August 2016 Newsletter

Porsches and Pastries
Sunday September 18. That’s the day for Porsches and Pastries, and the day we can show off our new shop and home. We have had about six Porsches and Pastries over the years. BJ’s wife Jen, was the Executive Pastry chef at the Minneapolis Hilton. She is used to preparing large number of delicious and varied pastries. For this event she has Alex and Sammie to help. So we will start about 0900 but come whenever you can. It will be open shop and open new home. You can park along the circular driveway and street. Preferred parking for the Porsche 356. There will be great food and drink. The freebies include Porsche art work and there will be Porsche workshop manuals and other books for sale.

Excellence magazine just came out with their annual Porsche Buyer’s Guide. We have a hard time with the 356 prices. We have always considered the 356 an attractive and well engineered sports car. We have never considered them an investment.
At present we have nine 356s six of which we are restoring and will sell. We will keep the ’52 Racecar, ’63 Sunroof Coupe and ’62 Twin Grill Roadster. According to Excellence the six cars we will sell in good condition are valued at $730,000. Unbelievable! The three we will keep are valued at $345,000.
If you check the 356 Registry classified section you will see very high prices for 356s for sale. We doubt these prices are what is selling. Many of those 356 have been listed for a long time. But what is a realistic price? The only way to know is to ask a recent seller. We can’t find any.
We have some concern there is a market manipulation. The Excellence prices were prepared by Jeff Trask who is a principal at European Collections a major seller of Porsches. Our advise, consider your 356 for why you bought it not for what it may be worth.

Along with the increase of Porsche 356 prices, 356 parts are really moving up. We stopped selling 356 parts years ago when we found parts we needed for a restoration we had sold. Check out the vendors listed on the 356 Registry web site, you will be amazed at the prices for reproduction parts. Over $700 for a T-6 turn signal switch. $425 for the two chrome pieces on the top of the door. We recently had a request for some 356 A sheet metal parts. Left front fender and partial nose clip. We can’t understand why someone would want old used parts when new reproduction parts are available. Yes, the new parts are pricey but so is the value of the 356.

Most of the shop time has been concentrated on the Shop ’64 Silver Sunroof Coupe, The “Gambler”. This is the 356 we bought out of Salt Lake City that had been restored but was missing a lot of parts. Last month we mentioned the fun we had with doors. This month was the electrical and the sunroof. The first thing we noticed was that the 356 didn’t have the small two fuse block. Our ’63 Sunroof Coupe has it. It is for the sunroof and electric antenna. The C.O.A. says the sunroof is original, so maybe a Porsche change. While a lot of the sunroof parts were missing we had some and needed to find what was missing. The first thing to checkout was if the sunroof motor that came with the 356 was any good. The 356 had the sunroof rocker switch under the dash. According to Joe Leoni’s book, the switch should have a yellow, black and red wire (good German colors!). This switch had a loose blue wire instead of the red power wire. We ran a test lead from the bottom of fuse three to the blue switch wire and the motor works! The sunroof transmission was missing but we had one and installed it. But the pinion drive gear was missing. What to do? This is a rare part maybe we can have one made. BJ got online and the pinion gear is available for $24. Great, without this we don’t have a sunroof. The gear drives the two cables that move the sunroof. BJ also found that our spare sunroof motor is worth about $800.
So, the inventory of sunroof part yielded only one part was missing, the right side lifter which along with the left side adjusts to get the sunroof panel flush with the roof. We think we can make something work until we find one. We installed all the sunroof parts and are good to go once we make a lifter.
Meanwhile BJ spent time on the electrics. Jumping a lead from the top of fuse two to the bottom of each fuse, he got all the electrics to work, but only with the test lead not with the normal configuration. He thought the problem was in the turn signal switch or the headlight switch. Jim had to replace the spring on the turn signal switch to get it to function but there were still problems. BJ swapped out parts but he still had problems. He mentioned that he could not move the screws on the fuse block which looked original and still had the yellow inspection paint. We did a test and decided to replace the fuse block. It came out in pieces, completely frozen solid. A new fuse block and everything works. Jim is going to stop work on the “Gambler” to finish the small items on “Casper”, the white ’61 Coupe. The problem is this 356 has been stored in the storage building at the old house as there is no room at the new shop. So working on a 356 remotely and moving tools back and forth will be an issue. We have a potential buyer for this 356 so completing it and selling it will help with our storage problem.

Grandpa News
Both of girls started school this week. Alexandra started 7th grade and Samantha started kindergarten. They unpacked their suitcases and filled up their backpacks.

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