Finally progress! I found a barn nearby to store 356’s. So the shop is not backed up with finished or future cars. The ’54 Speedster, ’65 Shop car and Warren’s finished ’65 rest comfortably where horses used to reside.
The ’61 Shop car is now in beautiful silver metallic paint and the painter working on Ron and Marsha’s 356 moved it to a more convenient location.
Ryan and Bobby really got into doing a great job on one of the most difficult 356 colors to paint. Silver metallic is tough but you must drop by to check out their work. It is beautiful. The best time to check it out is Saturday afternoon during “Open Shop”. The Shop ’65 in barn storage was purchase in Niwot but it hadn’t been running three years. So I bought it at a fair price with some question on mechanicals. We flat towed it to Appleton’s and for the grand sum of $120 Ron got it running. Accelerator pumps dry out, gas and oil get old and the battery needed a charge, but the 356 fired right up and I had a great drive home. The disc brakes were great, the shift nice and notchey and steering excellent. The only problem was the heater was stuck in the on position and ambient temperature was 96 degrees. Anyhow I drive it to the barn and got out 5 pounds lighter.
Back in the shop, the other ’65 Coupe has had some major rust around the left rear strut repaired and the whole bottom cleaned, painted, caulked and undercoated. The metal work on the bottom of this 356 had been done a few years ago and done quite well. The exterior was another problem. The car took a major left front hit last year and after media blasting we discovered lots of previous exterior repair. Some are OK, but most need rework. We also tried something new on the Shop ’65. While the engine ran great (it belonged to a Porsche mechanic), it sure looked tired. I decided to freshen it up with new paint and clean parts without removing the engine from the car. By just removing the generator, oil filler can, coil and oil filter, I was able to clean, mask off and paint the engine sheet metal and shroud. It turned out great! With some new decals and cleaned/painted parts, it looks as good as engines I’ve done outside the car.
So in the shop we are doing the exterior metal on the Shop ’65 and reassembly on the Shop ’61 silver car. When the ’65 metal work is done, its off to the paint booth for Dolphin Gray paint job which will work real nice with the blue interior.
Next into the paint booth will probably be Joe’s Speedster which will also be Silver Metallic. Next into the shop will be Tom’s ’54 Coupe which we will pick up when we drop off Ron and Marsha’s 356. After Tom’s will be Alan’s ’60 Roadster, one of the barn cars or one of yours.
We have fourteen 356’s on our to-do list so now is the time to call and make arrangements. Our objective is to get these great cars back on the road with quality repair. We don’t sit on cars for months or years like some shops.
I was watching an experienced upholsterer install the panels in a 356 and while he gave me a lot of tips one he didn’t mention but one I observed taught me a lesson. I noticed he only took a small cup of glue inside the car. He filled it from a gallon can outside the car. I wish this observation had sunk in because the next day I kicked over my one third full gallon can of glue inside the 356. I got the glue off the floor and tunnel mats but it took time. To clean up glue residue use mineral spirits or 3M adhesive remover. Just moisten glue and roll into a ball.
Also, after your car is painted, never, never ever use a sharp object near the paint or rubber. If you have to pry, poke, push or position something, use a craft stick (popsicle stick). You can get 500 for around $5.00 at a hobby store. Just whittle into shape you want.
Enclosed is the latest parts list. Call anytime during shop hours (8:00 – 3:56) and check out the parts during Saturday Open Shop. All parts are satisfaction guaranteed. If it doesn’t fit or work (including electric) bring it back for full refund. There are some real bargains on the list-can you spot them?