The leaves are changing in the Rocky Mountains and the days begin with a jacket and end with shorts and flip flops. I have no information about the picture above. It was from a library of 356 pictures, I picked it because of the bronze color car in the middle.
Have a Happy October, 356Restore
We took the Shop ’52 Coupe racecar to High Plains Raceway for the Enduro. This sixty year old Porsche continues to perform well. In the Enduro all the closed wheel cars race together for an hour and a half with two ten minute pit stops. So, you have Mini Coopers and Corvettes and plenty of Porsche 911s. Our ’52 beat many of the big bore cars including many 911s. Our thanks to Bill Frey who built the engine and Scot Petitt who really knows how to race a 356.
Jim jumped into the remodel and took down a lot of sheetrock. With the contractor and subs working the interior of the new home is gutted and new construction is started.
BJ continues on the metal work on Casper. The Shop ’61 Coupe needs a bottom everything and lots of interior and exterior panel repair. It is going well. We should pick up the Shop ’64 Coupe at the painters in a few weeks. So with the 356 restorations and the move, lots of activity at 356Restore.
We will continue the story of Jim’s first Porsche 356 but first:
Alex and Sam had a sleepover with the grandparents a while back. Alex showed Grandma how to make one of her favorite foods, Spaghetti Tacos. You take a hard shell taco and fill it with noodles and red sauce and cheese. It is pretty good.
The Thailand Carrera 58352- Story Continues..
As we drove off I could see the pavement under my feet and there was a strong gas smell and drops of gas from a silver thing under the dash. “Don’t worry,” said Jeff , “my dad can fix it.”
Jeff and I shared an interest in cars and racing but this was the first Porsche I had really seen and ridden in. Jeff changed jobs and got married but we stayed in touch as we were both in an investment club.
Four years later we were closing out the investment club and we had a few bucks in hand. Jeff had said his wife was upset that she had to park her car outside during the Minnesota winters due to the Porsche in the garage. Since I had a new house with a three car garage and money in hand I asked if he wanted to sell the Porsche. “Sure,” he replied. But I said, “You will have to drive it over here,” as I hadn’t seen it run in four years. I added, “I’ll pay you what you paid for it.”
$750 changed hands.
A few weeks later, Jeff drove it over and his wife followed in another car. We put it in the garage and Jeff also had a box of books he left with me. He said “it’s a Carrera and those Road & Track magazines talk about it.” Well it stayed in the garage for months as I worked on settling into our new home. Then I thought I would drive it to the Porsche dealership to have it inspected. But I could not get it started. In a call to Jeff he explained about the pull switches on the dash for the electric fuel pump and something else. I got it started all right but then discovered that the key wouldn’t shut it off. If I stepped on the brake and popped the clutch it would die. Ok, I thought, I can get a new ignition switch at the dealer. But the dealer didn’t have a ignition switch and wouldn’t even test drive it as they said the suspension was frozen and the car was full of bondo. To cap off a truly disappointing day, the hood flew up as I drove it home.
Off and on I scraped underneath the 356 and sprayed lots of wd-40 on the suspension. I saw that Jeff’s Dad had welded a flat floor on the car and fixed the gas leak. I read the Road & Track articles and learned that Carreras were special car, but mine didn’t have the four cam engine. Still I worked on “improvements.” By driving on rough roads I got the stiff suspension to work. I fiberglassed some damage at the rear and my son and I painted it black with spray cans. After a few years I realized I didn’t have
the skills to restore the car but I really enjoyed the Porsche 356. I put an ad in the paper-For Trade Only. A guy named George came out and drove the Carrera and said he had another 356 for trade. I went and looked at it and it was really rusty and had fender flares. It had been a Minnesota ice racer. I said no deal. A few months later George invited me to his place for a PCA tech session. I drove the Carrera and parked it with a “For Trade” sign. Many people were interested but later I noticed the sign was gone. George said he took it off as he had another 356 to trade. It was a rusty but complete 1963 sunroof coupe and George would restore it for the trade.
I did the deal and spent every weekend for a year at George’s as he and I restored the B Coupe. I learned a lot.
George traded the Carrera to Larry Skoglund and in 1984 I saw him race at Brainerd International Raceway. I drove my ’63 to the race. When Larry came off the track the stinger tailpipe on the Carrera would glow red from the aviation gas he was using in a push rod race engine. I met some great people at the track and joined the vintage race group where I met Hank Godfredson who was active in PCA and vintage racing.
In 1986 I was transferred to Denver. Looking to find other 356 enthusiasts I called David Seeland who lived in Denver and was an editor for the 356 Registry, which by then I had joined. Dave told me about a new club in town called the Rocky Mountain 356 Porsche club. We joined and my wife Barb and I had a great time making new friends while participating in the events. During this time I bought the first edition of Gordon Malby’s Porsche 356 and RS Spyders. Featured on the cover was my first 356. It was now silver with red racing stripes.