December 2008 Newsletter

High Plains Raceway
I did my first lap at HPR, the new track out by Byers. My time was 50:17:02. Fifty minutes means I walked the track, two and a half miles, up and down hill. The new track is excellent! Can’t wait to get my ’52 Coupe on the track. As I was leaving someone asked me what I thought? All I could say was “Oh, man!”

The turns on the new track have great names: “Danny’s Lesson”, “High Plains Drifter”, “To Hell on a Bobsled”, “Ladder to Heaven” and “Prairie Corkscrew” are a few.

It is definitely a technical track and not a spectator track. The back straight is very long and I imagine the big bore cars will hit 140-160 mph before the right turn and downhill.

BJ assisted in positioning the corner stations and there are fourteen, so corner worker volunteers are always needed (you get room, food, drinks and the best view of the track). Contact BJ if you would like to be trained and help out occasionally.

Scot Petitt has been helping out part time so progress has been good and we even brought in another 356, Kit’s ’64. Kits 356 is a ’64 Coupe she bought in 1969. Prior to that she had a ’58 Cabriolet. Her Dad rebuilt the engine in the ’64 to SC specs and Kit helped. She can set the valves, change the oil and do a tune up. She put 100,000 miles on the ’64 before storing it in 1988. She had contacted us a few years ago for the restoration but we were full up. I told her as I tell others, just keep bugging us until we have an opening. She did, every few months and then we had an opening.

Kits ’64 (her Colorado license plate!) was in it’s original Dolphin Gray paint but too worn and rubbed through to be a preservation candidate. We disassembled the 356 for blasting and could find no rust. The only damage is to the battery box floor and we will try to repair it rather than replace it so she will have an original metal 356.

We are still waiting on Jim’s Sunroof Coupe which is still at the painters. They have promised it to be done before Christmas. Scot has been completing the Shop ’60 Cabriolet and solved a difficult problem with the shift linkage due to differences with the 741 single mount transmission. We will do some of the interior and then take it to the upholstery shop. The Cabriolet is Silver with red interior and black top and boot. For a 356 put together with parts from the shelf it looks good.

BJ finished the battery box repairs on the Wyoming Speedster and is now working on the floor pan.

We found another painter and delivered George’s ’60 Roadster for the Silver paint that George liked when he saw the Shop ’60 Cabriolet.

When Jim’s Sunroof Coupe comes back from the painter we will invite Kit down to see its Slate Gray paint. Kit is thinking of Slate Gray or Black for her ’64 Coupe.

We are holding the Shop ’64 for paint while we check out the three painters that presently have our 356s.

While the media is saying the economy is in the dumps we are not seeing a major change in Porsche restoration activity. However, we are seeing signs of a slow down. Prices for 356 parts are advertised and then lowered when there are no buyers. When we place orders with vendors we are getting quick turn around. For example, we ordered a complete interior and top for the Shop ’60 Cabriolet. It came in two weeks; we expected the normal four to six weeks. Local suppliers also appear less busy. So what does it mean to the 356 hobby/business? We are not sure, but right now we don’t see a major impact.

For example, the last two Holidays were overbooked with hundreds of 356s and owners. The next West Coast Holiday is in Sedona, Arizona next October and it is already more than half booked. It will probably close out early next year so register now if you plan to attend.

Barb and I participated in the previous WCHs at Sedona in 1989 and 1999 and plan on attending in 2009.

Now that most of the shop 356s are restored, we have started to sell parts again. BJ and I plan to attend the big 356 Swap Meet in the Los Angeles area next March. This is always a fun road trip as we stop in Las Vegas going out and coming back.

We found a Carrera tachometer in some of the parts we bought a while back and sent it out with some other instruments to be restored at Palo Alto Speedometer. Helmut called and said it was a rare Carrera 2 tachometer and that someone had modified it and he recommended we restore it back to a Carrera2 specs as it is quite valuable. We agreed as very few Carrera 2s were produced in the early sixties. By the way, five instruments were restored and returned in two weeks; it normally takes six to eight weeks.

Tech Tips
Here are some random tips that we use all the time:

Mask off areas with aluminum foil and tape to protect them when using touch up paint.

Semi gloss black or satin black are the best match to the factory black paint.

Small rust areas can be stopped by cleaning and applying “Rust Treatment” available at NAPA. It coverts the rust and stops its growth. The area will still have to be repaired.

“Invisible Glass” is the best glass cleaner.

3M General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner 08984 will clean and restore rubber and clean other parts. We use it almost daily.

“303 Aerospace Protectent” is one of the best treatment for rubber and vinyl.

Grandpa News
Don’t tell Alex but she is getting a computer for Christmas. Hard to believe four years old and a computer!

November 2008 Newsletter

Jim’s ’61 Sunroof Coupe is still at the painters. They got delayed by insurance work. We picked up the Shop ’60 Cabriolet at the other painters and it looks great in Silver. In fact George saw it and decided to paint his ’60 Roadster the same color. His original color was Ivory and his black interior will still work. The Shop Irish Green ’59 Coupe was picked up by the transport company and is on its way to Michigan. The new owners plan to drive it to the West Coast Holiday in Sedona, AZ next October. With the sale of the Shop ’59 Coupe it makes the sale of four 356s for 356RESTORE this year. All at market price and our best year ever. We still have the Shop ’60 Cabriolet, the Shop ’64 Coupe and the Shop ’54 Coupe to sell.

The ’58 Speedster arrived from Wyoming and at first look didn’t appear too bad. We disassembled the few parts and took it to Blast Tech for a media blasting of all the metal. We saw plenty of fiberglass and hoped it could be blasted off. Blast Tech turned the Speedster around in and few days and it was obvious there was more metal work than originally expected. A thorough evaluation indicates this had been a race car, with multiple holes in the dash and fire wall. All the holes for the side deco, badges and hood handle had been brazed closed. The bottom four inches of the nose had been cut off and the Speedster took a hard hit in front of the driver door and the front closing panel was crumbled. The door had been replaced and the rear of the front fender repaired with overlap metal, rivets and fiberglass. So this is more work than expected but nothing we haven’t seen before.

BJ has already started on the battery box repairs. He finished the Shop ’64 Coupe and it will be off to paint. The original color was Heron Gray which is a pretty color with reds and blue in the sunlight. But on a cloudy day it looks like a 1955 Ford Coupe. We may go with Slate Gray when we see how Jim’s ’61 Sunroof Coupe looks in this color. So we moved the Shop’64 Coupe and George’s ’60 Roadster out of the shop for paint and brought down the Wyoming Speedster and Shop ’60 Cabriolet. I started on the doors on the Cabriolet. Remember, this was the 356 abandoned in Carbondale and it was stripped of all parts. When we did the metal work years ago we had to find doors, hood and deck lid and make them fit. So this won’t be a numbers matching 356! We were fortunate to have the Cabriolet side frames and glass but when fit the glass was too tight to operate and there was no more adjustment. We had new tempered glass cut that was 1/8th inch narrower. It fit fine. While waiting on the glass we decided to do the Cabriolet brakes. I wrote a note to order rubber and steel brake lines but first checked what we had on hand. We have lots of drum brake parts from the various parts collection we have bought in the past. We had some new rubber lines of various lengths which was good as we never use old rubber lines which can swell on the inside and cause braking problems. We also had some new steel lines. We decided to start at the back of the Cabriolet and referred to the brake parts diagram in the Stoddard parts catalog. It looks like we have all the parts including the standoff and coupler so we dry fit everything and it will work.

Now let’s blow out the line from the tunnel to ensure it is clear. We usually tape a paper towel over one end to see what crud and bugs might be in the line so we go up front to secure a paper towel. Damn! Somebody snapped the line at the front. Probably trying to get it off the master cylinder. We will have to replace the tunnel line as it would be too difficult to flair the end for a new connection, plus the line is old and will probably break if we futz with it. Standing in the corner of the shop is a tunnel brake line from NAPA; we check and it is too short. But if we can find a coupler and a short piece of steel brake line we can make it work. We have the parts! Now to get the old line out. Just one clamp in the tunnel and out it came. The new line with extension went in easily. We primed the new master cylinder with fluid prior to installation. We always use a new master cylinder as it is a single point of failure. We probably have over thirty old master cylinders on the shelf. The new master cylinder would not fit. It turns out we had repaired the front bulkhead where the master cylinder attaches but had not bolted the pedal cluster to the floor. When the pedal cluster was bolted down, it moved up and the hole in the bulkhead was partially blocked. A little grinding with the Dremal tool and the master cylinder was attached thru the bulkhead to the pedal cluster. All that is left is the adjust and bleed the brakes. We next did the emergency brake. Again, we had all the parts on the shelf. The only issue is attaching the spring in the tight confines of the tunnel. Next, more parts to go on and the electrics.

Grandpa News
Barb was holding the kitty and told Alex that Kit Kat had sticky stuff on its fur from the tree. Alex thought for a minute and said, “It’s sap, Granma”.

Jim Kellogg
8356 N. Sunburst Trail
Parker, CO 80134

October 2008 Newsletter

We had the engine sheet metal for Jim’s ’61 Sunroof Coupe media blasted in preparation for paint and detailing. We don’t blast the oil filter canister or oil filler as media could later get in the oil and destroy an engine. We strip these parts by hand. While inspecting the fuel line that connects the carbs behind the fan shroud, we found some tape. Under it we found some solder. It turned out the throttle control arm behind the fan shroud had rubbed and worn through the fuel line. We had some fuel lines on the shelf and found one also with wear marks in the same area. Have you checked the fuel line behind the fan shroud? You can imagine what a fuel leak in this hidden area could do

We recently evaluated a ’64 Coupe. The tires were Michelin XZXs and the date code was from 1992 or 1982! We were upset! The owner said he reads this newsletter and knew about the danger of old tires but-(we don’t want to be an alarmist, but folks these are forty five plus year old cars and tires and fuel lines are important. End of sermon.)

Progress Continued
So Jim’s ’61 Sunroof Coupe should be back from the painter soon and we have most of the reusable parts ready for reassembly. The Shop ’60 Cabriolet and ’54 Coupe will also be back from the other painter soon. So, as expected we will be busy with the fun part of reassembly.

The Irish Green Shop ’59 Coupe has been sold and will be going to Michigan. This is the shop car that wouldn’t hold an idle and was missing head bolt washers ($1.25 each) that allowed blow by and cylinder damage. The engine was repaired and runs great.

BJ has the Shop ’64 Coupe almost ready for paint and Scott has been helping out part time and has George’s ’60 Roadster almost ready for paint. And to top it off, we have a ’58 Speedster coming down from Wyoming. This 356 needs a front and rear clip and the hot rod shop in Wyoming realized they were not up to the task. They had purchased the clips but didn’t know how to proceed. Our arm was twisted and we agreed to do the clips only. We know the owner would like to try to get us to do the full restoration but man, we have a lot of work ahead of the Speedster. We have done quite a few front and rear clips and they are fun. About 80% jigging, positioning and measuring and 20% welding. When done it’s like you created a new 356.

On our first drive of the Shop Irish Green ’59 Coupe, the speedometer began to whine and eventually spun around and blew the needle off as we were trying to disconnect it while driving. We substituted a spare while we have the original rebuilt. We also noticed the tachometer was running slow. So we swapped out tachs, same problem. So we pulled the tach core and noticed damage on the instrument end. Swapped core but the core was short. Tried another core, same problem. So we replaced the tachometer cable which means removing everything to get to the tunnel and positioning the cable so it doesn’t interfere with the shift rod or other tunnel pieces. The tachometer still seems slow so we tried two other tachs, same problem. We will have to get the tachometer rebuilt along with the speedometer. Six hours to work this problem. Now you know why some shops won’t work on a 356. A customer wouldn’t understand a bill for $300 to $500 to fix a simple tachometer problem.

We were invited to exhibit Barb’s Twin Grill Roadster at the Morgan Adams Concours. This is a benefit for Pediatric Oncology research and featured both classic planes and cars at Centennial Airport. About twenty planes and sixty cars and thousands of people. Good food, good music. There was a flyby of war birds and lots of items for their silent auction. Our favorite plane was a T-33 trainer jet with two seats. We flew in the back seat of one of these when we were in the Air Force. Our favorite car was a fantastic Mercedes Benz 500K sedan. Just beautiful in black. Bill had the rebuilt engine for our ’52 Coupe race car ready for the Pueblo Enduro. We started it for the first time on a Thursday and trailered it to the track the next day. Bill drove practice on Saturday and I drove qualifying. We kept the RPMs down to break in the engine and I qualified at the back of the pack.

There were sixty eight cars starting the hour and forty minute endurance race. Bill started at the back due to my slow qualifying time but soon got the revs up and started passing cars. He made the two mandatory ten minute pit stops but drove the whole race. Bill finished thirty seventh, only two minutes behind the winning 911. Most of the cars ahead of Bill were big bore cars. For those of us aware of Bill’s six year battle with cancer this was an amazing race and finish.

The asphalt is down and the new High Plains Raceway will be ready for racing next Spring. BJ, as co-chief of Flagging and Communications, went out to the track to locate the corner worker positions. There is a video of the new track at so you can tour the new track. While the track and paddock are in, more funds are needed for the timing tower, garages, restrooms (showers?) and other facilities. You can contribute at the above website. If you enjoy classic sports cars now is the time to be part of vintage racing.

Not much Grandpa News as she has been busy with a visit from her Minnesota grandmother.

Jim Kellogg
8356 N. Sunburst Trail
Parker, CO 80134

September 2008 Newsletter

356 Market
We continue to be surprised by the 356 market. Yes, they are unique in appearance and fun to drive. The German engineering has proven to be exceptional and the racing heritage continues to this day.

But at the recent auctions in Monterey:

356C Coupe $139,000;
T-5 Roadster $191,800;
’56 A Coupe $61,600;
’58 Speedster $258,500
’59 Convertible D $170,500
’65 C Cabriolet $143,000.

We’ve talked to folks that have followed the sports car market for a long time and the consensus is auctions are not the real market but have an influence on the market. Many, maybe most of these high auction prices are buyers showing off. Many do not understand the 356 and often sell the car at a loss when they learn of the real market.

But the real market is that 356s are selling at higher prices than they did three to five years ago. The real market is a buyer (hopefully knowledgeable) and a seller agreeing on a price for a specific 356. The fact that a ’56 A coupe sold at auction for $61,600 has nothing to do with the value of your ’56 A Coupe.

For the past few years we have received calls from people wanting to buy a 356. Now we are getting more calls from sellers and people wanting to improve their 356s for possible sale. The smart 356 owners are the ones that continue to improve and maintain their 356. Their 356 will maintain value in any market. And yes, a 356 has to be driven to be maintained. Comments welcome!

The Internet
While we spent thirty five years in the computer industry, we spend less than an hour a day on the computer today. Mostly to monitor 356Talk which occasionally provides a new insight or technical information. Others know how to use the internet to search for information. We recently got an E-mail from a previous owner of Speedster 80013 which we are restoring. He did a search on 80013 and found one of our newsletters where we talked about this project. He had owned 80013 from 1968 to 1992 and paid $500 for it (similar to my ’57 Carrera story). In his E-mail he was basically saying “Don’t blame me!” as 80013 was really rough when he got it, but he kept it running for twenty four years. We put him in touch with the present owner of 80013 and they have shared a lot of information.

80013 came back from the painters and we are glad we had it back in primer so we could fit parts prior to paint. The windshield took some work which involved trimming the post to fit flush and moving the chrome cowl strip to meet the post. If the Speedster had been in paint this would have been a risky procedure. 80013 will go back to the painter for some finish body work and Signal Red paint. Then it will probably be off to California for upholstery.

We took the Shop ’60 Cabriolet in for paint and it will be painted Silver just like the Shop ’54 Coupe. The ’61 Sunroof Coupe went to a second painter and will be painted its original Slate Gray. As we have mentioned before we are out of sync; we like to have one at Blast Tech or in metal work, one at the painters and one being reassembled.

We pulled the engine on the Shop ’59 Irish Green Coupe and found the turkey had been there. No washers on the head bolts allowed the blow-by that damaged two cylinders and caused the erratic idle. One pushrod tube had been pushed out and mushroomed and a spun rod bearing had been replaced but not the rod that was damaged. So, it’s new P&Cs, rebuilt heads and new rods.

As mentioned before, the work we had done on the ’61 Sunroof Coupe fifteen years ago had stood the test of time. We spent a few days getting the gaps perfect and then it was off to the painters. We had the engine sheet metal for both the ’61 Sunroof Coupe and the ’60 Roadster media blasted and will paint the parts so the engines can be tested. We do not media blast the oil canister or oil filler as media can be trapped in these parts, get in the oil and destroy an engine. We hand strip these parts.

We repaired the battery box on the ’60 Roadster and made repairs to the body. The door bottoms had the most damage. They had metal brazed over the rust and then bondoed. We replace the bottom door skin. We also repaired rust damage in front of the doors and on the front closing panels. There is more metal work needed underneath the Roadster but we interrupted this work to work on Speedster 80013. BJ has just about finished the body work on the Shop ’64 Coupe and I will finish up the ’60 Roadster. Then both will go to the painter. Its possible we will be reassembling five 356s at the same time (or trying to). Right now we have the disassembled parts from these 356s located in the shop, in the garage and in the storage building. We consider reassembly one of the fun parts of 356 restoration; so we are in for a lot of fun.

We were invited to display Barb’s 1962 Twin Grill Roadster at the Morgan Adams Concours d’Elegance. This is an invitational only Concours for both interesting automobiles and aircraft. It will be held at Centennial Airport on October 4, 2008. Ticket prices are $125 and proceeds go to benefit pediatric cancer research. At the five previous Concours over $850,000 has been raised. Contact the Morgan Adams Foundation at 303-758-2130.

Grandpa News
She is now four and that entailed having three parties; one here with just family; one at preschool which had to be delayed on her true special day because she was sick and missed being line leader (!) and one more with her Chinese playgroup for a teddy bear tea.

August 2008 Newsletter

We mentioned last month that we were to pick up a ’61 Sunroof Coupe and finish the restoration for a customer. We had done the metal work years ago and delivered it in primer as the owner was to finish the project.

We called to set up an appointment to pick up the 356 and the customer asked how long it had been since we had done the work. We checked the file and it was fifteen years to the day that we had delivered the 356!

We remembered the owner’s cute eight year old daughter who loved the 356 when we delivered it. Well, she is now married and has two daughters of her own.

The other neat thing was the ’61 Sunroof Coupe was in great shape. There had been no paint failures or rust bubbles develop in fifteen years. We also were very pleased with the metal work we had done fifteen years ago. All the gaps were perfect. The 356 is ready for the painter with just a little prep work.

The Shop ’59 Irish Green Coupe got hung up at the mechanics. The 356 was not holding an idle and a leak down test showed problems with the number 3 cylinder. So we will pull the engine to determine the problem. Right now it is 50/50 the 356 will make it to the prospective new owner in Michigan so they can drive it to the East Coast Holiday.

One thing we have learned working on fifty year old cars is expect the unexpected. The last minute engine problem is not unexpected and fifteen year old metal work that has held up is not unexpected. But one is a slight downer and the other a great upper.

We are trying to work the painting backlog problem. Speedster 80013 is coming back from the painter in a few weeks. They did extensive exterior metal work on this rare Speedster and will deliver it in primer so we can do a complete dry fit of all the parts prior to paint. The owner and a friend will fly out to help with the dry fit.

The Shop ’54 Coupe should be getting its Silver paint soon and the Shop ’60 Cabriolet is read for paint. And now the ’61 Sunroof Coupe is almost ready for paint. We are trying to convince the owner to paint it the original Slate Grey, one of our favorite 356 colors.

BJ should have the Shop ’64 Coupe ready for paint in a few months and I should have the ’60 Roadster also ready for paint.

Once again, Blast Tech did a great job on the ’60 Roadster and turned it around quickly. I started with the battery box and cut out the riveted, bondoed in floor. Blasting also revealed damage to the sides and the tow hook had been cut with damage to the front inner battery box panel. All this was repaired and the replacement battery box floor installed along with a new tow hook. The tow hook was bolted in place so we con remove it when we paint and undercoat this area. We will rivet it in after paint. While the battery box floor is a very good replacement piece the reproduction tow hooks aren’t even close to the original. We keep a stash of used parts for this problem. In fact we never throw anything away. (Editor: That is an understatement as evidence in the storage building will attest.)

Right now we are full up with parts; both used parts for future restorations and parts for shop and customer 356s waiting for reassembly. Waiting for reassembly we have parts for:

Speedster 80013
Shop ’60 Cabriolet
Shop ’54 Coupe
’60 Roadster
’64 Shop Coupe
and ’61 Sunroof Coupe.
We try very hard to keep 356 parts separated by car. Only once did we have a problem.

We restored a 356 for an owner and when he picked it up he said “Where’s my rear view mirror?” We said you didn’t have one, see all the parts for your 356 have been installed. “Yes I did” was his reply. Hmm. Walking by the shop parts shelf he said “Here it is?” His mirror was on our parts shelf and had a price tag on it ready for the swap meet. Very embarrassing. We figured out that we had picked the mirror up to explain something to someone and then put it down in another part of the shop. We must have found it and put it on the parts shelf. Since then we are very strict about not moving parts from their assigned location.

Having the parts for reassembly out where you can see them means when we are between jobs we can see a part that needs restoration and clean it, paint it and put it back for reassembly.

The area where all these piles and boxes of parts are stored does look jumbled, but we know which pile belongs to which car!

High Plains Raceway
I recently attended the ground breaking for the new High Plains Raceway. It is on 460 acres out east by Byers. The ground breaking had been delayed in order to ensure financing and due to the 60% increase in paving costs due to the oil price increases. The track will be 2.5 miles long with fifteen turns. We will be racing next Spring.

Pikes Peak International Raceway was recently purchased by a private party and has been opened to club racing. RMVR will race there October 18-19.

Grandpa News
We are happy to share the news from the Fry family of the arrival of grandson Will. Maybe another 356 driver to be. He will have a good example to follow from Grandpa Bill’s years of driving Watkins Glen and here in Colorado. Bill says the race car will be ready for the Endro in Pueblo Sept 27-28.

Alex surprised us with an imitation of her friend Kipper who she watches on the Disney goodnight show. He speaks with an English accent-just think of a four year old Asian British nanny and you get the idea!

July 2008 Newsletter

Is There a Pony in Here?
We recently were told of a 356 parts stash and got it for a fair price, but no pony. (Barbs favorite expression from an old Peanuts cartoon where they were shoveling manure).

A contractor doing a remodel found a garage with car parts. The owner had died and the family said “Take them or throw them out”. The contractor’s buddy was a car guy and identified the parts as Porsche 356 parts. The contractor contacted the local PCA chapter and they contacted 356RESTORE.

No pony i.e. no four cam stuff or Pre A or Carrera just lots of B and C used parts. Stuff that can be restored and used again. We also have a lead on another 356 parts stash and hope to have details soon.

Previously, we mentioned the ’60 Roadster stored since 1972. While we thought this was a record we were recently contacted by a guy who started the restoration of his 1956 Speedster in 1965 and it has been stored since! He recently completed the restoration and they did a great job. He needed our advise on Speedster seat installation as he was missing some parts. The neat thing is they bought the parts needed for the restoration in the early 60’s from the dealership. All original parts!

We had the ’60 Roadster media blasted and there was more damage found under the paint and bondo. Both doors had the lower skin repaired with brazed metal covered by bondo. The door repair failed and there was additional rust damage. Remember this Roadster had been stored for thirty six years. The additional rust damage was due to not getting the damaged area clean. That is the great advantage with media blasting. It exposes the rust and allows it to be blasted away.

We won’t restore a 356 unless it has been media blasted. If you miss one small spot of rust it will grow until you have a bubble in the paint or a weak seam. Even in a stored 356 the rust will grow.

When we were disassembling the ’60 Roadster for blasting we found the bumper decos were original and in good shape. They can be restored. The reproduction bumper deco available today has split ends and is the wrong contour to fit the bumper. There is only one manufacturer of bumper decos and he obviously doesn’t believe in “if you are going to make it , make it right.”  It can take a day or more to fit reproduction bumper decos and maybe an hour for originals.

We had disassembled the parts and pulled the engine to get the ’60 Roadster ready for media blasting. We decided to pull the wheels, used the ratchet wrench with 10 mm socket. The lug nuts would not move. Switched to the torque wrench – no go. Tried the Cheater bar, just spun the tires. Went to the pneumatic wrench with 110psi; still no luck. Finally, a propane torch to heat the nuts and the pneumatic wrench did the trick. Who says there is no humidity in Colorado. Obviously enough to rust the lug nuts on a Roadster stored for thirty six year!

Tech Tip
We have mentioned the work lights available at Home Depot before. They are rugged Halogen floor lights with a switch for 250 or 500 watts. They are on sale now for $14.95 and come with two 500 watt Halogen bulbs, (a $6.95 value). We use them in the shop almost every day and even adapted one to illuminate our outdoor pond at night.

Progress (Continued)
While waiting for painting and blasting to be done we did some small jobs for local 356 owners. Ted’s Convertible D had the threshold dec os installed wrong and we corrected them and some other items. Don just had a passenger seat whose seat back wouldn’t stay in position. We fixed this and showed Don how to do it if it happened again. Woody had a sliding panel for his sunroof fabricated and we installed it and made some other areas more correct. When we told Woody what his SC Sunroof was worth in today’s market he decided to sell it. While we are not 356 market forecasters, we do keep our eye on the 356 market and think it has peaked. There are fewer buyers with less money. The big spenders have spent and the economy affects the remaining buyers. But a fun car, with value that gets 30 + mpg will stay in demand.

A good friend and 356 enthusiast was driving his ’35 Ford hot rod when he got hit by a lady looking for her cell phone. He got beat up pretty bad and his pride and joy hot rod destroyed. He is through therapy and at home. If you know Gary Moschetti and want to wish him well his phone number is 303-494-7281.

Progress (continued again)- remember in real letters when you added PS or PPS? This is it!

BJ has the ’60 Cabriolet about ready for paint. The Shop ’54 Coupe is at the painters. The Shop ’58 Outlaw was sold. The Shop ’54 Irish Green Coupe is at the mechanic’s for checkout and is probably sold and will go to Michigan. BJ will get back on the ’64 Shop and ’64 Coupe when he finishes the ’60 Cab and I am starting with the battery box floor in the ’60 Roadster.

We plan to pick up a ’61 Sunroof Coupe as our next customer job. We did the metal work on this 356 years ago and once again the owner did not have time to finish the project.

Grandpa News
I am not sure when it started but Jen and Grammy started calling Alex “A”. She seems to like it but with Jen with an accent from Minnesota I sometimes hear “Eh? A” which causes me to grin.

Alex recently swam a half lap of the pool with her instructor swimming along beside her. Not bad for a soon to be four year old. Olympic in 2020?

June 2008 Newsletter

We took a little time out from 356 restoration to get our own 356s ready for the 25th annual Exotic Sports Car Show and Concours D’Elegance. We had not driven the ’63 Sunroof Coupe or ’62 Twin Grille Roadster in twenty months. First up was the Coupe. We charged the battery and added five gallons of gas to a half full tank to which we had added Stabil when we last parked it. We turned the fuel selector to Auf (on or open) and immediately we had gasoline flowing onto the driveway.

We turned the fuel selector to Zu (off or closed) and the gasoline stopped. Good! Must be the rubber fuel line from the petcock to the line in the tunnel. We jacked up and supported the Coupe and sure enough the short section of fuel line was leaking. It was the 7 mm fuel hose and off the 356, although it looked like new, you could see cracks inside when you flexed it. We replaced it with 5/16 fuel hose from NAPA and used hose clamps as it doesn’t fit as tight as the original 7 mm hose.

No leaks! But we better check the line from the rear of the tunnel up to the engine. Good, it’s the 5/16 hose. We found the fuel pump gasket had dried out and need to be replaced as the fuel pump was weeping. With this done, we primed the carbs and the engine started right up. A short drive and the Coupe is good to go. We had almost forgotten how much fun it is to drive a 356.

The problems with the fuel hose we suspect is due to the additives including Ethanol that has been added to the gasoline. The 5/16 NAPA fuel hose does not seem to be as affected as the 7 mm fuel hose.

Next up the Roadster; and guess what. Same problem plus the O rings on the Zenith jet covers are leaking. The O rings were cracked and you could tell they had not been compressed. We used new and hopefully better O rings to solve the problem. We primed the carbs and the engine started right away. A short drive and it is good to go. It actually drives better than the Coupe as it is a normal engine while the Coupe is a Super and has been modified with a big bore kit and higher compression.

We ended up only driving the Roadster to the show as Barb had granddaughter duty and we don’t have a car seat for the 356. It was a great show with lots of participants and spectators and we met many friends.

BJ finished up some rework on the Shop ’54 Coupe and it is off to the painters. We will paint it Silver and hopefully have it for sale soon.

The Shop 57 Sunroof Coupe was picked up by the transport driver to be taken to the West Coast Holiday at Lake Tahoe where it will be met by the new owner. Since the ’57 is Aquamarine Blue the owner has license plates that say “I B BLU”. We also sold the Shop ’59 Outlaw and have a potential buyer for the Shop ’58 Irish Green Coupe. They had previously owned Speedster 84356 (neat number) but had sold it and have to have another 356.

BJ is doing some more paint prep work on the Shop ’60 Cabriolet. It will be off to the painter soon and will also be Silver. We had sold the previous owner a Cabriolet soft top and got it back when we bought the 356. We fit it prior to paint prep and it fits good. It is best to fit parts like soft tops prior to paint as if they don’t fit you could have major problems once the 356 is painted.

Vintage Racing
Last month I mentioned the hard work and fun I had working corners at the La Junta race. I said I would buy the corner workers beer at the next race. Well, I was planning on maybe twenty corner workers at this month’s Pueblo race. We had sixty! And they were all needed as we had 180 vintage race cars! This was the largest vintage race event in this area and it demonstrated the continuing interest in vintage racing even with the loss of our race tracks. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like the new High Plains Raceway out by Byers will be ready this year. The uncertainty on oil prices has caused delays in construction bids.

Back to Work
With most of our shop 356s restored and sold we have started scheduling customer work. This week we are picking up the ’61 Roadster that had been stored since 1972. We will get it ready for media blasting and then start the metal work and restoration. After the Roadster, we have scheduled a ’61 Sunroof Coupe that needs reassembly. We had done the metal repair on this 356 about ten years ago. The owner didn’t have time to finish the project.

After the Coupe will be a ’60 Cabriolet and then another Cabriolet. So it looks like we will have fun for another year. We still need Shop 356s, so if you know of any let us know. (We have worked on over 100 356s and most have been Colorado 356s but we doubt we have completely restored Colorado!)

While we were working on Shop 356s we stopped selling 356 parts as we needed them for restorations. With most of the Shop cars done, we are now selling parts. We’ve got some bras, wire headlight covers, a luggage rack and lots of restoration and mechanical parts. So if you need something check with us.

Grandpa News
I thought I was busy but Alex has a full social calendar with summer school/camp, swim lessons, church activities, play dates, birthday parties (do all her friends have summer birthdays?) and of course sleepovers at Grandma’s and if we are lucky afternoon naps which seem to be fewer.

May 2008 Newsletter

We are making good progress completing the shop 356s for sale. For the last two years we have deferred restoring customer 356s. We are now opening up the shop to customer work. So if we had put you off in the past and you still need work to be done on your 356, contact us.

The first customer 356 restoration will be a 1961 Roadster stored since 1972. That’s right! Stored for thirty five years! The second owner was backed into and the front bumper and nose was damaged. He disassembled the Roadster and had it repaired and painted. He just never got around to reassembly as he did not have a garage or time. The Roadster has been in a storage lot garage with other household items. When we evaluated the 356 we found a front bumper that weighed an extra five pounds and an inch of bondo in the nose. The battery box floor also needs to be repaired (see the comments on the Optima battery in last month’s newsletter). We will have the Roadster media blasted and hopefully there will not be much more bodywork. Then it will be paint, assembly, and back on the road after a long, long time. The Shop ’57 Speedster was transported to Oregon and the new owner is very happy with it. The shop ’57 Sunroof Coupe is scheduled to go to its new owner in mid June. It will be at the West Coast Holiday in Lake Tahoe, California and presented as the 356 featured in the second edition of our 356 restoration book.

We are backed up with paint work to be done as the shop ’54 Coupe, shop ’60 Cabriolet, and shop ’64 Coupe have to be painted. We are looking at backup painters. We also tried a backup upholstery shop as the last two 356s we had done took over a year. We found an experienced guy who had worked on 356s before and did an excellent job on the seats, dash, and rear seat cushion for the shop ’58 Coupe. The quality of work was excellent, the price fair, and the turnaround time was less than a month. Call us for contact information.

We always recommend the use of an experienced classic car transport company when transporting a 356 cross country. However, one of those companies really screwed up (we don’t know its name). The recent issue of Vintage Motorsport details how a Porsche collection including a 917, 910, 908, 911 RSR, and 962 were transported two hundred miles across Florida and they were not tied down! Unbelievable! Major damage to all the Porsches and a huge insurance problem (one of the adjusters wanted to check the odometers! Odometers on race cars!)

Vintage Racing
Since our 356 race car isn’t ready to race, I volunteered as a corner worker at the first race of the season at La Junta. I had never done this before and when I say work I mean worked. You are on your feet all day in the hot sun and blowing sand concentrating on a section of track to signal a problem-yellow flag or faster car approaching-blue flag. I had to throw a few yellow flags but mostly for spinouts not major incidents. There was one incident in another corner when a student driver rolled his car. Unfortunately, it was a 356. BJ was working race control and had the race stopped and the ambulance and wrecker on the scene in under a minute. The driver wasn’t injured and drove the 356 home after the race.

My hat is off to the corner workers and the after race beer at the next race will be on 356RESTORE.

Corner workers also have a sense of humor. Usually, on Saturday there is a fun race after morning practice and qualifying. The fun race might be an inverted start or an alphabetized start; something different and fun. One of the corner workers had a new idea-shot and a lap, shot and a lap, etc.!

356 Talk
The 356 Registry site has a new format for exchanging information on 356s. It now allows pictures which really helps in identifying a 356 problem. One of the recent pictures was of a black Convertible D as it sat on the highway after spinning out and hitting the guard rail. Extensive damage to the rear end. The cause, a rear tire blowout. The owner knew the tires were at least five years old. We have mentioned before to check the age of you tires; if over nine years old, replace. To check tire age, look for the symbols DOT xxxx xxxx xxx(x) on the sidewall. The last three or four digits are the week and year of the manufacture i.e. DOT PIRW B4LR 109 is a tire manufactured in the tenth week of 1999 (or 1989!)

We continue to enjoy working on the 356. There is usually a challenge. Recently, we had a hood that wouldn’t latch. Well, it would latch but not release. We have done over seventy of these so we knew the problem was probably the male part of the latch being too long and hanging up on the bottom of the female latch. What you have to do is completely disassemble the male latch and continue to work the problem. Would you believe six hours to solve the challenge?

The Great Race of 2008 to commemorate the 1908 race from New York to Paris has been postponed. China doesn’t want visitors prior to the Olympics who might disparage their country. So the Bumfuzzle Kids won’t drive their 356 even on the North American leg.

Grandpa News
BJ and Alex were at the gym and Alex wanted to climb the climbing wall. BJ said, “You have to be five.” Alex said, “I’m three.” BJ said, “How much is three plus three?” Alex stopped, put up three fingers on her left hand, three fingers on her right hand; thought, said, “Six” and continued on her way.

April 2008 Newsletter

Two years ago we stopped restoring customer 356s so we could restore the ten project 356s we had acquired. Our timing could not have been better as the market for 356s got hot. Even with my eight month time out last year we are doing well selling the restored shop 356s.

We sold an A Coupe last year and recently sold the ’57 Speedster and ’57 Sunroof Coupe. All have been at market prices which are almost double what we saw three years ago.

We still have the ’58 Outlaw Coupe, ’59 Coupe, ’54 Coupe, ’60 Cabriolet, and ’64 Coupe to sell this year. So it should be an excellent year for 356RESTORE.

We are waiting on some upholstery work on the ’59 Coupe and some chrome work on the ’57 Sunroof Coupe; then they should be ready for mechanical checkout and delivery. BJ is moving fast on the ’64 Coupe. The previous owner had disassembled and partially stripped the 356 and BJ and Blast Tech removed the rest of the unattractive, non-original gold paint. BJ was able to save the original floorpans and the rest of the bottom is in good shape. Collision damage to the nose popped back with a few blows with a rubber mallet. This was done by cutting out the front battery box bulkhead which had been damaged.

We are fortunate that reproduction sheet metal pieces are still being manufactured. It would be very difficult to fabricate a 356 battery box front bulkhead. BJ will also replace the battery box floor while in there. (We can’t believe any 356 owner would use a lead acid battery when the sealed Optima battery is available. The old style batteries vent and leak acid. We have probably replaced the battery box floor in every 356 we have restored and that is over seventy 356s.)

With the increased interest in the Porsche 356 as a collectible we are beginning to see parts being out of stock and part prices going up particularly for parts made in Europe. We had needed some rear bumper guards and ordered them but they were out of stock and we backordered them. When they were available we said we still needed them but didn’t ask the price. The price had nearly doubled in six months due to the Euro/dollar relationship.

Also, if you want chrome wheels for your 356, the ones that have been manufactured in Brazil are no longer available. One vendor is rebuilding and chroming 356 wheels but the price is $195 each plus a core charge of $100. We used to pay $70 for chrome Brazilian wheels. But then again, we could have another Porsche model. We saw a recent ad – 356 rear grilles $105, 911 rear grilles $695. (356RESTORE has nineteen 356 rear grilles on the parts shelf. Call us, $60 for coupes, $80 for open 356s. They differ, open 356 rear grilles are more curved than Coupe grilles to fit the rear deck contour).

The racing season has started and while BJ follows NASCAR, I follow sports car racing. It is a kick to watch a race that includes a driver that I raced with in vintage racing. Nick Ham codrives a Mazda in the Grand Am series and I raced with him at Second Creek and Pueblo. He lapped me at both tracks. He is highly skilled and fun to watch.

Our vintage racing will be delayed this year as Bill Frey rebuilds the race engine which had some damage due to a carb fire. It was due for a rebuild anyway. Some racers can get 150 HP out of a fifty year old 356 engine but have to rebuild frequently.

Bill is also checking out the spare 356 engine we have to go in the 356 projects we bought that didn’t come with engines. Out of four checked out on Bill’s test stand, two were OK and two have to be rebuilt. One engine which had never been apart we thought would be OK but there was so much carbon buildup on the pistons that it would not turn over. Bill is doing the engine rebuild and the crankshaft is ok. This is an expensive part to replace.

We mentioned that we were sponsoring a young couple that would drive their 356 in a race around the world. Well they had to withdraw but will race the North American leg of the race. They had their 356 evaluated and while it would be OK for the North American leg, there was too much weak metal to try around the world. Plus, the $100k entry fee was a challenge.

The 25th Anniversary Exotic Sports Car Show and Concours d’Elegance will be June 8th at Arapahoe Community College.

The Porsche 356s have always supported this charity event and let’s do it again. The 356 is always a crowd favorite and this is the 25th! So enter your 356 in either the judged or display division. Registration is only $35 by May 12th (for $50 get the commemorative hat). If you need a registration form, contact Sandy at CP of Colorado 303-691-9339 ext 1162.

Open Shop
Just a reminder, 356RESTORE open shop is still Saturday afternoon (but call 303-840-2356). We recently had some Boy Scouts and we were able to hold their interest for almost an hour. Not bad for 356s and ten year old boys.

We stressed shop safety and proper care of tools. (Care of tools was something I learned in the Boy Scouts and it stayed with me for life.

Grandpa News
Alex had a sleepover last weekend and it is always interesting to notice what she wants to do when she is here. When the weather permits, outside in the playhouse is always top on the list. When she and Grammie play inside it is the great pretend game with Grammie being the daughter and Alex the mommy. It is a reality check when the voice of an adult comes back in a three year old!

February 2008 Newsletter

Not a lot of 356 restoration progress as BJ, Jen and Alex and Barb and I were on vacation. We were on the big island of Hawaii. BJ, Jen and Alex got there first and then Barb and I joined them. We stayed at a friend’s new home with all the best facilities including a pool and fantastic views.

Grandpa News
After a six hour flight, Barb and I deplaned at the Kona airport. There to greet us was Alex in a Hawaiian muumuu with leis and a kiss for both of us. A treasure!

Back to Progress
The Irish Green Shop ’59 Coupe is coming together. We started with the headliner and it went in without problems as we have installed a few over the years. With the headliner in we could do the glass. The original front windshield was in very good condition and we were able to use it. This was one of the few times we were able to reuse an original windshield and this saved $500. Rear windshields are almost always reusable unless someone was driving backwards at high speed!

Side windows and quarter windows are usually reusable. Side windows often get scratched by a screw backing out of the back of the top chrome piece which holds the rubber seal and fuzzy strip (check yours!). Quarter window glass often delaminates. For the Shop ’59 coupe the side window and quarter window glass were reusable. So, by being able to use the original glass the glass installation went quickly with just new rubber seals.

We used reproduction headlight assemblies which we think are still being made in Brazil for the VW aftermarket. They are quite inexpensive compared to restoring the original units. Restoration would involve re-chroming the rim, repainting the headlight assembly and finding new glass. So if you headlight assemblies have poor chrome, rust and pitted glass, you may want to swap them out.

One of the first things we do after picking up a 356 at the painters is to install the doors, hood and rear deck.

With all the activity in the shop, we don’t want these pieces to get damaged. The doors, hood and rear deck lid went on quickly and the gaps are excellent. One of the issues today is getting good rubber seals for the hood and doors. Fortunately, there are a few vendors and we can try various seals to maintain a good gap. Many 356s have hoods and doors that don’t fit flush due to think seals.

BJ is doing the electrical wiring on the Shop ’59 Cabriolet and discovered that the wiring harness had been cut at the fuse block and at the instrument harness. New wiring harnesses are around $1,000. So BJ is repairing all the old harnesses we have collected. For those harnesses that aren’t repairable he is saving the wires for future repairs. It looks like we will have a good collection of usable harnesses and original wires.

We took the Shop ’54 Coupe to the painter. We had been storing this 356 until he had room. There was no paint tag on the 356 and we didn’t want to spend the $110 to get the paint information from Porsche Cars North America. Inspecting parts, we think the original color was Jade Green. The small sample we found is not too appealing. Plus the reference books show an interior color of yellow. We just don’t think a Green/Yellow 356 will sell so we will paint the ’54 Coupe Silver. Silver sells and we can use a red, black, blue or green interior. When we pick up the ’54 at the painter we will drop off the ’59 Cabriolet and it will also be Silver. We haven’t decided on an interior color yet but are leaning towards blue with a blue top.

The Shop ’57 Sunroof Coupe is featured in the second edition of our 356 Restoration book. We removed the manual sunroof to take pictures for the book. We also removed the electric sunroof from my Black ’63 Coupe for pictures. There is very little reference material on 356 sunroofs and we think this addition to the book will be appreciated. The book should be on its way to the publisher soon.

Thumbs Up
A while back, BJ and I were cleaning up the storage building and had eight 356s pushed out on the driveway. A helicopter was flying by, descended, hovered over the driveway, checked out the 356s and gave a big thumbs up. Whenever we drive or even trailer a 356 we usually get a thumbs up. That is probably true with many of you and it feels good doesn’t it? That is probably why we all try to keep these special cars running and on the road.

Vintage Racing
The Use by Special Review (USR) permit for the new race track was approved by Aurora County commissioners and the 460 acres were purchased by the Colorado Amateur Motorsports Association (CAMA). So we are a go and grading and surfacing can start.

The racetrack is called High Plains Raceway and is located 17 miles east of Byers; about an hour drive from Denver. We will have a 2.5 mile track with 15 turns and there is plenty of elevation changes. The racetrack design has been carefully studied and approved by all that will use it. There are a dozen clubs (including motorcycles) that belong to CAMA and will use the facility.

While “HPR” is a ways out, we will not be disturbed by development as we were at Second Creek. Plus we have 460 acres compared to Second Creek’s 55 acres. The build out will be done in phases depending on funding which has proceeded well. In the plans are real bathrooms, a concession building, a dedicated tech area, paddock paving and RV hook-ups. You can be part of Vintage Racing-checkout

January 2008 Newsletter

As expected, 356s are starting to fill up the shop. The Shop ’59 Coupe was finished at the paint shop and we have started reassembly. We had it painted Irish Green which is actually a later green but one we like and have done before. The original color was Fjord Green but it has a little blue in it, while the Irish Green is a rich dark green.

The Shop ’57 Sunroof coupe finally came back from Autoweave after a year. With it back we can take some pictures for the second edition of the 356 restoration book. The first edition sold over 3500 copies and sold out of its second printing. The second edition will have a lot more detail plus the Shop ’57 Sunroof Coupe is featured as a project from the day we bought it to its first drive. Every step of its restoration is described in the second edition and it is great to have it back so we can wrap up the book. The second edition will be off to the publisher in a few months and we plan to have it printed for the Christmas buying season for ’08.

BJ has the Shop ’59 Cabriolet ready for the painter but they are full up and have Speedster 80013 almost ready to start. We have the Shop ’54 Coupe ready for the painter but are holding it here until the painter has room. So BJ is doing the electrical work on the Shop ’59 Cabriolet. We usually do this during final assembly. The last time Joe Leoni was here to help debug some 356 electrical problems, we noticed he used a different solder than we did. He gave us some and it makes a big difference when working on 356 electrical issues. You can’t imagine what previous owners have done to 356 electrical wiring over the years. We have seen extension cords used to replace factory wires and bondo used to connect wires.

The weather hasn’t allowed us to drive the Shop ’57 Speedster or the Shop ’58 Outlaw Coupe so they are still here.

The last few years we have turned away customer work to restore shop 356s. Last year we only sold one shop car; this year we should have at least five for sale:

the ’57 Speedster
’58 Outlaw Coupe
’54 Coupe
’59 Cabriolet
’57 Sunroof Coupe
We have a Shop ’64 Coupe to do but probably won’t finish it this year as we promised to do a customer’s ’61 Roadster. The owner had been after us for three years. He had the Roadster disassembled and had been storing it for twenty years!

Last month we had a little break between 356s so I decided to get all the parts we had laying around on the shelf onto the nine shop engines. It worked out well as we had almost enough parts to detail out the nine engines. So I started on one and put on the best parts and then on to the next and so on. The last engine got the poorer parts.

Then I decided to check what engine would go in what Shop car. Of course, the first engine we need is the one that got the poor parts. So now I have to go back and pull parts. It takes a full day to disassemble and reassemble engine parts and there is a correct sequence to follow so you don’t have to undo something you’ve just done to get to the next part. (The sequence is detailed in the second edition of the 356 Restoration Book).

After my comments on modifying hardware last month, a reader sent me contact info on a hardware website that has tens of thousands of metric fasteners. I can get 100 metric washers for $3.00. The problem now is putting together an order for a lifetime supply of 356 fasteners. The 356 parts manual details the fastener specs such as “screw, cheese head cadmium plated M 6×12 din 84-55”. The Din specs were very rigid and used by all European manufacturers and differed from American SAE specs. But DIN specs changed over time and that is why we can’t get the 14 mm across the flats (ATF) bolts that were used on the 356. So getting our hardware fastener order together will take some time, but hopefully worth the effort.

Insurance Work
We don’t like the hassle of doing insurance work and have only done a few insurance repairs. Recently we did a left front fender repair since the insurance company was Haggerty, a company we have recommended in the past. No hassle, the owners got one estimate from 356RESTORE and got a check. The repair went well and our painter did a great job blending in the paint. We were not surprised when we found the 356 had been previously hit in the left front. We have seen this left front damage on about 60% of the 356s we work on.

Alignment Tool
At a recent RM356PC tech session a member demonstrated a 356 alignment tool he had made. Basically two 2 x 6 boards with an aluminum L channel screwed on the side and two inexpensive tape measures secured to one side. Place one against the front wheel, the other on the other wheel and extend the tape measures to measure toe in. Works a lot quicker than jack stands and strings. We will make a set.

Aloha! We missed our vacation in Hawaii last year but look forward to this year. We will be staying at a friend’s place in Kona on the Big Island. BJ, Jen and Alex are already there and we will join them for a few days and then they will head back and Barb and I will stay for another week. This place has a swimming pool and Alex is a little fish so we will report her adventures in next month’s Grandpa news.