April 1998 Newsletter

Monterey ’98

I talked to Dave S at Driver’s School. He will have his Gmund Coupe ready for Monterey! In fact, he is thinking of driving it there! He was at Driver’s School to get a license so he can drive it a Laguna Seca! Way to go Dave! (We will forget your attempted first turn pass at school).

Tech Tip

While working on The Company Car, I borrowed a brake bleeding kit from Bill. This comes with a hose you attach to a spare tire that has 17 pounds pressure. The hose goes into a plastic bottle you fill with brake fluid and another hose goes to a cap that fits on your brake fluid reservoir; works great. It’s call “Gunson’s Eezibleed” and is made in England. You may have to shop for it.

The brake fluid we use is Ford High Performance Dot 3 Brake Fluid. It come in a blue can from Ford Dealers. Read the specs on the can, you will be impressed.

When you need to buy rubber pieces for your 356, I recommend International Mercantile in Del Mar, California (800) 356-0012. Terry has done a lot of research on 356 rubber parts and is reproducing them out of Dupont products. They are lots, lots better than the Taiwanese products from other vendors. It use to be a hassle to order from Terry but now he takes credit cards over the phone. Call for a catalog.


Next meeting will be Wed, May 6 at the same place, Brittany Hill, Thorton-see ya there.


I had some nice comments last month on the Newsletter so we will keep it going. Any suggestions for topics that you would like covered would be appreciated.

Last month’s Newsletter referred to “front end loader” as a nickname. Since we were eating supper at the time, Barb was suggesting that I was stuffing my face.

While I don’t want to turn the Newsletter into a Vintage Racing diatribe, you should know of my first experience driving a 356 at race speed.


Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing has over 500 members and lots and lots of sports cars from the 50’s and 60’s. They run 6-8 races a year in Colorado and start out the season with a Driver’s School. I attended this year and was impressed with the emphasis on Vintage Racing rather than Racing. The idea here is to improve your skills, have fun and be safe.You get in trouble for aggressive driving, going off track or hitting/touching anything.

You are evaluated by an instructor at the school and the next few races. If you do well at “Vintage Racing” you get a license. I was told I did well at Drivers School. I know “The Company Car” performed better than I did. It was reliable, consistent and forgiving. I made mistakes, forgot techniques and occasionally got frustrated. All in all I had fun. Who would have thought that at the age of 57 I would pass a MG at close to 100 mph on a downhill straight away with a sharp right hand turn approaching. It is tribute to the 356 Porsche that they are still a competitive and fun car.


Greg’s ’64 SC Coupe came back from the painter in its original Champagne Yellow and looks great! I hope to have it all together in the next few weeks. I did little work on Norm’s ’54 race car as we are waiting on parts. I plan to do the metal work on Ron’s 356 as he has had this car on the rotisserie for 8-12 years and has taken our ribbing with good humor. This 50th anniversary is the year to help Ron get his 356 back on the road.

While getting “The Company Car” ready for the racing season I called around the country to get info on brake shoe linings for the Carrera drum brakes. I could not get a recommendation but did get an offer to buy them for $3,000. I think I’ll keep them. They saved my butt at Drivers School even though I will have to get them relined soon.

After or during the work on Ron and Norm’s 356’s, I will start getting Barb’s Twin Grille Roadster ready for a repaint. When I did Barb’s car, I did a lot more leading than I do today. It appears I occasionally ran my lead over my flux base. Everything looks fine until you apply paint solvents. They get between the lead and the surface metal and cause lifting. I’ll work these areas back down to metal and apply today’s plastic filler.

My philosophy on parts, is that they should be on driver 356’s not on the shelf. So as I reassemble a car, if I have a better part on the shelf, I’ll swap and charge a small exchange fee. This saves the customer from buying an expensive reproduction part and I get the satisfaction of creating a nicer 356. Of course, eventually I’ll have a shelf of rough parts, but if I time it right this won’t happen until I retire for the second time.


I mentioned earlier of trying to get advice on Carrera drum brakes. I got conflicting advice and lost a few days by trying the wrong advice. What I had forgotten is what I learned years ago. Pick one knowledgeable person and follow their advice.