Things are really happening at 356RESTORE. We basically have three mini-businesses; we sell parts, we restore 356’s for customers, and we restore 356’s for resale (shop cars). The parts business has been good but variable. We sell parts we have accumulated and also sell parts on consignment (80/20). So, if you have parts you are tired of hauling to swap meets, consider consigning them to 356RESTORE. We advertise parts monthly. Customer restoration is great! The ’54 we mentioned last month is actually a Cabriolet and 356RESTORE got the job and will do the metal repair and finish the car in primer. The customer will finish the restoration. We just had the car media-blasted and there is lots to repair. A pleasant surprise was a call from the owner of a ’62 coupe we evaluated in early October. She wants the car completely restored and selected 356RESTORE after getting other estimates. The nice thing about both these customer projects is that they are in no hurry. We have a year to finish these cars so there is time available to work on your 356! The shop cars will have to move to the back of the shop. The ’59 Sunroof will be painted and then will have to wait until customer work is finished. The same with the ’63 driver project. Don’t forget the new phone number (840-2356).
When lubing your 356, take a second to check the speedometer cable entry to the left front hub. There should be a plastic section on the cable that seats and seals the cable entry. If this is missing, seal the entry with a good sealant i.e. Wurth. We mention this because a customer who takes meticulous care of his 356’s had water get in this entry point and do nasty things to his wheel bearing. Also, if you need new bleeder valves for your wheel cylinders, check out NAPA. They have good metric bleeder valves for $2,70 as opposed to the catalog prices for $14-$17. You do bleed and adjust your brakes every year, don’t you?
The holidays slowed things just a little. We thought that the ’59 Sunroof Coupe was ready for paint but then installed the sunroof and found more work to be done. The sunroof had been installed wrong and the legs that lift the sunroof had been brazed to correct the improper installation. This had to be repaired and then a lot of time was spent leading and filling to get the proper seams. We also started on the engines for the ’54 and ’63 plus a shop spare ’58. We installed a parts washer and cleaned off lots of oil. We also built a second car dolly and painted the rotisserie. The ’54 Cabriolet was picked up in Boulder and taken to be media blasted. Media blasting a 356 is like Christmas. What will you get for a present? In the case of the ’54, most of the panels were rusted as expected. The pleasant surprise was the left door was better than expected. The unpleasant surprise was the panel under the gas tank. It is shot and there was no way to evaluate this without removing the gas tank. So on balance our estimate still holds. 356RESTORE tries very hard to stand by our evaluation and estimates.
We will update our parts list next month. If you have asked 356RESTORE to set aside parts and you haven’t paid for them, you should pick them up because somebody else may get them. In lieu of parts this month, Dennis Carlton has a nice ’65 C Coupe for sale. It will need restoration at some time but is a great driver! It’s red with black and has a strong SC engine. It has the disk brake chrome wheels and the European heater system.
Dennis is looking for around $10,000. Call him at (303) 979-5025 (H) or (303) 534-0400 (W).