December 2013 Newsletter

Enduro Update
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.

Grandpa News
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.

November 2013 Newsletter

Road Trip!
We made it to Austin Texas for the Inaugural U.S Vintage Racing National Championships and had a blast. The event was held at the Circuit of America’s Formula 1 track. But first, how this all went together.

Scot Petitt heard of the Inaugural National Championship and let us know. The problem was only 550 vintage racers would be accepted (830 applied) and our Shop ’52 race car was broken. Scot, Bill Frey and I decided to go for it. We applied and were accepted. Now to fix the race car. When last raced, a spark plug blew and damaged the head. So we would have to disassemble the engine, inspect all parts and find new heads. We had some 912 heads in decent shape in our 356Restore parts stash and Bill sent them to Competitive Engineering for machining. Bill also checked with Vic Skirmants and Greg Johnson on the best engine race parts and vendors. The split shaft carburetors were sent to Carburetor Rescue to be converted to solid shaft and rebuilt. A race cam was provided by Elgin Cams. Martin Willis machined the venturis and velocity stacks. The valve rockers were resurfaced. Every part in the race engine would be the best available.

While Bill was rebuilding the engine, the transmission was removed and taken to Trevor for a rebuild. The 6 bolt differential was replaced with a 12 bolt, all parts inspected and replaced as necessary, solid axle boots installed. New Hoosier racing tires were purchased, mounted and balanced.
Engine assembly took time and we finally installed it on Sunday the day before we were to leave for Austin. We added break in oil; seven quarts with the remote oil cooler and added 110 octane racing fuel. Time to start the engine. No go! Nothing! No voltage at the coil and distributor issues. We decided to load the 356 on the trailer and head to Austin. Scot would borrow a coil and we would debug the engine at the track.

Bill and I drove the 356 on the trailer to Austin. No problems; we arrived Tuesday night. On the way to the Circuit of Americas we gassed up the truck-$2.95 a gallon. First time in years we paid under $3 a gallon.

Bill had contacted Vic Skirmants at the track so we knew where they were parked. Vic brought five 356s and had drivers from Australia. We parked close to Vic and Paul Swanson who also races a 356. Paul also holds the land speed record for a 1300cc 356 at Bonneville-148 mph.

So we unloaded the ‘52 race car and started to find the electrical issues. We used the coil and distributor that Scot borrowed from his Dad’s 356. No go! Then we started tracing all the electrical connections. We thought it might be the starter, so we removed it and testing made us suspicious. We borrowed a starter from Vic but still had issues. Scot had flown to Austin and jumped right in to help and after a few hours he found the problem It was the positive cable connection to the battery! While it looked good, removing the clamp showed dirty wires and connections. We had not inspected the cable in over ten years. With it cleaned, we attempted to start the 356. It turned over once, twice and then started right up. Bill had a huge smile.

We let it run and Bill worked with the distributor. It was near the end of the day so we drove it to Tech and got our tech sticker with no problems. Our 356 is pretty light and we had brought extra weight if needed. But we were not weighed at Tech; they only weigh the top five finishers. So we were ready for our first practice session on Thursday. At the drivers meeting Wednesday evening it was clear this would be a disciplined event. Even though it was a National Championship, the vintage rules would be enforced. With thirty four cameras around the track no one would get away with aggressive driving. Scot went out for practice Thursday morning. Fifty five cars in his race group including twelve 356s. It was great to see them take the start and race up the hill to turn one. Practice was uneventful and we met Scot back at the pits. He had a big smile. He said it was the best 356 he had ever raced. Bill had kept Scot to 6000 rpms and Scot finished thirty fourth. Prior to the second practice session, Vic Skirmants dropped by and asked if he could be of help. Bill was having trouble seeing the timing marks on the distributor. So Vic helped set the advance, then balanced the carbs and adjusted the linkage for full throttle. The engine sounded great and when Scot went out for the second practice session he took 20 seconds off his time and finished twenty ninth, not bad for a new engine and new racetrack.

It was time to drain out the break in oil and add the race oil in preparation for Friday’s qualifying runs. Our first session on Friday was at 0800. Scot was aware that the sun would be an issue and it was, but Scot qualified well as all the cars in the group were improving.

During qualifying, Scot saw a silver 356 rear deck lid on the track off line. He thought it might be ours. The next time around he saw it was a twin grille so not his. And the next time around it was completely flattened. Some 356ers had some work to do. The second qualifying session also went well and Scot was still mid pack. Bill let him go up to 6500 rpms.

Saturday would be the Enduro and feature race both in the afternoon. We had rented a golf cart and spent the morning checking out the race track and all the race cars which were in different paddocks. In addition to the 356s there were forty one other Porsches including a Pooper, A 908 and an RSR. Other race cars of interest were a 1939 Lagonda V12, a 1925 Bugotti, a 1974 UPO Shadow DN4, a 1986 Ralt RT4, and a 1968 GT-40. For the Enduro which was an hour race with a mandatory five minute pit we thought we might run out of fuel. The ‘52 has an eight gallon fuel safe tank. So we filled it up and planned for more fuel. The Enduro started and was half over when there was a red flag. All cars stopped on the track. It was a twenty minute delay. When restarted we waved Scot in for fuel. He missed the signal and the next . When he came in we refueled just as the race ended. We don’t know our position as the results were delayed due to the red flag. Scot apologized for missing the wave ins, he said he was having too much fun. Our final race, the feature race was also delayed. Scot got a good start and was moving up, then he didn’t come around. The race ended and the 356 came into the pits on a rope tow. The car just lost power and Scot pulled off into a safe area. We think it was electrical but didn’t have the time to check it out as we had to load up and head back home the next day. The trip back was also uneventful but we don’t have much good to say about Texas roads. Many 70 mph sections were two lane without shoulders. The roads were bumpy and repaired by just putting asphalt over the tire areas. As we said at the beginning a blast of a trip. The three of us worked well together. There was tension and there was success. Our thanks to Bill for preparing a great race engine. He says he can continue to improve it. Scot thinks we can really terrorize the other small bore cars in RMVR. Stay tuned!

On another race note, we may have mentioned that the mechanics at Eurosport had been busy preparing a 356 for the Carrera Pan America race. An attractive young lady bought the 356 and wanted to learn how to race it. We advised her of the racing coaches in the area. She took some lessons and the guys at Eurosport race prepped her 356. It needed a lot of work. The 356 was ready after a lot of midnight oil and she ran the race and finished first in class! She wants to do it again and Eurosport is already thinking of a five speed and better brakes.

With the races over, Eurosport was able to get back on our projects. The Magnuson’s ‘59 Sunroof Coupe engine checked out on the test stand and we delivered the 356 for engine installation. To take its place in the shop We brought down Viney, the Shop ‘64 Coupe. This was the local 356 we bought that had been stored so long it was covered in vines. We had Viney painted awhile back and it was waiting reassembly. This past year was different, usually we have three or four 356 in restoration. This year it was two. The Magnuson’s 356 which took time to replace undamaged panels and Jim and BJ’s project which just took time,time and more time.
We are assembling the parts to dry fit on Jim and BJ’s project. This is creating subassemblies. We take the steering shaft, steering coupler, steering column, turn signal assembly and steering wheel, clean and paint and make a sub assembly. The same for the backing plates, wheel cylinders, brake lines and brake drums. This makes dry fit a lot faster. One part that will take time is the fuel tank. If you saw the project when we started, you can imagine its condition. But it is correctly dated and important to the restoration.

Grandpa (and Dad) News
Congratulations to BJ for setting a personal best time in the recent New York City Marathon. He ran this race with over fifty thousand of his closest friends. Alex has taking to the playground game of four square as a serious undertaking. She is one of the “experts” on the playground. Samantha celebrated her third birthday on Tues Nov. 12. Lots of dolls and toys.

October 2013 Newsletter

newheaderWest Coast Holiday
Santa Fe, New Mexico
What an event! The biggest ever! Two hundred and fifty two (252) 356s. Maybe more with late registration and visitors in 356s. Five hundred and thirty (530) registrants. The headquarters hotel was right on the Santa Fe Plaza and the other hotels were just a few blocks away.
We had planned to trailer the Black ‘63 Sunroof Coupe because we needed to take the truck with swap meet parts. We ended up just taking the truck due to time constraints.
It was an easy six hour drive to Santa Fe and we registered , did some shopping (granddaughters come first), a nice meal and early to bed as we had a trip to Albuquerque for the Balloon Festival the next morning. This was the Forty Second International Balloon Festival. It was huge! We got there before sun up and there were plenty of vendors with coffee, hot chocolate and our favorite warm mini doughnuts. Thousands of people and you can walk around at least a hundred balloons as they would unload their baskets, lay out the balloon and fill them. The morning we were there is was what they call the shapes i.e. frog, clowns, astronaut etc. A great event for children and there were plenty of them having a great time. As the sun came up there were a hundred balloons filled and ready to fly. They didn’t fly that day but flew the next day which we watched from our TV in our warm hotel room. This is a fantastic week long event and we plan to return with Alex and Samantha.
Back to 356 stuff. That afternoon I participated in a forum on 356 restoration and values. It was mostly on values which made me uncomfortable. There was talk of $100,000 to $200,000 restorations and putting your 356 in to a trust. I spoke up and said we did not consider a 356 to be an “asset” and having worked on over one hundred and twenty 356s a $100,000 restoration was ridiculous (I did not say that, but hope it was implied). The next day was drive out tours and an autocross. Many 356 left to see the beauty of New Mexico. Barb and I did more shopping (actually it is fun in Santa Fe). Plus, we could consider how to decorate our new home. We are waiting on the engineering plans for the remodel and then will start construction. But according to Barb it is not to early to think about decorating. The big day of course is Saturday. The concours is around the Santa Fe Plaza. The Holiday organizers had this well planned. Groups of 356s i.e. all A models, all Outlaws, all Roadsters, all B’s, all C’s would leave at staged times to enter the Plaza area and park in assigned areas. The Plaza streets were closed to other vehicles. It went very well and by 0930 there were over two hundred and fifty 356s on display. Time to vote for our favorites. We have a trick for doing this. With over sixty C model 356s to judge you could go crazy taking notes and trying to remember. So, we look at the lower horn grille. If it has small rivets, it is an original piece; larger rivets a reproduction. If small rivets , we next look at the headlight screws if slotted we will consider the 356; if Phillips and even with small rivets we won’t consider. We use different tricks for other models and were able to judge over two hundred 356s in a few hours. Of course, our selections hardly ever match the winners.
Some of our observations. Since we are restoring a Speedster, we took time to look at the rubber trim on the chrome cowl piece. With over twenty of this model to look at we could not determine a consensus. Some were short, some were long, some were notched and many had black caulk to fill the gap.
There were a lot fewer Cabriolets in attendance. Over sixty C model 356s, only eight were Cabriolets. There were also quite a few 356s with nerf bars, we thought that was passé. There were also quite a few non stock wheels. Saturday evening was the reception and awards banquet. The food and service were excellent. The awards went quickly with pictures of the winners on a large screen. A few of our picks received awards. Then we had an excellent presentation by a participant in the recent Peking to Paris race/rally. They drove a Porsche 911 and had a real adventure. They had some issues but finished the race. Other Porsches entered also finished.
One of the goody bag gifts were posters provided by Porsche depicting their historic wins in LeMans with a caption “ Mission 2014. Our Return”. Yes, Porsche is developing a car to return to LeMans level racing and our favorite Formula 1 driver Mark Weber is leaving Formula 1 to drive for Porsche.
The final event of a Holiday is the swap meet. We always do well at swap meets, usually selling enough parts to cover the Holiday expenses and make a small profit.
Our approach is to present clean parts with a description and a price. We only sell parts we have duplicates. Other vendors bring old dirty parts without prices. You have to haggle. We have a table that extends off the rear of the truck. One early buyer took a video of all the parts, emailed the video to a friend in Europe and got a text message back with an order! We have to admit we did raise our prices on parts but they sold quickly with no haggling. Once again, we covered our Holiday expenses and made a small profit.

We got the boot installed on the Shop ‘58 Cabriolet and it will be for sale shortly. We got the Magnuson’s engine to the mechanic for evaluation. BJ continues on the Jim and BJ project which should go to the painter shortly.

Grandpa News
“Happy Birthday to you” is now “Happy Birthday you you”

September 2013 Newsletter


Porsches and Rubbers

Yes, we like a ribald story as well as anyone but this isn’t one. Barb and I were driving the ’63 Sunroof Coupe recently and got caught in a heavy rainstorm. The wipers worked, but on full speed the driver side wiper started to separate but still worked. The rain got heavier and the wiper blade flew off. We had to shut off the wipers so we wouldn’t scratch the windshield ($500.00). Now, its hard to see and water is coming in under the dash and on our feet. We made it home safely. The water coming in was under the rubber wiper posts. How old were they? Twenty seven years old, that’s when we restored this 356. Time to replace them. The wiper blades were at least ten years old.

The Magnuson’s ’59 Sunroof Coupe has Michelien XZX tires, We know this is a period correct tire but old, we checked the date code. They were manufactured in the twenty seventh week of 1994! Almost twenty years old! Tires are unsafe after nine years. They may look good but are dangerous. We have heard horror stories of 356 damage and injuries. On your tire, usually on the back side is the marking DOT and some characters and numbers.
Prior to 2000 it looks like
The last three are xx week of manufacture and x the year. The Magnuson’s code was DOT FHTB DA4M 274. From 2000 on the code is DOT XXXX XXX XXXX where the last four are XX week and XX year. The other characters are for the manufactures use. Check your tires before heading to Santa Fe!


The Magnuson’s ‘59 Sunroof Coupe is waiting for the engine to be delivered. It has been detailed and will be checked out in a test stand in Wyoming. If it checks out, we will install it and take it to the mechanic for mechanical check out and tune. While waiting, we turned our attention to the Shop ‘58 Cabriolet. As you may recall, we were just about done with the restoration when we noticed shifting problems. It was off to the mechanics and required a transmission rebuild. It was gone for quite a while. When we got back to it we couldn’t remember where we left off. It had a new tan top which looks great on the Fjord Green body but still needed the rubber seals that go around the side window opening.

On Cabriolets, this rubber seal is grey. On Convertibles and Roadsters these seals are black. We did not like the look of grey with tan and Fjord Green. So we went with black seals. A future owner can change them out. Installation of the seals is time consuming. Each of the three seals on each on each side slides into an aluminum channel. If you have the original channels, no problem. Just buy a new set and cut and drill the holes for the screws per the original. If you don’t have the original, which we didn’t, you have to estimate the channel length based on the screw holes in the top frame and windshield A pillar. In our case many of the screw holes had snapped off screws in them. New holes had to be drilled and the aluminum channel has to be correctly oriented i.e. at an angle to meet the side glass. An interesting project but we got it done.

Then we noticed we had yet to install the rear most engine cover plate. The one that includes the carburetor preheat air ducts. This cover plate is hard to find and expensive. We had one that we had repaired but it took some work to fit as it has to match the screw holes in the other cover plates. We had to order new rubber engine seals as those in our stash were old and inflexible. See previous comments on old rubber. Trimming rubber pieces to fit requires a sharp knife. We use a utility knife and about six blades doing both the rubber side window seals and engine seals. Our only serious injury in over twenty five years restoring the Porsche 356 was due to a dull knife blade cutting rubber. Utility knife blades are cheap; they come in a package of one hundred.

We are going to change the name of Jim’s Project to Jim and BJ’s Project. BJ is spending a lot of time getting the 356 body to be correct. With every panel on this 356 being replaced or repaired it takes a lot of work to make the body correct.
We still have plenty of future projects i.e. assembly of the Shop ‘64 Coupe and metal work on the ‘61 Coupe plus the dry fit on Jim and BJ’s project. Bill Frey will be assembling the engine for the Shop ‘52 Coupe race car which we will take to Austin, Texas to compete in the U.S. Vintage Racing National Championship. Bill has had the heads done by Competion Engineering, the throttle bodies and velocity stacks machined by Martin Willis and had the engine interior pieces coated with a thermal barrier ceramic coating. With Porsche 356s having been raced for over sixty years, there is a lot of knowledge on how to keep a 356 competitive.

We don’t have the race details yet but in addition to our group race, there will be an enduro combing four other race groups. This could be two hundred vintage race cars on the track!

Other News

The web site has bee updated and now allows social media contacts and smart phone interfaces. We will continue to update the website and can now report on usage statistics.

Very sad news is the passing of Jerry Schouten due to a racing accident in his Porsche 911 at a PCA race. Jerry also had a ‘58 Porsche 356 A Coupe and had recently let us study its interior for a project we were researching.

Grandpa News

Samantha has become known as Sammy and her picture is included with this newsletter. She waves at me, blows kisses and gives me hugs.

August 2013 Newsletter

newheaderGrandpa News
Samantha is here! BJ, Jen and Alex brought her home from China August 10th. She is a darling, intelligent two and a half year old. She has a cute laugh and is adapting well. One issue we did not know is she had never seen a man. BJ is taking it slow. She allowed him to give her a bath and he is already teaching her how to swim. Alex gave Grandpa and Grandma a trip report. It was hot and dirty in China and it made her appreciate Colorado more. She took plenty of pictures with her IPod. She went to Wal-Mart in China and took pictures of the American products i.e. Pepsi, Hershey’s, etc with Chinese labels.

The Move
After five months, we finally closed on the property next door. It took so long as the mortgage had been bundled into a equity sold by Wall Street to an investment firm that may have gone out of business. While we were waiting , we contacted the contractor that had done some excellent work on our present home and he recommended an architect. Barb has been working with the architect on what will be our single level living space. Jim gets to plan the 2700 square foot unfinished basement. It has a patio door to move in 356s for disassembly and assembly. The goal is to have no noise or smells under the living space. The shop will be in the three car garage which will be sound proofed. It has a sixteen foot ceiling so we can have a lift. No ramp to the basement, just stairs. We will add a two car garage which will connect to the living area. We will also invest in a rotary screw compressor which is rated at 60 db, so it should be quiet.

While the 2700 square feet sounds like a lot, at the present we have a 1200 square foot storage building plus the basement shop at 1700 square feet. Plus we have to add a bathroom to the basement plus a washer and dryer. (Remember, while we no longer do lead work in the shop. We do remove lead from the 356 when doing restorations. With two granddaughters now, shop clothes are washed in the shop and shoes stay in the shop. No lead residue will be tracked home to Alex and Sam.)

There are also utilities in the basement so it will be tight to get 356s and parts arranged in the new shop area. Both Barb and I like this kind of work and it is fun. Progress in the shop will be slowed as Jim will be spending half days on the new shop and improving the landscape at the new house. Then half days on 356 restorations.

We expect the engine for the Magnuson’s ‘59 Sunroof Coupe to be delivered and we will install it and take it to the mechanics for checkout. This will be the last customer 356 for a while, as noted above we will be busy with the move. We did have one final electrical issue on the Magnuson’s ‘59 Sunroof Coupe. It appears the wiring harness may have been from a later 356 as there were many extra wires. They might have been for an option that had been ordered. Anyhow , we had to call Joe Leoni back to help us sort out the issues. Before BJ left for China he got the underside, front compartment, interior and rear compartment of Jim’s project painted and caulked. We use a two part epoxy paint. After Jim’s project is painted White the original color, we will go back and lightly undercoat the underneath, then spray with Satin Black to cover overspray and seal the undercoat.
When we previously worked on 356 Speedsters we were able to collect samples of the original undercoat. Yes, they did have undercoat but not much if any, body insulation. The undercoat was a very light coat compared to other models. We made spray patterns and are able to duplicate the original undercoat.

Other progress has been made on the Shop ‘52 Race Car. Bill Frey has been working with Competition Engineering and Elgin cams to get the correct specs and engineering for the rebuild of the race engine. We blew out a spark plug last year and the head was damaged. Fortunately, we had some spare 912 heads and that’s what Bill had Competition Engineering rework. Bill also found some minor issues upon teardown which will be corrected. Competitive racers will teardown and rebuild 356 race engines after every race. Jim pulled the transmission from the race car so Trevor can check it out. The race track at the Circuit of America in Austin is 3.41 miles long. There is a long back straight (Formula 1 cars hit 196 mph) and we are not geared for it so we will have to take it easy. We will have check in and tech inspection on Wednesday, October 23rd. On Thursday we have two practice sessions there are ten other race groups. Friday we have two qualifying sessions. Saturday is a one hour Enduro with the other groups; so there should be over a hundred vintage race cars racing together. We finish with a feature race for the National Championship for our race group.

October will be a busy month. We start with the RMVR Enduro on October 5th and 6th at High Plaines Raceway where we plan to test the Shop ‘52 Race Car. Then it is off to Santa Fe for the West Coast Holiday October 9th-13th. There are over 250 356s already registered so the Concours in and around the Plaza on Saturday, October 12th will be huge. Worth a drive down just to see all the 356s. We will probably flat tow our ‘63 Black Sunroof Coupe as we want to take parts for the swap meet. Our technical presentation may be a panel discussion so we may not need to take parts for an individual presentation. After Santa Fe we load up the Shop ‘52 Race Car and head to Austin, Texas.

July 2013 Newsletter

newheaderGrandpa News

Well it is official! Alex leaves next week to meet and bring back her sister Samantha from China. BJ and Jen will be accompanying her . The trip includes a three day holiday in Beijing, so Alex can experience her birthplace and bring back a trip report for Grandpa and Grandma. And of course her sister, our new grandchild.

356Restore Move
The home purchase next door which will be perfect for us in our latter years is on hold. We have been under contract since late February but the property was part of a mortgage investment package sold by Wall Street which was foreclosed on by Bank of America acting for Deutch Bank which got the property from an investment firm. All that is needed is a Power of Attorney from whoever owns that piece of the investment. We will sit on our contract until it is resolved. Meanwhile Jim has planned the new shop for 356Restore and Barb and the architects are coming up with a single level floor plan that will make for a comfortable latter life.

Well, the electric problems on the Magnuson’s ’59 Sunroof Coupe were resolved with the help of Joe Leoni. The issue with the wiring harness was corrected by checking the Shop ’58 Cabriolet and finding that the harness was twisted. Fortunately, we only had to remove the wiring at the top of the fuse block. With the wires removed, the harness was repositioned, wires connected and good to go.

But go it would not and we had to call in Joe. We could not get the brake lights to work. Since, all the 356 lights go through the headlight and turn signal switches we had to trace each wire and its connections. But all were good! There are six connections between the turn signal switches and harness. Each is color coded. But the turn signal switch vendor doesn’t quite match the harness vendor colors. But after checking and rechecking the colors matched. Joe found the problem; we never would have found it. The turn signal switch looked good to us but Joe could tell by the solder connection it had been repaired and two wires had been misconnected! While the harness and turn signal switch wires were properly connected, two circuits were reversed. With this corrected, all the 356 lights worked. We would never have found this without Joe’s help. Oh the joy of working on fifty year old cars.

Another joy was installing the shift lever in the ’59 Sunroof Coupe. This is difficult on the early 356s as you have to install a pin to connect the shift lever to the shift rod in the tunnel. Our technique is to use some wire to hold the shift rod up to the top of the tunnel. Then with the shift lever inserted thru the base, we attempted to insert the pin thru the shift rod and the shift lever. There is not enough room to insert the pin from above so we lay on our stomach and with the pin secured in a long hemostat we install the pin from inside the tunnel. It took many tries but after about fifteen minutes we got the pin in . We sat up and the shift lever was in backwards! Pointing forward not backward. Oh, the joy of working on fifty year old cars.

So most of the 356 restoration this month was Jim putting parts on the ’59 Sunroof coupe and BJ doing body work on Jim’s project. When we turned over Jim’s project to BJ, the replacement panels were in place but all the gaps needed work. It now looks good and a tremendous improvement over what we started with. Hopefully, this 356 will be ready for the painter shortly. But first we have to dry fit every part on the 356. One major part is the bench seat . While the factory did not keep records on the number of this or other options installed, a good guess would be only around two hundred bench seats and most on early 356s. It is easy to guess that someone used to a bench seat in his 1952 American coupe might want one in his first “furrin” car.

So the Shop ’58 Cabriolet sits waiting for final assembly and test drive. The Shop’ 64 Coupe awaits assembly and the other two Shop 356s await restoration. We did take some time to have the shop trailer blasted and then we primed and painted it to match the colors of the Shop ’52 Coupe race car. The trailer is now silver with red fenders that match the race car silver paint with red numbers. We will replace the fourteen foot 2 x 8 foot planks for the floor which was rotted due to being stored outside.

While the trailer has needed work for years we were motivated by the acceptance of our ’52 Coupe in the U.S. Vintage Racing National Championship Races to be held October 24-27 at the new Circuit of Americas (COTA) in Austin Texas. Bill Frey is rebuilding the race engine and Scot Petitt will drive. Scot is faster than Jim or Bill and we want to be competitive. There are over 550 vintage race cars entered.

Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing (RMVR) will have its race benefiting the Morgan Adams Foundation “Race Against Kid’s Cancer” July 27th and 28th at the High Plaines Raceway. Please plan to attend. $5 at the door is suggested and RMVR has raised a lot of money for this worth while charity. We will be there but BJ will be in China!

West Coast Holiday
It looks like a great turnout of 356s for the West Coast Holiday in Santa Fe, October 9-13. There are 550 folks registered for the Saturday night awards banquet so we expect close to 200 356s for the event.

June 2013 Newsletter



We picked up the ’58 Shop Cabriolet from the mechanics. They said while there it had a lot of positive comments from customers. We agree, the Fjord Green with the tan interior which was original to the 356 is a very nice combination. The ’58 Cabriolet went to the mechanics for linkage adjustments. That’s when we found problems with the transmissions and it required a rebuild.

This 356 was purchased years ago in a state that only required registration and did not provide titles. In order to sell this Shop 356 we had to get a title. We have done this in the past and it is a hassle (which it should be). There are companies that provide this service as many collector vehicles i.e. barn finds come with out titles. The cost to get a new title is expensive. The company has to search all state DMVs for a VIN check. We know that most if not all states do not keep records for fifty years but the company has to do it to protect themselves. Then there is additional data, pictures, forms and procedures to be followed. It is a lengthy process and can take six to ten months. Title cost for the ’58 Cabriolet was $1400.

Jim continues with the reassembly of the Magnunson’s ’59 Sunroof Coupe which is going well, just takes more time when everything has been removed. We may have to redo the wiring harness. As when we installed it we didn’t have any 356A’s in the shop to compare. Now that we have the ’58 Cabriolet back we can see we have to redo the fuse box area.

BJ is doing some excellent work on Jim’s Project. When it was handed over to BJ it was a 356 with all the interior and exterior panels attached but not exact. He has the eye for the correct 356 bodylines and Jim’s project is looking good and will be ready for paint soon. Before paint we will dry fit everything and we expect the bench seat back from the upholsterers this month so we can include this rare option in the dry fit.

Charity Concours

We always look forward to the Colorado Concours d’Elegance & Exotic Sports Car Show held in June at Arapahoe Community College. This year it was the thirtieth annual event and Porsche was the featured marque. We don’t have the numbers yet but it was huge in the number of cars and spectators. We decided to take our ’63 Sunroof Coupe. We had it stored for the last two years so we had some concerns if it would start. With a charged Optima battery, some fresh gas and priming the carbs it started right up. We always crank the engine until the oil pressure light goes out to ensure good oil pressure, then you can work the gas pedal. As soon as it started, a mouse nest blew out the muffler. Fortunately no mouse. But when we took it for a drive we discovered we had left the heater vents by the floor open. That’s where the mouse had his warehouse and all the seeds and stuff blew out the windshield defroster vents. We just drove until it stopped coming out into our face.
After driving the 356 we had to get in the truck to run an errand. The 356 is fun, the truck is a road appliance (John Jenkins comment years ago). One project we had put off for quite awhile was having the Shop flat bed trailer blasted. We use this trailer on almost weekly basis to move 356s to the painters, blaster, mechanic or upholstery. We finally have a time when no 356s have to moved. The floor of the trailer is 2x12s and since the trailer is stored outside they were shot. In fact we had a wheel drop thru the rot which we covered with plywood. We removed the boards and the trailer will be off to Blast Tech for blasting. Then we will paint it silver to match the Shop ’52 356 racecar. We don’t want to pull in to Austin for the National Vintage races in a ratty trailer.

Tech Tip

We use many products on almost a daily basis.
-3M General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner 08984 is an outstanding cleaner of 356 rubber and grease/oil on paint. Available at NAPA.
-Aerokroil is used to loosen those fifty year old rusted 356 fasteners. Better than WD-40(not a penetrating solvent) and Liquid Wrench. Available at
-303 Aerospace Protectant is used to protect rubber after it is cleaned, not oily like Armour All. You must wipe it dry after applying. Available at
-Novus 1 and 2 plastic cleaner and restorer is used on open 356 rear windows. Available at
Note; before lowering your Open 356 top, cover it with a cloth towel to protect against scratches and never wash the top with soapy water. It yellows the plastic.
-Rust Treatment by Permatex We use this to convert rust to a black coating. Very effective on lightly pitted metal. It needs the rust to make it work. Used on Barb’s Twin Grille Roadster over twenty years ago and still effective. Used to be called Extend and available at NAPA.
At the Concours, we saw quite a few beautiful 356s with small rust bubbles. Since these 356 are not driven in the rain we concluded they are not being properly dried after washing. We are guilty of the same as we see small bubbles on the door on the Shop ’63 Black Sunroof Coupe. The rust can be removed at the next paint job but until then we will use Rust Treatment to stop the growth. A rust bubble the size of a pencil eraser is actually the size of a quarter when the paint is removed.

Grandpa News

Alex was one of 55 kids to get all straight A’s out of the 600 children during the fourth quarter of school. She also received a good citizenship award. So BJ and her went on a long weekend in CA to celebrate.

May 2013 Newsleter


Porsche 356 Restoration

This subject is hot. In twenty five years we have not seen the huge interest in restoring 356s that we see now. If you follow 356Talk on the 356 Registry web site there are lots of 356 restoration projects being discussed. Of course, much of the interest is due to the increases value of these great little cars. We owners know of the excellent design and engineering and the pleasure in driving a car that is responsive. Once again this month we have turned away folks wanting us to restore or finish the restoration of their 356 project. Surprisingly, three of these have been Colorado 356s. We thought we knew about Colorado 356 activity but there are still projects that have been in Colorado for twenty, thirty, forty years. A recent call was about a ’64 SC Cabriolet, the owner was eighty and the project had been sitting for years. We are pleased that our 356 Restoration book is being used by those with skills for restoration but there are many without the skills and we wish we could help them. You should see the shop, parts from five 356s spread all over. We need to finish our own projects before taking on customer work.


Well, we still have one customer 356 to finish. That is the Magnuson’s ’59 Sunroof Coupe. There was a delay at the painters as his supplier could not match the Ruby Red sample we provided. After three attempts and a switch to a new supplier we got a match. The ’59 is now in the shop and being assembled.
Prior to arrival of the ’59, we worked on Casper the Shop ’61 Coupe. This was the 356 fixed with screen wire, insulating foam and Bondo. Most of the damage was in the front and it would need a new front clip, front battery box bulkheads and battery box floor plus other front repairs. This is fun because we can cut off all the damaged front pieces and work from the inside out. It is so much easier and pleasurable to install a battery box floor when there is no front sheet metal in the way.. So with the battery box floor in , we could install the lower front bulkhead. This just took a little trimming. All replacement panels require trimming, they are not drop in pieces. The 356 was “Made by Hand” and they are all slightly different. Next was the upper bulkhead. Then the hood is installed to position the front clip. For this project, we bought two half clips. You use some bar stock attached to the front bumper brackets to assist in positioning the clips. You overlap the clip to the fender, tack in place, then mark the original factory seam and use the plasma cutter to cut thru both pieces. You remove the excess metal, make the panels flush and weld. Since we had two half clips , we had to make the halves meet in the middle. A tie down strap between the horn grille openings, a little tightening and “voila” a perfect match and weld.

Tech Tip

Cal Ensor found this one in his 356 reading. Put a small magnet in the cup of your fuel petcock to catch metal particles before they go through the filters and clog your carb jets. Anyone heard of this? Anyone tried it? We check our fuel petcock for material often. Right? Easier for 356s through T-5 where the petcock is under the dash, harder on T-6s where it is under the car.

Back to Progress

The Magnuson’s ’59 had been completely disassembled. We mean completely, but parts carefully labeled. The first thing to do when back from the painters is to clean and paint the front compartment, interior and engine compartment. There will be overspray in these areas and any bare metal will have surface rust due to the wet sanding. We use Rust Treatment on these areas (available at NAPA). Don’t forget to blow out the tunnel before painting all compartments Satin Black. The next step on the ’59 was to install the wiring harness. The original had been removed and was damaged at the rear where the wires had shorted together. It is a lot easier to install a new reproduction wiring harness which is clean and supple but they cost around $1200. We have plenty of original wire pieces and decided to do a repair. Then you have to feed the wiring harness through the tunnel and through the fuse box cavity under the dash. Lots of fun! We got it in, but without Joe Leoni’s great 356 electrical schematics it would have taken a lot longer. Next was the sunroof which had been completely disassembled. We first checked the shop manuals and parts book but no picture of the manual sunroof assembly. Then we remembered we had done a sunroof project as part of our 356 Restoration book. But, again, no pictures. So, trial and error and we hate to admit, over three hours to assemble the manual sunroof. The way it is assembled is not obvious, a pin that secures a lever is almost touching the panel surface. Something you think isn’t correct but it is well designed not to touch when assembled.

U.S Vintage Racing National Championship

Our 1952 356 race car has been accepted to participate in the National Championship to be held October 24-27 at the Circuit of Americas in Austin, Texas. Over 550 vintage racers have been pre-registered. More, when we get details later this month.

Grandpa News

Alex received straight A’s this last quarter. She got 38 A’s out of 38 in 16 subjects. Now she is ready for summer vacation. Alex is signed up to learn how to Scuba dive and then a trip to Minnesota to visit her Grandparents. But the Big Trip will be to China some time in late July to pick up her little sister Samantha.

April 2013 Newsletter

newheader356Restore is Moving!!
Well not right away but probably in a year. We will move next door to 8310 N. Sunburst Trail. Looking forward to our senior years Barb and I decided that living in a large four level (plus basement shop) home might not work in the future. When the one level home with the unfinished basement next door came on the market we offered and are under contract.

Barb and I both love renovation projects and our new home will be a blank slate. Barb has already designed the main level area and I have designed the new shop and basement. The shop will not be under the living area as it is now but in a three car garage. We will add a two car garage with direct access to the living area. Both Barb and I are looking forward to planning and accomplishments.

Jim’s project is off the frame dolly and on its wheels (for the first time in forty plus years). It was on its’ wheels for the twenty foot move within the shop to BJ’s area where we can finish the metal work underneath (difficult to do on a frame dolly) and do the body work. After seven months of recreating a 356 we have the seams good and the body straight. We are doing this project because it tested our skills and we wanted to save a valuable model 356.

With most of the exterior panels now available from vendors a shop in California is making kits to turn rusty Coupes into Speedsters. We saw this coming and put it in the class of kit cars. We won’t go into the repercussions of the activity but you could guess what it could mean.

When we moved Jim’s project, we moved the Shop ’61 Coupe called Casper and Jim will finish the metal work on this project. This also created space for the Magnuson’s ’59 Sunroof Coupe which has been painted and needs reassembly. The Signal Red Shop ’64 Coupe also needs reassembly but the Magnuson’s ’59 comes first. We also have the Shop ’63 Coupe to start the metal work and the ’58 Cabriolet and Shop ’64 Coupe to road test and sell. With the move and projects it will be a fun year.

We had some visitors after the annual Literature and Swap meet in California. A father and son from Denmark dropped by to check out the shop and buy some parts. The young man had some detailed 356 knowledge and this encourages us that the younger generation will appreciate the 356. But of course it was a family thing, as much of the 356 ownership is, because many 356s are passed down. Another drop by was Mike from Restoration Design in Toronto. He was driving his multicar trailer back from L.A. where he had displayed the 356 panels he reproduces. He is now making A hoods and can even make them out of aluminum (might be neat for the Shop ’52 race car). Both these visits and the attendance at the L.A. 356 events indicates that 356 restoration is hot.

We continue to get calls. A recent one was from a local 356 owner with a ’53 Cabriolet stored for over forty years (sounds familiar?). He was finally getting around to restoration. We told him about Pre-A valuations and costs and he was knowledgeable in this area. We also told him we couldn’t get to his project for a few years. We really like Pre-A projects and we were disappointed we had to put him off. We passed the contact to Tom Scott who knows and appreciates the Pre-A and hopefully this 356 will get back on the road.

Working on the Shop projects we always need good working front hood hinges to correctly set the hood during body work. Most of our inventory was damaged and not working correctly. This is normal for a part used often for fifty years. We learned how to restore 356 hood hinges and document this in our 356 Restoration book. It is not that difficult and does not involve welding new metal or using the grinder. We restored five sets of front hood hinges and will have them available for future projects. While we were sorting through this inventory we decided to count the number of rear lid hinges we have. We have twenty eight rear lid hinges! Why? Well, rear lid hinges and rear lids seldom get damaged. If a 356 gets hit in the rear the rear lid usually flips up and is undamaged as are the hinges. We also have a dozen rear lids and have only sold a few in twenty years. We have never sold a set of rear hinges.

Talking to Tom Conway he said he probably has more rear lid hinges than we do. We have six T-6 gas tanks. These are future projects to restore and sell. We should have done this when reproductions were selling for $1800 but now they sell for $800. Oh well. We also have A thru B T-5 gas tanks. We also didn’t get these restored and now vendors are reproducing these tanks. Another part we have lots of is the B/C steering column. There are no reproductions as nobody needs them. We haven’t sold any in twenty years

Courage Award
Bill Frey recently received the Melanoma Research Foundation 2013 Courage award. Bill has lived with this cancer for over fifteen years and he has not let it affect his positive outlook on life. Our admiration and prayers are with Bill.

Grandpa News
Barb and I will have another granddaughter! Alex will go with BJ and Jen to China to meet her new sister in June or July. This adoption has been a long time coming and we are excited! Samantha is two and a half years old and is a darling!

March 2013 Newsletter

newheaderBack to Work
We had a great vacation. Plenty of sun, plenty of books read and beautiful sunsets. I even set a personal best time driving a Devin sports car from seal level to the top of Haleakawa at 10,000 feet. A relaxing and needed vacation.

The first thing we did after returning from vacation was prepare a list of priorities. We have so many projects going on we have to concentrate on finishing 356s, not doing what we enjoy most. So this meant the challenge of metal work on Jim’s project took a lower priority to completing the restoration of all the parts for the Magnuson’s ‘59 Sunroof Coupe, getting all the parts ready for the Shop ‘64 Coupe (Viney), getting the Shop ‘61 Coupe ready for Blast Tech, doing final checkout of the Signal Red Shop ‘64 Coupe and resolving the transmission issue in the Shop ‘58 Cabriolet, and thinking about starting work on the Shop’63 Coupe.

Following these priorities we got all the parts for the Magnuson’s 356 ready for assembly. This means spreading out all the parts on three tables, picking up a part, checking condition, cleaning it and painting or polishing. Then the next part and putting parts together as subassembles. Cleaning is with lacquer thinner for greasy parts. 3m Liquid Adhesive Cleaner for rubber, the wire wheel for metal and steel wool and chrome polish for chrome. Painting is with two part epoxy primer followed by Satin Black spray paint. Cleaning parts is enjoyable as by the end of the day you have accomplished a lot.

The Shop ‘64 Coupe will be back from the painters first so we will start assembly but will stop and concentrate on the Magnuson’s ‘59 Sunroof Coupe when it is painted. The Magnuson’s is probably the last customer 356 for a while as we have a lot of Shop 356s in progress and we don’t receive revenue until they are sold.

The Shop’64 Coupe came back from Blast Tech (thanks for the quick turnaround). Normally, we spend $700-$900 for a complete blast job on a 356 but this one was $1200. The owner so loved his 356 that as it started to rust away over the last forty five years he restored is with chicken wire, bondo and a street sign.

Appropriately, the street sign he used for the battery box was a “DEAD END” sign. BJ has started on the metal repair now that the 356 has been blasted and it is nothing we haven’t seen before.

Working the priorities we finally got back to Jim’s project. Starting at the back we got the rear lid repaired and latched and restored the engine compartment. Then we got the doors to latch with the correct seams. For the front end although the front end was level, hood fit was poor and side to side and up and down on the fenders was off. We thought about this on vacation and decided the only approach was to cut off the outer skin of the front and start over. With the front end off we could set the hood correctly and tack it in place then place the whole front end on the chassis and determine where to change the inner structure to make the correct fit.

The Shop ’64 Coupe was White; the original color but a very poor and cracked repaint. BJ likes to name the 356 projects. Do you remember “Frankenstein”, “Goat Car”, ”Dracula”, or “Happy Car”? Any how the White Shop ‘64 Coupe is referred to as Casper. Disassembly of Casper revealed many of the previous owners “improvements”. He had a 12 volt battery and battery tender installed to maintain power for a 12 volt, 50 watt Pioneer radio for which he had to cut a hole in the dash.

We will use pieces from this 356 to graphically demonstrate some points when we give a technical session at the West Coast Holiday in October in Santa Fe. The point will not be to ridicule what the owner did but why he did it and the value of the 356 over the last forty five years.

With the current value of 356s, we are hearing a lot of “ I bought my first 356 for $xxx”. Yes, we have a few of these stories. Our first 356 purchased in 1978 for $750. It was a right hand drive, bent Sunroof Carrera Coupe but with a pushrod engine. We have documented this 356 in the 356 Registry and in this newsletter.

Another 356 we bought for $800 in 1999. This was a 1952 Coupe. Advertised for sale here in Denver. A potential buyer in New York asked us to evaluate the 356. Four flat tires on a ratty trailer with all the parts removed and stored inside. Missing was the engine, fuel tank, instruments, interior and other parts. When we informed the potential buyer he passed on the 356. Months later the owner called and said no one was interested in the car. We told him why. He asked if we wanted to buy it. We said no as we had to many 356 projects. He said for $800. We said ok and he dropped off the 356, trailer and all. This is the 356 we turned in to a race car. One of the oldest Porsche still racing.

West Coast Holiday
The last we heard the October event in Santa Fe is filling up fast. We heard over 150 356s registered so far. Plenty of hotels available. The balloon festival is the same time up in Albuquerque.

Grandpa News
Alex bought an iPod with her birthday money and uses it for music, games, texting and communicating with her friends. She is now looking at a Microsoft Surface as a tablet and laptop. She tried to explain what it does and what is included in this laptop. Her father just gave her the tilted head puppy dog look “What?”. If it is not in metric and we can not hit with a hammer, we do not understand it.

January 2013 Newsletter

newheaderOff Topic
For Christmas we got a CD of all the great music from “Bullitt”. Who would have guessed after last months newsletter comments. We listen to this great music in our new shop truck which we partially financed with credit on our shop Mastercard. So all the Porsche parts we buy help finance a new shop truck every five years. We switched insurance on the new truck to USAA. Would you believe they still had our records from 1963 when we were an Air Force Second Lieutenant driving a red ’59 Impala with a white top and white tonneau cover.

The Shop ‘58 Cabriolet was taken to the mechanic to resolve some shifting issues. We put the Shop ‘64 Coupe in the shop to do the final checkout. It will be for sale soon, we just need some good driving weather.

BJ finished the clean, paint, caulk,undercoat on the Magnuson’s ‘59 Sunroof Coupe (not Mulligan’s) and it will be off to the painter. BJ can then do the final welding on Jim’s project which just had the panels tack welded in place.

We had sent for the COA on the Shop ‘63 Coupe and it showed it had a sunroof as an option. With the 356 blasted we can see where the roof was replaced with a non sunroof roof. We were fortunate to acquire a complete sunroof locally. It is the electric sunroof which is correct for a ’63 model (Although you could order a manual sunroof). The question “ How many Sunroof Coupes were produced?” is often asked. But it can’t be determined as Porsche did not keep track of options ordered. However, a sunroof adds $10,000 to the value of a 356 Coupe. Years ago we said $3,000 added value, then $5,000 now $10,000. We have not seen a sunroof clip offered for sale for a very long time and when offered very expensive. But a Sunroof Coupe has been our daily driver and they are fun to drive. We have yet to disassemble the recently purchased Shop ‘61 Coupe but from our inspection it will be another extensive project.

Jim’s project (and we know what model 356 we are referring to) is together! Two weeks was spent on the engine compartment. We were able to modify a Coupe fire wall to replace the rusted out firewall. We modified the hinge pockets, attached the original but dented deck lid and used this assembly to properly locate and tack in the firewall. The engine compartment has all the brackets and openings for a Carrera engine and these required repair. Most of the mid fifties 356’s had provisions for the Carrera engine even if it was a pushrod engine.

The engine shelf on the mid fifties 356s was bolted in and the reproduction of this part does not come with the weld nuts so we had to order some and position them . Having a removable engine shelf may make engine removal easier but access to the eighteen bolts takes time and is probably why later engine shelves were welded in place.

We started this challenge in July 2012, so five months of working on nothing but Jim’s project with so much of the original metal rusted away this was a true “Made By Hand” experience. This project could not even be attempted without the availability of reproduction replacement panels. Are these panels perfect? No. They are all oversized and require trimming. And as mentioned before, you have to be positioning two or three adjacent panels before finalizing your trimming and tack welds.

We lost time and had to backup when fitting the hood and front fenders. We finally realized the reproduction cowl had the corners for the hood to tight making the hood as a jig difficult. We finally worked around the hood and will fit it during body work. So metal work is done and body work will start. Knowing that we will have a successful project, we sent the bench seat we restored to Autos International. They are the premier shop for Porsche 356 interiors. We had the original interior pieces which had been red but vinyl painted black. Enough of the original red color is available for a match plus the pleating on the seat was useable as a pattern. So the interior will be the original red with the oatmeal carpet and black top.

Another lead time part is the chrome work and we prepared these parts and sent them out for chroming. Chroming is very expensive so for driver level restorations we just clean, polish and call it patina. For the Shop ‘58 Cabriolet, we disassembled the four seat hinges and had them chromed, the cost was $850. We used to have three chrome shops in Denver, now none due to the environmental issues. Often it is cheaper to buy reproduction chrome parts.

356 Market
We didn’t think we would continue to comment on this subject. We got a call from a young guy who had a rear clip from a Coupe and could get a front clip. But instead of making a Coupe he wanted to know how hard it would be to make a Cabriolet or a Speedster. He knew you can now get most all 356 exterior panels. His motivation-money! We explained the problems but he really wanted to score big in the 356 market.

This months issue of Panorama shows 356 values. They continue to surprise us.

No newsletter next month. Aloha!

Grandpa News
Alex has been enjoying her gift cards from Christmas. Besides the Apple I Tunes purchases of “One Direction” and others she is becoming a experienced clothes shopper. Not much of a girly girl she has more Under Armor, Nike and Justice clothes. Which all barely fit in her very small closet. The closet size is a ongoing discussion of displeasure.