We picked up the Shop ’61 Roadster from the painter’s and he did a great job. Show quality! We got it reassembled and off to Autoweave. It will get a red interior to go with the Aetna Blue paint and a tan top. The blue with red combination was not that popular back in the late 50’s-early 60′ but is popular now.
I gave a short presentation to a 356 group in Colorado Springs recently and made some comments about reassembling the Roadster. The point I made was it took two hours to reinstall the exterior door handles and six hours to apply the reproduction side trim.
This is why so few shops do 356 restorations. It is hard to explain to a customer why it costs so much to accomplish so little. At a shop rate of $55 an hour, the two door handles and side trim would cost $440. It’s easier to do insurance work.
I also informed the group that 356s in good condition continue to hold or appreciate in value. A member of the group summarized what I said better than I did. He said if there is still strong interest in the 356 and few shops to restore them, then owners of good quality 356’s should see them continue to appreciate. I agree.
The flip side is there will continue to be a need for quality 356 restoration. If 356RESTORE accepted all the work that has come our way, we would be booked for the next five years.
So that leads us to the need for a book on how to do a 356 restoration. We have finished the second draft of our restoration book and initial feedback is it is informative and entertaining. If the book gets published we would hope to see more 356’s restored.
BJ is just about finished with Gene’s ’62 Cabriolet and this leads to another problem. We will have the Shop ’64 Coupe, Chris’s ’59 Convertible D, Gene’s Cab and the Shop ’57 Carrera ready for paint. So we are looking for an additional painter. If any one out there has some leads, let us know.
I’ve been working on the Shop 57 Carrera. We took it to Blast Tech to have the floor area blasted. There is just no way you can do a repair with dirty metal. There was a lot of brazing on the floor area of the Carrera and I thought I would have to cut it all out. You can’t weld to brazing. It turns out most of the brazing was done over the original seams. Doesn’t hurt, may help, just doesn’t look original. We hope to have a new floor pan and headlight bucket installed shortly. We will not be doing any exterior work except for the passenger door and lockpost which we have completed. The exterior finish on the Carrera is quite good and there is no reason to open a can of worms. The exterior finish has held up for fifteen years and was good enough to have this right hand drive 356 featured on a few book covers.
Ted just dropped off his ’59 Cabriolet and we will be starting on it’s restoration. We had put Ted off for about nine months and finally gave in. Of course this fills us up with thirteen 356’s and one at Autoweave. Ted’s Cab looks like a lot of metal work. When you can see one half inch bondo you know there is a lot of metal to move. Ted’s Cab will be off to Blast Tech next week and we will see what we will see.
Trevor Sewell, the best damn air cooled Porsche mechanic in the country, is now available to work on your 356. For the past few years, Trevor has worked for an employer building and maintaining the employer’s racing Porsches and company equipment. Trevor is now on his own and looks forward to helping you with you 356 mechanical issues. Trevor can be reached at (303) 297-2498 and is on Blake Street near Coors Field. I have used almost every Porsche mechanic in Denver and there is none better than Trevor. Trained in Europe he is knowledgeable and quick. What takes other shops many hours, he takes half the time. Now is the time to schedule your 356 mechanical improvements.
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BJ will finish Gene’s ’62 and do the disassembly on Ted’s ’59. Trevor will pick up Ted’s engine for an evaluation. I hope to finish the Shop ’57 Carrera and start on parts for the big LA Swap Meet scheduled in early February. The ’64 Shop Coupe should get painted and reassembled. Still have some brake work to do on the Shop ’56 Sunroof Coupe that Bruce bought and then the Shop ’61 Roadster should be back from Autoweave. In the middle of all this, Barb and I will take our annual vacation in Maui, -Aloha! I really look forward to this vacation. We hope you all have the time and place to take a break.
Barb, I, BJ and Pat would like to wish you all Holiday Greetings. Barb is the primary support to 356RESTORE, BJ is keeping the flame and Patrick has given us a world wide exposure via the web site. We would also like to take time to thank those that continue to support us:
Tom Conway at Carquip, Ron Nelson at Autoweave, Gary Nardi at Blast Tech, Les Long at AirPower Racing and Trevor Sewell at Trevor’s.
356RESTORE has been blessed with great support of all our 356 friends. Happy Holidays.