August 2015 Newsletter


The Market
Crazy! Last month we had nine calls/emails requesting 356 restoration work. New York, New Mexico, California (2) and even one from Elizabeth CO. We also had four calls asking if we had 356s for sale (which we will soon). We decided to do some analysis on the 356 market.

We started with the Hagerty Insurance valuation site. We decided to just analyze the 356C/SC Coupe market as we will have some for sale. We have always thought Hagerty was high as they sell insurance and high values mean higher premiums. For a condition 3 “Good” 356C/SC, Hagerty averages $70,000.

Then, Excellence magazine just came out with their “Porsche Buyers Guide” issue. They got their 356 information from Jeff Trask. We know Jeff and while it wasn’t mentioned in the article, Jeff works at European Collectibles in California, so he sells cars and the California market may be different. Jeff’s valuation for 356 C/SC in good condition was $90,000.

So we have two market analysts but they could be influenced by their bottom line. So we checked the 356 Registry classifieds. We’ve always considered the 356 Registry to be an honest input to 356 values; unlike E-bay. The 356 Registry classifieds had fifty two 356 listed; forty five were for sale and seven wanted to buy. Note: six to nine months ago, there were almost as many wanted to buy as for sale. Market shift? The 356 Registry had fifteen 356C/SC for sale. Since we are looking at good condition, we threw out three high we think were concours level. The twelve 356C/SCs averaged out at $76,000. So Hagerty at $70,000 Excellence at $90,000 and the 356 Registry at $76,000, for good condition 356C/SC Coupes. We did note that the 356 SC commanded a $10,000 premium over the 356C but it was easy to change a 356C to a 356SC by changing the emblem and tachometer. The C and SC engine differ, 700000 series vs 800000 series and 75 hp vs. 95 hp. We have evaluated many 356SC only to find a 356C engine and tachometer. The C and SC rear emblems were interchangeable. When the owner was told this they said they were told it was an SC when they bought it. But we digress. What do we think about the 356 market? Well, its real. We recently stated that the Porsche 356 shouldn’t be considered an asset but we have changed our mind. For folks of moderate means they should think of their 356 as an asset and treat it as such. That means maintaining and driving it, not storing it. (As I was writing this, we just got a call from a guy from California. He said he had talked to me earlier and wanted to know the price on the Shop ’64 Sunroof Coupe. I told him we were waiting on upholstery and we didn’t price them until we drove them. He then asked about prices in general and we told him about our above analysis. He thanked me and hung up). So with all the data , and after driving the Shop ’64 Signal Red Coupe we decided on a price of $68,000. We will probably set a similar price on the Shop ’61 White Coupe and add a $10,000 premium for the sunroof when we sell the Shop ’64 Silver Sunroof Coupe.

As mentioned above, we picked up the Shop ’64 Signal Red Coupe at the mechanics. We completed the remaining assembly and took it for a drive. Drives great! We are assembling the Shop ’61 Coupe and really like the white paint. You don’t see many this color; about 5% of the 356s produced. We even got back to the Shop ’56 Speedster. The issue here was the windshield fit. We were trying to correct the problem without damaging the paint. After many attempts we had to admit that the problem was in the metal and to move the metal we would have to repaint the area. When we though about it , it seemed silly not to spend a few thousands on some paint rework on a 356 worth around $150,000. So we moved metal and are almost there; we had a low spot on the cowl and it looks like the cowl windshield chrome piece was incorrectly positioned. While picking up some parts at Blast Tech we spied an interesting tube frame chassis. It looked familiar and we identified it as a 550 Spyder. It will be restored by a well known Porsche expert here in Denver. We noted the serial number and found it in the Porsche Carrera book. This book has an extensive index of all the racing history for the Carrera engineed cars and the chassis we saw entered many, many races. The parts we picked up at blast Tech were five late brake drums. The cost for media blasting these drums was very reasonable. We cleaned brake drums by hand using wire wheels and it takes a lot of time. Blasting is the way to go. In fact we seldom use our chemical part cleaner or our blasting cabinet. As we sort through the parts we recently bought we except a lot more work for Blast Tech.

The Move
As mentioned before Jim is spending a lot of his time monitoring the construction of our new home and shop. The exterior is done. The stucco guys were artist and so were the stone masons. We received a lot of positive comments from our neighbors on the look of the exterior. The interior is almost done. The plumber is finished, the electrician is almost finished as are the HVAC guys. We are close to drywall and they will start in the basement which means we can stock all our parts and finally be able to find parts we need for 356 restorations. Not being able to find parts has really slowed restoration work.

Grandpa News
We didn’t see Alex and Sammie much this summer as they had vacations, camps, a Disney Alaska cruise and out of town trips. I just heard Sammie upstairs so its time to say Hi!