April 2015 Newsletter

Road Trip
As we have mentioned before, since 356Restore sorts out at the top of the 356 Registry vendor list, we get lots of calls. Lately, they have been of the “I just inherited my grandfathers 356 and need to know what it costs to restore it” or I’m going to buy a 356 and need to know its value and costs”. But one contact was an email with three pictures of a silver sunroof ’64 356 that was for sale in Salt Lake City. A guy was acting as a broker for the elderly owner, we said we might be interested but needed more pictures and a price. The owners price was to high as only parts of the 356 had been assembled, we couldn’t tell which parts were missing and were told the sunroof sliding panel was missing.
We let the broker know the problem with the missing panel, the missing parts and cost to complete. The engine was supposedly an SC. The owner thru the broker came down in price. The broker said the owner was difficult to deal with. We settled on a price and sent a down payment to the broker.
We arranged for a pick up date. But snow was forecasted and the missing sunroof and glass would be a problem. We had a sunroof clip that was to go on the Shop ’62 Coupe called Barney. This was per the COA. We decided the sunroof parts would be more valuable on he ’64 SC. We made some Lexan panels we could tape over the glass openings and prepared for the road trip. The snow started in Cheyenne and continued to Laramie. Then low visibility and occasional snow to Rawlins then low visibility and cold into Salt Lake City. We arranged to meet the broker at his warehouse early the next morning. We started to add panels to button up the 356 but decided there was nothing in the cabin that would get damaged. The engine was installed and the deck lid secured, same with the front compartment so we loaded the parts and the 356 and paid by cashiers check to the broker. The broker said he was glad to get what he was owed. Strange comment but we thought probably some issue on a car deal The broker dealt in American classics and had two fifties Cadillac in the large warehouse where we picked up the 356.
We headed home , no snow, good visibility but cold. We saw five semis off the road, probably due to the storm the day before. We got home with no problems and the story should end here but the next day the owner called and gave us some history on the 356. He also asked what we thought of the broker. We said he was nice enough guy who said he also had a warehouse in Las Vegas. The owner said did we know the broker was an excon and he ran an illegal casino in that warehouse. Well, that explained the broker’s comment on what he was owed. It was a gambling debt. No problem for us as we paid a fair price. The plan is to have Thom the painter fix any problems in the paint and hopefully match the paint to the sliding sunroof panel; we will reassemble, check out the mechanicals/electrical and sell
Upon inspection the engine is a ’64 C but it has the SC tach so a switch was made at some time. We have sent for the COA.

BJ has started on the body work on the Shop ’62 Coupe we call Barney (as it was a barn find). He is about a third done and the gaps are great due to the time he spent on metal work.
The Shop ’56 Speedster is sitting awaiting parts. We had modified the windshield side posts trying to solve a problem and decided to start over with new ones.
Jim completed the assembly of Viney the Shop ’64 Coupe and we just heard that the engine is ready after the rebuild. So this 356 should be on the road soon.
The Shop ’61 Coupe Casper sits in the shop awaiting reassembly. We are delaying this to work on a customer project. This is a ’64 Coupe badged as an SC but with a modified
’61 normal engine. The owner had owned this 356 thirty years ago but sold it and recently bought it back. Disassembly has been a challenge as the previous restoration was done with rivets not screws. The hood seal was riveted as was the chrome door tops and rubber threshold. The concern is these screw holes may have been enlarged. When we picked up the 356 there was a large solidified puddle under the car. Turns out the 356 had been stored for twenty three years with gas in the tank. The tank leaked and it melted the undercoat. The tank is unusual. It is a 1962 bottom sender tank modified as a top sender. We have not seen this before but it could have been a dealer modification. Bottom sender tanks were not a good idea and did not last long.
This 356 also had a fuel pump sitting next to the battery (not a good idea) and added driving lights has created a wiring mess in the dash area and front compartment. We may have to buy the front half of a new wiring harness.

The Move
Progress continues! We have lights in the basement shop. The new garage is finished with its new roof tiles. With the new garage inspected and approved , the contractor can move bulky material from the old garage and can start on the shop (been looking forward to a lift for many years).

Grandpa News
Alex and her mom along with a school friend and parents went to Washington DC for Spring break. Alex visited the White House, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, Arlington National Cemetery, the Smithsonian, the Spy Museum and twenty one other sites. Alex had quite a trip!