We finished Les’s C Coupe within a week and he drove it home. The only surprise was that the rust from the front struts got up into the toe board area. Since we didn’t disassemble and blast the 356, I had the fun of laying on the seats under the dash and steering wheel, welding repairs in a very difficult spot. Lots of smell, smoke and limited visibility.
While waiting for Bruce’s Convertible D to come back from the upholstery shop, I finished Dr. Jack’s ’64 Sunroof Coupe. I spent at least two days adjusting the electric sunroof. If you don’t get it right you can scrape the paint of the sliding roof. The other problem is getting the sliding headliner panel to move without tearing the material. Anyhow, it’s done and it works. Sunroof 356’s are great as you get the benefit of an open car without the noise. I had a few electrical problems to solve on Dr. Jack’s 356, and you know how I love electrical problems. The 356 had been painted once before and the painter just cut all the wires to the lights, he then used butt connectors to join the wires. This can give problems. The proper solution is to solder and shrink wrap the connections. Anyhow after a few mixed connections, blown fuses and shorted out license light, we got everything electrical to work. Except for the starter. Fortunately I had a starter on the shelf. Within twenty minutes I had the old one out and the new one in. And the engine turned over.
As you read this I should have Dr. Jack’s 356 out of the shop tested with gas, started and driven. This was a fun car to work on as it had never been damaged or disassembled. Everything fit. I was also able to save most of the interior and carpet so this is a pretty original 356.
While finishing Dr. Jack’s 356, Jack H’s 356 came back from the paint shop. Allan, my new painter, gets better with each 356. This was his fourth and he did good. Jack H was quite happy with the paint job. He and his son will do most of the reassembly under my guidance. We should bring this in as a low budget restoration. It was a pretty straight 356 to start. Just rusty on the bottom and tired paint and interior.
Also back in the shop is Ron’s Cabriolet. It was painted in Cheyenne and the painter skimped on paint. We color sanded it and went down to primer in many spots. Plus the painter didn’t bother to sand the seams or fill the low spots. The reassembly of this 356 will be a challenge as we will try to use some coupe parts from Ron’s previous 356 which was totaled. I plan to install the interior and then let Ron decide on the exterior paint.
If you count the cars, you will see I’m full up again. However, my storage building is coming along great. It should be roofed this weekend and the cement floor poured next weekend. Soon I will have all nine of my 356’s in one place. I plan to do a few customer 356’s this year but really want to finish some of my project cars. The storage building should hold ten 356’s or eight if I have the race car inside on a trailer. The new building will allow me to more easily schedule 356’s (and Barb and I can get our daily drivers in the garage.)
When we pour the floor for the storage building, I’m going to put in some pots. What are pots? The are cannisters with chain and rebar feet. They will be flush with the floor and when I need to pull on a car, I can just hook up to the chain in the pots. When I checked with Tom Conway on where to position the pots, he said about 10 ft. from each side of the 356. This will mean some car reshuffling when I use the pots.
I will be going to La Junta to pick up a truck load of parts. These will be on consignment from a guy who has built a lot of 356 race cars (Yellow Dog Racing) and has lots of parts not needed for racing i.e. radios, mirrors, lights, etc. I’ll try to provide a list next month.
I’m doing quite a bit of parts business and have a good feel for what’s in demand. Unfortunately I don’t have a large invetory and quite often I have to say “I had some but sold them last month”. So if you need parts contact me. Lots of parts are NLA and many reproductions aren’t worth the high prices
The RM356 Porsche Club has an exciting event at Crested Butte on June 27-29. Contact Miles Christensen at (303) 690-9610 for details. The Vintage Racers will be at Second Creek on July 12th and 13th. This is a spectator event and also for charity. So please come out. There are usually a dozen 356’s racing and my race car will be there.
The Sports Car Show and Concour on June 8th was well attended and seems to get bigger every year. Unfortunately this year a funnel cloud was spotted and most of the cars left before the judging was announced. Barb and I were judges for this event and encourage you to enter these low key concours. You get good feed back on things that can improve your 356 and make it more valuable. Enter next year, it is for a good charity and fun to see all the different cars.
Of course for the Vintage Racing fans the big event every year is Steamboat on Labor Day weekend.
Start making plans!