Its been two months since we reported progress but even with all the great events this summer we did get some work done.
Jim H’s C Coupe had the metal work done. The major work was on the left lockpost which had a very poor previous repair. I found the original lockpost pushed back and a metal strip welded in. I was able to remove the repair and weld in an original piece. The right headlight bucket and fender brace also needed to be repaired.. These were replaced with reproduction parts which fit with some rework. The C Coupe was painted its original Ruby Red and I painted, caulked and undercoated the bottom. I also put in a new headliner and reinstalled the front and rear windshields. The 356 C was trailered back to Loveland and Jim has the pleasure of final reassembly.
The metal work on Cal’s Speedster is done. This has been a major project during the past two months. I started with the dash. A radio and ashtray had been installed. These were easy repairs as it was just butt welding in pieces to fill the holes. The curve of the dash was more difficult but there was enough metal left to come close to the original and the Pre A eyebrow was restorable and used as a jig. (While in Monterey, I took pictures of the dash of a Pre A Speedster for reference. However, they had used an A eyebrow which is the only repro part available. It looked ok but really wasn’t right.) The original restored Pre A eyebrow made a perfect repair. Pre A’s had two big instruments and a small oil pressure gauge in the middle. A’s had the latter three big instruments, as a result the eyebrows are different. Other dash features are also different.
After the dash, I repaired the inner longitudinals and tunnel and put in a new floor pan. Next it was longitudinal repair, a new jack spur, a new battery box floor and lots of small repairs. The hood needed kink repair and the passenger door a new bottom. The underneath was painted, caulked and undercoated. The tranny was removed and cleaned. Cal’s Speedster is ready for the painter but the painter is working on Allan’s ’54 Coupe. While I wait I’ll restart on Norm’s ’54 racecar or work on Cal’s brakes.
Allan’s ’59? I said I was done with customer 356’s and would only work on mine for a while. However Allan’s ’59 needed very little metal work so I slipped it in between projects. When it gets its new coat of Ivory paint, I’ll put in a new headliner and reinstall the windshields. Allan will do the rest of the reassembly.
I picked up the ’56 Speedster I get in exchange for restoring Cal’s ’55 Speedster. I needed to pick it up before the snow flies as it has the Rudge Knockoff wheels that will go on Cal’s Speedster. Since these have special brake drums I can do the restoration and swap during the winter. Rudge Knockoffs are valuable wheels and I plan to be very careful with their restoration. Not only do they have to be separated prior to rechroming, this has to be done with special lathes to ensure they are true. The other issue is security. A few years ago, many sets of Rudge wheels “disappeared” at a restoration shop. My ’56 Speedster is very rusty yellow with black racing stripes. It’s obvious it will need a new pan, longitudinals, battery box floor, fender braces, closing panels and lots and lots of other repairs. But Hey! it’s a Speedster and worth doing. It comes without an engine but I just checked and one of my spare engines is a ’56 super!
So, after Cal’s Speedster and Allan’s ’59 it will be Norm’s ’54 and then the Shop Cab or Speedster.
Starting in November the shop hours will be Tuesday through Saturday. I’ll be using Mondays to help Barb with her project. Barb has talked for years about managing a tea room. I thought a few hundred square feet in an old building. Well, she found a 8,000 square foot house on five acres. There is a lot of rehab to do before she opens “Hilltop House” for her banquet facility and I like this kind of restoration too! So on Mondays it will be “this old house” rather than 356RESTORE.
The last vintage race of the season was at Pueblo. Bill and I co-drove the ’58 Company Car. My 356, his engine. I was the first car out Saturday for practice. I had never driven the track and it was foggy. If I saw skid marks going right, I turned left. By the afternoon I sort of learned the track. But Sunday they put all the production cars on the track for an Endro. Sixty plus cars. Lots of Corvettes, Mustangs and Trans Ams. But the Company Car held its own in the corners. Those big bore cars may be fast on the straights (I hit 100 + mph) but 40 year old Porsches can catch them in the corners.
When you install your front hood and rear deck, there should be some index holes for alignment. These are holes drilled by the factory through the hinges. Use these for your first trial fit. If not right, drill some new holes after a good fit. It will help in the future.