December 2014 Newsletter


Bill Frey
I met Bill about sixteen years ago. We did a minor restoration on his ’63 Coupe. He would drop by the shop to talk 356s. He had a couple of 356 projects that he intended to restore.
I told him about the Rocky Mountain Porsche 356 Club and he joined. Bill attended the Steamboat Vintage races and I learned he had raced an SCCA Datsun in the seventies and even made it to the Nationals. At one of the Steamboat races the ’58 Coyote race car was for sale. I knew about this 356 and Bill said we could fix it up and race it. Bill worked on it in his new shop the “Tub Farm” and we both completed the RMVR Drivers School and raced the 356. It was a mid-pack racer.
Then I learned Bill had Melanoma cancer. It was never an issue. He would have a treatment then drop by the shop the next day to discuss the race car or other 356 projects.
“Amazing” is how Barb and I would refer to him.
Bill competed at Steamboat and even set the fastest time of the day due to a flagging error which we often joked about. When I was diagnosed with lung cancer and had surgery, Bill was right there. He told me what to expect with chemo and was very supportive. He supported many, many cancer patients with advise and prayer.
He was deeply religious but did not wear it on his sleeve. He had set backs and progress but would only mention it if you asked. He did engine work for 356Restore and together we built our next race car the ’52 Coupe. Bill engineered this 356 and it was quite competitive. We both were proud as it was one of the oldest Porsches still racing. We have commented previously about the success Bill and Scot achieved a year ago at the National Vintage Race.
Then a few weeks ago Bill called to say that his Oncologist had no more treatments and he wanted us to get together and talk about his 356 parts. We decided to wait until the weather improved.
He died four days later.
I cried.
An amazing man, fourteen years with cancer and never a complaint. He was always thinking about others. I know he prayed for me and I prayed for him. Many of you prayed for him.
Thank You!
Some good progress on both of our new home/shop and on 356s.
Caissons were drilled and forms poured for the foundation and new garage. Barb gets a bigger kitchen and master bedroom and we get the existing garage for the shop and a much needed car lift. Much has been done to the interior and the new construction will start soon. We are about six months out.
While BJ continues on the metal work on the Shop ’62 Coupe. All the bottom work has been done, doors, lids and bumpers fit well but there is still a lot of exterior metal work plus converting this 356 back to its sunroof configuration.
Jim got back to the Shop ’64 assembly issues. If you remember, work stopped on this 356 when the rear windshield wouldn’t fit. We tried different windshields, seals and deco to no avail. The problem was the windshield wouldn’t fit flush. You would fit one corner and the opposing corner would pop up. We walked away thinking we would have to get a specialists help.
There was no rear damage on this 356 so we couldn’t figure out the problem. Then we remember a 356 that took a hard hit in the left front which we repaired but then had problems fitting the right rear seat. The force of the hit traveled thru the unibody and disturbed the metal at the rear. With this in mind we measured the rear window opening on the ’64. Sure enough the opening was pushed up in one corner. We used the porta-power to lift the low area and lower the high area. A few tries and it worked! Metal has a memory. The rear windshield was installed.
We can now continue on the assembly. We also came up with a jig to refit the windshield in the Shop ’56 Speedster. And we have the Shop ’61 Coupe in its new coat of paint to assemble. So lots of fun projects at 356Restore (and we still expect Bill to stop by-damn)
Grandpa News
Swimming in the pool is the activity that they enjoy the most. Both girl are in the pool whenever they get the chance. We go to Lifetime Fitness a lot but Sam would also like to stay at a hotel room if she gets a chance.
Continued Story of Jim’s First 356
In Thailand my grandfather took your car to every corner of the Kingdom on his frequent tours, many times with the famous racing driver Prince Bira. He also participated in many amateur competition, actually winning most races. In 1960 he sold your car to my uncle. It would be interesting to find how your car made it to the US. Believe it or not, I spent the last ten years trying to locate your car because it mysteriously disappeared from the records of the Department of Transportation in the late 1960s. By the way, if you ever want to sell your car, please contact me because as you can imagine it does have a lot of sentimental value. Kind regards,
Theera Bunnanag
I was floored! The grandson of the original owner! And he knew 58355. And Prince Bira may have driven it! I e-mailed Mr. Theera Bunnanag the 1972 article from Grand Prix magazine and he confirmed that it was correct. The article mentioned that while Mr. Bunnanag was racing the Carrera he lost a fan belt but continued on and the four cam engine was destroyed. I mailed him the article confirming some more facts about his grandfather’s racing car.
(to be continued)

Wishing you health and happiness this Holiday Season
and prosperity in the New Year.

November 2014 Newsletter


Grandpa News

Jim had a birthday and Alex and Sammie brought him a present. While we waited for Barb, we played in the front room. Sammie thought up the games and Alex played with her. They were sitting in a chair with Alex as the driver but Sammy steering from the back. Then there was putting all the cushions on the floor and jump on them and laugh. Then there was put all the cushions on Alex plus anything else Sammie could carry and run around and laugh. And of course there was the Kellogg tradition of Sammie blowing out the birthday persons candle. It was the best birthday.

Tool Kit

A customer thought he had lost his original tool kit and bought a reproduction kit. He found his original and the repo is for sale. $500, what he paid. Contact us for contact information.

Bill Frey

Bill has exhausted all his cancer treatment options. Please include him in your prayers.

Jim’s First 356

While Jim continues on the remodel and move we will continue with the story of his first 356.
The book said it was owned by Hank Godfredson. That cover plus an article about the 356 in the Minneapolis paper and a picture I took of Larry racing it at Brainerd went on my garage wall. I would point them out to visitors and Say “That was my first 356.”
In 1987 we attended the vintage race at Steamboat Springs and Hank Godfredson was there with 58355. It still had a push rod engine. I took lots of pictures of the Carrera in the pits. It was a beautiful silver with red racing stripes. I didn’t get to talk much with Hank at that event but at a later PCA race I did and told him if the 356 was ever for sale I would buy it. I followed up with a letter. I heard nothing for about three years and then the phone rang and Hank said it was for sale but now it had a four cam! The price was a lot more than the $750 I had paid for it years ago. I told Barb about it and how special it was as it was my first Porsche. She didn’t hesitate in saying “Do it!”
Hank and his lovely wife Phyllis delivered 58355 a few months later.
It was as I saw it at the races but now it had a four cam. Hank provided many pictures of the 356, some from the mid Sixties. He also left some articles on the car written for Nord Stern and Panorama. The Kardex information, which he received in 1989, indicated the 356 was imported to Bangkok, Thailand. I drove 58355 around the neighborhood to re-familiarize myself with the right hand drive.
I even entered it in the historic class with the Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing but didn’t get much track time. At one event during tech inspection the last thing to check was the brake lights. They worked but as I drove back to the pits the brake pedal went to the floor. A steel braided brake line had broken. Jeez, it could have happened on the track. I decided not to race it until I double checked everything. With the demand of my 356 restoration business the Carrera was just sitting in the garage, exercised infrequently. When we drove a 356 it was either my ’63 Coupe or Barb’s ’62 Roadster.
I decided to restore 58355 to its original condition and sell it. So it was a back burner project in the shop. In December 2002 Dave Seeland dropped by to check out my ’58 Coupe race car which would be for sale after I moved everything over to a ’52 roller I had found. Dave passed on the race car but while looking at the other 356s in the shop I told him 58355 had been imported to Bangkok, Thailand. Dave said, “I wonder if the Prince drove it?” That got my attention and I told Dave if he could find any information it would be great. Dave, who had been the Four Cam Forum Editor for 356 Registry for fifteen years came by a few weeks later with two articles from the third edition of the Four Cam Registry. One article was a reprint from the Grand Prix magazine that talked about a Mr. Boonnak, an active amateur racer in Thailand. The other article was written in Thai but was about a “Joe” Bunnang. I could not tell if they were the same person. I got on line and asked if anyone knew these names. While I did not get a hit, Brad Ripley of NLA sent me the mailing address for the Royal Automobile Association of Thailand and the Porsche Club of Thailand. I wrote them both a letter asking for assistance in obtaining information about my 356 Carrera. I provided the two names from the Four Cam Registry articles. It was a long shot.
A few months went by and then, while checking my email on February 28, 2003 the following popped up.
“’57 1500 Porsche GS Coupe”
“Reference is made to your letter that was regarding the above captioned matter initially sent to the Royal Automobile Association of Thailand. Well, your letter managed to amazingly finds its way to me. I’m the grandson of Mr. Vilas Bunnang, deceased in 1999. My family remembers your car very well because it was the first of a series of three 356s that my grandfather owned before he took delivery of his 911. He also had three of these. Yes, your 356 was the First (maybe, second) Porsche in Thailand. Apparently my grand father ordered your car from Bangkok Swiss Trading. Then owned by a very good family friend, Dr. Kurt Mueller, a long time resident. Once your car was completed my grandfather traveled to Stuttgart with my grandmother to collect it personally before shipping it back to Thailand. In actual fact, I remember him telling me that his first impressions of your car was so good that he immediately placed an order for another car at the factory, this one was to be kept at our house in Switzerland.”
To be continued…

October 2014 Newsletter


The leaves are changing in the Rocky Mountains and the days begin with a jacket and end with shorts and flip flops. I have no information about the picture above. It was from a library of 356 pictures, I picked it because of the bronze color car in the middle.
Have a Happy October, 356Restore

Vintage Racing
We took the Shop ’52 Coupe racecar to High Plains Raceway for the Enduro. This sixty year old Porsche continues to perform well. In the Enduro all the closed wheel cars race together for an hour and a half with two ten minute pit stops. So, you have Mini Coopers and Corvettes and plenty of Porsche 911s. Our ’52 beat many of the big bore cars including many 911s. Our thanks to Bill Frey who built the engine and Scot Petitt who really knows how to race a 356.

The Move
Jim jumped into the remodel and took down a lot of sheetrock. With the contractor and subs working the interior of the new home is gutted and new construction is started.

BJ continues on the metal work on Casper. The Shop ’61 Coupe needs a bottom everything and lots of interior and exterior panel repair. It is going well. We should pick up the Shop ’64 Coupe at the painters in a few weeks. So with the 356 restorations and the move, lots of activity at 356Restore.
We will continue the story of Jim’s first Porsche 356 but first:

Grandpa News
Alex and Sam had a sleepover with the grandparents a while back. Alex showed Grandma how to make one of her favorite foods, Spaghetti Tacos. You take a hard shell taco and fill it with noodles and red sauce and cheese. It is pretty good.

The Thailand Carrera 58352- Story Continues..
As we drove off I could see the pavement under my feet and there was a strong gas smell and drops of gas from a silver thing under the dash. “Don’t worry,” said Jeff , “my dad can fix it.”
Jeff and I shared an interest in cars and racing but this was the first Porsche I had really seen and ridden in. Jeff changed jobs and got married but we stayed in touch as we were both in an investment club.
Four years later we were closing out the investment club and we had a few bucks in hand. Jeff had said his wife was upset that she had to park her car outside during the Minnesota winters due to the Porsche in the garage. Since I had a new house with a three car garage and money in hand I asked if he wanted to sell the Porsche. “Sure,” he replied. But I said, “You will have to drive it over here,” as I hadn’t seen it run in four years. I added, “I’ll pay you what you paid for it.”
$750 changed hands.
A few weeks later, Jeff drove it over and his wife followed in another car. We put it in the garage and Jeff also had a box of books he left with me. He said “it’s a Carrera and those Road & Track magazines talk about it.” Well it stayed in the garage for months as I worked on settling into our new home. Then I thought I would drive it to the Porsche dealership to have it inspected. But I could not get it started. In a call to Jeff he explained about the pull switches on the dash for the electric fuel pump and something else. I got it started all right but then discovered that the key wouldn’t shut it off. If I stepped on the brake and popped the clutch it would die. Ok, I thought, I can get a new ignition switch at the dealer. But the dealer didn’t have a ignition switch and wouldn’t even test drive it as they said the suspension was frozen and the car was full of bondo. To cap off a truly disappointing day, the hood flew up as I drove it home.
Off and on I scraped underneath the 356 and sprayed lots of wd-40 on the suspension. I saw that Jeff’s Dad had welded a flat floor on the car and fixed the gas leak. I read the Road & Track articles and learned that Carreras were special car, but mine didn’t have the four cam engine. Still I worked on “improvements.” By driving on rough roads I got the stiff suspension to work. I fiberglassed some damage at the rear and my son and I painted it black with spray cans. After a few years I realized I didn’t have
the skills to restore the car but I really enjoyed the Porsche 356. I put an ad in the paper-For Trade Only. A guy named George came out and drove the Carrera and said he had another 356 for trade. I went and looked at it and it was really rusty and had fender flares. It had been a Minnesota ice racer. I said no deal. A few months later George invited me to his place for a PCA tech session. I drove the Carrera and parked it with a “For Trade” sign. Many people were interested but later I noticed the sign was gone. George said he took it off as he had another 356 to trade. It was a rusty but complete 1963 sunroof coupe and George would restore it for the trade.
I did the deal and spent every weekend for a year at George’s as he and I restored the B Coupe. I learned a lot.
George traded the Carrera to Larry Skoglund and in 1984 I saw him race at Brainerd International Raceway. I drove my ’63 to the race. When Larry came off the track the stinger tailpipe on the Carrera would glow red from the aviation gas he was using in a push rod race engine. I met some great people at the track and joined the vintage race group where I met Hank Godfredson who was active in PCA and vintage racing.
In 1986 I was transferred to Denver. Looking to find other 356 enthusiasts I called David Seeland who lived in Denver and was an editor for the 356 Registry, which by then I had joined. Dave told me about a new club in town called the Rocky Mountain 356 Porsche club. We joined and my wife Barb and I had a great time making new friends while participating in the events. During this time I bought the first edition of Gordon Malby’s Porsche 356 and RS Spyders. Featured on the cover was my first 356. It was now silver with red racing stripes.

September 2014 Newsletter

Market Observations

We just checked the 356 Registry classifieds. There are twenty-five 356 for sale and eight 356s wanted. At a recent Mecun Auctions there were sixteen 356s for sale but only five sold. Eleven 356s did not meet the reserve. Perhaps, priced too high. You have to be careful at some auctions. Sometimes the chandeliers bid.
Flipping channels we stopped when we saw a 1962 Super Cabriolet on the block at Auctions America. We watched it go up and up and sell at $180K. It was followed by a nice blue Ferrari Testa Rosa flat 12. which sold for $145K. Later they had a 356A Cabriolet which went to $125K but didn’t meet the reserve and was a no sale.
At the big Monterey Auction Ferrari was the big winner with many multi million dollar sales and some records.
Porsche and Ferrari are similar in that both were low volume classics; race proven. However, we have not heard of an outlaw class for Ferrari and we doubt there is a D.I.Y. Ferrari restoration book.
The net of these observations is we are still confused, but think the 356 run up may have peaked.


BJ has done all the restoration work this month while Jim played with 356 parts and took it easy after an illness.
BJ started on the 356 project Barney. This was a barn find in Colorado. The owner was taking a fall mountain drive and saw the back half of a 356 under a tarp behind a barn. He went to the county and got the absent owners name and contacted them. They were storing the 356 for friend in California. He contacted the owner and bought the 356. When he got it home and started disassembly he saw it was really, really rough. He contacted us and others for restoration estimates and decided he couldn’t afford the restoration. He put it on E-bay as a project and we bought it for 5K.
We sent for a Certificated of Authenticity (COA) and found it was originally Ivory with Black Vinyl and Grey corduroy upholstery. A nice interior. It also was originally a sunroof 356. We could see the rough replacement of the top and the obvious roll over damage.
So this 356 is a bottom everything plus correcting a lot of rough exterior repairs. It is a black plate California 356 with the original 1963 plate SYN 895.
We did the disassembly and had the 356 media blasted. BJ started where we always start, the rear floor pan. We cut this out saving the original ledges on the sides and tunnel. We then repair the missing ledges. Next, inside the tunnel is cleaned and painted and center of the rear floor pan and cross piece is painted as you can’t get to them latter. The rear floor pan is positioned and marked for trim to fit. Then trimmed and installed and tacked. The front floor pan is done the same way. As we have said before after sixty plus floor pans it goes pretty quick. BJ had this done in a week. Then the bulkhead in front of the floor pan is trimmed and installed.
This 356 had the typical battery box rust but also damage to floor, sides, front and rear. These individual pieces are about $650 but can take a week or more to install. Each piece has to be correctly positioned to fit the next piece. Just a little bit off and the whole battery box will be misaligned. Fortunately, one vendor sells a complete battery box, it is jigged up and spot welded like the original. It costs about $1000 but saves at least thirty hours of labor. So, BJ has the battery box installed and will finish up the bottom i.e. struts, diagonal, closing panels, longitudinals, etc. Then he will start on the external repairs, the last of which will be the sunroof. We were able to find a sunroof coupe clip but they are tricky and time consuming to install i.e. its nice if the windshield fits.

So while BJ does 356 restoration, Jim will be involved in the remodel of our new home and shop. We expected to start in June but have been delayed until now by the Drainage, Erosion and Sediment Control- D.E.S.C. Plan. This is a Douglas county requirement and they won’t approve permits until this plan is implemented and inspected. This is the black plastic and straw rolls you see today at construction sites. The delay has been surveys, plan write up (eight detailed pages), resurvey and then finding an available qualified excavator. This remodel is finally started and is important to Barb and Jim as this is where they will live for the next twenty years. It will be on one level rather than the present four levels and exactly the way we want to live comfortably. Since there will be little news for the next few months we have decided to reprint an article we wrote for the 356 Registry eight years ago. It is about our first 356, a 1957 356 Carrera right hand drive. But before we start it we have to have;
Grandpa News

With Alex’s and BJ’s birthday in September and with Halloween, Sam’s birthday and Christmas coming up there have been a lot of catalog shopping going on. Alex and Sam grab the popular toy and clothes catalogs and circle and mark up them with their choices. We have to figure out if the princess dress is for Halloween or birthday.

“The Thailand Carrera 58355:
A Half a Circle around the Globe, A Full Circle in Ownership” by Jim Kellogg

It was 1973 when I received a fateful phone call. “Jim, it’s Jeff. I just bought a Poorsh. Want to see it?” “Sure” I said. So Jeff drove it over. It was a good looking car in red primer. To go for a ride I had to get in the “other” side as it was a right hand drive. It also had a sunroof. As we drove off I could see pavement under my feet and there was a strong gas smell and .. To be continued.

August 2014 Newsletter

The Market

The last time we commented on the 356 market we indicated that on the 356 Registry website there were about as many wanted to buy as for sale. Today , we looked and there were very few wanted and many for sale at high prices.

’65 SC Cabriolet $225K
’58 Speedster $189K
’59 Cabriolet $155K
’51 Cabriolet $356K
’57 Coupe $135K
’64 Cabriolet $105K
’55 Cabriolet $218K

’63 Coupe $ 46K

That last one did not get the memo. And then two that concern us:

’57 Coupe Project $ 19K
’64 Cabriolet Project $ 80K

Our concern of course is that we buy project 356s. We know what it costs to restore them so we have been buying in the $5,000- $7,000 range. We presently have three projects in storage and will have to buy project 356s in the future but we are not the only buyers. At the present market we will have to pay lots for a project and if the market falls we could take a loss.

We think the market will fall. Those prices we listed can not be maintained. Our opinion. This is the month for the big auctions and events in Monterey, California. We think these prices will be maintained there but then might fall, particularly for the 356s.

Why? The 356 is not an asset it has to be driven to be enjoyed. If the 356 is not driven it is not seen. Something that is not seen can decrease in value. We also except that many project 356s have been bought before the cost of restoration was known. These 356s may come back on the market if the market falls. We will be waiting.


BJ has finished the clean, paint, caulk and undercoat on the Shop ’61 Coupe and it is off to the painters for the original white paint. BJ is working on restoring all the original parts to be used when the 356 comes back from the painter. One last metal work job BJ had was to reconstruct the dash where the previous owner had cut a big rectangular hole for a late model radio.

Fortunately, we had a project 356 on hand with the original radio opening and were able to make a template, cut out a repair piece and weld it in. Like new!
Jim has done some work on the Shop Speedster but has spent most of his time on parts that have to be moved to the new shop. We started with the “soft” parts, parts that only had to be wiped clean, bundled together and put in labeled plastic bins. For example, teardrop taillight plastic lens of which we had over fifty. So enough, that we could throw out cracked, faded or broken lenses.

Then we got to the dirty parts. Parts that needed to be cleaned in solvent. We had to buy solvent as we haven’t used the parts cleaner in years. Just rough clean parts and take them to BlastTech. But now we have oily greasy engine parts. We don’t do engines and have commented in the past how we get these parts (they come with project 356s we buy). Since we don’t do engines we were surprised at how many engine parts we had accumulated.
We had 63 pistons and then remembered we had turned one into a pencil holder. We had to go to the Stoddard catalog to identify some engine parts we didn’t recognize. We had 68 headnuts. Now this is not a simple nut, it is a study two inch heavy piece, but it must have to be replaced when rebuilding a 356 engine. The catalog indicates $34 each. So we have over $2300 worth of used headnuts. Why can’t they be reused? We will have to ask a mechanic.

One part we decide to repair was the 356 A/B rear bump stop. This is a bracket with a rubber cylinder that sits on the rear axle and compresses to hit a metal stop when the 356 bottoms out. We had over thirty of these bump stops but on eleven, the rubber had been removed from the bracket. The rubber is removed easily. We did it once when working on the rear of a 356. It is easy to grab this piece for purchase and it will pop right off. It is difficult to reattach the rubber to the bracket. You have to remove the bracket which is attached by three bolts to the axle and swing arm. Then you see that the rubber is attached to the bracket by a large head bolt with a slot and a nut. So the bolt base has to be removed from the bracket. Sounds easy, but like the brake bleeder valves without caps, this bolt has been sitting in rubber for fifty years with water and dirt falling in the cylinder. So you use penetrating solvent and heat and cheater bars and all of your tricks to get the bolt off. We got off ten and one broke. Now you have to get the bolt into the rubber cylinder. You notice that the access hole in the rubber is smaller than the head of the bolt. It can be forced in with difficulty by tilting and prying and hitting with a hammer. But before inserting the bolt use a tap and die to clean the treads as you only have the slot in the bolt to secure it as you tighten the nut. It was a fun job, we restored ten bump stops and got them in a labeled bin with the rest.

Note: As we get more and more into the remodel of our new home/shop there will be less 356 progress to report. We may go bimonthly on these newsletters until we are relocated.

Grandpa News

“What we did on our summer vacation.”
Summer was filled with a trip to Minnesota to visit Grandma and Grandpa and all of the cousins. When we were at home a lot of bike riding and playing in the backyard happened.
It may still be August but Alex went back to school this week and Samantha goes back in two weeks to preschool.

July 2014 Newsletter

Progress has been slowed as we wait on the construction of the new shop. It turns out that Douglas County won’t even look at the build plans until all the supplemental information is provided. This included the Homeowners Association Approval which we had and provided. Then they wanted a topological survey to decide where the black plastic barriers and hay bales would go. This took three weeks and was finally submitted. So we will have our permits by the next newsletter.

The address next door is 8310 N. Sunburst Trail. Our mailman knows the meaning of the 356 in our current 8356 address and enjoys checking out the cars. He said the post office could switch address. Doubtful, we reminded him that there are legal descriptions of the property based on the address.

The upholsterer was able to get to the Speedster and within ten days had the carpet and red vinyl trim installed. He did not finish the top installation as we had not installed the windshield.
We needed the windshield out to attach the windshield defroster vents which we can’t be done until the dash is covered. So the upholsterer will make a house call to finish the top installation and install the boot.

Meanwhile Jim continues to install parts on the Speedster. The plan is to get parts on the Speedster and then take it to the mechanics for suspension work and linkage adjustments. The engine can’t be installed until its ready and Bill Frey, our friend who built a terrific engine for our ’52 race car, is having some health issues.

Let me explain again about the race engine. Both Bill and Jim drove the ’52 in Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing events. Bill with his prior SCCA racing experience was faster than Jim but the ’52 (one of the oldest Porsches still racing) was still a mid pack car. In the small bore class, mid pack is twentieth out of forty plus race cars. When I stopped racing due to eye issues, Scot Pettit joined us particularly for the annual Enduro which needs two drivers. At the Enduro two years ago Scot had to retire the ’52 late in the race. We didn’t know what the issue was and since it was the last race of the season we just parked the ’52. Then Scot heard that the Sports car Vintage Racing Associates (SVRA) was going to race at the new Formula One track in Austin Texas – Circuit of the Americas.

We’ve reported on the race so won’t do that again. The point is, we needed a faster engine to compete. Bill with his racing experience and knowledge contacted 356 race folks on what today’s technology provided. 356’s have been raced for sixty years and there is a tremendous base of what works and what does not. Of course you have to ask the proper folks. Bill contacted Vic Skirmants, Walt at Competition Engineering, the guys at Elgin Cams and locally Al Lager and Trevor Sewell.

The engine was built and takes time because it has to be right. Street 356s don’t often rev above 6,000 RPM but a race engine will have to do this for an hour as we did at the race in Austin.
So having Bill build the engine for the Speedster was an obvious choice. Bill has one side of the engine assembled and BJ and I will assist for the remaining assembly as Bill is currently in a wheelchair.

BJ still has some metal work on Casper, the Shop ’61 Coupe. When Jim replaced the nose he just loosely fit the headlight buckets. BJ had to weld them in and this means using a headlight and rubber seal to get the headlight bucket positioned and allowing for paint. On a few 3256s we didn’t allow for paint and thick seals and could not install the seals. On Shop 356s this issue did not seem to affect values as the 356s sold at market.

356 Market
The interest in 356s as collector cars continues strong. Recent sales in the Denver area were $51,000 for a nice driver B Coupe and $100,000 for an excellent ’54 Coupe.

We recently sold the Signal Red Shop ’64 Coupe. We deliberately sold it below market. Why? We sold it to a young couple and he had learned a lot about the 356. He was by the shop often and asked the right questions. He went to the vintage races and the big concours. He was familiar with the 356 Registry and its resources. We sold the ’64 below market so they could afford it and enjoy the upside, plus we were following our own advise not to treat the 356 as an asset but as a car to be driven and enjoyed. We know the young couple will enjoy and appreciate the 356 for many years, (She is going to have to learn how to drive a stick).

Grandpa News
Newsletter recipients have told us they enjoy this part of the newsletter. Since 356 restoration news will be slow as we build and move to the new shop we thought we would expand this segment occasionally as both Alex and Sammie receive the hard copy newsletter for their scrapbooks. So we have a few stories directed at them so they will get to know more about Grandpa. We hope others will enjoy the occasional story.

When we first moved to Parker there were only three TV stations with rabbit ears (ask BJ what they were). We could receive the Colorado Springs stations. Grandpa would watch Jeopardy at 5:30 then go upstairs for supper at 6:00 and watch the same show again on the Denver station. For a month, Grandpa had all the correct answers and amazed Barb with his knowledge. Finally he let her in on the secret. So Grandpa does have a sense of humor.

June 2014 Newsletter


The Move

We finalized the design of the remodel of the new home and shop in late February. We expected the plans to be submitted to the County Planning Department three weeks later. But it took three months as the designer, architect and engineer reworked the roof design and point loads. While we waited, we had the contractor build shelves for the new shop. They are installed and we have started moving parts to their new home. The contractor has started demolition so we are underway. We expect this to be a nine to twelve month project.
One of the first batch of parts we moved were drum brake parts. We have a lot of these as new brake parts would have been installed on the 356 and the used parts kept by the owner. We had eighty two used brake wheel cylinders. These can be restored if not pitted at the end of the cylinder. If the bleeder valve is broken off, Martin Willis in Colorado Springs has a jig to drill and tap a new bleeder valve hole on the opposite side of the cylinder and you just switch location on the backing plate. We also had large number of drum brake shoes. We have never had to buy new brake shoes for a Porsche 356; they seem to last forever. All the parts we are moving have to be cleaned and labeled. BJ found a labeling machine that connects to the computer and it is great. We are going to have a neat, clean, organized shop.


We installed the shifter in the Shop ’56 Speedster. This is a challenge on the A cars as the shifter is attached to the tunnel shift rod by a pin and cotter key. To install them you have to get the shift rod high in the tunnel, attach the shifter, then working inside the tunnel, push in the pin and install the cotter key. We use a long hemostat to do this. It can take many attempts to do this. On one 356A we spent over an hour and many attempts to do this only to get up off the 356 floor to see we had installed the shifter backwards!
We had a call from a 356 owner in Vail who was removing his 356 from winter storage and had a heavy gas smell on the drive home. We diagnosed the problem as probably a fuel line hose failure in the tunnel. The next day, we were starting the Shop ’64 Coupe and had a fuel leak. All German 7mm rubber hoses had failed. They were less than a year old! Either a bad batch of hose or today’s fuel is destroying the hose. The solution is to replace all the German 7mm fuel hose with 5/16 rubber fuel lines available at most auto parts stores. While the originality of the German hose (identified by the fabric cover with blue threads) is nice, today’s rubber fuel hose is designed for today’s fuel. We have mentioned this often; inspect your fuel hose! We repeat, inspect your fuel hose.
BJ is finishing the body work on Casper the Shop ’61 Coupe. He will move on to undercoat and it will be off to the painter for it’s original Ivory color. Jim works on the Shop ’56 Speedster or on parts to be moved.
The Speedster brakes have been installed. The only issue was the right side E-brake cable which would not go down the tunnel tube. We must have slightly bent the tube when we did the tunnel restoration. The solution after trying to straighten the tube with metal rods was to remove metal from the cable end until it past the obstruction. The cable end will still clamp into the aluminum block where the three cables connect in the tunnel. The Speedster is basically ready for carpet, trim and top installation but the upholstery shop had to delay new work for awhile.


The Porsche 356 Speedster has always been popular. We often called it the James Dean effect. Four thousand one hundred and fourty five Speedsters were produced from 1954 to 1958 out of a total of 79,316 356s. So about five percent.
The Speedster was preceded by the Aluminum Sports Roadster which had been requested by Max Hoffman the importer in 1952. Only 16 Aluminum Sports Roadsters were produced by the body builder Heuer. The hand built aluminum body and the high price doomed this first attempt at a light weight entry level sports car. In early 1952 Max met Ferry Porsche and Edwin Komenda chief of the body design department in New York. Max Hoffman committed to 200 Speedsters if Porsche would produce them to his specifications. Porsche started Speedster planning and the first prototype Speedster, was serial number 12223 and we saw it at the Speedster 50th Anniversary Event at Pebble Beach in 2004.
The first 200 Speedsters were basically hand built. We had the privilege to work on number 13 (80013) and it was obvious they were hand built. Due to their light weight (about 1680 pounds) Speedsters were very competitive in Sports car racing. When the Carrera engine was added in later production they were formidable. Yes, James Dean did race a Speedster It was s/n 80126 and he raced it in the novice class at Palm Springs in March of 1955. He won this race and qualified for the Sunday race where he placed third.

Grandpa News

Once again, Alex got straight A’s on her report card and this meant a trip with BJ. This year they went to Chicago. Last year for straight A’s they went to Long Beach. Sammie has had swimming lessons, Sunday school and Summer camp this week so she also has been very busy. The girls will be spending most of July in Minnesota visiting the northern family.

May 2014 Newsletter


We ended last months newsletter with “We just picked up the Shop ’56 Speedster”. Well, we did and it looks great! We have had nothing but favorable comments from shop visitors.
So for the last month, Jim has been full bore on the Speedster; while BJ finishes the body work on Casper the Shop ’61 Coupe.
The first job on the Speedster was to get it up on our special jack stands so we could paint the underside to cover any white overspray. There was little overspray but lots of wet sanding residue. There are a lot of exterior holes on a Speedster due to the side deco and emblem holes. To do this touchup paint, we have to completely mask off the exterior. Every hole and recess has to be covered. Using a Satin Black paint underneath we did get some over spray on the white exterior but it will rub out. The next step was to install the windshield frame to make the body look like a Speedster. Then, the wiring harness. We got a new one from YnZ and they have a really good product. Each wire termination has little stickers with letters/numbers that corresponds to the directions identifying the termination. These little stickers are quality as they have to stay on the wire as it is pulled through the tunnel and various openings.
We once judged a 356 with a new wiring harness and these little stickers had not been removed. A few points off, as under the dash looked like a crossword puzzle.
All the wires going to the back of the 356 have to be tightly taped so they can be pulled through the tunnel and a hole in the rear bulkhead.
The front of the wiring harness also has to be taped as much of it has to be pulled through the fuse box tunnel. It took a day and a half and the wiring harness went in with few problems.
We had a good fuse block and cover in inventory and burnished all the connections. The reproduction fuse block today do not have the back connections and have to be bridged. Plus they come without a cover and an original cover won’t fit. We went to install the fuse box and discovered that there were still small pieces of the original fuse box still attached to the mounting screws and the screws were rusted solid. With Kroil and some heat and vise grips we got one screw out. The other screw snapped off. This is a problem as the fuse box has to be solidly mounted. Epoxy cement won’t work as there is a lot of tension from the wires when they are attached to the fuse box. There was one inch of the screw stuck in the bracket. With a good small drill bit we were able to drill through the center of the frozen bolt. We then followed with the proper bit to allow a tap, we then tapped the bracket and were excited as this was a very difficult repair and we did it perfectly. It is small things like this that makes our day.
The next step was to get the side deco attached. Since the fenders did not have holes but the doors did, we were able to position this deco by reviewing Speedster pictures. We did this as part of the dry fit prior to paint using an old set of deco pieces. The new deco went on and it was perfect. Now for the nervous part. There are “Speedster” emblems that go above the side deco on the front fenders. The nervous part is the emblem has very small studs and five holes have to be drilled in perfect alignment with the side deco. Looking at Speedster pictures we determined the distance above the side deco and distance from the door opening. We then made a jig out of heavy paper and pressed the emblem on it marking the holes for the studs. With the jig on the fender we marked the holes with a Sharpie, then drilled the holes using the emblem to verify each hole. Another perfect placement. Are we feeling good!
We think a project 356 during restoration looks better with eyes, so we attached the headlights. With the wiring harness in place, we could hook up most of the dash. We had the instruments restored by Palo Alto Speedometer. The originals were very rough but now look perfect. In fact, we are restoring almost all the original parts of the Speedster; the bench seat is the best example. Before installing the hood we had to install the hood seals. Once again, all the screw holes had to be drilled. We doubt there was a factory jig for this purpose but we had researched the placement of these screws on the various 356 models and documented this in our D.I.Y 356 restoration book. So we used our own book to install the hood seals. We installed the bumpers on the Speedster but without bumper guards. We had to use reproduction bumpers and they come without the hole for the bumper guards. We like the “naked bumper” look and will sell the Speedster without bumper guards. Many others also like this look as you will see plenty of naked bumpers 356s at events.
We purchased some 165×15 Veredstein tires and noticed that while they still have the period looking tread patterns, they have changed the sidewall design. We like the look of painted wheels and used the last four good ones we had in inventory, we prime them multiple times, then paint with Dull Aluminum or Satin Aluminum. We then paint with a gloss clear which dulls the silver color to original. Next, will be brakes and linkage and then off to upholstery.

Grandpa News
Alex and Sammie brought little Bundt cakes for Barbs birthday. After singing ” Happy Birthday You, You” (Sammie’s version) Sammie blew out Barbs candle. We all laughed and she looked confused.

Spring Race 5/17, 5/18 at High Plaines Raceway over 130 racecars

April 2014 Newsletter


The 31st Annual Colorado Concours D’Elegance and Exotic Sports Car Show will be Sunday June 8th. We usually have around 450 sports cars and lots of Porsches including 25-35 Porsche 356. Once again, this for charity show is at Arapahoe Community College on the grass.
As we mentioned before your 356 can be for display or judged. We recommend having your 356 judged as this will give you feedback on what areas of you 356 can be improved thus maintaining or increasing its value.
We’ve commented on the 356 values and market previously. We just checked the 356 Registry classifieds and out of thirty eight 356 listed nineteen are for 356 wanted. This tells us values and holding but can be increased if your 356 is in very good condition.

Barn Find

BJ’s cousin Doug in Iowa (the BBQ guy at Porsches and Pastries) had a friend who had a friend selling a 1964 Porsche project. They were asking $6000.
We asked Doug to check it out and we set up a time with the seller. He said someone else had already looked at the 356. Doug sent some pictures to us. It was your classic bar find picture. A completely disassembled dusty 356 sitting crooked on saw horses in a barn. Parts were in boxes and they were scattered and the seller didn’t know if all the parts were there. He thought the engine was there. Doug said he and a friend could pick up the 356 and parts and store them at his place until we could get them to Colorado. So we called the seller and offered $6500. He said that the first guy offered that amount so we said $6600. The seller said he would get back to us. He did and said the first guy offered $8000. We said we wouldn’t get into a bidding contest but our $6600 offer would stand.
So , they are still out there. Almost all the project level 356 are projects purchased cheap and are never completed. Many stored for twenty, thirty or forty years.


The website has been updated and is now compatible with smart phones and social media. We have had over one hundred visitors in just a few months. The website includes the twenty plus years of these newsletters and short descriptions of all the 356s we have worked on. We have worked on all the models except the Gmund, American Roadster and Carrera 2.

Formula 1

The new season has started. We enjoy road racing and lost interest in Nascar years ago. The new Formula 1 cars are 1600 cc V6’s. This is probably the same engine size of your stock 356. Early 356 had engines sized at 1300 and 1500 cc’s. Displacement, cubic centimeters, was used to decide racing groups and championship. While the stock 1600 cc 356 has 60, 75 or 90 horsepower the Formula 1 cars have 650 horsepower and more added by recovering waste heat and kinetic energy plus they are turbo charged. The turbo runs at 125,000 rpm. Stop! Think about this, 125,000 revolutions per minute! We can’t even picture something spinning that fast. Of course, all of this advanced (and expensive) technology yields very high speeds and competitive racing which we enjoy watching. The technology will be in the future cars we drive but there is still nothing like driving a fifty plus year old 356. No power steering, no power brakes, you can hear the engine and feel the performance in your hands and seat. This is driving enjoyment. Today’s cars are road appliances.


BJ is just about finished with the metal work on Casper, the 1961 Shop Coupe. The original hood fit was poor but fortunately we had a better fitting hood in our parts inventory. We also recently repaired a kinked hood. The owner had also purchased
a new reproduction hood . We did a quick repair to the kinked hood and it fit ok but still needed some work. So we tried the new hood. It would not fit. It sat high in the left front corner. We checked if the 356 was level. Across the front of the hood opening it was off. The owner said he was unable to adjust the left headlight and suspected a previous repair in this area. It was obvious the left front fender had been repaired and then the hood was made to fit. To use the new hood would mean replacement of the front of the left fender and fitting it to the new hood. We decided to a better repair to the kinked hood and it fit. The owner will have to see if he can return the new reproduction hood. They are expensive but it is great to have hoods now available. With the strong interest in 356s it is great to have reproduction parts available.
Speaking of fitment, we have installed over forty rear windshields . We can usually reuse the original rear windshields as they are seldom damaged. So on the Shop ’64 Coupe , we purchased a new rear windshield seal, installed it on the windshield, inserted the aluminum deco, placed the installation cord and placed it in the 356. It would not fit! Why not? It’s the original and we removed it. Tried again, no go, tried again, same. Ordered a new seal. Nope. Ok lets try another rear windshield as we have plenty. No go! Frustrated. Our plan will be to check the opening for the windshield. It was not damaged, and there was no body work done is this area. If it is still a no go, we will take it to a windshield shop to see if they can install it.
We just picked up the Shop ’56 Speedster!

Grandpa News

Alex went to her first Denver Nuggets with Grandpa and Grandma. Samantha loves all day preschool.

March 2014 Newsletter

newheaderAww Shoot!
We picked up the Magnuson’s ’59 Sunroof Coupe at the mechanics where they had done the final adjustment and test drive.  We knew there were remaining electrical issues so we asked Joe Leoni to make another trip.  Joe and BJ found some more problems in the turn signal switch and extra wires under the dash.

BJ finished the electrical repairs and verified everything worked except the wipers.  The Magnuson’s would be driving down from Casper to pick up their 356 so we decided to take a test drive.  Aww Shoot! The ’59 would not start.  Pulled the air cleaners and primed the carbs; still would not start. No voltage to the coil.  We called the mechanic and asked how they could have driven the 356. They reminded us that they had to run a wire from the ignition switch to the coil.  We had told them we  had repaired the wiring at the rear and would have Joe look at the problem.  We forgot to have Joe look at this problem. It took one minute and we found the problem.  The green coiled wire which is the correct coil wire had no power.  A spare short wire by the voltage regulator, which is reserved for the optional Carrera engine, had power.  We ran a jumper wire from it to the coil and the engine started and we took it for a test drive.

Now to check out the wiper motor.  We pulled the wiper assembly which involves removing the radio and detaching the wiper arms. We checked the wiper motor on the bench. Nothing!

We opened the case and the wiper motor was fried.  We checked our inventory of wiper motors.  We had six B/C motors but only one A motor.  We bench tested it and it worked.
BJ installed everything and the new motor would not work!  We tried different wiper switches and still no go.  Finally BJ found wiring issues with the hot lead and replaced it.  The wipers worked but wouldn’t stop and park, they continued to run.  We found a way to stop the wipers with the switch and decided this was good enough as we don’t expect 356s to be driven in the rain often.

Our analysis was that someone at sometime had really messed up the wiring under the dash.  The turn signal switch had been modified.  There were extra wires, the connection to the coil modified and some of this probably caused the burnt wires at the back that we had to replace.  The best solution would have been to replace the whole wiring harness.  But on over one hundred 356 we have only replaced two or three.  There is nothing wrong with fifty year old wire that hasn’t been messed with.  A new wiring harness runs about $1500 plus removal of the old and tricky installation of the new.

Speaking of electrics, we strongly recommend you replace your turn signal flasher with a new electronic flasher.  We have been installing these in all our restorations for the last four years.  Takes five minutes to install. Available from Stoddard or Zim’s for about fifty dollars.  It gives you brighter more reliable turn signals and you can hear it working.  Your original flasher was a can with a filament that heated and made contact then cooled. After fifty years it is tired.

Speaking of parts and Stoddard, we are impressed with the continued improvements in products and packaging.  They continue to provide new parts, keep competitive price and stay in touch with their customers.  We have used Stoddard for over twenty years and highly recommend them.  Check out their website.

BJ and I went to the painters to check out the Shop ’56 Speedster.  It looks real good. We just found some minor issues inside the doors and some covered over holes.  They made some improvements and we went back.  A few small things and we should have it in paint in the next few weeks.

Jim continued to install parts on Viney the Shop ’64 Signal Red Coupe.  We replaced the rubber and metal brake lines including the steel brake line thru the tunnel.  We replaced this line in segments as it is easier to make the correct bends at the front and rear.  Napa sells metric steel brake line in various lengths and connectors.

BJ continues to work on Casper the Shop ’61 Coupe.  From all the grinding, it sounds like he is getting close to body work.

Speaking of grinding, this is a loud noise that we intend to minimize in the new shop.  Presently, grinding can be heard in the living areas and we try to do this when Barb is gone.  Construction on the new home remodel and shop should start in a few weeks.  We intend to take some metal and the grinding tools to the new shop location and see if we need more sound proofing.  The air compressor is another noise factor and we plan to convert to the new screw type air compressor rated at 60 db. (The old air compressor will be available cheap, needs 220v)

The contractor is starting on the shelves for the new shop.  It will take quite a few but this means we can start moving parts to the unfinished walkout (will be 356 in) basement while they work on the remodel of the exterior and main living area.  We have the parts, move and organization in our head and will have plenty of time to make it efficient.

Grandpa News
Only had  a few sentences last month due to the newsletter length.  We continue to be impressed with how intelligent these young girls are.  Alex studies hard, does her homework and gets straight A’s.  Sammy will see new things, pick them up and determine their function.  She will ask questions about new objects.  My favorite expression of hers is “Grandpa will fix it”.

February 2014 Newsletter


Yes, we had a great time on vacation.  Ask us about our shark story.

While we were gone BJ continued with the metal work on the Shop ‘ 61 Coupe “Casper”.  Remember, this was the 356 owned for forty years and driven summer and winter in Denver.  The older gentleman sold it to us when his mechanic said it was structurally unsafe to drive.

So what metal work was needed?

Inner Longitudinal repaired
Tunnel edges repaired
Floor bulkhead replaced
Front and Rear Floor pans replaced
Battery Floor and upper and lower bulkhead replaced
Nose replaced
Threshold repaired
Right and Left Front Struts replaced
Diagonal replaced
Right and Left Longitudinal replaced
Front Closing panels repaired
Rear Closing panels replaced
Rear Strut repaired

Still to do are repairs to the lock posts and front fenders in front of the doors.  But hey! The rear and engine compartment were undamaged. This metal work is more than we have seen in the past but is expected when the number of 356s available for restoration has declined.  What we are seeing is “rust buckets” that nobody else wants to or can afford to restore.  If we did not enjoy restoring these great little Porsches they would get parted out and crushed.

We paid $7,000 for “Casper” which is the highest we’ve paid for a project 356 Coupe.  We have paid more for  project open 356’s i.e. Cabriolets, Roadsters and Speedsters.  Which leads us to values which we will discuss later.

The Shop ’64 Coupe “Viney” is mostly assembled.  This is the Signal Red Coupe we bought here in Denver covered in vines and the engine needing a rebuild.  The headliner is in and the glass and carpet are yet to be installed and the seats taken to the upholsterer.  We should wrap up “Viney” in the next few months when the rebuilt engine is available.

The Magnuson’s ’59 Sunroof Coupe should be completed shortly.  The front suspension needed a complete rebuild and there were a lot of issues with the replacement 912 engine.

The Shop ’56 Speedster is at the painters and is close to paint.  Before Thom paints it , we will go over and recheck the gaps and fit.  We will also check all the holes  required for emblems and exterior trim.  Usually, holes for emblems can be covered up by bodywork and we understand how this can happen so we try to find and open the holes or redrill them if required.

While we are not accepting customer cars for restoration ( we still get two or three calls a month), we will do repair work for friends and local owners.  We expect a Twin Grille Roadster in for a hood repair.  This 356 was raised on a lift with the hood up.  Ouch!  We have repaired doors that were left open when a 356 was backed out of the garage but never a open hood.

While BJ  is doing the metal work on “Casper”, I started cleaning and repairing the parts.  You cannot believe the amount of grease and dirt on the front suspension.  It took days to get the front suspension arms and stub axles cleaned and painted.  The front backing plates were not too bad and the brake components were reusable.  This was the first time we were able to disassemble the wheel cylinders with out using a grease gun.  On 356s which have not been driven in a long time the wheel cylinders are frozen solid.  But this 356 had been recently driven and all the brake parts were reusable.  We always replace rubber brake hoses.

We have had dozens of wheel cylinders with sheared off bleeder valves.  We have mentioned before that these bleeder valves pointed up are open at the top.  If water gets inside, they can rust solid and the valve will shear off upon removal.

That is why you must have the rubber cap installed.  We use Kroil and heat and have about a seventy percent success rate on removing stuck bleeder valves.  But what to do with wheel cylinders with sheared off bleeder valves that are other wise reusable? Well Martin Willis at the Machine Shop in Colorado Springs made a jig where he can drill and tap a bleeder valve hole on the other side of the wheel cylinder and it is useable in the reversed location.  Ingenious!
Ok now to 356 values.  We are uncomfortable with this subject and by no means expert.  We consider the Porsche 356 a well designed and engineered car which is very enjoyable to drive.  We have a hard time considering a 356 an asset.  Yes, values have gone up in the past years.  The Haggerty Insurance web site has 356 values based on auction results.  High values yield higher premiums and they sell insurance.

A better way to follow values is the 356 Registry  classifieds.  There are usually 30-40 356s for sale.  You can monitor the asking prices and assume some negotiation factor.  The Registry classified are fairly  accurate as to condition descriptions.  There is no room for misrepresentative found often on E-Bay as 356 Registry folks are very knowledgeable when it comes to condition.

So, you have a 356 Coupe that you enjoy driving and while it could use some improvement, it has doubled in value in the last few years.  What to do?  Yes, increase your insurance but continues to drive and maintain your 356.  An undriven 356 will develop problems.  If you decide to sell a 356, sell it to someone 356 knowledgeable who will drive it and maintain it.  And sell it at a fair price.
Grandpa News
Sam fell and broke her arm. She has a cast on but is still happy and cheerful. Alex got straight As again last quarter.

January 2014 Newsletter

Some folks are just hung up on originality. While we value original parts and will work hard to make them usable, we will use a reproduction part when we have to. We like the patina on original parts and have grown to dislike brand new looking 356s.
A while back on 356 Talk an owner was looking for original lug nuts for an early 356. He was told they were all the same. He replied the early ones were a little bit smaller across the flats (ATF). Well, we had about sixty in the lug nut box and got out the micrometer and measured. He was right! We had quite a few that were smaller ATF. They all fit a 19mm socket but about a third of those we had were smaller. Then last week we got a call, a guy was looking for original rear outside bumper brackets. We told him they were available from vendors. He said he knew that but they weren’t like originals. We asked the difference. He said the repos were sharp at the edges while originals were slightly rounded. We said he could file the edges, we had never heard of concern on original bumper brackets and they wouldn’t make his 356 go faster.
Does originality add value to a 356? Yes, but lug nuts and bumper brackets?
Friday, December 20th was a good day. It was the day the Shadow/Jim and BJ’s Project was down on the ground on its wheels. This means we had painted, caulked and undercoated the underneath and fit the cleaned and painted suspension. After sixteen months, this was a great accomplishment. We then dry fit the rest of the parts and checked the top fit.
The top fit as there is a bit of play but the rubber seal for the cowl looked like it might be off. We figured how we could shim the windshield side pieces to make a tighter fit after paint. But then we saw Tim Goodrich (noted 356 restorer, now retired) had reproductions made of original windshield seals. We ordered some and they will correct the problem. Tim had these made for the 356s he restored that are now in Wolfgang Porsche’s collection. So, the Shadow has gone to the painter! We got a paint sample from Wilhoit Restoration for the original white. It is not an appliance white but more of a dusky white. Looks period and will set off the red interior.
Speaking of which, the bench seat which is original to this 356 is back from Autos International and is beautiful. As you may recall, we basically rebuilt this bench seat using parts from early wooden framed bucket seats. While the original metal bench seat bottom was repairable, most of the wood was gone. Autos International did a great job as they had to strengthen the seat bottom and add springs in the middle. We had a good pair of early seat hinges and had them chromed. The bench seat looks great!
When we dry fit parts prior to paint we had to drill holes for the front and rear emblems. We had used replacement panels in these areas and they don’t come with emblem holes.
Fortunately, someone wrote a Do-It-Yourself 356 restoration book which has the measurement for all the different size emblems on all 356s.
The dry fit was important, as we discovered the holes for the hood handle were off. Glad we caught this as it would have meant a repair and repaint of the hood.
Working on the reassembly of the Shop ‘64 Coupe known as “Viney” we saw we needed a steering coupler. The one provided by Stoddard is very expensive as it is a Porsche factory part and carries a liability issue. A steering coupler failure is a big deal! Fortunately vendors have developed a replacement steering coupler that works, is not expensive but is not original (an originality issue?). The steering coupler for the A and B 356s is different from the C’s and is not expensive. It is a reproduction and not the same as the original but it works. You should check your steering coupler it could be fifty years old. We have commented about old rubber in the past.
Years ago, I needed some help bringing a customers 356 to the shop. It was drivable but very, very rusty. I got a friend to go with me and he could drive it back. It was Saturday and although he was a little hug over we made it back. When we started to disassemble the 356 we found the steering coupler was hanging by just a few threads. We called him over to see it and he almost fainted. Check your steering coupler!
Reassembly of the Shop ‘64 Signal Red Coupe is going well. The front compartment and dash are reassembled and most of the exterior parts in place. We are waiting on the headliner and carpet, then we can finish the reassembly.
We had to have the original engine for this 356 rebuilt and it is still at the mechanics. When we first evaluated this 356 stored in a backyard covered in vines, we unscrewed the oil filler cap and saw it was rusted away and metal pieces had probably fallen into the engine. So, the rebuild was not a surprise but sure knocks the profit off a shop car sale.
Grandpa News
Sammy was playing with her battery powered toy mix master when it stopped working. Jen said she would get a new battery. She returned with a battery and a screw driver and told Sammy she would be right back. When she returned Sammy had removed the very small screw and pulled out the battery. Jen had to install the new battery but Sammy reassembled the toy.
Barb and I will be on vacation but will return before the next newsletter.