Thank you to all that helped us celebrate the twentieth anniversary of 356Restore. The weather was perfect and we had over forty two Porsche 356s and over 150 folks helping us celebrate.
Jen prepared over 1500 pastries and they were almost gone. BJs cousin Doug had an important meeting in Wisconsin on Friday and there was no way he could get his barbeque rig here by Saturday so we went to a back up plan and all was good. Barb did a great job on the salads. Jim was trapped in the shop answering 356 questions and did not have much time to circulate but he thanks you all.
So what is the future for 356Restore? We plan to keep getting these great little cars back on the road as long as it continues to be enjoyable. (Note: Someone left a nice Carhart sweatshirt here so just call to retrieve)
Jim’s project is sort of stalled as we wait for the replacement dash/cowl and outer front fenders. Each panel requires another panel for correct placement just like the factory did it. So while waiting for panels we decided to restore the bench seat. It is a rare 356 option; one estimate is only 200 were produced. It is the early square back style with a wooden frame. Disassembly yielded broken and missing wood and rusted and missing metal. We were able to glue and replace wood pieces to fix the bottom frame. It is a rectangular piece that goes over the tunnel it slides on unique ball bearing rails on the outside and fore and aft movement is controlled by the driver side latch with a long rod to the passenger side latch. Then there are the springs, again a rectangular frame. Much of the frame was rusted as were the springs. We kicked ourselves for throwing out some seat spring assemblies while cleaning up for the party. Then we discovered the springs we threw away were smaller than the early springs. Then in our seat pile we found some early seat bottoms and we were able to weld them together by using the wooden frame to position them. We are just missing springs in the center but we think the upholstery shop can work something out. Of course, the seat hinges were terribly rusted and unusable. We found a set of four in our part stash, so all is good.
BJ finished the extensive metal work on Sam and Sally’s ‘59 Sunroof Coupe. We started this project in mid March so it has been one big job. BJ is on to body work and then it will be ready for paint.
So we bought another Project 356. A 1963 Coupe which was a barn find in Colorado but the buyer didn’t have the time or skills to restore it. It is a black plate California 356 that came to Colorado and was stored outside the barn under some rugs. It looks like a short track racer with wide seven inch wheels and fat tires. The right front wheel was stuck solid as we discovered getting it off the trailer. In the rear there was no brake assembly and the wide wheels were bolted through the VW brake drums and there were no shocks. The chassis was supported by two 4X4s. We will continue the disassembly and get it to BlastTech. So far it doesn’t look like any collision damage.
It came without an engine but we had recently bought two 356 engines from the estate of a Porsche mechanic in Pueblo. One of them is a complete ‘63 engine. We will check it out on the test stand The ‘56 engine we bought for Jim’s project arrived from Florida and we will assemble and also check it out on the test stand.
The Shop ‘58 Cabriolet got its new top and awaits its engine which is assembled but not yet tested.
Kirk’s ‘60 Cabriolet had its engine installed and suspension and linkages checked out. It will be going back to Illinois shortly.
The engine for the Signal Red ‘64 Coupe has been tested and will be installed and checked out. The other Shop ‘64 Coupe-”Viney” is at the painters and will also be Signal Red.
We’ve always considered Porsches as race cars. Starting with the 356A, a factory option was a crash helmet and race suit.
There were 76,303 356’s produced:
Wire wheels were an option for 356s but were not often ordered as they were illegal in Germany.
A rare factory option was a tow hitch. We actually had one when we ordered a tow bar from Stoddard twenty five years ago and the part numbers were reversed in the catalog and we got a tow hitch which we returned.
Another neat option was a heated windshield. Dixie still has her original one hanging in her garage
In the’60s over half of the 356 were painted Ivory, Ruby Red, Heron Grey, Slate Grey or Silver Metallic, but Signal Red was closing fast.
A twelve volt option was available starting with the T-6 B (earlier for Carreras). We have always said there is nothing wrong with six volts. Clean your grounds, use relays and proper tune. A twelve volt conversion today is difficult and expensive.
Alex pulled some tendons in her ankle and will be in a walking cast for three weeks. Did she fall off her Barbie bike or jump off her Princess Bed? Nope. She did it playing tackle football.