December 1996 Newsletter


Happy Holidays from 356 RESTORE. Did you remember to change your oil before storing your 356 for the Winter? We had a clinic at Appleton’s a few years back and he showed us the impressions of ice crystals on the engine parts. Fresh oil (as soon as you drive your 356 moisture enters the engine) will protect from Winter storage problems.

I’m sending this newsletter a little early to remind you of the RM356PC Xmas party. It will be at our home on Sunday, December 15th starting at noon. You don’t have to be a club member to attend. Call for directions and details. We have over 50 folks signed up so far so it will be fun.


Ron picked up his ’60 Cabriolet. He will have it painted in Cheyenne and then back here for reassembly. I picked up Jack H’s ’64 Coupe from the Blasters and it is now in the shop. Jack came by to check it out prior to metal work and was surprised by what was hiding underneath the paint and Bondo. His 356 is not that bad compared to most I get. So, the shop is full of three 1964 C Coupes. I finished all the metal repair on Dr. Jack’s Sunroof Coupe. I thought I finished last month but while scrapping undercoat off the bottom, my chisel went through the left front strut. (Inexpensive wood chisels are best for scrapping tar and undercoat). Dr. Jack’s 356 had a real heavy undercoat. This was done after the 356 was purchased and was both a plus and a minus. The plus is the 356 had no serious rust underneath (except for the strut and a front closing panel). The minus was the horns, shocks, heater values and transaxle had heavy undercoat.

For the horns, I scraped the undercoat off and had them sandblasted. I did not disassemble them. I’ve discovered that it’s easiest to blast them in one piece rather than disassembling and disturbing the paper gaskets. It’s a little tough to paint under the grilles but you can. With a horn kit they look like new and they still work. (I’ve done six pair this way-and don’t forget to mark which is the high and low tone.)

Dr. Jack’s shocks also had to be hand scraped. And guess what? Yep, they were the original Porsche shocks painted blue. Just like the ones I found on the Shop ’64 Cabriolet. So I think Porsche had Koni make shocks with the Porsche name on them (I doubt Porsche made their own). This probably happened at the same time Porsche bought out Reutter in 1963. Anyhow, with the strut repaired, I replaced all the chipped and loose undercoat (after cleaning the metal with a acid and applying two part epoxy paint) and then sealed the undercoat with paint. I also did the filler work on the body repairs and Dr. Jack’s 356 is ready for paint.

Believe it or not, all ’64 Coupes presently in the shop will be painted Ivory. Two are originals – Dr. Jack’s and Jack H’s – the other, Webb’s is a color change. I’ve commented before how models and colors show up in the shop in bunches, but this is getting weird.

While finishing up Dr. Jack’s Coupe I started on Webb’s 356. Again most of the metal repair was exterior with some repair to the longitudinal plus new jack spurs. The major problem was the hood which had rusted out in the nose due to a hood seal installed wrong and sitting with water in the hood channel.

I had three approaches to this repair. I could try to cut out rusted metal and weld up dozens of holes in the original hood. I could sacrifice a shop hood and replace the whole nose section or I could repair a shop hood to fit Webb’s 356. I decided to try both the last and first approaches and then decide which would fit best. It was obvious the repair and fit of a shop hood was going to take a lot of work i.e. filler. And since I don’t like a heavy hood, I went with a welding repair of the original hood. This took a lot of time, particularly splitting the fold over seam in the nose. This was rusted tight and I had to make a tool out of an old screwdriver. But I got it done and it was the right choice plus I have a partially repaired shop hood for a future project) good hoods are worth up to $1,000). So yet to do on Webb’s 356 are fresh paint and undercoat on the bottom plus restoration of the front storage, interior and engine compartment.

While I wait for material to dry on Webb’s 356, I’ll start on Jack H’s metal repair.


The Eastwood Company (1-800-345-1178) sells a complete buffing kit that you can mount on your bench grinder. It comes with eight buffing wheels, six compounds, face shield, gloves and a video. I have read good reviews on this system and would recommend it. It cost $85.00. While I opted for the more expensive professional buffing system, I am quite pleased with all of Eastwoods restoration products (call them for a catalog).


Next month we will report on 356RESTORE financials. Did Jim make money this year? What did he sell out of or buy into inventory? Go back and reread you newsletters, they will give you a clue.

Anyhow, by year end we will have restored over forty 356’s in four years and that is the real goal. Just keep driving your 356!