April 2004 Newsletter

Black Monday
A few weeks back on a Monday following a beautiful 356 driving Sunday, we received a call. A friend of Cleve’s was driving Cleve’s ’59 Coupe around the neighborhood after doing a tune up. He was hit hard by another car in the passenger door. The other driver was at fault.

One hour after that call we got one from Jerry. He was driving his ’62 Cabriolet around his neighborhood and was hit in the right front fender. The other driver was at fault.

We did an insurance estimate on Jerry’s 356. He was able to drive it to our shop. Heavy damage to the fender, bumper, and front panel. Moderate damage to the hood, cowl, right rocker, headlight bucket, fender brace and battery box side. The front suspension may need alignment. Unfortunately we would not be able to do the repair for months and Jerry planned to participate in a lot of 356 events this year.

You should have stated value insurance on your 356. This is provided by classic car insurance providers. If you have actual cash value from Allstate, State Farm, USAA, etc, they will go to the “book” and determine your forty-five year old car is worth $2,000. You then have to prove with receipts, comparisons, etc, that it is worth more. There are some mileage, garage and other restrictions with the specialty providers but you can shop around to find one that meets your 356 driving habits.

Also don’t be surprised if the insurance doesn’t cover all of your new paint job. They will only pay to get the paint back to its condition at the time of the accident. You will have to argue the percentage.

It is obvious we are over committed. Mathew brought his ’59 Coupe over after he disassembled it and had it media blasted. While he bought it in Arizona it obviously wintered in Minnesota. We call this 356 “Cheesecake” as it ranks number three in rust damage behind “Frankenstein” and “Igor”. It has plenty of Swiss cheese holes plus the owner brought over some great cheesecake for BJ and me. (Let’s see, lobster, steaks and now cheesecake, the word must be getting around!) When BJ went to cut off the front floor pan on “Cheesecake”, the plasma cutter stopped working and there was a terrible smell. Someone not only pop riveted a patch over the rusty floor pan, they left the rubber floor mat under the patch!

David brought his ’58 Coupe up from New Mexico and we took it to Blast-Tech for blasting. David had disassembled the 356 and made a dolly on which to make repairs. Concerned the 356 on the dolly would ride too high on a trailer, David put an axel, springs and tires under the dolly and towed it 500 miles to our shop. A real nice looking rig. We will take pictures. We had no problems towing it to Blast Tech and it should make their job easier.

Fritz brought over his ’64 Coupe. He wants a new paint job and the interior corrected. The 356 needs very little body work. We started disassembly and probably won’t have this 356 blasted as it is so straight. The painter says he can sand it down and repaint. Fritz has to decide on color.

I corresponded with David about his 356 via E-mail. Well there is another David also E-mailing me about doing his car. Thinking there was one David, I may have committed to two 356’s!

We finished Tom’s ’64 Cabriolet and he picked it up. We have moved all the Shop cars to the storage building as we expect Michael’s 356 back from the painter and David’s back from Blast-Tech. We also have to assist George in the reassembly of his ’60 Coupe.

Vintage Racing
Bill Frey finished the ’52 Coupe Race car and we ran it at the Second Creek Drivers School on Easter weekend. We were still assembling the race car Friday and had no time to test. The 356 ran great right off the trailer! If you are considering a 356 race car, Bill is your man.

Tech Tip
We are sure you always check your oil before taking your 356 out for a run; but what about your tire pressure? Your owner’s manual will specify the settings for your 356. Usually 26psi front and 28psi rear. Proper tire pressure is critical for 356 performance. How old are your tires? Five years is a reasonable tire life. After that they are dangerous. If you don’t know how to read the date code on you tire, take it to a tire shop.

Our 356 Restoration book started shipping April 15. There were some delays in publishing but there are also delays in 356 restorations, so we are use to them.

BJ and I will attend Rennsport II in Daytona Beach, Florida, April 23-25. We think this will be a huge Porsche Racing event as Rennsport I three years ago at Lime Rock Connecticut was great. Details next month.