April 2000 Newsletter


The ’59 Coupe from Basalt had its metal work done and is at the painters.

The Shop ’52 Race car had a roll cage installed and is in the back of the shop for future assembly. We will hopefully work on this project next winter. Meanwhile I’ve been thinking of paint schemes. I think I will repaint the ’58 Race car, since with its Mexican cream and red and green stripes everyone still thinks of it as Tico’s Coyote. I saw a Porsche historical clip on Speedvision and they showed the 908-3. This was a solid color with a big arrow on the left front fender. So maybe we will paint the ’58 Aquamarine Blue with a white arrow and the ’52 White with a Aquamarine arrow. When I mentioned this to Trevor he suggested arrows on the opposite fenders. What do you think? Future projects, so plenty of time to think it over.

Barb’s ’62 Twin Grille Roadster was finished and we drove it to Prestige Porsche to be featured at the Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing (RMVR) season kick off potluck. Got lots of nice comments. When you see pictures of the 356 in pieces and then see it running it is quite a difference.

My Black sunroof Coupe is also running (spring is here!) and just needs some minor adjustments. The Shop ’56 Speedster is back from Autoweave and one Speedster seat is installed and the windshield, other seat and electric’s have yet to be done.

Speaking of electric’s, I put a battery in the New Jersey ’58 Speedster and started to check it out. Nothing! Only the generator and oil lights. Checked the fuse block and was convinced I was missing wires compared to other A’s in the shop. You know how I have problems with 356 electric’s so this time I called Joe Leoni.

356 Electric’s

This is not just a column heading, but also the name of Joe Leoni’s project to document the 356 Porsche electric’s. He has recently published books on the A and B/C electrical schematics and trouble shooting. I only had the B/C books and was at a loss on the ’58 Speedster.

So I called Joe and he came over. Within an hour and half we had everything working or the problem identified. He started out with a debugging tip that will save me hours in the future. With the battery connected, we put a jumper on top of the No. 3 fuse. This is the hot battery post. Then I touched the jumper to the bottom of 12, 11,10 and 9 fuses. This caused the headlights and the running lights to work or not. This bypasses the headlight switch. All the lights worked except for one running light which was a loose connection. Then we tried the headlight switch and it didn’t work. Did a continuity check and it was bad (but can be disassembled and cleaned-can’t understand why forty year old parts don’t work!). A replacement switch and everything worked. Tried the turn signals and the backs worked but not the fronts. Need to disassemble the turn signal switch and clean contacts (another forty year old part); held the two brake light wires together and the brake lights worked! Tried the starter. Nothing! Found a bad connection, fixed it and the engine turned over!

Joe you are a genius! For years we have struggled with black and white factory wiring diagrams that tell us little. Your expertise and books I consider a major breakthrough in Porsche 356 restoration. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Vintage Racing

Big News! Many of you remember the fun and excitement of Vintage Sports car racing at Steamboat. For fifteen years RMVR did this and had great fun every Labor Day. We had great crowds and racers from all over the country. This ended in 1998 with the development of condominiums around the race track. But a new venue has been found and we will race the streets again this Labor Day!

The location is Silver Creek up by Winter Park and Grand Lake. I don’t have the exact location yet and haven’t seen the track layout but it is a definite go!


I will not have my secondary storage location as of May 5th. This is why I’ve sold or traded some of my 356 project cars. So why did I buy another project 356? Because the car is complete but rusty and priced right-$3,000. It is a ’64 Coupe and was stored outside in Elizabeth for the last ten years. The owner got my name from Blast Tech (thanks Gary) and called. I thought he wanted restoration work and said it would be at least a year. But he said he wanted to sell and BJ and I checked it out and bought it. This will be BJ’s project from start to finish. After a year at 356RESTORE he has the skills to do one on his own.

BJ is doing the disassembly and already found something neat. The shifter has a lock and the key was in the ash tray. The rust appears to be mostly in the battery box floor, some of the pan and front of the doors. Closing panels and longitudinal look ok. The door seams are good, hood is rough. All numbers match. The engine spun a rod bearing and was disassembled and stored inside the car. The engine pieces will be off to Les Long of Airpower Racing for evaluation.

When BJ finishes the project he can use it as a daily driver or sell it. It’s tough to keep my hands off but I learned on my own and so can BJ.