April 2011 Newsletter

newheaderParker Fire
Thanks to all of you that called to ensure that we were OK during the wildfire in Parker. I was assembling the rear bumper for the Twin Grille Roadster and BJ was sanding the door for the Shop ‘58 Cab. He smelled smoke thru his dust mask and asked if I had been welding. Sometimes we will use a piece of wood as a brace to a metal repair which can cause a smokey smell. We checked the house then went outside. The wind from the south was about 50mph and smoke was covering the neighborhood. Visibility was low. Then we got the reverse 911 call with a mandatory evacuation notice. Checking the TV we learned the fire was south of us and no immediate danger. We were able to watch the fire fighting effort from our windows. Friends close to the fire evacuated but as reported there were no injuries or property loss. Thanks for thinking of us and thanks to our firefighters.

Mud Daubers
That’s what we call them. Wasps that make a mud nest then deposit the eggs. We have some in Colorado but they must have a bunch of them in Texas. We were doing the brakes on the Texas ‘ 60 coupe and found five wasp nests in the right front brake drum. There is as inspection hole in the brake drum to adjust the brake shoes. A perfect entry for mother wasp.

We were doing the brakes on the Texas coupe as we had taken the Oklahoma Twin Grille Roadster to the upholstery shop. We installed the new green vinyl door panels (which look great in the black roadster) and will let the pro do the light green carpet, green vinyl interior and green leather seats. Then it is off to the top shop for a new black top.

After interior and top, we will install the original rebuilt engine. Then we will put on the remaining parts then it is off to the mechanics for tune and adjustment. At the mechanics we will ask for some lift time so we can detail the bottom and take some pictures. If the Roadster is not sold before the June concours we will enter it for judging to get feed back on our work. Last year we entered the Wyoming Speedster which might have won an award but it was picked up by the owner prior to the show.

“So how long does a Porsche 356 restoration take?” Well we have done over seventy full restorations and another thirty to forty minor restorations– floor pan, batter box, door adjustments etc. The answer is they take time. It goes quick on original unrestored356s and it takes time on previously repaired 356s. We estimated at least 60% of our metal work is redoing poor previous repairs.

We started work on the Oklahoma Twin Grille Roadster in May of last year and the Texas coupe in June. Both will be finished this June. So each full restoration took a year but each was different. The Texas coupe was done to a driver level and the Oklahoma Twin Grille Roadster to a near show level as it is a rare 356 and will sell we hope for a good price. While we worked on the Oklahoma and Texas 356s, we also worked on the Shop ’60 silver Cabriolet and the Shop ’58 Cabriolet.

For the sale of the Twin Grille Roadster we are preparing a tool kit and a jack. These are almost required for a high value sale. The owner has the original tool kit cover in good shape and some of the tools; we will provide the rest including the tire gauge.

Years ago we were contacted by an owner that wanted to sell a 356 car cover and a workshop manual. We bought them both. Later he called and wanted to sell a custom bicycle rack he had made for his 356. We told him that we had no interest. Later he called and said he was moving and the bicycle rack was going in the trash unless we wanted it. So we dropped by his place to pick it up. He said. “Take this too”. It was a cardboard box with a few 356 oil filters and some other stuff. When we got home we discovered the other stuff included some neat car badges and an original perfect tire gauge! So the tire gauge will go with the Twin Grille Roadster tool kit.

The Internet
We try not to spend a lot of time on the internet as we enjoy working on 356s more. We do monitor the 356 Register talk forum daily and continue to learn about these great little cars. The internet also allows excellent knowledge searches. A while back a previous owner of Speedster 80013 Googled that number and found a link to our website where we have all of these newsletters and had discussed 80013 as we were working on it. We got the previous owner in touch with the present owner and some valuable information was exchanged. Recently, the owner of a Speedster race car contacted us as he had been told his Speedster had been raced by Larry Myers. We mentioned Larry in one of our newsletters as we met him at the Sedona 356 Holiday. This guy Googled Larry Myers and found our newsletter and we provided some information and hopefully he got in touch with Larry. On a less positive note we had mentioned some difficulties on a particular restoration. A prospective buyer for that 356 found the newsletter and backed away from the sale although the difficulties had been corrected. So be careful out there.

Grandpa News
BJ and Alex go to the library weekly and Alex showed her teacher a book at the fourth grade level (she’s in first grade). The teacher said she could read it for credit but would have to answer some questions about the book to move to the fourth grade reading level. She aced the questions!