December 2003 Newsletter

Damaged 356

Rob’s ’63 Coupe arrived from Virginia. BJ was in the truck helping unload it and I asked how it looked. “Bad!” he said. After we towed it up to the shop and I studied it, it was obvious it was not restorable. The force of the collision with the SUV pushed the right side in twenty inches. The force traveled through the unibody and caused damage on the driver side. The roof was obviously racked. Rob was very, very lucky to have survived with minor injuries. If he had had a passenger there would have been severe if not fatal injuries. So we will part out the 356 using the very good engine and transmission in a shop car.


Rob had his seat belt on but you can see how he was thrown against the passenger side roof. Rob had the seat belts that have clam type hooks that are secured to an eye bolt. Once these are connected there is a small hole that goes through both hooks. The hooks are supposed to be secured with a cotter pin. Rob’s were not! He is double lucky. If you have this kind of seat belt please ensure the cotter pin is present.

Missing Tools

Over the years we have loaned out tools. Some have not come back. We are missing a home made tool to secure the spring in the seat hinge. It is a long bar with a bearing race and pin welded on. We are also missing an alignment jig. It is two pieces of square tubing with a securing part on one end and a pointer on the other. It is used to measure the distance from the rear to the front suspension. We need these two tools returned. We are also missing a metal also a wood dolly to move a 356 without its suspension. While we don’t need these back, it would be nice to know who has them.


BJ finished up the paint, caulk and undercoat on Michael’s ’62 Coupe and I detailed the front, interior and rear compartments. Michael’s 356 will go to the painter for a silver paint job.

Gene’s ’62 Cabriolet has come back from Autoweave-another excellent job-and we will trailer it to Colorado Springs to be reunited with its engine. Gene should enjoy his 356; it was one of our best restorations.

George picked up his ’60 Coupe after we finished the minor metal repairs. George has his own painter and will return the 356 to us for reassembly. George’s 356 is one of the nicest 356’s we’ve worked on. No collision damage, minimal rust damage and no previous repairs.

While we wait for George’s 356 to come back we will finish the bottom of the Shop ’57 Carrera and continue to part out the damaged 356. We may start on the Shop Outlaw project or the conversion of the ’58 race car to a street car. We also have to start organizing parts for the big swap meet in Anaheim, California on February 1, 2004.

Restoration Book

I should receive the final proof of the “Porsche 356-Do it Yourself Restoration Guide” this week. If OK it is off to the printer. We were hoping to have copies available for the swap meet but may not; it all depends on the printer. The book has taken a full year. When I started I did not know how involved the process would be. We had a grammar review. I would say “now it is time to-“. The grammar person changed it to “Next-“. We had to have a cover designed (excellent job!), an illustrator and of course the layout of text and photos. We have over 200 photos. In the next newsletter we should have the print date and ordering information.


The tentative race schedule for RMVR for 2004:
March 13-14 Crash/Burn School
April 10-11 Driver’s School
April 24-25 Second Creek
June 5-6 Pueblo
July 17-18 Second Creek Charity Event
Aug 7-8 Second Creek Backward
Sept 11-12 La Junta
Oct 2-3 Pueblo Enduro

As you can see we have multiple events at Second Creek. But we lose this track in 2005. The coalition of clubs have made an offer on a site for a new race track. The location is being kept secret. As you can see without a replacement for Second Creek, vintage racing and driver education events will be very limited.

Rennsport 11 will be April 23-25 at Daytona Beach Florida. Details can be found at There will be five race groups. 356’s are in Group1. Practice all day Friday and Saturday, a concour is Saturday afternoon and qualifying and racing Sunday.

The big Swap meet at Anaheim is proceeded by the Literature and Toy Show on January 30, 2004 at the L.A. Hilton. The Literature, Swap Meet and Rennsport 11 events will be big. Now is the time to make reservations.

November 2003 Newsletter

After we picked up Ted’s Cabriolet at Trevor’s we finished a few remaining items and took it for a test drive. Ran like a scalded cat! Trevor sure knows how to build a 356 engine. Ted put 500 miles on it and then back to Trevor’s and then back to 356RESTORE for the remaining items on the punch list. We drove it back to Ted last week and it is done.

Ted’s Cabriolet was number three on our list of difficult restorations. Number one was of course Barb’s Twin Grille Roadster. This was the 356 that was so rusty it broke in half. Number two was “Frankenstein”, the stripped and abandoned ’59 Cabriolet from Carbondale. It had no original parts and major rust.

BJ called Ted’s 356 “Igor” or that evil-evil car. Ted’s car had been hit in the front twice and not only needed a front clip but major rust repair and repair to poor previous repairs.

The reason I mentioned the difficulty with Ted’s Cabriolet is because after we finished it we started reassembly of Gene’s ’62 Cabriolet. What a difference! Gene’s 356 had moderate damage to the front due to backing up on a flat tow and the average rust damage. But all the parts were original. We were able to reassemble it with few problems. For example, while it took half a day to install the windshield on Ted’s Cab it took less than an hour on Gene’s. Same with the hood-three hours for Ted’s; fifteen minutes for Gene’s. This is what is great about restoring the Porsche 356- challenges and rewards.

By the way, I won the bet with Gene. The bet was that whenever a female came to check out a restored 356 within fifteen minutes, she would point to a flaw on the exterior body. Gen said this would never happen with his wife; I said it would as it had happened 100% of the time in the past. Well, it took twelve minutes but we saw Gene’s wife pointing to a small discoloration in the paint on the left rear fender. So, Gene buys supper!

We took Gene’s Cab to Autoweave for some carpet and top work and moved George’s ’60 Coupe to the shop.

We finished all the major metal work on Michael’s ’62 Coupe and BJ will be starting the clean, paint, caulk and undercoat process. On Michael’s 356 as we did on Ted’s we had to replace the front clip.

We are fortunate there is a vendor making these clips as original clips are hard to find. Even clips from scrapped 356s are getting hard to find. There is a lot of work to clip a 356, but a successful job immediately corrects a lot of problems and restores those nice curves.

We bought Rob’s ’64 Coupe and it should be trucked out from Virginia this week. This is the 356 that moved from Denver to Virginia and then took an SUV hit in the passenger door. The pictures I’ve seen show significant right side damage and even the dash buckled up about eight inches. However, we have a good C door and even a complete C dash (leftover from when we rebuilt Barb’s Roadster on a C chassis). I had put instruments and switches in the C dash and carted it to swap meets to show dash items that we had for sale. But it was hard to transport and display plus we sold most of our dash items. So I was going to sell the dash until I saw the pictures of Rob’s 356. What is great about Rob’s ’64 is that it has a Trevor engine and transmission which was undamaged. Plus Rob was a stickler about maintenance. We have a frame dolly to ensure Rob’s ’64 will be square as we do the work. But this won’t happen until after Gene’s, Michael’s and George’s 356s are done.

Bill continues to move parts from our ’58 Race car to our ’52 soon to be Race car. This is more than just moving parts. There is a lot of fabrication required as the ’52 has a lot of early Volkswagen parts that need to be upgraded for reliability and safety. Some preliminary checking indicates when the ’52 hits the track it will be one of the earliest Porsches racing.

My restoration book titled “Porsche 356-Guide to do it Yourself Restoration” is in final layout with some illustrations finally completed. After layout there will be one last review and then off to printing. When I get a print date I will announce it here and tell you how to order if interested. I’m guessing this will be after the first of the year.

We had a call from John McConnell who moved from Denver to Wisconsin after he and Carol had both retired from teaching. John was racing his 356 and had an “incident”. Fortunately only 356 damage; but John has decided to retire from racing. His call was to see if we had parts to repair his 356 and turn it back into a street car. We have most of the needed parts and it will be a pleasure to help him out as he helped me out when I started racing a 356.

The racing schedule for next year is just about final and we will provide details next month. We also hope to have more details on Rennsport II in April being held in Daytona Beach. BJ and I had a great time at Rennsport I and can’t say enough about this event-but all things connected with 356 are great!

October 2003 Newsletter

The RM356PC drive to Vail to view the vintage sports cars that drove the Colorado Grand was great fun. We had twenty six 356s and received lots of public interest. We were able to check out the Colorado Grand cars. Plenty of Ferraris, Maseratis, Mercedes and classics. There were six Blower Bentleys all lined up in a row. All the same color green and all were very impressive.

We used the trip to checkout my ’63 Sunroof Coupe which hadn’t been on a long trip since the Holiday in Durango. We wanted to ensure it would be ready for the trip to the Holiday in Taos. It checked out fine but I think I will switch mufflers as the sport muffler drones at constant RPM.

For the Taos trip, I drove my ’63, BJ drove his ’64 Coupe and Barb got to drive the truck with all the parts for the swap meet and my technical presentation. We convoyed down with a bunch of Colorado 356s. It started to rain at La Vieta pass and the only problem was a thrown fan belt on one of the 356s.

Jen had family business in Minnesota and flew into Santa Fe on Friday where Barb picked her up to join the activities. Friday was also the drive of the Enchanted Circle. Although it rained we put over 100 356s on the road. The New Mexico State Patrol blocked the road in front of the hotel so all the cars could leave safely. What a sight!

After the drive there was concern about the Concours to be held the next day as it was still raining and no way to clean the cars after the drive. Plus would they let us on the golf course? While the organizers wrestled with the issue I gave a Technical Session on rust. There were about 85 folks in attendance and I had plenty of rust props that we have cut off 356s over the years. The presentation was well received and I even got in a plug for my restoration book. Saturday morning it was still raining but over one hundred 356s headed for the Concours. About 10:00 AM the sun came out! What a pretty sight with all the colorful 356s on the green lawn. Entertainment and a great lunch was served in the clubhouse.

After the Concours Barb and I toured Taos and did some shopping. Taos has changed since we were last there over ten years ago. We will have to return-(and do some serious shopping). *editor’s note!

I was in charge of the swap meet and was glad the rain stopped. There is nothing worse than wet parts.

The Saturday night awards banquet was great and the Sunday morning swap meet was well attended. Once again they were all over us with flashlights at 5:30 AM as BJ and I unloaded. We did well at the swap meet and made enough to pay for the trip. After the swap meet we packed up and headed home with no problems. The Holiday was great and we congratulate the organizers on a fine event. They were a small group and lived in various parts of New Mexico.


Well, Ted’s ’59 Carbiolet didn’t make the trip to Taos. Autoweave got his interior done and we took the 356 to Trevor’s for the engine installation. But Trevor found problems with the transmission and then bent axles and then brake problems and then carburetor problems and then generator problems and then.. I have never seen Trevor so frustrated. Ted’s Cab had been updated with disc brakes and a later transmission and it was all done wrong. Better to leave it home than have those problems on the road for Ted’s first Holiday.

Trevor finished Ted’s car after the Holiday and we picked it up. The same day we picked up Gene’s ’61 Cabriolet at the painters. That Oslo Blue paint looks great! So we are very busy again. We installed the windshield in Ted’s Cab plus the seatbelts and rubber mats. We still have some small parts to install and some work on the brake lines and wiring harness. Trevor will come down and we will sort out the 356. Hopefully Ted will soon be enjoying his Cab.

It has been a long and tedious restoration. There is a message for new owners to have someone qualified evaluate a 356 prior to purchase.

Next up will be the reassembly of Gene’s Cab. All the parts have been prepared and it should go quickly. Meanwhile, BJ is doing the metal work on Michael’s ’62 Coupe. Quite a bit to do and once again we are going to have to put a new front clip on the car. Then after Michael’s there is George’s ’60 Coupe but it needs minimal metal work. We have to replace the windshield in the Shop ’64 Coupe as the original cracked. We are still waiting on an engine for this 356 but it will be an Al Lager engine!

Tech Tip

You should know how to replace your fan belt. The AAA guy may not know how. You need a spare fan belt, the pulley wrench and a screw driver. Place the screw driver in the notch at the back of the pulley. When it catches, use the wrench to remove the nut. Count the shims and location and replace as found. There should be ten shims. Hats off to the driver in the convoy who did it in the rain!

September 2003 Newsletter


As expected the pace has picked up. The Shop ’64 Irish Green Coupe was completed at Autoweave. We picked it up and dropped off Ted’s Cabriolet. Autoweave had pre-ordered the carpet and interior and will try to finish it in a week. Then it will go straight to Trevor’s for installation of the rebuilt engine and linkage adjustment. We will pick it up and install the windshield, seat belts and a few remaining parts. We left the windshield out as Ted wanted a full tonneau and it is easier for Autoweave to install the Tennex fasteners on the dash.

Ted will have about a week to sort out his 356 before the West Coast Holiday in Taos October 2-5. It will be a tight schedule.

BJ has started on the extensive metal repair on Michael’s ’62 Coupe. This 356 will get a new front clip as there was extensive patchwork brazing repair done in the past. Brazing was a repair technique that used a non ferrous filler rod and low heat (800 degrees F.) to create an alloy that bonded two pieces together. Welding uses heat in the 2500-3000 degree F range. Since brazing used low heat it was a popular technique for the novice in the sixties and seventies.

Michael’s 356 has too much brazing in the front and this was covered by a quarter inch of bondo. On this 356 you can see a brazing repair that has failed.

On the T-5/T-6 cars it is the area between the upper and lower grilles in front. Behind this curved area is a flat plate to secure the upper horn grille and optional fog light. Mud can get behind this plate and cause rust. On Michael’s 356 you can see how a brazing repair was done and then how it rusted again later. The way to avoid rust in this area is to caulk between the plate and body.

We picked up a T-5 Coupe from George. He had done most of the disassembly and undercoat removal. The only rust damage appears to be in the battery box. This 356 has the typical rebar hood kink repair. Other than that, the 356 is really straight and the gaps are good. We took it to Blast Tech for the removal of the remaining undercoat. We believe this 356 has no body damage or previous repair and can be sanded and repainted.

By the way, Blast Tech will be moving from Parker to Englewood at the end of September. Gary will get more booth space, a dust removal system and a bigger compressor. The new address is 3775 So. Kalamath St. and the new phone number is 303-806-9992.

Gene’s Cabriolet is still at Vern, the painter’s and should be done shortly, all the parts are cleaned, painted and polished and ready for reassembly. In addition to a soft top, Gene also has a hard top for his Cabriolet. We disassembled this for paint and look forward to the reassembly as we have not done this.

We mentioned last month the fuel line problem on our ’63 Coupe. The next problem was brake hose failure. As I bled the brakes it was obvious no fluid was coming out the right rear. I replaced both rear rubber brake hoses. Similar to the fuel line failure the brake hose fails internally. You can’t see the problems externally. They swell up inside. When was the last time you had your brakes bled and inspected?

We will drive the ’63 Coupe to Vail this Saturday as a shake down prior to our trip to Taos. The Colorado Grand Tour ends in Vail and they have invited car clubs to show their cars. Join us in Vail at Lionshead Park on September 20th if you get this in time.

Future Events

One of the best Porsche events that BJ and I attended was the Rennsport Reunion at Lime Rock Park Racetrack in Connecticut in July, 2001. Well, there will be another next year at Daytona International Speedway. It will be April 23-25, 2004. The Rennsport Reunion features all the Porsche Race cars and drivers that we have enjoyed watching over the years. The factory provides race cars from the museum and most of the cars from private collections are there. You can walk through the pit area to see and photograph the cars and talk to the drivers/owners. The sounds are tremendous. We will provide more details on this event in the future.

Hope you have your registration in for the 356 West Coast Holiday in Taos, NM Oct. 2-5. You can register with Joyce and Larry Hooper-505-296-8912 and pay late fee–but worth it!

August 2003 Newsletter


Many of you receive this Newsletter via the Internet. Thank you as it keeps our cost down. However, if you change servers or put in a spam blocker, the Newsletter will bounce. We have no way of getting the Newsletter to you as most E-mail names don’t match the owner. Who is TWINGRIL62 anyway? We have lost about twenty Internet recipients so far and have no way to contact them. So, if you want to receive the Newsletter via the Internet and change servers, let us know. Almost all the newsletters are also at our website –


We got a call from a local 356 owner who needed a new windshield. He said his was damaged when the 356 was stolen. They own a 1961 Cabriolet. I told him how to turn off the fuel petcock or use the transmission or E-brake lock hole. But their 356 was not stolen while parked. His wife was driving and he was the passenger; the top was down. At a stop light in Cherry Creek, two thugs approached, hit his wife and pulled her from the car. He dove across the car to protect his wife, took a few hits and the crooks drove off in the 356. The car was found nearby with the engine still running. For some reason they broke the windshield; no other damage. This was the first 356 car jacking we have heard of and in Cherry Creek no less.

Another local 356 owner recently moved to Florida. He had his 356 shipped there and on his third outing got hit in the passenger side door by a SUV. He sent us pictures. In addition to the door and surrounding damage, the dash is really bent. He broke some bones, cracked some ribs and got 32 stitches in his head. He is very lucky.

(A ’61 roadster we restored years ago was hit in the driver’s door and the owner was killed.) The Florida 356 was totaled by his insurance carrier and they want $4,000 for salvage. I told him this was a fair price as he wants to keep the engine and transmission. We offered to buy the remaining parts and have the 356 transported back to Colorado.

One of our customers bought a ’51 Coupe at an estate sale in Wyoming. They trailered it down for us to evaluate. Fairly complete except for the early bumpers but very rusty and major left rear damage. But something was wrong! It had a complete T-5 (60-61) front end! Nose, fenders even front closing panels. The work was very well done. The front end appears to have been welded on at the factory seams. The problem is this modification really devalues the car. Front end sheet metal for a ’51 is very hard to find (probably why the modification was done). The front wheel openings on the ’51 is different than later 356’s as the early cars had 16 inch wheels. What was also unusual was the 356 still had the original hood (damaged) but with a T-5 handle! When I opened the door the interior light came on. The battery was still connected. The ignition switch and key were laying on the front seat but the engine turned over by hand. There was gas in the fuel filter and the tank didn’t smell of old gas. The engine may have been run recently. It is the early 1300cc, 44 horse power engine. It and the crash box transmission appear original. The owner will have a tough decision. We can restore it as is, but it will be expensive and never correct.


We are still waiting for 356s to come back. The Shop ’64 Coupe is at Autoweave. Gene’s ’60 Cabriolet is at Vern the painter. Ted’s ’61 Cabriolet is at Don the painter. Both race cars are at Bill’s. We recently disassembled a ’62 Coupe belonging to Mike and took it to Blast Tech. We know what is going to happen. All the 356s will come back at the same time! (Murphy’s Law) Priority will go to Ted’s 356 as we promised to have it done for the 356 Holiday in Taos in early October. Autoweave is helping out by ordering materials in advance. Hope we make it. Ted is really excited about having his 356 restored and being able to drive it to the holiday.

So with all the 356s out of the shop, we have been cleaning, painting, polishing, repairing all the parts to go back on Gene and Ted’s 356’s. This is an enjoyable part of 356 restoration. Making an original part work and look as good as new is fun.

Tech Tip Update

We pulled our ’63 Coupe from storage to prepare it for driving to the West Coast Holiday. We added gas and sure enough, the fuel line from the petcock leaked. Just like Barb’s Roadster last week.

We also had a fuel pump leak and found rubber particles in the pump filter. So, as mentioned before, the 7 mm German fuel line does not appear to be holding up to today’s gasoline. Check your fuel lines often and consider replacement with 5/16 fuel line.


Chuck Fishback Memorial Event is set for August 23rd in Estes Park. It is the Auto Extravaganza celebrating 100 years of automobile tourism. We will meet at the Stanley Village shopping center at ll:30 AM and caravan to lunch.

July 2003 Newsletter

Lobster Tale

A friend of the guy I sold the Shop ’61 Roadster to wanted to buy a 356 Cabriolet. Ken contacted me to evaluate a Cabriolet here in Denver. But when the seller heard I was to evaluate the 356, he decided it was not for sale. Ken next found a Cabriolet on the East Coast and I coached him on what to look for. Ken found lots of problems and passed on the car. Next was one at European Collectibles in California but it was sold before Ken could make an offer.

Finally there was another in California stored for fifteen years and owned for over thirty. The gas tank was replaced and the Cabriolet made drivable. I reviewed pictures of the 356 and talked to the mechanic that worked on it. I found a few issues and Ken was able to negotiate a good deal. The car transport company had an opening and Ken had his 356 in New York in just six days.

Ken loves his 356 and wanted to thank me for my help. He asked if I liked lobster and I said sure! He said they are on the way. I expected two or three. Ten live lobsters arrived! We had a party.


Vern has a few more weeks with the paint on Gene’s ’62 Cabriolet so we took Ted’s ’61 Cabriolet to Don the other painter. Don is working full time at his home shop so the goal is to have Ted’s 356 painted by mid August so we can assemble it and get it to Autoweave. Ted wants the 356 for the West Coast Holiday in Taos in early October.

The car carrier company picked up the Shop ’56 Speedster which is on its way to Italy. So with it gone, two cars at the painters, the two race cars at Bill’s and the Shop ’64 Coupe at Autoweave we only have five 356’s at 356RESTORE.

While we wait for 356s to come back we are detailing all parts for both Gene and Ted’s 356s. This will allow rapid reassembly. We may even have time to install a shop ceiling or continue work on the Carrera.

Bill was able to modify the 741 transmission from the ’58 Race Car to fit in the ’52 Race Car. He had help from Al Lager. We used the nose from the transmission in the ’52 and matched it with the 741 from the ’58 which had the racing gears installed by Trevor. Now we will have to install an above the tunnel shift mechanism to avoid the early “monkey motion” linkage. We hope to get all the race parts off the ’58 and on to the ’52 in time to do one race this season.

We plan to put our spare engine into the ’58 and sell it as an outlaw 356. It will have the roll bar and Nomex interior. We will fit nerf bars, fix the electrics for the street and repaint.

We need project Shop Cars! After the ’58 street outlaw all we will have left is the ’61 Coupe which we will also turn into an outlaw. Now is the time to let us know of that rusty 356 that someone was going to restore and never got around to it. We will pay a finders fee. We prefer to get Colorado cars and we like them to be complete. The rustier the better. Call 303-840-2356 or 303-841-6475 if you can give us a lead on project cars.

We always need 356 parts. We don’t sell all our parts at swap meets as we need them for restorations. If you have parts, give us a call. We pay a fair price.

Tech Tip

The next time you need a battery for your 356 buy an Optima. When BJ finished the restoration of his and Jen’s ’64 Coupe he had starting and running problems. A few times I would have to take a spare battery and rescue him. Once we bought an Optima battery for his 356 the rough running and stalling problems disappeared. The Optima delivers 850 cold starting amps. It is a closed cell battery so there is no acid leaks or vapors to ruin you battery compartment. They are sized different than a standard battery and will take some engineering to fit in your 356. Plans for installation are available at the website. We purchased ours at Peerless Tire. Recently I had problems starting the ’61 Porsche Junior tractor. A 12 volt Optima solved the problem.

Future events

Nostalgia Racing will host the Summit Historics at Breckenridge August 23-24. While there won’t be any racing (perhaps in the future) there will be an autocross, concours and rally. Drive up for the fun.

Porsches and Pastries will be September 14th. While Barb and Jen no longer have the bakery, they still know how to create those goodies. Mark your calendar now!

June 2003 Newsletter

Tech Tip

We have been recommending for years that as part of your annual inspection of your 356 you check your fuel lines. Your fuel line can be either 7mm German braided hose of 5/6″ rubber hose. The rubber hose requires hose clamps and they are also recommended for the braided hose. Now we are recommending you replace any 7mm hose with 5/6″ hose and clamps.

The reason: we inspected the braided hose on Barb’s Twin Grille Roadster and all was fine. We filled the 356 with gas, started the engine and let it warm up. A few minutes later there was a large pool of gas under the car. We shut off the engine and the fuel petcock and moved the car. After the gas on the ground expanded, we jacked up the front and the failure was the braided line from the petcock to the steel tunnel line.

Our previous inspection had indicated the line was OK. It wasn’t. The line appears to have failed from the inside. We believe this is due to the gasoline that is being refined today. There is an excellent article in the recent 356 Registry that talks about this. So our new recommendation is to replace all 7mm German braided fuel lines with 5/16 rubber fuel lines and hose clamps. The rubber fuel line is available at Auto Parts stores. Buy 6 feet so you have extra. In addition to the petcock to tunnel line you also have a line from the back of the tunnel to the steel line behind the fan shroud. You may also have a fuel line on the line between carburetors, from the fuel pump to the carb and to the cars if you run Webbers.

In addition to replacing your fuel lines, get in the habit of turning off (Zu) your fuel petcock when you park your 356 and carry a Halon fire extinguisher. They are available from aviation supply stores as they don’t damage the engine as powder fire extinguisher will.


BJ continues with the tedious job of making Ted’s Cabriolet look like a 356. This involves moving down high spots, bringing up low spots and getting the panels flush. Ted’s Cabriolet ranks number three on our major metal work hit parade, right after Barb’s Twin Grille Roadster and Keith’s Frankenstein Cabriolet.

I’ve started putting the Shop ’64 Irish Green Coupe back together. We have all the parts on except the bumpers and windshield. We have the headliner in and are waiting on the carpet. The Coupe will need a new interior so it will be off to Autoweave. Hopefully, Al will have the engine done when it gets back from Autoweave. Chris’s Cabriolet is almost ready for paint and we will start putting it back together while Ted’s Cab goes for paint. Bill is taking all the parts of the ’58 “Company Car” race car and putting them on the ’52 race car. We hope to get in at least one race this year. We will turn the ’58 into a street outlaw. It will have the rollcage and race interior. We will do a repaint, add nerf bars and other outlaw features.


Barb and I were invited to judge at the Charity Concours on June 8th. We had over twenty 356’s and over 200 other sports cars. There were some new 356’s and other cars being judged for the first time. The quality of the cars to be judged was excellent this year. We would like to thank Joe Ratcliffe for volunteering at the last minute to judge engines when we were short a judge.

Restoration Book

We are doing one of the final edits on the restoration book. This process has yielded more detail and clarification. The editor also wants more pictures and illustrations. Fortunately he has an illustrator as I can’t draw. We will probably end up with over 200 pictures. The book will be soft cover and sell for $19.95-$24.95. It will probably be called “Porsche 356 Restoration – A Do-It-Yourself Guide” or something like that. I have over 200 hours into the book so far and we started last November.

Horseless Carriage

The Shop ’61 Roadster was picked up by the Horseless Carriage transport company and is on its way to New York. The transport driver had to rearrange cars and did it on the road in front of our house. BJ and I gave him a hand. He had an enclosed trailer with room for three on a top rack and three on the floor. We had to rearrange a Ferrari, Camaro, and Bronco. He also had a MGB race car but we didn’t have to move it. These were all restorations going to new owners. The Ferrari leaked oil. The low mileage Bronco had a dirty undercarriage. The Camaro made gear noise in reverse and the back up lights didn’t work. Our Shop Roadster was the best looking car and had to go up front as it would be the last off. I saw the invoice for moving the Roadster from Denver to New York. It was $2,000; the buyer pays. The Shop ’56 Speedster will be going to Italy and it will probably cost a lot more but we don’t yet have the details on how it will be transported.


The RMVR Charity race is July 19 & 20 at Second Creek Raceway (88th and Buckley by DIA). Plan to attend!

May 2003 Newsletter


May 23rd is the deadline to have your 356 registered for judging at the 20th Annual Exotic Sports Car Show and Concours d’Elegance. Entry forms are available from Sandy Dumcum at 303-691-9339. After the 23rd you can have your 356 displayed but not judged and the entry fee goes from $25 to $40. The event is June 8th at Arapahoe Community College. We hope to enter the recently restored Shop ’61 Roadster; if it is still here. More later.

Details are now available on the Speedster 50th Anniversary Event. This will be held June 25-27, 2004 at Pebble Beach, California. The event will honor the America Roadster, Speedster, and Convertible D. Over 325 of these models are expected. Other 356 models can participate. This will be a first class event. The 356s will be displayed at the Quail Lodge. One event is dinner at the Monterey Aquarium. Barb and I had dinner there at the 1998 356 50th Anniversary and it was the highlight of our week. Registration opens June 1, 2003. Details via the 356REGISTRY.ORG website. Click on Events.


The good news is we may have sold the Shop ’61 Roadster and the Shop ’56 Speedster. What happened was we met a guy who specializes in selling Sports Cars. We met Jeff when we evaluated a really nice ’58 Cabriolet at a local dealer. The Cab was a beautiful 356, possibly low mileage and priced reasonably. When the potential buyer passed on the Cab, we provided Jeff with our evaluation and also mentioned we had a Speedster for sale. He said he had a potential buyer. He came out and took pictures but they didn’t turn out. The next time he came the Shop ’61 Roadster was done and he also took pictures of it.

When Jeff sent the Speedster pictures to the buyer, the buyer said while he was still interested in a Speedster he was also interested in a Roadster. Jeff sent him the Roadster pictures and the buyer jumped on it at a very, very fair price to both 356RESTORE and Jeff.

Flushed with victory, Jeff sold the Speedster to another buyer a few days later. Again at a fair price considering we needed to do some rework. Both deals are pending and hopefully will close. This means we will need some more shop cars. If you know of any 356 projects for sale let us know.

More Progress

The major effort to get a new front clip on Ted’s ’61 Cabriolet went quite well. BJ and I spent two hours positioning and measuring the clip on Ted’s Cab and then waited a day to make sure it was correct. Another hour to double check the measurements and BJ tack welded the clip in place. We were able to use the clip as a jig to get the fenders in alignment. This 356 had been hit in the front at least twice and a poor clip had previously been done and everything was out of alignment. We had removed at least ten pounds of bondo some 1/2″ thick. After the clip, we replaced the rear seat area which was rusted out and that finished the major metal work on Ted’s Cab. Next up is working the gaps and contours and getting it ready for paint.

Vern has finished the shop ’64 Coupe so we will pick it up and drop off Gene’s ’61 Cabriolet for its Oslo Blue paint. So while BJ gets to finish Ted’s Cab, I’ll start putting the ’64 Coupe back together.


We want to take a minute and thank vendors that work so well with us. When we needed those rear seat bottoms blasted for Ted’s Cab, Blast Tech turned them around in a day. When we sold the Shop ’61 Roadster, Autoweave installed the rear boot we forgot in a day. And when it was obvious we would not have time to start up and check out the Roadster, Trevor got it done in a few days. And lets not forget Vern who persevered with the paint mismatch on the Roadster, redoing it three times! Thanks guys!

Other Activities

The Restoration Book has been at the publisher but has been delayed by other projects (a drag racing book by Cindy Crawford?) Shortly this will take more of my time as we get into editing. The book will probably be titled “Porsche 356 Restoration – Do it Yourself” or something like that.

We are also waiting for pictures of the Shop ’57 Carrera from the grandson of the original owner in Thailand. We need these for the article we wrote for the 356 Registry. We also got some shop work done and now have an office with our roll top desk. We still have to do the shop ceiling.

Tech Tip

Do you have a turkey baster? You need one to remove the old oil from your oil filter can when you change oil. You should be changing oil every 3,000 miles or sooner if you drive infrequently. You can also use the baster to remove old brake fluid before bleeding your brakes which you should do every year.

These two maintenance activities will do the most to prolong the life of your 356.

April 2003 Newsletter


Rob finished the reassembly on his newly repainted Cabriolet and drove it home. It started right up after a year of not running. Just had to prime the carbs.

Vern should be finished painting the Shop ’64 Coupe shortly and then he will tackle Gene’s Cabriolet.

We painted over the overspray on Chris’s ’59 Convertible D and installed the doors, lids and windshield. We delivered the ’59 to Chris and he will do the reassemble. We will assist as needed.

BJ continues with the extensive metal work on Ted’s Cabriolet. The rear floor has been patched, the front floor replaced and he will be starting on the battery box and front clip. I finished the reassembly on the Shop ’61 Roadster and we will pull it out of the shop to see how it runs. Ron Appleton rebuilt the engine but that was six years ago. Hopefully, there will be no problems with it setting for so long.

We will be sending the 356 Restoration book to the publisher this week. We still need a few pictures which we will take of work on Ted’s Cabriolet. But it is time to start the edit, layout and cover design process. I’m sure I have over two hundred hours on the book project and it seems everyday I think of something to add. But we need to get on with actual restorations; we can always plan on a second edition.


The Internet is something else! Last month I mentioned how I found the grandson of the original owner of my ’57 Carrera Coupe in Bangkok, Thailand. This month I was reading my E-mails and there was one from a guy who had been to my website and wanted us to restore his ’61 Coupe. The amazing thing was he was writing from Iraq! He is a Lt. Colonel in the Medical Corps and while he said things were a little “intense”, during his downtime he would think of restoring his 356. While we have been avoiding commitments on future projects, we thanked him for his service and told him we would be glad to help.

Interest in the 356 Porsche continues strong. We continue to get calls and E-mails almost daily from potential buyers. Many of these are from previous owners who want to enjoy again the 356 experience.

We are also finding that some people are taking advantage of the 356 interest by misrepresenting cars and doing shoddy work. If you know of anyone thinking of buying a 356 make sure they have the car evaluated by someone knowledgeable of the 356.

In Memoriam

It was sad to learn of the passing of Harry Pellow, also known as the Maestro. Harry took the time to prepare books and videos on 356 engine rebuilding. He was active in the 356 Registry; he wrote amusing articles and always had time to answer questions.

It is also sad to note the passing of Norm Petitt’s father Claude. You may remember Claude at Porsches and Pastries. He was that tall good looking guy with plenty of stories. He was 94.

Annual Charity Concours

The 20th Annual Sports Car Show and Concours d’Elegance will be Sunday, June 8th from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Last year there were over 200 classic cars and nearly $36,000 was raised to benefit Cerebral Palsy of Colorado.

Please enter your 356 in either the judged or display class. Registration is $25 due by May 23rd. Having your 356 judged is great fun. You get your score sheet back so you can tell what could improve your 356. Last year we had more 356’s entered than Porsche 911. Let’s try to do it again.

Entry forms are available from Sandy Dumcum at (303) 691-9339 or call us at (303) 840-2356.

Tech Tip

The charity concours is basically a clean car contest. There are so many varied cars, originality and authenticity cannot be judged. Some products we use for concours preparation include 3M General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner part #08984.

This is a general purpose cleaner and does an exceptional job on rubber. You can find it at office supply stores and some hardware stores.

We also use a lot of McGuirres products. They have a system of products from freshening up dull paint to waxes. Their tire products do a great job.

Cleaning your 356 means getting to any area a judge’s hand can reach. Behind the fan shroud, under the threshold rubber, under the dash, behind the sunvisor, etc. At the local concours all judging is done above the chassis-no wheel wells or under carriage scoring. If asked to judge I usually do engines. On a 356 I look for grease, dirt, water spots and the condition of wires, rubber and hardware. One time I spent almost the entire five minutes allowed for judging and could not find a problem. Finally, the sun came out from behind a cloud and I saw a small piece of dust.

Barb has done the interiors for some of the concours in the past and she also looks for dust, grit or lint in the seat seam stitching. It all comes down to squeaky clean-no leaves or lint in the door side pockets. Most cars are cleaner that some kitchens!

March 2003 Newsletter

Anaheim Swap Meet

BJ and I loaded up the truck and headed out to California for the big swap meet in early February with the obligatory stop in Las Vegas. Bill Frey and John McConnell also followed us out as both had parts to sell. Plus John trailered his A Coupe hoping to sell it.

We all did well. BJ and I sold $7,000 worth of parts; Bill sold a lot of his stuff and John sold his Coupe and lots of parts. The turnout was probably bigger than last year. Hundreds of vendors and thousands of buyers/spectators. There was a large car show and lots of great 356s. This year it was for charity and the local youth organization did quite well. You should plan to attend next year. We will publish the date in the newsletter when it is firm.


After the swap meet, Barb and I were off for a vacation. Plenty of Maui sun and real relaxing time. When we returned it was “hit the ground running”.

Vern finished Rob’s Cabriolet in Aquamarine Blue and we brought it back to the shop. Rob is doing the reassembly here and will drive it home. We took Vern the shop ’64 Coupe which he had finished in primer but we pulled when we had the shop Roadster repainted. The ’64 will be finished in Irish Green by the end of March and then we get to do reassembly. Reassembly is one of the more enjoyable parts of the 356 restoration. You are making a car!

The other painter, Dan, (also called Don), finished Chris’s ’59 Convertible D in Ruby Red and we will assist in reassembly. Ted’s ’69 Cabriolet is back from Blast Tech and BJ has started the extensive metal work. Ted’s Cab will be featured in our restoration book as we need plenty of pictures. We thought we could get by with pictures we had taken over the years but the publisher and reviewers wanted more pictures. We have identified over 150 pictures that should be included and are about halfway there. We thought we would have a problem taking pictures of the disassembly phase as we don’t have any 356s ready for disassembly. So we will disassemble my ’63 Sunroof Coupe. This will yield better pictures as all the parts are clean.

Taking pictures while doing work adds time. Do something, take a picture, do something, take a picture, etc. Plus we have to be careful with light when shooting metal work. (Anyone out there experienced with photo software? All the photos are digitized but we will need help getting them publication ready. Could use some help, for a fee of course.)

Shop ’57 Carrera

Many of you know this was my first 356 twenty years ago. I got it for $750 without the four cam and then traded it away. I bought it back a few years ago and it had a four cam. Recently Dave Seeland was by and I told him the Carrera had originally been imported to Bangkok, Thailand. Dave said he wondered if the Prince had driven it. That got my attention and I asked Dave if he could find out anything about the Carrera’s history. Dave had been the Four Cam Editor for the 356REGISTRY for fifteen years and had some info from 1972 that mentioned a Carrera owner in Thailand. With this name, I wrote to the Royal Automobile Association of Thailand requesting information. My letter was forwarded and early this month I received an E-mail from the grandson of the original owner. His grandfather raced the ’57 Carrera extensively. Prince Bira of Thailand also drove the 356. The grandson will be sending me pictures of his grandfather racing the 356. With information from Thailand and from previous owners we hopefully can document the history of this 356. I will write an article for the 356REGISTRY. The grandson indicated that he had been trying to locate the Carrera and my letter was a fortunate surprise. He mentioned that when his grandfather and grandmother went to Stuttgart to pick up the 356 they were so impressed by the car they ordered another Carrera for their home in Switzerland. He also indicated the family would be interested in purchasing the ’57 Carrera. Since it will be for sale when we finish the restoration we will see what happens.

West Coast Holiday

Rooms at the headquarter hotel are going fast. Get your reservation in early. Call the Sagebrush Inn at 1-800-428-3626. The Holiday is October 2-5. The event registration form is in the latest Registry magazine. If you don’t have one (you should!) contact us and we will send the form. Please register early. The East Coast Holiday will be September 3-7 in Asheville, North Carolina. The registration form is also in the Registry magazine.

Other Events

The annual charity event for Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing will be July 19-20 at Second Creek Raceway. Mark your calendar now. That same weekend will be the Gmund Gathering at the Maybee’s sponsored by the RM356PC. This is your chance to autocross a Porsche tractor.

January 2003 Newsletter

Tech Tip

When was the last time you checked your transmission oil? It is easy to do. The fill location is about two thirds of the way up the tranny on the passenger side. Remove the fill plug and stick your little finger in. It should come out with some of that sweet smelling 90 weight oil on it. (Actually, tranny oil is foul smelling and the smell won’t come out of your clothes). If it smells a little burnt you could have trouble.

West Coast Holiday

It’s confirmed! This years Holiday will be in Taos, New Mexico October 2-5. Mark your calendars now! Registration information will soon be available via the 356 Registry web site. Go to and click on West Coast Holiday.

For those of us involved in Holidays put on by the RM356PC we know there are two things we can do to help.

Register early! This helps the organizers pay for goodie bags, badges, t-shirts, etc. that have to be ordered before the event.


Barb and I have already volunteered to help out and you should also. Contact Dave and Ann Stinchcomb at or (505) 898-2255.

Those of us in Colorado know how beautiful the Taos area is and how many exciting things are available. Plan now to attend this West Coast Holiday.


Meanwhile back at the shop. We lined up another painter and delivered Chris’s ’59 Convertible D for a Ruby Red paint job. Dan joins Vern as the painters helping out 356RESTORE. Dan has eighteen years as a professional and has a shop at home to do weekend/evening work. Vern is finishing Rob’s Cabriolet and should be available for the Shop ’64 Coupe. It will be a few months before we get on top of the paint work backlog.

BJ finished Gene’s ’62 Cab and it will be ready for its Oslo Blue paint job.

Ted’s ’59 Cabriolet should be back from Blast Tech and we can start the metal work. This 356 will definitely need a front clip. We air chiseled about ten pounds of Bondo off the front, some of it an inch thick.

I have completed most of the metal work on the shop ’57 GS Carrera. All that is left is work underneath including scraping off the tar that was applied and repaint, caulk and undercoat. Removing tar is a dirty, messy job and even with all the fans going it stinks up the shop/house. Wonder why Barb puts up with me.

Restoration Book

The Porsche 356 Restoration book is out for review. Over thirty people volunteered to review the book and I picked five. I wanted amateurs that had done a complete 356 restoration including metal work as this the primary audience. We do have one professional reviewing the book and he said he was up late at night reading it. Hopefully, this was a positive comment. The book will probably be called the “Porsche 356 Restoration Book” as this is how people search for resources. “Jim’s Hobby that got out of Control” would be a good title but probably not sell. We also learned how important the cover is as a picture of it needs to go in book catalogs prior to publication. This is how books are ordered by suppliers.

BJ and I have started preparing parts for the big swap meet in Anaheim, California on February 2nd. We like to have all our parts clean, painted and priced. So this takes time. The new blast cabinet really helps. We should be back in the shop February 4th after the obligatory stop in Las Vegas. Barb and I leave for vacation February 5th and return February 15th. So there may not be a newsletter next month.

Tech Tip

There is a section in the restoration book on how to restore 356 front hood hinges. We have been doing this as a mater of course as we can’t do front end repairs on a 356 with a hood that hangs up.

While the repair is tough to describe involving filing and cycling the part, I thought of something to add to the book to make the process easier. I was cleaning rear lid hinges for the swap meet when it occurred to me that this is the same mechanism as the front hinge. This would provide an example of how the front hinge mechanism should look as rear hinges seldom wear as much as the front. So we will add this tip to the book. If you have hinges that hang up, give me a call and we will send you the book section on this repair. By the way, since rear hinges seldom hang up they are not often replaced. We have a large collection that haven’t sold at $80.pair. When this happens it means the price is too high. We will reduce them to $40/pair. We’ll let you know if they sell at the reduced price or if they just aren’t as frequently needed. We will also reduce the prices on our large inventory of drum brake parts as they haven’t moved. Give a call if you need brake parts.

One part where I really missed the market was 16 inch wheels for the Pre-A. I was selling a bunch at $50 each and was running out. When a customer called for 16 inch wheels I asked him why I was selling so many. “Easy, Jim,” he said, “everybody else sells them for $150.”

Since our 356’s are 40 to 50 years old, parts are getting hard to find. This winter would be a good time to survey your 356 for parts that may be needed in the future. Make a list and purchase parts at swap meets now that might be needed later.

Barb and I say Aloha!