We mentioned previously about the guy in Maui that had some 356 parts for sale. He had sent us pictures by phone and we sent him an E-mail indication specific information needed about the parts to determine their value. We needed to know serial numbers, condition and qualities. Well, the guy didn’t use the internet and didn’t get back to us. So, we called and said we would check out the parts when we were on vacation.
Maui Roadster was the name of the company and they rented replica Speedsters near our rented condo. We didn’t see them when we drove in, so we called and discovered they had moved. We found them in the used car section of Maui and renting one of their plastic Speedsters was now done by appointment. Turns out they guy that sent us pictures was the mechanic and was brokering the parts for the owner.
We set up an appointment to see the parts and was told the owner had some early dementia problems and also owned a real Speedster that was not for sale. We arrived and the parts had been placed on the lawn. We were able to get further information on the parts. There were some NOS Coupe doors still in the box from Vasic Pollak. There was part of a Speedster windshield frame and a Speedster top frame which we were told had been cut down to fit a 550 (didn’t make sense). There was a really clean A gas tank with the correct sender, A C-2 rear valance and Carrera speedometer plus lots of other parts. So we looked at them all and commented on issues and what kind of value. It was obvious the wife was in charge and really didn’t understand 356 parts. The husband seemed OK and knew most of the parts history. So we completed our evaluation and asked what they wanted for the parts. The wife said a fixed price for the lot was $20,000.
We said we would do our research when we returned home and give them our offer. I took a quick look at their ’57 Speedster which looked real nice but didn’t comment on it.
We enjoyed the rest of our vacation although the weather was mixed and the whales not to active. I did catch a really nice fish about ten pounds and a pretty pink color.
So we got home and we started the research. We used the 356 Registry classifieds and two vendors parts list. We soon learned we could estimate value based on the price of a reproduction part. Many 356 parts are being reproduced. While door skins are reproduced and used doors available you have to guess at NOS value. The doors would not be original to a 356 (unless stamped which is something we don’t do and would take a whole newsletter to discuss). We figured $800 for each NOS door. The owner’s wife thought the Carrera speedometer had high value even after we explained that you could send a speedometer to Palo Alto Speedometer and they would set it to Carrera specifications and make a Carrera face plate for it. So we added up all the values and called Maui with our offer of $5,000 and explained our research. We haven’t heard back, we will give it a few more weeks and see what happens.
BJ and I used to drive out to the big swap meet in Los Angles held in February. We would take a pick up load of parts and do quite well. Plus we would stop in Las Vegas on the way. We stopped going when we realized a part we needed for a restoration had been sold at the swap meet.
BJ suggested we fly out and also stop by in Las Vegas. BJ enjoys Las Vegas as he runs a full or half marathon there often. He has become a Las Vegas expert plus he said we could see the Penn and Teller magic show which he knew I would enjoy. Prior to the swap meet is the literature meet at the LAX Hilton on Saturday. Being close to the airport, buyers fly in from all over. The Lit meet is more than just books, posters and workshop manuals. It also include small 356and other parts.
There is a huge crowd for this event so venders located in the Los Angles area hold open houses the day before. We flew in Thursday night and hit many of the open houses Friday. Note; you have to have a smart phone and a app to find your way around L.A. We were surprised at the large warehouses many of the vendors had. They are not just selling 356 parts but also 911 and other Porsche parts. All the open house had free food and drink and giveaways.
At the Lit meet you can enter at seven o’clock for $30 or nine o’clock for $10. We opted for nine o’clock and two huge ballrooms were packed. We say Jerry Seinfeld enter, see the huge crowds and leave. BJ and I were only looking for two 356 parts plus I was checking out part prices. We were looking for male hood latches for 356A and B. We have had many requests and had sold out. We only saw one hood latch at the Lit meet and it was priced at $200. Maybe we would have better luck at the swap meet the next day. When we would drive out , the swap meet was held at the Dunkle Brothers large lot and it was exclusively 356 parts. Now it is held at a new location and like the Lit meet it is a huge event. Along with the swap meet there is a car show. Here is where we have an issue, both events have opened up to early 911 and VW parts. Not surprisingly as many 356 owners also own VWs and 911s. But for us , this has diluted the events. We found one male latch at the swap meet for $127. We came back later and offered $100. He said no $127. This summarized our thoughts-not the way it used to be.
Sammy figured out how to order on Amazon remote control cars by using the one click and buy feature. Not any more.