December 1993 Newsletter


Happy Holidays from 356RESTORE. With the bright light from the MIG welder and shooting sparks from the grinders, it looks like Christmas every day in the shop. We even have a small Christmas tree (artificial, for safety). Ryan and I will be working over the holidays so if you are off work, give us a call and drop on by. We may even let you create your own bright light and shooting sparks.


We fabricated that Pre-A left front fender for Tom’s ’54 Cabriolet. Actually, Ryan took on the challenge and did an excellent job. He spent three hours just carefully hammering the metal over the wire to create the perfect 16 inch wheel opening. He also had to ensure that the rear of the fender had the proper lip to match the front of the door. Ryan even created the roll-under that you find on Pre-A rocker panels. It turned out great and we saved Tom a few hundred buck.

While Ron and Marcia’s ’64 Coupe was at Blast Tech, we took the opportunity to paint the shop floor with 2 part epoxy paint. I had some good coaching from Tom in Fort Collins who is the specialty paint business (we will be doing a ’53 Coupe for him in a few months). Two part epoxy floor paint will attach any paint, grease, water or residue on your floor and cause lifting. Exactly the same thing will happen on your 356 if you don’t use the proper cleaners. Anyhow, after a day with a floor sander (dust everywhere!) and a day of cleaning and etching with acid we finally got the paint down. We even spread some fine silica sand over the wet paint to create a safe surface. If you want a durable finish for your garage or shop floor, I would recommend the two part epoxy paint (about $50 for 800 sq. ft.).

Once the floor was painted we took the time to really clean the shop and then picked up Ron and Marcia’s 356 from the blasters. Checking out a 356 after it has been blasted is like Christmas. Sometimes you get coal in your stocking, sometimes you make out like a bandit. For Ron and Marcia’s 356, it was a very Merry Christmas. No rust in the floor pan and no major structural damage. Lots of repair on every panel though and some major work on the hood and doors. We got an estimate off to Ron and got the go-ahead. We have already repaired the left door which needed significant work in the hinge area, and removed the rusted left rocker to get to the longitudinal. The back third of the longitudinal including the jack spur will have to be replaced due to rust and jacking damage. The reason we started with the door is once we get this fit perfect, it is our reference for proper repair to the threshold and positioning of the new rocker panel. But before we do the threshold/rocker we can get to the longitudinal with them removed.

There is a tip here in case you missed it. You always start your 356 metal restoration with the doors. They must be repaired and fit with perfect seams. Perfect seams is about the width of a paint stick. So don’t throw your door latches and strikers in with the other parts. Hold them out, clean them and along with the hinges and pins, make sure everything works smoothly. I have estimated the doors come off and on a hundred time during a major restoration. One of these days I’ll count, but the point is if your hinge pins go in and out easily and the door latches are flush with perfect seams everything will go a lot smoother and quicker. A properly fit door will be your reference not only for the threshold/rocker but also for the metal repairs in front of and behind the door.

The string trick is excellent for determining panel fit. You just hold a string along the length of the 356 and with two people moving it up and down you can check for high and low spots with chalk and work them with a dolly. When you are getting close you can check the contour with a cotton glove on your hand and your fingers spread apart.

When doing multiple repairs in one area ie. Door, rocker, rear of front fender, top of fender you may want to just tack your repair pieces before checking for fit.


356RESTORE expects a great 1994. We hope you have a great one too.

November 1993 Newsletter


We had some really nice comments on our first year newsletter and we thank you! So we will keep the newsletter going. In retrospect, the philosophy we started is still holding. If you noticed in the first annual newsletter, many 356 owners have been actively involved in their restorations. This is the way I learned to really appreciate these great cars and I’m glad that others are also learning.


Abby’s 356 is at the painters. Abby opted for Slate Gray rather than the original Silver Metallic. Slate Gray is one of my favorite 356 colors.

John and Lynn’s ’59 Sunroof Coupe is in the “put it back together” stage under the able management of John Jenkins.

Stormin’ Norman’s “C” Coupe project got a new bottom, longitudinals, rockers, battery box, engine tray, and typical outer sheet metal repair. Norm’s project went back to Fort Collins on the same trailer that brought down Ron’s 356 Coupe for more of the typical bottom and outer skin repair.

Jim’s Speedster went into storage as we have plenty of time to get to it as Jim will be in Italy with the Air Force for another year. Our thanks to Werks (Tom Scott’s new shop) for the storage in consideration for future parts and service.

So, if you are counting 356’s, this means that the only active cars in the shop are Ron’s Coupe and Tom’s ’54 Cab. After six month of sitting in the back of the shop. Tom’s car will get some major repair to its outer skin. We have already finished the bottom and now will get to that really bad left front fender. We have looked for six months for a pre-A fender (remember that they were cut for 16″ wheels) and made three offers but could not get a good replacement fender. So we will fabricate, which is fun. Fortunately, Bill Jackson consigned some sheet metal clips to us and one was left front headlight clip which will work on Tom’s Cab.

With most of the 356’s out of the shop for paint and storage this means I can paint the shop floor. The original floor paint looked good for only a few months, but didn’t stand up to acid, oil, paint, and lead. So we will strip it down and go with good two part epoxy floor paint. I like a clean shop and a dirty floor bugs me.

A Problem Solved

When Jim dropped off his Speedster after the West Coast Holiday, we thought we figured out his problems. His doors didn’t fit, the front fender’s bulged, and his top had been lengthened to fit to the windshield. We put a straight edge on his tunnel and saw that the front floor pan really dropped down. We concluded that when the floor pan was repaired, the doors weren’t secured, and the car opened up. To confirm this, we put a Speedster low bow top that I had on consignment on Jim’s car and it was over an inch short of meeting the windshield. So we thought we had the problem solved but something bugged me. I had heard that some repro speedster tops were short. But the owner of this top said he got it from Porsche/Reno. Anyhow, the next time John Jenkins drove his Speedster over, we fit the top on his car and it was also short. We fit John’s top on Jim’s car and it fit! I returned the short top to the owner and he got his money back. It turned out Porsche/Reno had Speedster tops made in Mexico and they were wrong. Obviously, Jim also got a short top as you can See the welds where it was lengthened to fit. So, Jim’s Speedster is not as bad off as we first thought. We will have to straighten the front pan and rework the fenders and doors but this will be a lot easier than bending the Speedster in the middle.


Both Ryan and I attended the PPG Advanced Finishing class and are now certified finish technicians. Just imagine, a little over one year ago I was a professional manager in the computer industry, now I’m a certified technician! This means we know how to finish the exterior of your 356 and are backed by a 36 month guarantee from PPG.

Open Shop

Saturday afternoons from noon ’til four are still open shop. For the last year we have from one to six folks drive by to kick tires and B.S. Drop By! (you may want to call 841-6475 to ensure we will be here).

October 1993 Newsletter


After the great time Barb and I had driving the ’62 Roadster to the 356 Holiday in Houston, we were looking forward to the 356 get together at Yosemite. We didn’t have time to drive so decided to fly and rent a car. But Barb had some back problems, so I invited Rich and we had a great time. However, we really missed driving a 356. Whatever you may have heard, they have some great 356 roads around Yosemite valley and the views are spectacular! I only sold a few hundred dollars worth of parts at the swap meet (it was as if I was fresh meat, they were all over the parts at 6:00 in the dark morning). However, they did have a Continental breakfast so the swap meet in the cold was tolerable. There were about 100 356s; a few more than Houston, so with both events, we almost overdosed on 356’s. I had trouble deciding how to select the best 356 for people’s choice, so for the B cars, I decided to just look at door fit. Out of 38 356 B’s I only found one car that had perfect door fit. Either they don’t know how to fit 356 doors in California or the smog affects the fit.


I promised a report on our first year in business and here it is! 356RESTORE opened its door on October 1, 1992. Our expenses through September 1993 were $41,861.52. Our revenue was $35,799.64. So, for our first year in business, we lost only $6,061.88. However, we have a promissory note for $3,715.85 from a customer who was short when his car was finished on time. So the probable loss was only $2,346.03. Am I upset? No! I expected to lose money in the first year and I knew our shop rate of $22.50/hour was set to create business and would probably cause a loss. We still have three long term restorations in progress and expect a positive cash flow for the next six months. The idea with 356RESTORE was to see if we could assist 356 owners in getting these great cars back on the road and have fun doing it. I know we have!


The following folks trusted 356RESTORE to work on their cars in the past year. Our thanks to all!

Guy’s 356C Cab
Guy had his car in perfect paint and discovered rust in the underbody! We did quite a bit of cutting and welding but Guy did all the cleaning, grinding, and undercoating. Together we got his beautiful 356 Cab back on the road.

Lauren’s ’61 Sunroof Coupe
Lauren needed a front floor pan and repairs to front struts, pedal areas and front longitudinal. The work was of average difficulty and we learned from it i.e. how tough it is to work on a 356 bottom without a rotisserie.

Bob’s ’64 Coupe
Bob had his 356 restored at a local shop, but when the price got over twice the estimate, he pulled the car and called 356RESTORE. With our coaching, he prepared the remaining rust and dent areas and we did the welding at his garage. Bob did the final prep; the 356 is now painted and will soon be back on the road.

Dick’s ’56 Coupe
Dick also put a lot of sweat equity into scraping and cleaning the underside of his Coupe so 356RESTORE could do the metal repair. There were some surprises, especially in the rear strut area, but we got it done and Dick drove it home!

Jim’s ’61 Sunroof Coupe
Jim had this 356 for years and stored it outside. It needed a bottom everything plus lots of exterior work. It was the first 356 on the rotisserie and showed us the value of a rotisserie for bottom work.

Norm’s Project #1
This B Coupe had some very poor panel replacement and we volunteered to drive to Fort Collins to do the work. It was very difficult as we couldn’t take the whole shop and the car needed a whole shop. It taught us that some 356’s can’t be done properly at a remote location.

George’s ’64 Coupe
George bought this 356 from a club member and may have been misled as to the extent of repair needed. Tom Conway did some major repair at a reasonable cost and 356RESTORE did the finish welding. George did a lot of prep work and we did the car at his garage. (George, you really need more than one electrical outlet in your garage to do a 356!)

Cleve’s ’59 Coupe
We got faked out on this one. Cleve has had his ’59 Coupe for twenty some years and now only drives it in the winter. He has put over 350,000 miles on the car. What fooled our evaluation was the undercoat sprayed over the cardboard back of the interior panel (no metal!) and the pop riveted floor pan over and under the rusted original pan. However, we fixed it within our estimate and even made a house call to adjust a sticking door.

Mark’s ’59 Sunroof Clip
This was our first Sunroof clip and we thank Kurt Rommel for his coaching. We bought special tools for this job and did a good job even though the clip was rough and pitted. We did screw up when we were adjusting the sunroof and leaned an elbow on the opening, causing the sliding roof to scrape. It took another house call to make it right.
(Note: Sunroof clips and bottom door skins are the most difficult 356 fabrications. We have done both and are confident we can only get better).

Tom’s ’54 Cab
This was one of our first long term restorations. At first, we only signed up to do the metal work but now Tom wants us to finish his rare car. We have completed the bottom work and have lots to do on the exterior but the 356 sort of waits while Tom, now in Hawaii, collects some funds. This is a neat car. Tom bought it when he was eighteen after crashing his MG. Now he would like to drive it for his fortieth birthday next year. Tom, delivery to Hawaii is extra but negotiable!

Abby’s ’62 Coupe
Those of you that have been by the shop have seen “Abby’s car” since it has been our major project. Every panel, including the roof and rust damage. The bottom was completely gone; almost as bad as my Twin Grille Roadster project. However, Abby’s car is now in primer and as soon as we get the suspension cleaned and painted it will be off to the painter and then ready for reassembly. Abby, a recent college graduate is restoring this 356 in memory of her father who died last year. This was the 356 that her father drove her mother to the hospital in when Abby was born. This was the first car Abby learned to drive. It will be a great car!

John & Lynn’s ’59 S/R Coupe
This was our first shop car when 356RESTORE began. It needed very little metal work as the original pan longitudinals, battery box were in good shape. We did some work on the doors and engine compartment (it previously had a Corvair engine) but it was basically a straight original car. We had six people interested in this rare 356 but John and Lynn bought it after seeing it in it’s beautiful silver metallic paint. We will finish the restoration for them under the guidance of John Jenkins who wants first right of refusal if John and Lynn ever want to sell.

Steve’s ’59 Coupe
While Steve’s 356 isn’t finished, it deserves mention as like Guy’s 356, it was in perfect paint when Steve discovered rust in the engine compartment. We have since chased the rust out down to the rear struts and hopefully it is not into the longitudinals. This was a previously restored car but we found tin cans, bondo, and tar were the restoration technique.

Norm’s Project #2
This is a ’64 Coupe presently in the shop and since the 356 had been media blasted, we were able to give a fixed price estimate on the repairs. Front pan, battery box, engine tray, longitudinals, thresholds, rockers, front/back of door, hood repair and nose dents. Nothing we haven’t seen before. We hope to have it done in the next month so I can get one of the family cars in the garage for winter!

Jim’s ’55 Speedster
We haven’t started work on this early Speedster yet as we are not quite sure how to be proceed. The fenders are flared because the front end is pushed back and the front floor pan is too low. We thought the car had opened up when the pan was installed but we compared it to another Speedster and the top and door measurements are close to original. Jim won’t be back from Italy for a while so we may store this one till next year.

Future Appreciation

We have quite a few 356’s to be scheduled in over the next six months but as you can tell, we are busy and don’t want to take short cuts (believe me, I know the short cuts, I’ve cut them out of many 356’s). So for you future customers, please understand if we can’t get to your 356 right away.

What Have I Learned

With a year of full time 356 Porsche restoration under my belt, I’ve learned a few things. I’ve learned that I really enjoy doing a proper repair to 356 sheetmetal. I can study a rusty area or a poor previous repair and figure out what happened. I’ve learned how a 356 was designed and how it evolved from Pre A through C. Little things like the number of welds and lead work tell me about the manufacturing process and how stampings, jigs and procedures improved over time. I’ve learned that the 356 was truly made by hand. Measurements aren’t always exact from the left to right side of a car or even between the same model 356!

I’ve learned how important proper door fit is to 356 restoration. The door is the most important jig for getting all your repairs and sheetmetal replacement to fit properly. The first thing we do when starting a restoration is to fit the doors as perfect as possible and then make sure the hinge pins are straight, clean and oiled. I would guess when doing the typical 356 repairs, the doors are off and on over 100 times.

I’ve also learned how much time it takes to restore a 356 Porsche and how you can save time. If you can take a box of dirty, rusty parts to a blast shop and get them back clean and ready for primer for a reasonable price, you can save hours at the parts cleaner, blasting cabinet and bench grinder. If you are restoring cars as a hobby you can afford the time but when you have customers the idea is to save time.

Time management is also critical to the small business person. If I have to go to Boulder to pick up a part, I also plan to stop at the autobody supply house, the chromers, the hardware store, the bank and maybe get a haircut. I figure one half day a week is spent out of the shop errands. When I started 356RESTORE I pledged not to work evenings or Sundays. This was a smart decision as the off time allows problems to find solutions and good work to receive credit in your mind.

I’ve also learned a lot about customers and suppliers.

They are all unique individuals. My goal for the second year of 356RESTORE is to be more attentive to the needs of my customers and suppliers. It is too easy to fall into the trap of concentrating on the car and its problems and forgetting that a business requires customers and good support services.


My public thanks to my wife Barb who has supported this crazy adventure for the last year, she was married to a professional in the computer industry. Now she is putting up with smells and noise from the basement and garage and has her husband home every day, in addition to doing the typing for this newsletter (with coaching from #2 son) and keeping the books. Number 1 son is helping out in the shop on Saturday mornings, so we are all in this together. Are we having fun? Hell yes!

September 1993 Newsletter


We had a great time at the Holiday in Clear Lake, Texas. Barb and I drove the ’62 Twin Grille Roadster and had no problems. We did it top down until we started to roast.

There is no better way to see the USA than in a Porsche 356 open car! We only took small parts to sell at the swap meet and sold $300 in 1/2 hr. So those of you who consigned parts, the check is in the mail.

Barb and I will also attend the Calif, 356 get-together Sept. 23-26, but unfortunately won’t have time to drive (we will fly). Let me know if you have small parts you would like me to sell (80/20).


We still have a full shop! Cleve’s ski car was returned with a new pan and front and rear struts. We had some problems with this car as we tried to do it dirty to keep the cost down. As a result, both Ryan and I breathed some bad fumes and got sick. So the shop policy is no more unblasted cars! If you won’t pay for proper metal preparation we won’t do your 356.

We picked up a C Coupe from Stormin’ Norman in Fort Collins and will do quite a bit of metal work over the next few months; floor pan, longitudinals, threshold, rockers, closing panels battery box and engine tray need to be done. This car was media blasted and we were able to give a firm, not-to-exceed estimate for repairs.

Jim Rodgers drove his ’55 Speedster back to our shop from the Holiday and we will redo some poor previous repair. It looks like when they put in the pan, the car opened up and they had to extend the top bow and cheat on the doors. It will be an interesting restoration.

Abby’s Coupe is just about ready for paint. All the extensive metal work is done and the bottom and interior primed, caulked and undercoated. Next is to clean, repair and paint all the suspension and turn it into a roller. John Jenkins did the cosmetics on Abby’s engine and it looks concours. Ask John what it takes to detail an engine (he didn’t make much as a subcontractor on this job). We also evaluated a few cars this month. Don had us look at his ’53 Cabriolet and ’62 Cabriolet. We were able to tell him what they were worth as is and as restored. There are buyers and sellers in the market now but everyone is conservative.

Hal also had us evaluate his ’64 white Coupe. He is the original owner and just caught it in time. The front floor is weak and left longitudinal is just about ready to go. Fortunately, the rust is not into the rear strut (I hope!). With all the work, Ryan and I are a the point of having to schedule 356’s. We have three full restorations going but the owners have given us time. That means, we will have to schedule the metal-work only cars. You can’t believe how much time it takes to re-assemble a 356! So, if we talked to you about metal work this year, give us a call, we probably have to set a schedule.


I keep promising to talk about parts but don’t have room. Actually, I could make more selling parts than restoring 356’s. So, your best bet is to give me a call, if I don’t have it, I can tell you where to find it.


I’ve mentioned this before but it is still important and from the garage visits I’ve made often neglected. There must be a disciplined process to the disassembly of a 356. You need a project notebook, camera and plenty of zip lock bags of various sizes. It takes me 60 hours to properly disassemble a 356. The most important step is marking and inventorying the parts. Next is making drawings and/or taking pictures of tricky parts. Storage is also important. Put the parts where they won’t be disturbed until you pick through them. And always put them back the way they were originally organized.

August 1993 Newsletter


We finished Jim’s Sunroof Coupe and delivered it on time and within estimate. As you may recall, it was a “bottom everything” job plus the typical in front of and behind the door repairs, foglight repairs etc.

Mark now has a Sunroof! After spending a week reconditioning his sunroof clip, we finally picked up our new electric sheet metal shear (Milwaukee, $150) and cut the hole in the roof and dropped in the clip. Actually, the clip is installed from below the roof, so as not to disturb the thick metal curve on the clip. We also picked up Cleve’s ’59 Coupe ski car. This is the 345,000 mile 356 that Cleve only drives in the winter. We hoped it only needed a rear floor but what we thought was a solid front floor turned out to be a rust sandwich! The rusted original floor was in between two pieces of galvanized sheet metal that were bolted together with small machine screws. We will also do his front and rear struts and repair the inner rear fenders. No metal! – just cardboard backing of the upholstery; about two square feet of rusted out metal. With repairs to the heater tubes, Cleve should have a little warmth for this 356 ski jaunts.

Buyer Evaluation

A new service from 356RESTORE! We have worked on a few 356’s that had been purchased and the new owner was very disappointed with the condition of the car once the carpets were removed and the undercoat scrapped back. So at no charge, 356RESTORE will evaluate a 356 you are thinking of buying and let you know what repairs may be required, how critical they are and what they should cost. You can then negotiate a fair price with the owner. Hopefully, we will get the repair work. This will be for a hundred mile radius of Denver and Thursdays or Saturday mornings are best. (I won’t object to paid expenses outside of the 100 miles, I did have a request to go to Florida!)

Restoration Tips

I take back my recommendation on bondo-in, bondo-out when having a 356 media blasted. I had recommended you leave in the bondo on doors, deck lids, bumpers and sun roofs. My logic was that if the underlying repair was done correctly, which you could observe on the back side, then you could save yourself some time. Well, it doesn’t work because by the time the blaster sees the bondo, he/she has already blasted away the blend line with the metal. Trying to blend in new plastic to old bondo doesn’t work. You get skip waves which really show up in paint. So the new recommendation is bondo-out when media blasting.

Steve at Blast-Tech is expanding his services. He now does plastic media, sand and soon the new bicarbonate of soda process. This means you have more options on replacing or repairing rusted metal, aluminum or plastic.


We will be closing our books on our first year of business on September 30, 1993. So the October newsletter will be interesting. Did he make money? How much did he loose? We did sell the shop ’59 Sunroof Coupe to Lynn and John in California, but this is offset by the inventory account and cost of goods sold i.e. we didn’t make much.

Barb and I will be attending the Holiday in Texas, so 356RESTORE will be unavailable from 31 August-7 September. However, Ryan will be in the shop so progress will continue. I will be taking small parts and pictures of parts to the swap meets in Texas and California. So if you have some parts you would like me to sell on commission (80/20), give me a call (840-2356 day, 841-6475 evenings.)

Shop Hours

We work Monday thru Friday from 8:00 AM to 3:56 PM and Saturday from 8:00 AM to noon. Saturday afternoon is reserved for open shop and usually, a few folk drop by to kick tires and check out the good work we do keeping the 356 Porsche on the road.

July 1993 Newsletter


A busy month! We now have seven 356’s in the shop. Four in the garage-Barb’s Twin Grille Roadster; my Black ’63 S/R Coupe; Jim’s ’61 S/R Coupe and the shop ’59 S/R Coupe, back from the painter. In the basement we have Abby’s ’62 Coupe, just about ready to come off the rotisserie, Tom’s ’54 Cabriolet, waiting in the proper sheetmetal and Mark’s ’59 Coupe soon to be a S/R Coupe.

To take a break from shop work, we agreed to repair the metal on one of Stormin Norman’s projects in Fort Collins. What should have been a week’s work, took ten days over three weeks. The 356 Coupe had been media blasted and had minimal rust. But boy did it have terrible panel repair. We measured, and the left front fender clip was one inch further forward than the right fender. The left rear fender really looked odd. Ryan guessed they couldn’t get a coupe fender clip and used a fender from an open car. They didn’t even try to blend the fender into the coupe roof. They just filled the gap with bondo up to 1 inches thick! Neither front or rear deck lids fit and there was about 50 pull holes. The car had taken a direct front hit and the hood stayed closed pushing down the cowl.

The first day we were there Ryan bought a sandwich from a drive-by vendor. That evening he got food poisoning, passed out and endo’ed his Jeep three times. He’s ok, just looking for new wheels. The second day my S-10 Blazer blew an intake manifold gasket and put lots of water in the oil. So while waiting for Ryan to recover, I drove the ’62 S/R Coupe to Fort Collins and worked on Norm’s project. It hit the high 90’s every day and I had to quit by 3:00 as it was just too hot to work. Why did we leave our cool basement? Well we have this thing about getting 356’s back on the road. I hope Norm was happy with our work. It wasn’t our best, due to the conditions and available time but 356 sure looked better when we were done. In between trips to Fort Collins, we pulled Jim’s ’61 Coupe from the basement into the garage and started the final body work and plastic. We have to get Jim’s car into primer by the 27th as another 356 arrives then for bottom work.

Restoration Tip

This one was developed by Ryan and works great. You have that big rust area in the rear fender behind the door. You have already repaired / replaced the lock post and the door fits good. What Ryan does, is he takes a large square of 20 gauge sheetmetal and forms it to the door and fender curve laying it over the rear door seam so it covers the fender rust area and can be tack welded to the door. Then he opens the door and scribes the rear door seam. Then he shuts the door and plasma cuts a vertical line through the cover piece and the rear fender. He then breaks his tack welds and cuts the cover piece on the scribed door line. The resultant repair piece drops right into the hole in the fender!

Here’s one of mine. To get that left rear fender to blend into the roof line on Stormin’ Norman’s project, I used woodworking contour gauges. I drew a level line on the roof above each fender. Since the right rear fender was ok, I then made marks every two inches from the door towards the rear on both sides. Then I fit the contour gauge on the right side mark closet to the door and used the resultant contour to pull up the fender metal in the left side. I worked four to six inches at a time checking contour every two inches. There was forty inches of seam to repair. I was able to get the fender contour almost perfect.

Friedrich Weber

From “Porsche 356-Driving in its Purest Form”; “In March of 1948, Ferry Porsche and his colleagues began the first test drives with the still unbodied 356.001. At about the same time, April 2, 1948 Porsche acquired the service of one Friedrich Weber, a body craftsman who was a capable as he was problematical.”

A memo in the Porsche achieves says: “Weber who is highly skilled and remarkably capable, is also head strong and difficult. He drinks.When thirst strikes him, he leaves his workplace, to return at some later, unpredictable time. In order to build and sell the first Porsche cars it will be necessary to keep Weber in good spirits, often as not, he would have to be ferreted out in Gmund – in the local tavern. The fate of all depends, among others, on him.”

June 1993 Newsletter

A Day in the Life

Something new this month! A day in the life of 356RESTORE! It’s up at 7:00 for coffee and the paper. Ryan shows up at 8:00 and we plan the day. I tell him Bob called last night and needs to borrow the dolly to get his 356 to the painter. He should be by today. The plan is for Ryan to work on the right longitudinal area of Abby’s 356 while I work on the rear door area of Jim’s 356. We start. Ryan has to rebuild the rusted out heater tubes in the longitudinal. The one that goes through the rear strut to the heater can is completely gone. Last Thursday I had picked up some of the big tube from Carquip. Tom had a least six 20 foot sections of tube stored in the old school bus. Fortunately, we found a ten foot section that would fit in my S-10 Blazer. Now we needed the smaller tube. Ryan has a buddy who owns a muffler shop in Parker so he takes off to get some small tube. We had some defroster tubing left over from the same section on the left side of Abby’s car, so it looks like we can rebuild a heater system. We like to recreate the original, as the factory spent lot of engineering hours using different tubing and paper mufflers to keep the heater quiet. While Ryan goes to get the tubing, I start on the area behind Jim’s left door. I had cut out a section from a repro lockpost and tacked it on Monday. Now I check it and find it’s not quite right. I check against my ’62 Coupe which has the original lock post. I break the tack welds with the grinder and reposition the piece. I hang the door and check for fit. The fender behind the door is way too low. I will have to bend out the lockpost and shim the fender to match the door curve.

Ryan returns with the proper small tubing. We decide to make some additional tubing pieces for future repairs. We are doing this a lot lately. When we get a nice repro piece we use it as a model and measure, cut and bend a few additional pieces.

Ryan and I trade off the use of the MIG welder. He only asks a few questions. This is the sixth inner longitudinal he has done and he is quite skilled. I work on Jim’s fender behind the door. With the door hung I can line up the door, rocker and fender. But it is 10:00 and time for break. We grab a couple of Diet Pepsis and B.S. about cars, weather, family and friends. Back to work. I finish up the lockpost/fender and use the string trick to check for the proper side curve. It looks great! Some lead work will dress up the area nicely. I check Ryan’s progress and he has welded in the new heater tubing, cleaned the whole longitudinal area and painted with two part primer. It’s time for lunch. We leave the shop and have lunch in the kitchen, catching the noon news on TV. Bob calls; he is en route to pick up the dolly. After lunch, I jack up Jim’s 356 so we can remove it from the dolly. While I wait for Bob, I decide to use the plasma cutter to cut out the steel rods brazed into the hinge area of Jim’s hood. Once I get those out, I can decide how to make the repair.

Bob arrives and we load the dolly in his van. He seems impressed with the shop. It is a shame he spent so much at another shop but he will soon be back on the road with our help. After Bob leaves, I use the plasma cutter to cut out the steel rods in Jim’s hood. With the rods finally out, I attach the hood to the hinges and check for fit. As I guessed, the hood is high in the hinge area. I grab my dead blow hammer and give each side a whack. It works! The hood now fits almost perfect with good seams. I remove the hood and weld up the holes. Tomorrow I will lead this area for more strength and later use a little plastic to make it perfect. It’s almost 3:56 and time for me to quit. I check on Ryan’s work and it is great! But nobody will ever see it as he should have the longitudinal on tomorrow. We briefly discuss tomorrow’s objectives and leave the shop for Ryan to clean and then turn out the lights on another successful day at 356RESTORE.


We are serious about our philosophy of assisting 356 owners in any way to get and keep these great cars on the road. Dick just spent 4 weekends scraping and grinding the front section of his ’56 Coupe. He drove it to the shop and within four days, we had all the rust cut out and new metal in place. He drove home with repairs costing less than $700. At the same time, we continue to complete restoration of other 356’s where the owners do not have the time for prep work. Hey! the whole idea is drive these great cars.


Next month, new parts!

May 1993 Newsletter


Well, it was a busy month for 356RESTORE. The objective was to finish the bottom of Jim’s ’61 T-5 Sunroof Coupe and replace it on the rotisserie with Abby’s ’62 Coupe. We can finish Jim’s car with it on the dolly but we really need the rotisserie for major bottom repairs. And Abby’s 356 really needs major bottom repairs. We met our objective and are now finishing up the exterior panels of Jim’s 356 and really digging into the underside of Abby’s Coupe. So far we have eighteen feet of lateral weld just on the left side front strut, inner longitudinal and rear strut back past the shock mount. This 356 could have split from bottom to top!

The month had a couple of interruptions. Our shop was part of the RM356PC garage tour so Ryan and I had a couple of busy days cleaning shop. You can’t imagine how grinding dust can get everywhere in the shop. Once we cleaned every rafter and shelf and hosted the tour, we covered everything with plastic drop cloths to avoid major cleaning in the future. The other interruption was the RM356PC West Fest. We got our black ’63 Sunroof Coupe ready for the track and drove it hard. This is the ultimate goal of a Porsche 356 restoration. Drive the car the way it was meant to be driven! Also at West Fest was the swap meet, car show and gimmick rally. 356RESTORE took a lot of new and used parts to the swap meet and did fairly well. The buyers are selective and were buying mostly small ticket items. We also served as a Concours judge and while we were tough on originality, assembly and cleanliness, we believe we were fair.

Tech Tips

The reproduction parts that you get through the catalogs are a mixed bag. Sometimes they are good, sometimes (mostly, lately) they are poor. What you should do is compare the repro part to the original as soon as you receive it and complain if it isn’t right. You may still have to use the part, but perhaps the vendors will get the message.

When it comes to sheetmetal 356RESTORE tries to save as much of the original metal as possible. While repro sheet metal has improved over the years, there is still a lot of work to get pieces to fit. Often we will order a repro piece and only use the part of it as a repair.


We recently heard of a guy in Mexico City who is doing metal repair of 356’s. You take your car to Texas and he picks it up and for $5,000 does the bottom. Seems reasonable if you have been quoted big bucks by a restoration shop but $5,000 is about what 356RESTORE has been charging for bottom repair. Our only overhead is Ryan and two cases of Diet Pepsi a week. We are working only on 356’s because we enjoy it, and are continually learning and want to get these great cars back on the road.

House Calls

We are still making house calls to assist owners in doing their own restorations. We had a job a while back where the owner came to us. Bill from Wyoming drove his ’59 Convertible to Denver on business and dropped by 356RESTORE to have rust holes in his front closing panels repaired. He knew about the holes and had covered them with duct tape to avoid moisture in the longitudinals. With the plasma cutter, we cut out the rust, made the repair pieces and welded them in. Bill was back on the road in three hours. The charge was $67.50.


We have some excellent parts listed in this newsletter. We also enjoyed writing the checks to three 356 folk who consigned us parts for the West Fest Swap Meet. We sold about $500 worth of parts and guess what we did with our 20% commission. You’re right, we bought parts!!

Open Shop

The shop is open every Saturday from noon till 4:00 PM. Quite a few 356 folk drop by to check the progress and down a few beers. You are welcome. Just find Parker, go south one stoplight from Main Street to Hilltop, east 2 miles to N. Sunburst Trail, turn right and go one mile to 8356 N. Sunburst Trail (Actually, you can drop by anytime during the week. I need the break! Trying to stay pace with 23 year old Ryan is tiring.)

April 1993 Newsletter


We have had a lot of positive feedback on this newsletter, so we will keep it going. It adds a little to our overhead, but at $22.50/hour we are still the lowest price, knowledgeable 356 restoration ship in the state area.

This month, the ’54 Cabriolet was removed from the rotisserie with its bottom done and the ’61 T-5 Coupe shop car went into storage in a friend’s barn (where all 356’s should be stored) and now the shop has the ’54 Cab (Tom’s), ’62 Coupe (Abby’s), and ’61 T-5 Sunroof Coupe (Jim’s). We still expect the ’57 Speedster (Steve’s car) within the next few weeks, but there’s plenty of work for Ryan and I. Ryan is doing great! He has been out of welding school for a few years, serving in the US Army Rangers but is now laying down welds as good as mine (better? don’t tell him!).

With Jim’s car on the rotisserie and Ryan and I working side by side, we quickly completed Jim’s left inner longitudinal, rear closing panel, longitudinal, threshold, front closing panel, rocker panel, and front bulkhead. We also did the same repair on the right side and should have the diagonal and battery box done by the time you read this. When we couldn’t work together on the ’61 T-5 Sunroof, I would work on the exterior of Abby’s ’61 Coupe. I completed the repair behind the quarter windows, the front and rear of both doors and the engine tray.


We visit other restoration shops as often as we can and they do great work! However, 356RESTORE does work we don’t notice in other shops. When we do a front/rear strut or longitudinal, we clean out the inner cavity and paint with two part epoxy primer. This is how we stand behind our 10-12-15 year rust free guarantee (depending on when I retire).

Tech Tips

On Jim’s ’61 T-5 Sunroof Coupe, we had to open the area from the rear strut below the torsion tube up to the shock mount. What did we find? Fiberglass. Some one packed this area with fiberglass insulation and on Jim’s 356 which had been stored for many years outside, it was still damp. Please, if you are going to store your 356 outside-don’t! And don’t cover a 356 with plastic. All it does is create a hothouse of rust. If you need garage storage, give me a call. There is a broker who specializes in garage space.


We had one correct answer to our contest question on where wood screws were used on a 356 in a non wood area. Since the respondent was a professional who traded his knowledge for our knowledge on other 356 areas it was a draw. We were thinking of keeping the contest open for you hobbyists, but will semi-close it and come up with another contest. The correct answer was wood screws in the fuse block or wood screw for the upper door chrome trim. There may be other wood screws we missed, so 10% off to other correct answers!


Our approach to encourage 356 owners to participate in the repair of their 356’s seems to be working. While we have a shop full of 356’s, we are still doing house calls where the owner helps with the cleaning and grinding. We recently evaluated George’s ’64 Coupe and expect to spend a few days on numerous rust repairs. We do have to charge $20 for loading our equipment, but the hourly rate is $22.50/hr. The more you can do, the less the repair will cost. As always, advice and evaluations are free. The idea is to get these great cars back on the road!


We sold a lot of parts at the PCA Swap Meet but still have a good inventory left. We will be at the West Fest Swap meet at Ed Carroll’s Porsche in Fort Collins on May 2nd. We would appreciate more parts, so if you have some, we will take them on consignment (80/20). This saves you the hassle of carting your treasures and 356RESTORE gets the visibility of being a source for parts and repairs. Call us at (303) 840-2356.

March 1993 Newsletter


Thing’s are really moving at 356RESTORE. The evaluation we did last month turned into a job so priorities have changed. The ’54 Cab has had its bottom done and will go on the dolly and rest for a while. Next up on the rotisserie will be Jim’s ’61 T-5 Sunroof Coupe for a complete bottom job. While we work on that we will also work on the exterior of Abby’s ’62 Coupe. The ’54 Coupe Race Car got its oil cooler and roll bar and was returned to its owner. The ’61 Coupe shop car will be put into storage and we are not sure where. The ’59 Sunroof Coupe shop car will go into storage when it comes back from the painters. We have a ’57 Speedster coming in for panel repair and the owner is interested in the ’59 so things may even out. We have a sunroof clip to do in July so work is now being booked for Fall. But don’t despair! We still have time for small jobs and room if you schedule your 356. How will we do this? Well, welcome Ryan Bendixen, who has joined 356RESTORE as part time body man and 356 apprentice. Ryan is a trained welder and has restored British cars with his Dad. He thinks the 356 Porsche is a lot more interesting.

We did two more evaluations this month and hopefully, they will also turn into future projects. We also did a house call to Bob’s ’64 C Coupe. He had this job estimated at local shop for $5000 and finally pulled the car when it got to $12,000. 356RESTORE estimated the work at two days but got it done in 6 hours when Bob followed behind and did all the grinding.

We have added some new folks to distribution this month and for you, this is what the newsletter is about. 356RESTORE is a small shop; 3-4 cars, specializing in metal repair and restoration of 356 Porsches. Our shop rate is very competitive–$22.50/hour and we do quality work as fast as we can.

Tech Tips

A friend recently had his 356 painted and fitted new hood seal rubber. The hood fit real tight but was still high in the middle. 356RESTORE suggested using baby powder on the rubber to allow the hood to slide. It worked! While still tight, the hood fit better and was more easily adjusted.


Five percent off on parts or shop work for the correct answer. Name one area on the 356 B (and perhaps other models) where wood screws are used and the application has nothing to do with wood!.


Our goal to get more owners involved in their restoration is gaining acceptance. When 356RESTORE asked Mike how much he wanted to be involved, he said as much as possible. We told him if he stripped his 356 per our instruction he could save 40 hours or $900. He can also save more if he has time to do some grinding, painting, caulking or undercoating. Hey Folks! The whole idea is to get these great cars back on the road and drive them!


Some of the better parts are gone. In fact, we see the buyers advertising them for lots more than we sold them. Such is life in the big city. So check the parts list in the last newsletter and call or drop by. We had six folks drop by during open shop last Saturday from noon till four. Some parts were sold and some problems solved, some tires kicked and some beers consumed. You may want to call first as 356RESTORE plans to attend some 356 clinics and events this coming month.

February 1993 Newsletter


Restoration of Porsche model 356 continues at 356RESTORE. Five cars are in various stages of restoration. Tom’s 54 Cabriolet is up on the rotisserie and is receiving new longitudinals and bottom repair. Abby’s ’62 Coupe has been media blasted and will be next on the rotisserie. Gerry’s ’54 racecar is waiting on an oil cooler for installation. The shop ’59 Sunroof Coupe is at the paint shop and the shop ’61 Coupe driver project sits on its dolly waiting for a break in the action.

We performed a few evaluations this month and received phone calls for future work, so 356RESTORE is definitely viable. We also received phone calls requesting advice on restoration. These calls are enjoyable as they provide a break in the daily activity and we always learn something as well as share information. So don’t hesitate to call about Porsche 356 questions. A business card for your wallet is provided with the shop phone number.

Tech Tips

What’s the first step in a 356 restoration?

I learned this one the hard way. The first thing you want to do is loosen your rear axle nuts. You need to do this before you pull the engine and disassemble the brakes. You need weight in the car and operating brakes to loosen the axle nuts. A 38mm socket and breaker bar is needed, although I was able to do the job with a pipe wrench and four foot pipe on my first car. Tom’s ’54 Cabriolet which had been stored for a long time required a special torque multiplier tool and plenty of heat before the nuts loosened at close to 500 foot pounds! If you have trouble with your axle nuts give us a call for advice or the loan of special tools.

One of the options you have when media blasting a car is bondo-in or bondo-out. 356RESTORE recommends blasting a car in two stages. First, remove the doors, deck lids, (sunroof) and bumpers and have them blasted requesting the bondo be left in. Then transport the car to the blaster and have it blasted with the bondo out. Our logic in this approach is that the doors, lids, bumpers may have good repairs and there is no reason to redo it if rust is not present. Since you can see behind the repair on these items you can tell if it’s good. If it’s not good, you can remove the bondo with a wire brush on your high speed grinder. On the car, have the bondo taken out, as the prior brazing and puller holes must be repaired.

Friedrich Weber

Friedrich was the expert body man at Gmund. Ferry Porsche said he could make every part of the body in half the time the others could. But he often failed to come in on Monday because he’d been so drunk over the weekend. Nevertheless he more than caught up with the others during the rest of the week. Since 356RESTORE enjoys both good body work and an occasional drink, we dedicated this newsletter to Friedrich. (Reference: “Excellence Was Expected”, page 58.) Further contests won’t be as tough.


Some very nice parts came in on consignment this month. How about a very good brown vinyl Cabriolet top boot for only $175! Or headrest attaching hardware (original-fine knurl) for only $80! We also have a dozen or so 4″ inch wheels with dates of 1960. If you check the quantity column on the attached parts list you will see we have cornered the market on interior door handles and bumper guards.

January 1993 Newsletter


Things are really happening at 356RESTORE. We basically have three mini-businesses; we sell parts, we restore 356’s for customers, and we restore 356’s for resale (shop cars). The parts business has been good but variable. We sell parts we have accumulated and also sell parts on consignment (80/20). So, if you have parts you are tired of hauling to swap meets, consider consigning them to 356RESTORE. We advertise parts monthly. Customer restoration is great! The ’54 we mentioned last month is actually a Cabriolet and 356RESTORE got the job and will do the metal repair and finish the car in primer. The customer will finish the restoration. We just had the car media-blasted and there is lots to repair. A pleasant surprise was a call from the owner of a ’62 coupe we evaluated in early October. She wants the car completely restored and selected 356RESTORE after getting other estimates. The nice thing about both these customer projects is that they are in no hurry. We have a year to finish these cars so there is time available to work on your 356! The shop cars will have to move to the back of the shop. The ’59 Sunroof will be painted and then will have to wait until customer work is finished. The same with the ’63 driver project. Don’t forget the new phone number (840-2356).

Tech Tips

When lubing your 356, take a second to check the speedometer cable entry to the left front hub. There should be a plastic section on the cable that seats and seals the cable entry. If this is missing, seal the entry with a good sealant i.e. Wurth. We mention this because a customer who takes meticulous care of his 356’s had water get in this entry point and do nasty things to his wheel bearing. Also, if you need new bleeder valves for your wheel cylinders, check out NAPA. They have good metric bleeder valves for $2,70 as opposed to the catalog prices for $14-$17. You do bleed and adjust your brakes every year, don’t you?


The holidays slowed things just a little. We thought that the ’59 Sunroof Coupe was ready for paint but then installed the sunroof and found more work to be done. The sunroof had been installed wrong and the legs that lift the sunroof had been brazed to correct the improper installation. This had to be repaired and then a lot of time was spent leading and filling to get the proper seams. We also started on the engines for the ’54 and ’63 plus a shop spare ’58. We installed a parts washer and cleaned off lots of oil. We also built a second car dolly and painted the rotisserie. The ’54 Cabriolet was picked up in Boulder and taken to be media blasted. Media blasting a 356 is like Christmas. What will you get for a present? In the case of the ’54, most of the panels were rusted as expected. The pleasant surprise was the left door was better than expected. The unpleasant surprise was the panel under the gas tank. It is shot and there was no way to evaluate this without removing the gas tank. So on balance our estimate still holds. 356RESTORE tries very hard to stand by our evaluation and estimates.


We will update our parts list next month. If you have asked 356RESTORE to set aside parts and you haven’t paid for them, you should pick them up because somebody else may get them. In lieu of parts this month, Dennis Carlton has a nice ’65 C Coupe for sale. It will need restoration at some time but is a great driver! It’s red with black and has a strong SC engine. It has the disk brake chrome wheels and the European heater system.

Dennis is looking for around $10,000. Call him at (303) 979-5025 (H) or (303) 534-0400 (W).