anything previously known as a 356 parts car. At todays prices they are all being restored.
Jim is finishing the assembly of “Viney”, the Shop ’64 Coupe. The original engine is being rebuilt. Remember, when we first looked at this project we removed the oil filler cap and it was rusted underneath and missing metal. Well the missing metal was in the engine and thus the rebuild.
Once “Viney” is assembled, we will get back to the Shop ’56 Speedster and then to “Casper” the Shop ’61 Coupe. Casper will not need an engine rebuild as it was driven to the shop. While it has a 912 engine this appears to have minimal price impact in todays market.
We need to wrap up the story of Jim’s first 356 so it continues;
The original four cam engine 90760 was thought raced to death however, through the Registry’s engine database a member recently discovered the engine in his Speedster was original to 58355. As tempting as it was to arrange a swap, the engine we have is 90764. Close enough!
So the family tree of 58355 as developed by Hank Godfredson, myself and the surprising email from Thailand is as follows:
1957-1960 Original Owner
1961-1962 How did 58355 get from
Thailand to Minnesota?
1962? Lloyd Woolery
1965? Russ Moga
………. Jeff Grigsby
1977-1979 Jim Kellogg
1980 George Wilkie
1986 Larry Skoglund
1986-2000 Hank Godfredson
2000- Jim Kellogg
The four cam engine that Hank had installed in 58355 was 90061. Early in 2002 when I mentioned that engine number on 356Talk I received the following email from Bill Brown. Bill had remembered me as we were both active in the Rocky Mountain 356 Porsche Club.
“Type 547/0 motor #90061 belongs to 1956 Speedster 80820. A Colorado guy named Brent Fagen once owned the car. I remember seeing the car at one of the first Ed Carrol events. The ID tag near the gas tank said “1500RS.” It was the second Speedster fitted with a 4- cam motor. Porsche had not yet named the cars 1500GS and were using the 550 Spyder designation on the first few 4-cam cars. Interesting car! Glad to hear you’ve “reclaimed” your Coupe.”
The engine that Bill Brown mentioned was traded by Hank Godfredson for 90764. 90061 went back to the second four cam Speedster and is now owned by Wolfgang Porsche and is in the Porsche Museum. Jim restored 58355 and it was sold to a enthusiast in England who planned to race in Vintage Rallys.
We all have busy lives but between school events, birthday parties, swim lessons, Valentine’s Day and hanging with Grandma some one needs a nap. It is hard being a four year old.