Well, I’ve been goofing off. For years I’ve been told I should write a book on 356 restoration. So I’ve been carrying the idea in my head. Well, the painter has been real careful on the third repaint of the Shop ’61 Roadster so I had some time between projects. I decided to write the book. I developed an outline and put it on my web site for comments. I got quite a few and expanded the outline. I contacted the two publishers that specialize in 356 books and they are both interested. I was told to put the book in the third person, unlike this newsletter which is in the first person and reads like I’m blowing my horn.
So we changed our style and have about eighty hours in the first draft. So far about 130 pages. Barb started the typing but this is bigger than the newsletter so we found a typist-word processor.
Our plan was to include lots of pictures but we have had problems with the digital camera. My son, Patrick-M.S. Computer Science- said we could scan in 35mm pictures and make them work. Lots of software for editing pictures. Well, we have a ten year collection of pictures, so we should have plenty of illustrations.
You can tell we are excited about this project. While we have the Registry’s “Technical and Restoration Guide” and Dr. Brett Johnson’s “A Restorers Guide to Authenticity” we don’t have a step by step restoration reference.
The writing has been easy as we’ve done a lot of 356 restorations. We are including lots of stories with the details. Like the time we saw someone getting the gas out of a 356 gas tank with a wet/dry vacuum.
So the book is underway. If there is a procedure that you want us to cover, call us, send an E-mail or note and we will be sure to cover it.
In the shop BJ has finished the metal work on Gene’s ’62 Cabriolet and is starting on the rough finish. I finished the bottom paint, caulked and undercoated on the Shop ’64 Coupe which will be next to the painter. Chris’s ’59 Convertible D is also ready for paint and will go after the ’64 Coupe.
We spent some time on the Shop ’56 Speedster as we had a guy fly out to evaluate and drive it. While it still needs some sorting out, it was fun to drive. He held off his decision for a few weeks and then decided to pass. One of his concerns was that the Speedster engine had a big bore kit. Hard to understand as most folks want the increased performance. So we have to finish the sorting of the Speedster. Then it will probably be on the market again next Spring.
We did sell the Shop ’56 Sunroof Coupe. It was not yet sorted out and we had not been actively selling it. But Bruce Ungari, RM356PC member, now in California, heard about it and was interested.
We restored his Convertible D years ago and the Coupe is the same color-Aquamarine Blue. So he and Kathy will have a matched pair. Sorting out a 356 after restoration takes time and when we sell a 356 we want it to be ready to go. But Bruce knows how to sort out a 356, so we set the price to reflect that the ’56 needed more work. This way we can get on to other projects. Sorting out means putting at least 150 miles on the 356 and fixing the small problems. At 150 miles you can change the oil, set the valves and be good to go till the next oil change at 2,000 miles. With winter in Colorado it is hard for us to sort out Shop cars.
Besides working on the book, we were able to start the insulation and ceiling installation in the shop. This went well and already the shop noise has been reduced in the upstairs living quarters. There is more to do as we find time.
As we were working on the book, we often referred to Brett Johnson’s “Restorers Guide to Authenticity” and to the 356REGISTRY’S “Technical and Restoration Guide”. These would make great gifts for the holidays for your 356 friend. Check out the literature vendors at the 356REGISTRY.org web site to order. Also, the 356 owner should have an owners manual. It would make a great gift too.
The big swap meet in California is February 2, 2003. 356RESTORE needs more parts. We use them on restorations and to keep these great cars on the road. In the past we have taken parts on consignment for an 80/20 split. This is no longer possible as trying to keep parts separate is difficult. But we still buy parts at a fair price. If you have some 356 parts give us a call. Some of the parts we bought in the past are still on the shelf, but this is not unusual. Parts seem to go in cycles. Right now, we could sell every Blaupunkt radio and luggage rack we can find.
We had a Cabriolet windshield frame that we were going to use on a shop project but then sold the project car. Because of our web site we were able to sell the part to a guy in Israel. If you are in the business of selling, establish a web site and go international. Customer pays for shipping.
Everyone that gets this newsletter should belong to the 356 REGISTRY. Go to their web site to join. The latest magazine was exceptional.