December 2004 Newsletter

Restoration Book
The first printing of “Porsche 356 Guide to Do-It-Yourself Restoration” has sold out. The publisher had 1,500 copies printed expecting them to last two years. They sold in six months. The publisher is printing another 1,500.

While financial gain was not my motive in writing the book, it is great to recover my expenses. If you want a book as a Christmas gift I have some available and would be happy to sign it. Price is $24.95 plus $4.00 shipping and handling.

The new Shop Car is a ’57 Sunroof Coupe not a ’55. I confused it as it has the Pre A engine configuration with the small Solex carbs. For the Shop ’58 Cabriolet, we decided on a tan leather interior which came with the car rather than the original missing red interior. With a tan soft top this Meissen Blue Cabriolet should be a sharp looking 356.

Many, many parts were missing on the Cabriolet. The most fun was making a soft top frame out of two broken ones. Since the frame has a lot of aluminum we were unable to weld it and had to fabricate attachment points and missing parts. The ’58 Cab is almost complete and will be off to Autoweave in a few weeks.

BJ finished work on the ’57 Carrera and it will go to Don, the painter, when he is finished with Michael’s ’61 Coupe. Both these 356s will be silver.

BJ started on the smaller repairs on the Shop ’64 Coupe after I did the floor, thresholds and longitudinals. He is almost done with the metal work and will start on Scot’s ’55 Coupe.

Trevor is finishing up the brake and other work on the Irish Green Shop ’64 Coupe and we hope to put some miles on it before winter sets in.

I mentioned last month that we needed bumper over riders for the ’57 Carrera. I made some calls and they are very hard to find. Then I thought to check some early pictures of the 356. In a 1965 photograph of the Carrera in the St Paul Winter Carnival parade it had over riders. But then I checked photos sent to me by the grandson of the original owner. They were taken in Norway right after the 356 was picked up at the factory. It did not have over riders in the pictures. It also had hood straps which was not noted on the factory Kardex information. Also, the fog lights specified on the Kardex were not on the car. It is probable the owner made some changes at the factory. We have the original red leather seats for the Carrera and they have a lot of patina. Maybe too much to salvage but we will wait on an evaluation at Autoweave.

Barb and I will probably drive to Arizona for the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale in late January. This year the event is five days with over 1,000 cars to be sold. Hopefully, some will be 356s. Bill Frey attended last year and said it was a great event. Info is available online at and tickets can be purchased online before the end of December.

Barb and I are also registered for the Gulf Coast Holiday, April 7-10 in Boerne, Texas (pronounced “Bernie”). Boerne is not far from San Antonio and the event will include a special tour of the Alamo site and dinner on the River Walk. (I wonder if my old barracks from my days at Officer Training School is still at Lackland AFB). The registration packet is available at or contact David Wildrick at 713-218-9686.

BJ and I will miss the Anaheim Swap Meet in early February. This year it is in Long Beach as the Anaheim site is not available. It has been expanded to cover all European sports cars not just Porsches. Barb and I will take vacation again on Maui. Aloha.

Tech Tip
Some of you may experience a gasoline smell after you park your 355 in the garage. To avoid this, drive into the garage, leave the garage door open, turn your fuel petcock off (counter clockwise to Zu) and let the engine die of fuel starvation.

This procedure guarantees no gasoline smell and also keeps fuel from sitting in the carbs and fuel lines.

As mentioned previously, today’s gasoline with additives is harmful to the 356 fuel system.

With a dry system the 356 will take longer to start unless you install an electric fuel pump. Any mechanic (or you) can install one. One installation is shown in the Technical section of the 356 Registry website. Don’t forget to turn your fuel petcock back on after starting. To remind yourself that the petcock is off, pull your sun visor down. We are in the habit of turning off the fuel petcock even when stopping the car for a short while. With gas still in the fuel lines but the petcock off, the 356 will start but only go a few blocks before running out of gas. A great thief deterrent. If traveling, take a car cover to disguise your 356 at motel stops. It will look like a Volkswagen.