Last month we mentioned the Enduro at the U.S. Vintage National Championships. We had completed the hour long event but the results had not been posted prior to our departure.
Well, the Shop ‘52 Coupe with Scot Petitt driving did quite well. We finished 24th out of 59 entrants. The event combined both group 3 and group 4 cars so there were a lot of more powerful cars but we placed ahead of eight other 356s (including Vic Skirmants!) and ahead of many 911s and 914s. Lets do it again!
In past newsletters we indicated that we were not going to accept customer restorations as we wanted to restore six of our Shop 356s. Some interpreted this as retirement. No Way! We will keep restoring the Porsche 356 until it is no longer enjoyable.
Speaking of 356 restorations, a lot of time is still being spent on BJ and Jim’s project. Those of you that saw this project know how rough it was. One 356er dropped by and said he saw it when it wouldn’t even cast a shadow. We wished we had heard that earlier as it is a neat nickname. So in future newsletters, Jim and BJ’s project will be referred to as the “Shadow”.
Well, the Shadow’s fuel tank needed to be restored. While it was not dented it was covered in old paint and primer and really smelled. Two smells that gets to us are old gas and transmission fluid. We had left the Shadow’s fuel tank outside in the storage building for a year, but it stilled smelled and looking inside with a flashlight showed that there was a lot of gunk. One way to break up the gunk is to put the tank on a small cement mixer and put some chains and solvent inside. Well, we didn’t have a cement mixer and BJ said it looks like the tank would fit inside some tires. So we sealed up the bottom of the tank with a plumbing fitting, sealed the top with an old sender and gas cap. We dropped in some chains, some lacquer thinner, secured two tires to the trunk and rolled it down the driveway. It worked! Most of the heavy gunk broke loose. The rest of the cleaning was with steel wool, lacquer thinner and an arm through the fuel opening. Took work, but it is clean and it does not smell. We stripped the tank and found two holes. These were fixed with the all metal product and tested for no leaks. We left the tank in primer and we will test it again before paint and installation.
Earlier we mentioned the enjoyment of 356 restoration. BJ had the hood on Shadow fitting well which in itself was an accomplishment as the cowl, fenders and nose were all replacement panels. The next step is the hood latch assembly. This part is not provided with replacement panels but we had one. BJ attached the male latch to the hood, then attached the latch assembly with female latch to the male latch and shut the hood with the inspection panels removed, he could look inside and mark the position of the latch assembly. He removed the male and female latches and welded the latch assembly. Then he had to position the tube that the latch wire runs in. He reattached the male and female latches, ran the latch wire though the tube to the assembly and added a safety wire. Next he put tape over the female latch opening and lowered the hood to check the male latch was centered. It was. So close the hood, it closes, locks and the hood gaps are good. Will it open? Pull the latch and the hood pops up. This is the enjoyment in 356 restoration!.
The Fjord Green Shop ‘58 Cabriolet sold and is on its way to New Zealand. If you remember , we had the 356 almost assembled when we discovered the transmission issue. We took the Cabriolet to the mechanics and it required a rebuild and it was there for quite awhile. When we brought it back we held off on the final assembly as we were deep into the Shadow restoration and the Magnuson’s ‘59 Sunroof reassembly.
Prior to the Santa Fe event we had a visitor from New Zealand who was also going to the Santa Fe Holiday. We gave him the tour and he asked if he could take pictures of the Shop’58 Cabriolet. He did and sent them to a friend in New Zealand. The friend was interested so we worked up a spec sheet and price. Price was interesting as we have seen Cabriolets priced all over the place. We picked a price we were comfortable with knowing there were some issues and final assemble required. The customer countered with a little lower price which was still acceptable and we accepted. With in two weeks, funds were transferred and the 356 was picked up for its trip to New Zealand. There was a mad scramble to complete the final assembly which was primarily electrical checkout. BJ did this in the garage as we don’t allow 356s in the shop if they have gas in the tank. This was during the recent cold spell and rolling around on the cement floor is not fun. A public Thank You to BJ. The Magnuson’s ‘59 Sunroof is still at the mechanics for final checkout , so we started on the assembly of “Viney”. This is the Shop ‘64 Coupe in Signal Red that we found here in Denver. It had been stored outside for so long , it was covered in vines. There were even vines in the fan shroud. Reassembly of “Viney” is going well it just takes time.
Both Alex and Sammy had Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma and Grandpa’s house They are good sisters. Sammy is not sure about the Christmas tree in the living room but Alex is showing her the ropes as far as Advent calendars and gifts go.