April 2007 Newsletter

Phone Calls
We get interesting phone calls here at 356RESTORE. One reason is folks can Google the Internet and find the 356REGISTRY web page if they are looking for 356 info. If they click on vendors, they find 356RESTORE as the first listing. So they call.

BJ had one a few weeks ago when a guy’s neighbor at a storage location was going out of business and asked him over to see if he wanted to buy any equipment.

In the corner under a tarp he found a project Speedster. The owner said it was for sale. The guy called around and everybody he talked to wanted to know where it was and how much. He called us and asked whether he should restore it and what would it cost, or whether he should flip it. BJ gave him information on restoration costs and the guy E-mailed pictures. I suggested that if he wanted to flip it to get it for $15,000 and we would send him $20,000 and get it on a truck the next day.

BJ stayed in touch with the guy but it turned out the owner wasn’t uninformed and sold the Speedster project for $50,000.

Recently I got a call from a local guy that found us through the Registry vendor list. He had bought a ’57 Coupe from the estate of a friend. He had helped the friend modify the 356 years ago and he had recently completed it as an outlaw.

No, not an outlaw as he readily admitted but a full blown hot rod! The friend had found rust damage at the rear struts and decided to change the rear suspension. But why not go all the way-Chevy front frame with small block, Jaguar rear suspension, lengthen the front by nine inches and hinge it forward, metal fender flairs and lots more.

He wants to sell it and is smart enough to know it is in the hot rod market place. He will take it to a Good Guys car show but wanted to know if the 356 crowd would like to see it. I said yes (!) and encouraged him to enter it in the car show at Arapahoe College in June. He was concerned it might be laughed at. I indicated we respect good engineering and fabrication and don’t get hung up on “correctness” especially in outlaws.

The Shop ’57 Speedster has gone to Trevor’s for final adjustment before we sell it. It sure is a pretty 356. We even bought a wood steering wheel to set it off.

The only major issue we had was with the windshield. The metal work in the cowl area done by the previous owner was not correct and the windshield set too loose in the frame. We did all the adjustments we could do and decided we would have to discount the asking price due to the poor and noticeable (and probably leaky) fit.

We checked with our local glass shop and they loaned us some special windshield caulk. While we did a reasonable job it was still noticeable. We had their expert come out (young kid, car guy) and he did an outstanding job. We wrote a note of praise to the owner of the glass shop about their employee’s performance and our satisfaction.

The Shop ’58 Coupe has gone to the painter and will be the original Fjord Green. BJ had one final issue with this 356. The right rear shock mount was missing. In addition to the shock mount this part has a long rod that goes through the chassis for shock support. Inside the 356 it also provides attachment for shoulder belts on later 356s. BJ was able to fabricate a part using an eye bolt washer and steel rod. Looks original!

We brought down the Shop ’54 Coupe for BJ’s next project and I am finally starting on the rare Speedster 80013. BJ also has to start getting parts ready for the ’58 to assemble after paint.

Market Place
The 356 market is still hot although we consider the Speedster prices to be an anomaly which we hope to take advantage of. Strong interest in the 356 and prices bring problems. One is theft! In the past we have sold driver side vent windows to replace those broken during a theft-mostly in California. Be careful! We know of one 356 Coupe parked in a church parking lot a few days a week in the end spot next to the street; possible scenario: a hammer to the vent window, reach in, open the door, turn on the fuel, pull the wire behind the ignition switch, ground it and the thief is on his way to E-bay. Or possible protection- battery disconnect, a lock through the E-brake handle or pull the rotor. However, if they want it a flat bed truck and it is gone.

Grandpa News
Alex sure was cute in her Easter outfit but it still is not advisable for us to play together. We throw kisses from across the room instead. I remain cancer free and am halfway through the chemo treatments to ensure I stay that way. The only side affect has been fatigue leading to irritability.

One in three of us will get cancer! Many cancers are insignificant and cured by the body’s immune system. Other cancers are significant as we know and many of you are experiencing this. (Thanks to those of you who shared your support and experiences in your cards.) The one in three number is due in part to improved diagnosis. Let’s see – 300 folks get this newsletter; have you seen your doctor lately?

Annual Sport Car Show
The 24th Annual Exotic Sport Car Show and Concours D’Elegance will be June 10, 2007 at Arapahoe Community College. This is a great event; usually over 300 sports cars from all the Denver clubs. The event benefits Cerebral Palsy of Colorado. Registration is $30 prior to May 23rd, 2007. You can have your 356 judged or enter just for display. Contact Sandy Marian (303)691-9339; for an entry form. We usually have thirty 356s at the show; let’s try for a record.