December 2011 Newsletter

newheaderTech Tip Correction
Last month we commented on the lawn mower fuel filter possibly restricting the fuel delivery. A newsletter recipient let us know that the carburetor inlet is smaller than the fuel filter restriction. So we stand corrected but still dislike the look of the plastic lawn mower fuel filter. The NAPA fuel filter that we recommended (part number 730-9561) looks Teutonic and correct for the 356.

We completed the disassembly of Viney, the Shop ‘64 Coupe. There were vines all through the suspension and front and rear compartments. We hung one of the vines on the shop wall above all the removed parts. After being stored outside for twenty years there was plenty of rust. Once again, the Kroil saved the day. Kroil is a penetrating solvent that works on the molecular level. The longer you leave it on a fastener the better it works. We first clean the fastener with a wire brush, apply the Kroil, wait and test. If still no go , we wait some more, sometimes over night. It seldom fails to loosen and is a lot better than Liquid Wrench. Kroil is available from As mentioned before, WD-40 is a water displacement solvent not a penetrating solvent. So Viney will soon be off to Blast Tech.

The body work on the Happy Car, the Illinois ‘60 Cabriolet is complete and it will be off to the painter probably when we pick up the Shop ‘58 Cabriolet. Both the Shop ‘60 Silver Cabriolet and Shop ‘64 Dolphin Grey Coupe have been put up for sale and already have created interest.

Market Comment
If you follow the Porsche 356 market, you will see it continues to be strong but the prices are all over the place; particularly high. One thing that is happening is that classic car dealers will contact the owner of a nice 356 and offer to take it on consignment. The owner may not want to sell so he sets a high price. The dealer adds his commission and you see a above market price. A potential buyer may balk at the higher price and the dealer may move them to a lower priced 356 which is probably still above market for its condition. What this means to 356Restore is owners particularly of project 356s see high prices and valve their rust buckets higher than realistic.
The math is basic. You start with the market price for a good restored driver level 356. Say a ‘63 Coupe. Market price may be in the low $40,000.

You subtract disassembly and blasting $2500,
Subtract metal work $5000,
Subtract body work $2500,
Subtract paint $7000,
Subtract parts replacements and interior pieces $5000,
Subtract parts restoration and reassembly $3000,
Expect some mechanical issues, hopefully not an engine rebuild,
So now you know what to offer for a project 356 and make a profit
($31,000 costs)
If you are offering on a open 356, the restoration costs are similar but you can offer more as the restored value will be higher. In many cases we make a small profit on selling shop 356’s. But profit is only part of the value. Enjoyment of the work and continuing to learn about excellent engineering and design of the Porsche 356 continues to provide job satisfaction.

We have mentioned in the newsletter and in our book about eye protection. Well, on Viney there were only a few clips securing the headlight assembly. It would only take a minute to snap them out. You guessed it, I didn’t put on eye protection and the first clip hit my eye; luckily it hit flat and the ends just marked above and below my eye. Dumb, dumb dumb!

Odds and Ends
One of the tools we use in the shop is a hemostat. It is a medical clamp shaped like a scissors to clamp blood vessels. We broke the one we had and got on the computer and Googled hemostat. Sure enough we found a vendor that supplies hemostats to the hobby market. We bought some at about $5 each.

Is the economy improving? One indicator for 356Restore is this newsletter. If you notice, it says “Address Service Requested”. This means the Post Office will let us know when a newsletter recipient moves, for a $.50 fee. Well, for the last two years not one of the 230 folks that get the mailed newsletter (another 60 get it by email) moved. In the last two months, six folks have moved, so maybe the economy is improving.

In the newsletter a while back we mentioned some of the dumb things 356 owners have done to “improve” their 356. We should mention some of the real improvements you can make. One is the electronic turn signal flasher available from Stoddard, Zims and others. It makes your turn signal lights flash brighter and correctly, plus you can hear it. Another improvement is the starter and headlight relay kits developed by Joe Leoni and available from Blocks Books (or from Joe if you are a RM356C member). These relays save your ignition and headlight switches and provide correct function. Since the 356 sits low and the brake lights are hard to see, a third brake light in the rear window or on the engine grille is an improvement. These are LED lights and various kits are available.

No newsletter next month, Aloha!

Grandpa News
As we write this there are four days left of school and Christmas is in 13 days, 12 hours and 15 seconds. A very excited 7 yr old told us. Happy Holidays!!

November 2011 Newsletter

newheaderTech Tip
On many 356s, we have seen what we call lawn mower fuel filters. These are those plastic triangular fuel filters usually installed between the fuel pump and the carburetor. The 356 has a filter in the tank, one in the fuel petcock and one in the fuel pump. An additional filter can’t hurt but the lawn mower type is not the way to go. The reason; the fuel line inside diameter is 7mm (or 5/16 in.), the plastic filter diameter is 4mm (or 5/32 in.) so you are restricting the fuel flow to the carbs. The fuel pump can push fuel ok (at 3psi) except when demand is high i.e. uphill at full throttle. If you think you have this problem switch to the NAPA 5/16 in. fuel filter. It is tempered glass and still gives you the capability to see the fuel going to the carbs. We have used them for over ten years, even in our 356 race car. The NAPA part number is 730-9561. There is no concern about the glass filter breaking (would they sell it if there were, think of the liability.)

356 Adventure
A year ago we evaluated a ’64 356C Coupe here in Denver. It had been stored outside for the last twenty years. With four flat tires it had sunk into the dirt and the underside was only an inch rom the ground. When we unscrewed the oil filter cap it was almost rusted away. Our concern was if the rusty metal had got into the oil then there could be major engine problems. We made a fair offer but did not hear back. A year later we got a call and the 356 would be for sale. We informed the owner that 356 prices remained high even for rusty project cars. We said we would increase our offer and went to look at the car again. The reason that it was stored outside was that it was an older home with a single car detached garage. With access from an alley the owner had hinged a gate in the back fence so he could back the 356 into the yard along side the garage. After twenty years the back fence was covered in vines and the 356 still sat with the wheels buried in the dirt.

The owner agreed to sell and BJ and I made a plan. We would need the floor jack, small scissor jack, bottle jack and plenty of boards. Also the pruning shears, limb cutter and shovels. Plus four wheels/tires and small tools. We decided on day one to get the 356 up and ready to roll out and then load on the trailer the next day depending on the weather. Of course it snowed but then the weather improved. We got the vines cut down and the alley gate open. We had brought the Kroil penetrating solvent and propane tank anticipating problems with the lug nuts. But we were in luck! The hub caps were still on the 356 and the lug nuts easily loosened. Now to get the 356 up to mount new wheels. We dug a hole at the rear and placed a flat cement block. There was no way to get the floor jack under the engine but we could get it under the flange of the Bursh muffler, thinking we could replace the muffler if damaged. So we jacked carefully and the 356 came up and out of the ground! With only a foot and a half of clearance to the garage wall we were able to get both rear wheels on. For the front we did the same thing but found the tow hook in the way, it had been bent downward and back. So we decided to jack up at the tow hook and it worked. But we could not rotate the wheels we installed.

We put boards at the rear so we could jack up the rear and pull the 356 side ways to get a better angle out the gate to the narrow alley. When we pushed /pulled the 356 sideways, it fell off the jack and rolled forward! So it would roll!

The next day we brought the trailer, opened the fence gate, used shovels to clear around the wheels and pushed the 356 out into the alley. We positioned it to the trailer and used the electric winch to load the ’64 Coupe on to the trailer. On the way home we passed a white 356 Coupe on I-25, we call this keeping the 356 faith.

Panorama Ads
We recently obtained some early Porsche literature. Mostly Panorama and Christophorus magazines (PCA and factory Magazines), calendars and art work. Here are some For Sale ads from the October 1964 Panorama- “1958 Speedster 1600N. New shocks, good tires, tonneau cover, Lucas lamps, Blaupunkt radio, floor mats, light yellow with red interior, 58,000 miles $1475.” “Abarth Carrera, 9000 miles, One of 19, Metallic Grey, Engine newly rebuilt to RSK specifications, New brakes clutch, and limited slip differential $4100 because of the difficulty of getting parts and service in Quebec.”

BJ continues with the body work on the ’60 Cabriolet “HappyCar” nee Mr. Rivets. As usual metal and bodywork taking longer than expected. We picked up the Shop ’60 Dolphin Grey Coupe at the mechanics and with a little work it will be ready for sale. We bought a couple of engines from a guy in Pueblo and one, a 912 checked out okay on the engine test stand so we will use it in the Shop ’64 Signal Red Couple rather than the collection of engine parts we provided to the mechanic. There are mixed views as to whether a 912 engine in a 356 adds or detracts from value. We have to go with what we have.

Grandpa News
Alex has completed level seven of her swimming tests. Some skills: swim length of the pool underwater; tread water for five minutes, freestyle, and breaststroke to USA Swimming Standards. Way to go Alex!

October 2011 Newsletter

newheaderRennsport Reunion IV and Porsche Race Car Classic
This newsletter is a little late this month as we were attending the above two events in Monterey, California. Rennsport Reunion IV was Octo- ber 14-16 at the Mazda Raceway in Laguna Seca. BJ and I had attended the first Rennsport Re- union at Lime Rock Raceway in Connecticut in 2001 and the fol- lowing Rennsport Reunions at Daytona, Florida.

These All Porsche race events are held about every three years. The events at Daytona were huge i.e. over 100 Porsches in some of the race groups. We said they really ought to have an event out on the west coast and now they have. Laguna Seca is smaller than Daytona so the Porsches were limited to about 300 but the quality and attendance was high. Porsche Cars North America supported the event so there were many factory museum Por- sches on display and racing as well as many of the factory driv- ers of the past. The Porsches were divided into eight race groups by age and model. Our favorite group included the 356s, RSK, RS60, and Porsches of the 1950-1965 era. The oldest Porsche in the group was a 1953 Pooper-Porsche powered Cooper- and it was fast.

Other groups were the early 911s and 914s, 906s-908s, 910s-917s, 934s-935s and RSRs, 962s, Cay- man Series, and Porsche Cup cars.

With Laguna Seca being in a bowl among hills, the sounds of the race engines was terrific. Competition in all the groups was keen and there were no major incidents.

There was a Porsche Park in the infield that featured display cars from the factory and the new 2012 911 North America debut. Weather on Friday was sunny and hot but Saturday was cool with fog all morning. The Porsches reduced speed but ran in the fog. By the afternoon they were at full song.

The groups of early Porsches had their races on Saturday so we didn’t mind missing the Sunday races to attend the Porsche Race Car Classic at the Quail Lodge Golf Club in Carmel Valley. This event was produced by Steve Heinrichs who produced the Speedster Fest held at the Quail in 2004.

For this event, examples of the first fifteen years of Porsche racing were positioned on the grass of the Quail. Guests were held outside until the gates were opened at 10:00am. We were meet with about 175 Porsches but they were all covered!

When all the guests were inside, the covers were all pulled off at the same time and there they were!

~ Two aluminum bodied Gmund Coupes
~ A Glockler Roadster
~ Four American Roadsters
~ Thirteen 550 Spyders
~ Four 550A Spiders
~ Thirteen 718 and 718/2 RSK Spiders
~ Two Formula One 804s including Dan Gurney’s winning car
~ Eleven Abarth Carreras of the twenty produced

And of course all the racing 356s and significant 356s of that period. And right up front when you entered was the 1954 Speedster s/n 80013 of Bruce and Kathy Ungari. The 356 that BJ and I restored a few years ago.

What an overload! One of our favorites was Chuck House’s 1956 356A 1500GS Carrera Coupe. It was discovered in 2004 after being stored for forty three years with just 16,771 miles on the odometer. It had been owned by the Dupont Family. One of our favorite Porsche models was the 904 and there were fifteen at the event. It was a street legal race car first produced in 1964. We love the body style and it was very competi- tive. While checking out the 904s, we noticed that headlight covers were installed with screws. But some 904s had slotted screws some of which were painted. Other 904s had Phillips screws. Which were correct? Who cares it was a race car. There is an excellent video of the event showing all the Porsches on YouTube. Just search for Porsche Race Car Classic – Quail Lodge- October 16, 2011.

The event was well attended and it was a benefit to assist in lung cancer research. Many people do not know that lung cancer kills more people than breast, prostate, colon and pancreas cancers combined.

The Texas ’60 Coupe-Goat Car was picked up by the owners last week. Since they are new to Porsche 356 Ownership we recommended they trailer the 356 home and learn how to drive it in their area. We prepared a list of things they need to know like how to start it and what gas to use. We also reminded them the 356 is not a safe car by today’s standards. Since they have young triplet daughters and a younger daughter we said the girls should only ride one at a time around the neighborhood.

BJ started the body work on the Happy Car, the Illinois ’60 Cabriolet. We fit the top frame to ensure fit since the body had opened up as evidenced by the door gaps when we started the metal work. The top frame fit perfect as did the hood, doors nd rear lid. The owner has decided to paint the 356 Bali Blue. The Shop ’60 Dolphin Grey Coupe has had the rebuilt engine installed and we will be bringing it back to the shop and prepare it for sale. We will then take in Jim’s ’63 Sunroof Coupe to have it serviced and an emissions check.

Grandpa News
Right after Rennsport BJ, Jennifer, Alex and Grandma Barb all went on a four day Disney cruise to the Bahamas. They had a great time and Alex figured out if you call room service they will bring you chocolate covered Mickey ice cream bars to your room

September 2011 Newsletter

The Oklahoma Twin Grille Roadster sold. It was sold at a fair market value for the rarity– one of 249. A higher price could have been achieved but economic uncertainty probably played a big part.

We finally got the Texas ‘60 Coupe-Goat Car– back from the mechanics and took it for a test drive. The used muffler we provided is too loud and it backfires. We will order a new one. The owner plans to pick it up early next month.

When the husband of the owner of the Illinois ‘60 Cabriolet told her that 356Restore called it Mr. Rivets, she said, “It’s a she and her name is Happy Car”. So, Happy Car it is and BJ is almost done with the body work. The owner has not decided on the color. While the Shop ‘58 Cabriolet was at the painters and the “Goat Car” at the mechanics we spent a lot of time cleaning, buffing, painting and preparing parts for the Shop ’64 Signal Red engine, Shop ’58 Cabriolet and the ’ 60 Cabriolet “Happy Car”. There are many parts for a 356 and each one has to be prepared for reassembly. We enjoy this work as you can work on many parts at the same time so there is a variety in the work unlike the big jobs of metal work and body work. Funny how BJ seems to get this part of the restoration. And we hate to say it but BJ is better on these jobs than Jim.

The engine is ready for the Shop ‘64 Dolphin Grey Coupe so we will check it to see if it is ready for engine installation and take it to the mechanics. It has been a year since we last worked on this Shop 356 and its tough to remember how we left it.

Making the 356 Better
Having worked on over 100 356’s and evaluated many more, its funny how 356 owners thought they could make their 356 better.
Chroming the engine parts does not make the 356 go faster, it just makes it look like a hotrod instead of a sports car.

Changing engine components i.e. Weber carbonators, electric ignition, special mufflers just changes the Porsche engine design balance and leads to problems. Dynometer testing of these modifications shows little improvement and often a degradation in the 356 engine performance. A well engineered race engine is another story but the pros have had fifty years to test race modifications.

An outlaw 356 is different but it is not better. Some outlaw modifications are clever but you have a personalized 356 which may or may not appeal to future owners. The net is , the Porsche design of the 356 is well engineered, few people can make it better.

Off Topic
At the last Porsche and Pastries event, BJ’s cousin Doug Casten brought his BBQ rig from Iowa to provide us with really great ribs and brisket. Folks still comment on the great BBQ.

Well, Doug recently took a 5th in chicken, 1st in ribs , 3rd in pork and 1st in brisket. Doug became a Grand Champion for the first time. We will probably schedule the next Porsche and Pastries around Doug’s BBQ contest schedule as we want him back.

We’ve mentioned before that since 356Restore sorts out alphabetically at the top of the 356 Registry vendor list, we get lots of calls and Emails for advice. A recent Email was a record. The family 356 needed restoration and a friend said he could do it. It went to the shop and sat there for twenty two years! The owner passed on and now his son are trying to complete the restoration. They sent us pictures and we have been giving them advise.

For fifteen years, we could drive down the hill for a mile to the Ace hardware store. Once or twice a week we would make this trip for shop or household supplies. We knew the store layout, the people were friendly and called us by name.

But then a Home Depot went in at the bottom of the hill. The hardware store held on for a year but had to close. Now when we need light bulbs for the house or spray paint for the shop we have to wander through the big store with seldom anyone available for help. But recently, a large Ace Hardware store went in about five miles away. We were familiar as there was one in Highland Ranch about ten miles away. We would go there as they had a better selection of spray paint than Home Depot.

We went to the new close Ace Hardware. We were greeted right away. The staff had headsets to communicate. I asked if they had the Preval bottle sprayers that we use for small parts. There was none on the shelf but they communicated and found some in the back. We told the manger they needed to have just the sprayers in addition to the complete unit. He said he would check, we saw him at the computer. As we were checking out he came and said he found them, had ordered a dozen and they would be there Wednesday two days later. They were and we bought a half dozen. Guess what our new favorite hardware store is.

Next month will be busy with the West Coast Holiday in Palm Springs (which we will miss). The Rennsport Reunion at Laguna Seca (which we will attend) and the Porsche Race Car Classic to benefit lung cancer research (which we will attend).

Grandpa News
Alex celebrated her 7th birthday over the Labor Day weekend with a trip with Grandma and Grandpa and Jennifer up to Vail CO. She enjoyed the heated pool the most. BJ was in Hastings Nebraska with RMVR racing. Alex has also figured out that gift cards are a really cool gift to get,

August 2011 Newsletter

newheaderPittsburg Vintage Grand Prix
As mentioned last month, we checkout the 356talk forum on the 356 Registry website almost daily. A while back under Events, there was talk about the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix to be held in mid July at a park in downtown Pittsburg. This would be the 28th annual road race; one of only two road races remaining for sports cars. The other road race of course is Monaco.

Since we lost our Steamboat road race years ago, we thought checking out the Pittsburgh event would be fun. We registered, got all the details and made plans. There is a group of 356 folks in Pittsburgh called the 356Burgs. No officers, no rules just fun. When they saw I was registered, they said they wanted to take me to dinner when I arrived. Six of them met me at the event hotel. They gave me a great goodie bag and we drove the 356’s to dinner. We got to ride in a driver Twin Grille Roadster with a stinger exhaust. The owner really liked the blip, bark and backfire that exhaust. Fun!

Since the Allegany Region of the PCA was celebrating their 50th anniversary there was also a car show at a downtown brewery, Also Fun! The day of the races we had about twenty 356 leave from the event hotel. There was a brief rain shower that morning so there was a short delay getting on the golf course that surrounds the race track. They had over 2,000 cars for the car show and over 20,000 spectators as this is a free event as mandated by the industrialist that donated the park to the city. There were 83 356s entered in the show and the 356 Registry provided a tent.
Which was needed as it was hot and humid.

Since the race is held on the park roadway it is off camber, narrow, bumpy and surrounded by trees. This is probably why there were no big bore cars racing. An ideal track for Porsches and we had a dozen 356s racing. Good races, great 356 folks and an event we would strongly recommend.

BJ and I use car wheel dollies to not only move 356s but also to move 356 engines and transmissions. The problem as we get older is lifting a 200 plus pound engine up to place it on the dolly.

Harbor Freight had a shop crane for sale normally $198 on sale for $98. We hadn’t purchased one as they are big and difficult to store. But the one on sale folded up. So we decided to buy one but instead of driving to the Harbor Freight store we decided to order online. No problem, we got the sale price but the shipping was $100! So we drove and picked one up. It works great.

BJ has just about finished the metal work on the Illinois ‘60 Cab-Mr. Rivets. We call this a “bottom everything”. The body work shouldn’t be too bad as there is no major collision damage, just the typical rust damage i.e. front/back of doors, nose dents and door skins. We started preparing parts for Mr. Rivets. We asked the owner to track down seats as his were too rusty to use. For seats, you have to spend time calling recycling venders or using the Internet. We leave this to the owner as our time is better spent working on 356s. The owner found some seats and they are what you would expect for fifty year old seats, but usable.

Preparing parts means cleaning, painting, polishing and dry fitting. We use our bench grinder on a stand with a fine wire wheel to remove rust from small parts and hardware. Parts are cleaned with solvent and painted with a two part epoxy primer and then painted satin black. While we know gloss black isn’t correct for painted parts, we will paint the early gas tanks and generator plate gloss black for a little “wow“ factor.

We finished assembly of the Shop ‘64 Signal Red Coupe and started collecting parts for an engine. The original engine had a hole in the case. We had a good 912 case and we can use the original third piece to maintain the engine number. It looks like we will need pistons and cylinders (P&Cs) and a crank. The rest of the parts we have. We try to keep rebuilt carburetors and distributors on the shelf.

Rebuilding is not cheap but using a known good part resolves many issues with used parts.

For large parts cleaning, we use Blast Tech. While we have a parts cleaner and blasting cabinet, we seldom use them. We just take boxes of dirty, rusty parts to Blast Tech and usually within a week we get back clean bare metal parts ready for paint.

While the Shop ‘58 is at the painters we also starting preparing its parts. The Cab had been disassembled from a rust bucket years ago and while some of the parts were bagged many are missing. While we may have some on the shelf we will probably have to check the vendors and the Internet. We have parts on the shelf because we quit selling parts as a business when we realized some parts are hard to find and we rather use our parts for restorations. Pre-A and A parts are very difficult to find now. Large parts like seats, doors, hoods can be found but in used to very used condition and expensive. We would get $800-$1,000 for a good virgin hood but now of course we keep them for restorations. Since we don’t rebuild engines we have always commented on the number of engine parts we have accumulated. The answer of course is many of the project 356s we buy come with extra engine parts, either leftover from a rebuild or bought for future use.

Grandpa News
Alex started second grade on August 8th. She tried to fill the last two weeks of summer vacation with bike riding, skate board, basketball and passing her next level of swim lessons. But getting her new black terrier puppies “Boulder” and “Crystal” was the biggest thing.

July 2011 Newsletter
If you own a 356 you should be monitoring the 356Registry website. We check it everyday; primarily to gain knowledge from 356Talk but also to keep track of market conditions.
As most know, there has been almost no 356 sales information in the printed media since the growth of the internet. The 356Registry web site has a classified section with 356, 356 Parts, 356 Literature/Memorabilia and all other Porsches for sale. There are more 356’s listed for sale on the web site than on Ebay. Plus the website is self policing, 356 Registry members are knowledgeable and the classifieds are honest (unlike Ebay). By monitoring the classifieds you can determine value based on condition. Of course, the values are asking prices but this is also replacement value.

The website also notes 356 related events. Besides the 356 Holidays, there are two other big Porsche events this year. Rennsport IV will be held at Lagua Seca racetrack October 14-16. This will be a huge gathering of Porsche racecars with lots of 356s. BJ and I attended Rennsport I at Lime Rock racetrack and Rennsport II and III at Daytona. With Rennsport IV in California there should be even more Porsches.

Also that same weekend is the Porsche Race Car Classic featuring Porsche race cars from 1950-1965 along with many of the drivers from that era. It will be held at the Quail Resort where the Speedsterfest was held. It is a charity event to benefit Lung Cancer Research. We have made our travel plans.

Another feature of the 356Registry web site is the vendor list. Vendors are listed by Restoration/Repairs, Parts, Services, Literature and Accessories. If you need something for your 356, you will find it there. You click on the Vendor and it takes you to their website.

Another feature is the Member Car Gallery. A neat place to check out members 356s and their color combinations.

The Shop ‘58 Cabriolet has gone to the painter. Since BJ did almost all the extensive repairs to this 356, he gets to pick the color. He is thinking of green, probably Fjord Green with a tan interior and a tan top.

The Texas ‘60 Coupe has been hung up at the mechanics. We expect it back soon and the owner will pick it up after some instructions from us as they are first time owners.
BJ usually names the 356s he works on. There has been Frankenstein, Dracula, Goat Car and others. This usually describes the condition of the rust bucket that he gets to start on. For the Illinois ‘60 Cabriolet I decided to name it Mr. Rivets. We found the hood seal secured by rivets. Of course this means all the holes for the hood seal are too large for the correct screws and will have to be welded and relocated.

I also found rivets when I sat on the door sill to work on the door. Rivets were used to secure the 1950 color carpet and one was sticking up on the sill. Ouch!

When the ‘60 Cab came back from Blast Tech, we found more rivets securing aluminum panels to the rusted areas of the battery box, closing panels, longitudinal and floor.
BJ has already started on the metal work which will be extensive but nothing we have not seen before.

After a short break to work on my gardens, I got back on the assembly of the Shop ’64 Signal Red Coupe. Compared to the Oklahoma Twin Grill Roadster and the Texas ’60 Coupe, this this 356 was assembled in three weeks; the Roadster and ‘60 Coupe took months. The big issue with the Shop ‘64 Coupe will be an engine rebuild as it had a broken crank and case damage. We think we have enough parts from spares to build a replacement engine.

Once the Illinois ‘60 Cabriolet is done, we will shut down customer work for a while to finish and sell the
Shop 356’s;
‘60 Cabriolet Silver/Red
‘64 Coupe Dolphin Grey/ Black
‘58 Cabriolet Green/Tan (maybe)
‘64 Coupe Signal Red/Black

And we have two ‘60 coupes as projects plus both Barb’s Twin Grille Roadster and my ‘60 Sunroof Coupe need refreshing.

We started 356Restore in October 1992. This means we will have been restoring Porsche 356s as a business for twenty years and as a hobby for nine years prior. We have worked on over 120 Porsche 356s, not all full restorations, some just repairs. Will we keep going? Yes, we still enjoy the satisfaction of problem solving on these well designed cars. When we were a “suit” our job was to minimize problems. We would plan, anticipate, have status meetings, progress reports all geared to avoiding problems and meeting schedule and revenue goals.

Working on Porsche 356 you solve problems daily. You finish your work day with satisfaction. Often you will come up with a new solution to a problem like our headliner trick (leaving the screws for attachments under the headliner to find the location quickly). So, as we get older we think should we have another retirement? Why? Our health is good, There is daily satisfaction, working with your son is a pleasure, working at home allows breaks to do gardening and home chores. So we will continue with 356Restore.

Grandpa News
Barb and Alex found Grandpa’s change jar and were playing a store game. Barb said Alex could have all the pennies she could count. Alex said she would rather have the quarters!

June 2011 Newsletter

We recommend 356 owners to enter a Concours. This allows your 356 to be judged and receive feedback on its condition. Improving its condition based on what the judges found will increase the 356’s value.

Personally, we do not enjoy Concours. We only entered one and took a second place trophy. But the judge found a greasy area behind the fan shroud and put his greasy fingerprint on the judging sheet. So our first and last Councours.

However, we decided to enter Dr. Johnson’s Twin Grille Roadster in the 28th Annual Sports Car Show and Concours D’Elegance. We did this to get feedback on our restoration and if it scored well to assist in selling the 356 if Dr. Johnson decides to sell.

We picked up the 356 at the mechanics and did a short drive; the first drive for the 356 in thirty years. Then it is cleaning the car and hiding any faults from the judges. Some judges are knowledgeable, some are opinionated and their opinions may be wrong. But feedback is feedback.

The black Twin Grille Roadster with green interior scored 228.8 out of 240 points for first place in the 356 B/C Open class. Most of the point deductions were for dust and smudges which are hard to stay on top of on a black car with spectators touching it. The judges did find a missing part on the engine which we had forgotten, so that was good.

After the Concours, we decided to take a break from 356 restoration for a few days and work on household chores and gardening.

The Texas ‘60 Coupe was at the mechanics but we told the mechanic the Twin Grille Roadster would get priority as it was entered in the Concours. The ‘60 Coupe should be back at the end of the month.

BJ has the Shop ‘58 ready for paint then we will be doing the remaining disassembly of the Illinois ‘60 Cabriolet. Then the ‘60 Cabriolet will head to media blasting. The owner did most of the disassembly using our 356 Do-It-Yourself restoration book. The ‘60 Cabriolet is another family 356. His wife drove it in high school and it has been stored in a barn for many years. Rusty, but with no major body damage. When we finish the Illinois Cab we will defer customer 356s to finish our shop 356s.

While the Twin Grille Roadster and Texas Coupe were at the mechanics we brought the Shop ‘64 Coupe into the shop for reassembly. It had been over a year since we disassembled this 356 but BJ had taken the time to clean every part and find replacement parts for poor parts. But most of the parts were original and in good condition. Having the parts ready to go makes reassembly easier.

We started with the doors, hood and rear lid. We like to do these parts first so they don’t get damaged off the 356.
We found the hood handle polished and ready for assembly. It had the correct washers, nuts and plastic profile. It went on the hood in just a few minutes.

Then we positioned the hood on the 356 and used the index holes for alignment. This is a starting point and we usually have to keep making adjustments to get the correct gaps.

On the first try with BJ watching the back gap to make sure we wouldn’t rub, we set the hood. Perfect! On the first try, good gaps and flush! This has never happened before. This 356 is talking to us and it is good.

Next, to the doors. There are many door parts and BJ had them cleaned and identified. The right door went quickly and I told BJ how sweet was this 356. BJ said “Be careful, they can bite you.”. And bite me it did.

I had the door completely assembled with the good gaps and it latched flush. The last thing to do was connect and pin the cable to the latch assembly and install the door panel and handles. The bite was the cotter pin in the latch assembly was sheared off and the pin hole was jammed. To clear the hole for the cotter pin means disassembling the entire door to remove the latch assembly and drill out the pin hole. Which we did.

But then, the ‘64 Shop 356 made up for it. We were installing the rear seat backs but couldn’t get the screw into the hole in the chassis which is under the carpet. We checked with a flashlight and sure enough it looked like the screw has sheared off in the hole. We left it til later to finish other interior work. We got the center punch, hammer, drill, drill bits and tap to clear the screw hole. But it was clear! What we had seen with the flashlight was the sheen of glue covering the hole from when we installed the carpet. So, one bite and one kiss.

In this newsletter we usually don’t mention the shops that help us complete a 356 restoration. We refer to them as “mechanics” or “painters or “upholstery shop”. We do this as our experience with these folks may not match that of our readers. However, we must praise our painter, Thom Agnes of Mirror Image Automotive Refinishing. We had some paint damage on the Twin Grille Roadster four days before the Concours. This was due to a misaligned door latch panel installed wrong thirty years ago But we should have caught it. Thom came, did the repair, blended the black paint perfectly and the repair was invisible. The judges never saw what happened. Thanks Thom!!

Grandpa News
Alex just had her first dance recital but she is much more excited about starting her martial arts class and riding her new skateboard.

May 2011 Newsletter

newheader37 Seconds of Fame
356Restore was featured on Channel 9’s “Shirt Off Your Back” segment on May 2nd. A while back, Greg Moss the business news anchor asked for businesses to send in a shirt with their logo and he would wear it during the morning business news.

He wanted a extra large so we sent in one of BJ’s, along with a hat. Channel 9’s website indicated the day our shirt was to be featured but it did not happen.

We learned Greg did not have time to change shirts so the business owner was invited. We were contacted and answered a few questions for the script and agreed to be at the TV studio at 8:15.

The studio is large with robot cameras and a few people. We gave Greg a picture of a 356 Speedster to show as we guessed few viewers would know what a 356 is.

Greg showed us where to stand, the camera came toward us and the light went on and we could see our self on the attached monitor. Greg read the script we had prepared, showed the Speedster picture and it was all over in 37 seconds. He did get a smile out of me when he said I should have brought some samples.

We recorded the segment for family and friends to watch but had zero feedback as the segment aired at 8:40 in the morning.

We picked up the Oklahoma Twin Grille Roadster at the upholsterers shop and took it to the top shop where we installed the windshield. We had left the windshield out, as the upholster needs it out to do the dash.

The Roadster sure looked great with the new interior.
While waiting on the Roadster we finished most of the reassembly on the Texas ‘60 Coupe. And we took it to the mechanics for engine installation, linkage adjustment and tune.

With space in the shop we brought down the Shop ‘64 Signal Red Coupe for assembly. This Shop 356 should go quickly as it had almost all original parts in good condition. The major issue was the engine which had to be rebuilt.
BJ is almost done with the body work on the Shop ‘58 Cabriolet. He has turned a rust bucket into a straight 356.

He will get to decide what color to paint it.

While doing the final assembly on the Texas ‘60 Coupe, we had an issue with the electrics. We asked Joe Leoni to make a house call. One of the issues was we were using used electrical parts to keep the cost down. Almost all the parts on this 356 were unusable due to outside storage. We could not get any power to the back of the 356. I checked underneath and the wiring looked good with the original protective covering. We continued to work the problem with no success. BJ joined us and found the problem. When I got under the 356 I only checked the wiring from the starter, which worked, on back. BJ found that some rodent had chewed thru five of the ten wires in the harness right where the harness exits the chassis.

We were able to pull the cut wires thru the tunnel to the front of the 356. Fortunately, we have plenty of wires from old harnesses acquired over the years. We were able to splice in enough wire to connect to the remaining cut wire at the rear. We were unable to pull the repaired wires through the tunnel and ran them along side of the shifter where they will be covered by the rubber tunnel cover, under the carpet on the tunnel and thru the chassis to the rear. Once completed, everything worked at the rear of the 356.

We are now in what we call “the last five percent” of reassembly on both the Texas Coupe and Oklahoma Roadster. These is where the little issues that were put off at last have to be done and takes more time than expected. For example, we had put off deciding on what to do about the seats on the Texas ‘60 Coupe. The driver seat was unusable due to rust damage and both seats had torn upholstery. We have about fifteen sets of used seats but they are all piled up in the storage building. We needed the single rail seat and knew we had plenty of the later double rail seats. Anyhow, we went thru the pile of seats and could not find a good driver seat bottom. We made some calls with no luck and then Bill Frey provided one. Then it was an issue to find seat hinges as the ones with the 356 were badly rusted. We found some and we will use a seat cover to hide the damaged upholstery.

The 28th Annual Exotic Sports car Show and Concours d’Elegance is Sunday June 12 at Arapahoe Community College. Early registration is by May 27th. Contact for an entry form. We have entered the Oklahoma Twin Grille Roadster (hope we make it)

Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing had their first race and driver school at HPR near Byers, CO. on May 14+15th. They will then be at Pueblo, CO. on June 11+12th for the Trans-Am Invitational. Followed by the Pikes Peak Hillclimb June 26th, HPR Charity Race Aug 6-7th, Hastings Neb Race Sept 2-4 and the HPR Enduro Oct 1-2.

Grandpa News
Alex had a presentation to make at school and practiced on Barb and I. Her presentation was on pennies and she did the research on the internet. She had pictures on the display of a penny, the Denver Mint, details on the metal used and other information. Her practice went well and when she was done, I raised my hand and asked what number president was Lincoln. She immediately said “sixteenth” Her mom was surprised she knew that. She got an A on her presentation.

April 2011 Newsletter

newheaderParker Fire
Thanks to all of you that called to ensure that we were OK during the wildfire in Parker. I was assembling the rear bumper for the Twin Grille Roadster and BJ was sanding the door for the Shop ‘58 Cab. He smelled smoke thru his dust mask and asked if I had been welding. Sometimes we will use a piece of wood as a brace to a metal repair which can cause a smokey smell. We checked the house then went outside. The wind from the south was about 50mph and smoke was covering the neighborhood. Visibility was low. Then we got the reverse 911 call with a mandatory evacuation notice. Checking the TV we learned the fire was south of us and no immediate danger. We were able to watch the fire fighting effort from our windows. Friends close to the fire evacuated but as reported there were no injuries or property loss. Thanks for thinking of us and thanks to our firefighters.

Mud Daubers
That’s what we call them. Wasps that make a mud nest then deposit the eggs. We have some in Colorado but they must have a bunch of them in Texas. We were doing the brakes on the Texas ‘ 60 coupe and found five wasp nests in the right front brake drum. There is as inspection hole in the brake drum to adjust the brake shoes. A perfect entry for mother wasp.

We were doing the brakes on the Texas coupe as we had taken the Oklahoma Twin Grille Roadster to the upholstery shop. We installed the new green vinyl door panels (which look great in the black roadster) and will let the pro do the light green carpet, green vinyl interior and green leather seats. Then it is off to the top shop for a new black top.

After interior and top, we will install the original rebuilt engine. Then we will put on the remaining parts then it is off to the mechanics for tune and adjustment. At the mechanics we will ask for some lift time so we can detail the bottom and take some pictures. If the Roadster is not sold before the June concours we will enter it for judging to get feed back on our work. Last year we entered the Wyoming Speedster which might have won an award but it was picked up by the owner prior to the show.

“So how long does a Porsche 356 restoration take?” Well we have done over seventy full restorations and another thirty to forty minor restorations– floor pan, batter box, door adjustments etc. The answer is they take time. It goes quick on original unrestored356s and it takes time on previously repaired 356s. We estimated at least 60% of our metal work is redoing poor previous repairs.

We started work on the Oklahoma Twin Grille Roadster in May of last year and the Texas coupe in June. Both will be finished this June. So each full restoration took a year but each was different. The Texas coupe was done to a driver level and the Oklahoma Twin Grille Roadster to a near show level as it is a rare 356 and will sell we hope for a good price. While we worked on the Oklahoma and Texas 356s, we also worked on the Shop ’60 silver Cabriolet and the Shop ’58 Cabriolet.

For the sale of the Twin Grille Roadster we are preparing a tool kit and a jack. These are almost required for a high value sale. The owner has the original tool kit cover in good shape and some of the tools; we will provide the rest including the tire gauge.

Years ago we were contacted by an owner that wanted to sell a 356 car cover and a workshop manual. We bought them both. Later he called and wanted to sell a custom bicycle rack he had made for his 356. We told him that we had no interest. Later he called and said he was moving and the bicycle rack was going in the trash unless we wanted it. So we dropped by his place to pick it up. He said. “Take this too”. It was a cardboard box with a few 356 oil filters and some other stuff. When we got home we discovered the other stuff included some neat car badges and an original perfect tire gauge! So the tire gauge will go with the Twin Grille Roadster tool kit.

The Internet
We try not to spend a lot of time on the internet as we enjoy working on 356s more. We do monitor the 356 Register talk forum daily and continue to learn about these great little cars. The internet also allows excellent knowledge searches. A while back a previous owner of Speedster 80013 Googled that number and found a link to our website where we have all of these newsletters and had discussed 80013 as we were working on it. We got the previous owner in touch with the present owner and some valuable information was exchanged. Recently, the owner of a Speedster race car contacted us as he had been told his Speedster had been raced by Larry Myers. We mentioned Larry in one of our newsletters as we met him at the Sedona 356 Holiday. This guy Googled Larry Myers and found our newsletter and we provided some information and hopefully he got in touch with Larry. On a less positive note we had mentioned some difficulties on a particular restoration. A prospective buyer for that 356 found the newsletter and backed away from the sale although the difficulties had been corrected. So be careful out there.

Grandpa News
BJ and Alex go to the library weekly and Alex showed her teacher a book at the fourth grade level (she’s in first grade). The teacher said she could read it for credit but would have to answer some questions about the book to move to the fourth grade reading level. She aced the questions!

March 2011 Newsletter

While Barb and I were on vacation (a great relaxing time) BJ was able to complete the metal work on the Shop ‘58 Cabriolet. He also finished the bottom clean, paint, caulk and undercoat on a ‘65 Coupe which we had previously restored and had painted Signal Red. The owner had issues with his hands and was unable to do this work as planned. BJ didn’t mind doing this work as he charged it at the shop rate rather than his hourly rate.

The Oklahoma Twin Grille Roadster was at the painters and he called as he saw a minor problem once the Roadster was in paint. We went and checked it out and agreed there was a low spot behind the driver door. This was not seen when we did the dry fit on the Roadster in primer. We probably should have “stringed” the 356. This is a trick Tom Conway showed us years ago. You mark off one inch increments vertically at the rear and front of the 356. Then you tape a string from front to rear. The string should lay flat along the sides of the 356 with just a slight break at the door gaps. Any how, the painter fixed the Roadster and finished it just prior to our vacation. He used a new black paint that even with the single stage is very glossy. The body work and paint alone should sell the 356. But we have to reassemble it and started on this after the vacation. This is going pretty fast as we had dry fit everything before final paint.

However, you can still can make a mistake. We started with the front compartment and cleaned off the wet sanding residue and then we did a final paint with semi gloss. We installed the fuel tank, fuse cover and windshield washer bottle. The last item to install was the gaskets around the fuel tank neck that secures it to the chassis. The two metal and one rubber gaskets are secured by four screw that go into nut plates on the metal gaskets. Two screws are secured from the inside and two screws from under the fender. We put on of the metal gaskets on backwards and had to remover everything and start over. Of course it went faster the second time. We will reassemble the interior compartment next then all the exterior items and finish with the engine installation.

Porsche 356 History
Since there was not a lot of progress due to the vacation we will review the Porsche 356 history. Some of you may not be aware of this and its importance to Porsche today. Ferdinand (Ferry) Porsche moved the design firm to Gmund Austria after World War II. They survived by repairing cars and farm equipment. At this time Ferdinand Senior was still interned in France. Ferry had an excellent designer Erwin Komerda and body builder Karl Rabe. Together they designed and built a Grand Prix racing car the “Cisitalia” for an Italian industrialist. The funds from the “Cisitalia” allowed Ferdinand Senior to be ransomed from the French jail but he was in ill health.

Erwin Komenda designed Porsches first sports car based on the knowledge gained from the Volkswagen project. The sports car was designated 356 as it was the 356th project in the Porsche engineering logbook. (When Porsche started the engineering logbook they started with project seven, not project one so customers would not think they were the first)

In the spring of 1948 a Roadster based on Komenda’s design was produced . It had an aluminum body and a 1131 cc motor based on a Volkswagen but with Porsche improvements particularly in the heads. It produced 40hp. It was mid engine which was great for performance but left little luggage space for a touring sports car. As additional aluminum 356s were produced the engine was moved to the rear. The aluminum bodies of these early 356 were hand formed over wooden bucks. The best body man was Fredrich Weber to whom this newsletter is dedicated.

The first 356 coupe was finished in early 1950. The early 356s were raced with some success by private owners. Porsche raced in the 1951 24 Hours of Lemans and brought home a class victory. With these racing successes, the 500th Porsche was produced in 1951. They were produced by the body builder firms Reuther and Glaser. Porsche did the final assembly and checkout. Racing classes and their progression led to the 1000cc,1300cc and 1500cc engine development with horsepower of 40,44,55,60 and 70. These horsepower numbers were DIN (German) and not SAE(American and higher) and also conservative due to insurance rules. In 1952 a reduced weight aluminum convertible was produced. Fifteen were made and called the American Roadster. This, a few years later, was the basis for the Speedster in metal but it was still light weight and had a very competitive performance. Porsche really didn’t want to produce the Speedster but did so at the pleading of Max Hoffman, the U.S. distributor, and some east coast racers. In fact, once Speedster production declined, Porsche went back to the taller windshields, roll up windows, cigar lighters and radios. This was the Convertible D and Roadster. At this time body builders included Reutter, Drauz, Karmann and D’Ieteren. Porsche bought out Reutter the last body builder in 1964 and all production was Porsche. 79,316 Porsche 356s had been produced.

Grandpa News
We were informed that Alex would appreciate some chocolate candy kisses with macadamia nuts from our vacation. Barb tried Safeway, Longs Drug, ABC store, Whalers, Waialea market without success. The airport gift shop was also out but thought the gift shop after security might have them. Nope! But the last gift shop before our departure gate had them!!

February 2011 Newsletter

BJ has been doing some excellent work on the shop ’58 Cabriolet. For example, there was rust damage in the rear seat area which is like a bucket to hold water. This rust damage is very common particularly on open 356s. There are replacement panels for this area but they are very expensive ($500-$800).

The rear seat bottom has round and linear indentations for structure. I mentioned to BJ that he could probably duplicate these if he found a socket and a metal rod of the same size. It turns out the large socket used to remove and secure the rear axel nut makes a perfect impression and a flat tool we had matches the linear impressions. BJ fabricated a rear seat bottom that matches the original for just few bucks. But as he said no one will ever see it as it is covered by upholstery. ( It is about pride in your work and solving problems)

While BJ is finishing the metal work on the shop ‘58 Cabriolet, I completed the dry fit on the Oklahoma Twin Grille Roadster. Tom Scott came over to evaluate the 356 for fit and finish. Tom knows quite a bit about fit and finish as he is the only two time winner of PCA’s Manhattan Trophy and recently tied the highest concours score with a Speedster. Tom indicated what is the correct factory gap edge. It is slightly rounded. You do not want a sharp edge which can occur due to sanding. When Tom got through with his evaluation, we had a list of thirty four things to fix. Which we did, and then we took the Roadster back to the painter for final paint. It should be ready within a few weeks. When we took the Roadster to the painters we picked up the Texas Goat car. But we can not call it the Goat car anymore as it is now in beautiful black paint. Barb said that it looked like black patent leather shoes and we could call it Mary Jane. You ladies probably know this name for shoes but you guys may know that Mary Jane as a term for marijuana. We will let the owner and her girls (triplet daughters and a younger daughter) name the 356.

Since we are trying to keep the restoration cost down on the Texas ‘60 Coupe we decided to use an unused carpet that we had on the shelf. A new carpet set is $550 and we could provide this shop set for a more reasonable cost. The only issue was the color was the light beige called Oatmeal. The correct color should be Charcoal but Oatmeal could have been ordered. The factory would do any exterior/interior color combinations to sell 356s. You know, the light colored carpet looks great in the black 356. We also changed the interior upholstery to black using vinyl paint dye. The original was red and just dirty and tired. The upholstery pieces cleaned up well and looks good in black. We did have to order the rear most upholstery panel and a new dash covering in black vinyl. These panels are frequently cracked by sun damage .

We installed the headliner and glass. We were able to reuse the front windshield which had only a small chip on the passenger side. The rear windshield had been severely scratched by the goats getting to high ground. Front windshields are available and expensive i.e. $500. Rear windshields are not available but we had some on the shelf as they never get damaged (except for goats). Front windshields are laminated but the rear windshields are tempered and hard to break. A Porsche salvage yard said they could be removed by getting inside the car and using a mule kick to kick out the rear windshield. We thought he was joking until he demonstrated.

So the plan is for BJ to finish the metal work on the Shop ’58 Cabriolet and start the body work. I will continue to assemble the Texas ’60 Coupe but then switch to the Oklahoma Twin Grille Roadster when it comes back from the painter. The Shop silver ’60 Cabriolet sits in the garage waiting for good weather to finish a few items and put some miles on it prior to selling. We usually do not price a shop 356 until after we have driven it. We also have the Shop signal red ’64 Coupe to assemble so we will continue to be busy.

Guess what? It is time for Barb and I to vacation. Aloha! There may not be a newsletter next month as we will be gone for two weeks. We will decide when we return.

I Was Wrong
We had learned that 1962 model years 356s had bottom sender gas tanks. These tanks were only used for a little while as you can imagine the problem if they failed. They were also painted black and the top sender t-6 tanks were painted grey. Since Barb’s Twin Grille Roadster had a grey top sender tank and the Oklahoma Twin Grille Roadster had a top sender tank we said Twin Grille Roadsters were the exception. We were wrong! Tom Scott provided pictures on an original Twin Grille Roadster and it has the black sender tank. Plus when I wired up the Oklahoma Roadster is was wired for a bottom sender. And the bottom sender tanks have a different fuel gauge. We think bottom sender tanks may have been swapped due to liability.

Grandpa News
Alex, BJ and Jennifer went to the Colorado golf expo so Alex could pick up some pink golf balls. She was upset because they would not let her drive the golf carts in the convention center. But her dad lets her drive on the course so she know how. Alex also thinks any holiday that has candy in it is a very good holiday.

January 2011 Newsletter

Even with the Holidays we got some 356 work done. BJ has been working on the extensive metal work on the Shop ’58 Cabriolet. He has repaired or replaced the floor pan including the tunnel ledges, side ledges and front bulkhead. Also the battery box floor and sides, front struts and major repair to the rear struts. At the rate he is going he should have the metal work done in a month and then start the body work. I will assist with major repairs to the doors.

Work continued on the dry fit of the Oklahoma Twin Grille Roadster. We are really glad we decided to do this in primer as the previous “restoration shop” did repairs to the left fender but did not align the holes for the side deco. We had to weld up the original holes to get the side deco aligned. If you have a slight misalignment, a trick is to modify some small machine screws to attach the deco. This will allow some up or down alignment as compared to the original fixed clips.

Then we went to attach the door top chrome pieces and of course, as with the hood seals, the holes were to big. It is very difficult to make nut clips to solve the problem so we drilled new correct size holes. The larger screw the previous shop used would have scratched the side glass. We have the side glass installed and adjusted to the windshield but have yet to adjust the glass to the top. We had the top media blasted and painted it with black two part epoxy paint. We can use it as a jig to ensure the proper fit to the windshield and side windows.

The top will be black and the interior is green leather for the seats and green vinyl for the rest of the interior. The carpet will be green and we have the original green top boot. All the interior has been ordered but we are having problems matching the grain of the vinyl to the leathers. We will go with what looks best which is probably what the factory did.

On other projects, the Shop ’54 Coupe was sold! A customer looked at it before it was finished and liked it. We told him it would be a few more months as we were spending a lot of time on the Twin Grille Roadster. He called back later and asked what would be the price as is. We did some checking on recent Pre-A sales and adjusted the price. The customer called back later and said that he would take it as is, but he wanted it delivered that day, which we did. What sold the ’54 Coupe was the silver paint.

The Texas ’60 Coupe (Goat Car) should be done at the painters in a few weeks and we will pick it up and drop off the Twin Grille Roadster.

While the Holidays slowed progress, I caught a cold. And took ten days off to ensure no complications. I hadn’t had a cold in over ten years; one advantage to working at home. The time off was good, almost like being retired. I read a lot of books but would occasionally sneak down to the shop and do some small projects.

The new 356 Talk forum at the is great. They have added some new topics such as Authenticity and Outlaw Corner. The authenticity topic so far has validated what we have learned over the years. That is, there were no solid givens to what was built and procedures, parts and hardware varied between the various coachbuilders used by Porsche.

For example, we were able to evaluate an original ’64 Coupe owned by the original owner who picked the 356 up at the factory. One thing we noticed was there was no material behind the torsion hole cover. It was used to shim the cover and prevent rattles. We had assumed all 356s had the material shim: i.e. that is was a given. But on this 356 there was no shim and the torsion hole cover was flush with the body. Did this mean some 356s had the shim and some didn’t? No, it tells us that by ’64 production at this particular coach builder, the panel fit had improved to not require a shim on this 356. Were all ’64 without the shim? No. (when we used to judge 356s we would feel behind the torsion hole cover for the material shims and take a small point off if it was missing. We were wrong; the shim is not a given.)

Another 356 owner reported his door, hood and rear deck lid did not match the chassis number. It was very doubtful all those panels could have been replaced over the years as they were hand fit to each 356. The factory just made a mistake. We have seen panel numbers crossed off and a new number stamped. We have also seen a 356 with no stamped chassis number and on the Twin Grille Roadster we are working on, no stamped doors. So, the factory was trying to make production and sales quotas, they were not concerned with authenticity.

One sign of the continuing interest in the Porsche 356 is that we are restoring 356s that in the past would have been junked. For example, the Shop ’58 Cabriolet BJ is working on. We used to say when we saw a rusted incomplete 356, it will have to be a race car. Now even 356 race cars command a premium. The Shop ’52 race car was purchased for $850 about ten years ago. It was rusty and incomplete. While we have put a lot in to it to be competitive, if we were to sell it we wouldn’t be upside down. But, man is it fun to drive a sixty year old Porsche fast.

Grandpa News
Alex enjoyed Christmas with her cousins going to the zoo and the pool. This week she also had her first snow day of the year. Yea, no school! She made snow angels and shoveled the side walk.