January 2001 Newsletter

Web Site

For Christmas my son, Patrick, gave me a web site; which will be 356RESTORE.com of course! I thought we could put the newsletter, some parts/356’s for sale and maybe some tech tips on the site. While the site is currently under construction, Pat has put all the newsletters on it. I thought we might just put the most recent newsletters on but Patrick said it was just as easy to put them all on. Imagine, people around the world can read about what 356RESTORE has done over the last eight years! Eventually we will offer the option of receiving your newsletter by mail or Internet.


Charlie’s ’64 Coupe has changed from Black to Auratrium Green (I’m getting to like this original color). It should be back from the painter this week and BJ and I will put it all back together.

Rhome’s ’61 Roadster is also making good progress at the painter and should be back in a week or two. It will be Royal Blue. This 356 will get back on the road after not being driven for forty years!

BJ is almost done with his Ivory ’64 Coupe (he and Jen call it Marshmallow). Les Long of Airpower Racing built the engine and brought it down from his shop in Utah and installed it. It sounds great! We didn’t get to drive it as BJ still has to do the brakes. Shortly it will be off to Autoweave.

We picked up Scotty’s ’53 Coupe at Blast Tech and I started on the metal work. The rear clip is worse than expected-warpy welds and up to 3/8 inch of old bondo. I thought I could use a rear clip from a later 356 but it wouldn’t work. So with the rough clip off I will do a lot of panel beating. Working from the back side I pound out all the low spots (which are high spots on the back) – I will do this on the carpet in the game room. I can use sand paper to see if the area is smooth as the high spot will be shinny.

I also finished almost all the metal work on the Shop ’56 Sunroof Coupe. I just need to receive the panel that goes under the gas tank. It is a built to order piece from Tweeks. Stoddard had it in stock for $800 but Tweeks would have it built for $200. The last time I repaired this panel on an A the replacement panel wasn’t even close to original. We will see what arrives this time; however, with the gas tank in no one will ever see the panel.

I had been referring to this 356 as the Shop ’59 Sunroof Coupe. How did I get confused? Well I bought this project car five years ago and it was Aquamarine Blue with rust. A blue id plate was loose in the car and the number was from 1959. After blasting I could check the chassis number and it is definitely a 1956. The car is really straight and after I get the panel in it will be off to the painter.

Through this newsletter I did acquire another project car. This is a 1963 Coupe and the owners will hold it for me until next month when I should have some room. We presently have thirteen 356’s here with two at the painter. Fourteen 356’s is my limit so we have to finish some cars.

Swap Meet

BJ and I will have to find time to prepare parts for the big swap meet in Los Angeles. It is Sunday, February 11th. If you have some frequent flier miles you may want to attend. This is more than just a big swap meet. There is a huge 356 car show this year featuring all the Carrera race cars they can find plus an excellent museum at the event site. Call me for details, (if you go and buy something I can haul it back)

Rust Prevention

Al dropped off his ’64 Coupe for a little rust prevention. He was seeing rust at the lower sewn behind the quarter window and some at the rear threshold. These areas will only take a day to fix and Al is smart to stop it before it spreads. And you should too! I see a lot of 356’s with rust bubbles in front of the door, behind the door, around the foglight openings (T5-T6) and at the fender brace areas. The rust starts in seams that have opened and are left unprotected. After years of driving you would expect seams to open and poor undercoating by the factory and previous openers exposes these areas.

You have to scrape and sand to bare metal the area behind the rust bubble. Then paint the bare metal with a rust neutralizer. I use a product called Naval Jelly Rust Neutralizer. It used to be call Extend. It is available at NAPA and most hardware stores. Another product is called POR- 15. Let the product dry then caulk the seam with an automotive caulk. I use 3M Autobody Sealant (part no. 08500) available at auto paint supply stores.

After the caulk is dry, spray with rubberized undercoat available in spray cans at hardware stores. After it is dry spray with Black Satin paint to seal the undercoat. You will still have a paint bubble but it will not grow.

Al’s rust beginning behind the quarter windows brings up another point. Wax all painted surfaces! Open those quarter window, get to the door cavities and door bottoms, wax under the lids!

RM356PC Meeting

The monthly meeting place for the RM356PC has been changed to The Ranch CC 104th St. which is a bit farther north on 25 and I mile west of the old site – same time each first Wed of the month-see you there.