December 2008 Newsletter

High Plains Raceway
I did my first lap at HPR, the new track out by Byers. My time was 50:17:02. Fifty minutes means I walked the track, two and a half miles, up and down hill. The new track is excellent! Can’t wait to get my ’52 Coupe on the track. As I was leaving someone asked me what I thought? All I could say was “Oh, man!”

The turns on the new track have great names: “Danny’s Lesson”, “High Plains Drifter”, “To Hell on a Bobsled”, “Ladder to Heaven” and “Prairie Corkscrew” are a few.

It is definitely a technical track and not a spectator track. The back straight is very long and I imagine the big bore cars will hit 140-160 mph before the right turn and downhill.

BJ assisted in positioning the corner stations and there are fourteen, so corner worker volunteers are always needed (you get room, food, drinks and the best view of the track). Contact BJ if you would like to be trained and help out occasionally.

Scot Petitt has been helping out part time so progress has been good and we even brought in another 356, Kit’s ’64. Kits 356 is a ’64 Coupe she bought in 1969. Prior to that she had a ’58 Cabriolet. Her Dad rebuilt the engine in the ’64 to SC specs and Kit helped. She can set the valves, change the oil and do a tune up. She put 100,000 miles on the ’64 before storing it in 1988. She had contacted us a few years ago for the restoration but we were full up. I told her as I tell others, just keep bugging us until we have an opening. She did, every few months and then we had an opening.

Kits ’64 (her Colorado license plate!) was in it’s original Dolphin Gray paint but too worn and rubbed through to be a preservation candidate. We disassembled the 356 for blasting and could find no rust. The only damage is to the battery box floor and we will try to repair it rather than replace it so she will have an original metal 356.

We are still waiting on Jim’s Sunroof Coupe which is still at the painters. They have promised it to be done before Christmas. Scot has been completing the Shop ’60 Cabriolet and solved a difficult problem with the shift linkage due to differences with the 741 single mount transmission. We will do some of the interior and then take it to the upholstery shop. The Cabriolet is Silver with red interior and black top and boot. For a 356 put together with parts from the shelf it looks good.

BJ finished the battery box repairs on the Wyoming Speedster and is now working on the floor pan.

We found another painter and delivered George’s ’60 Roadster for the Silver paint that George liked when he saw the Shop ’60 Cabriolet.

When Jim’s Sunroof Coupe comes back from the painter we will invite Kit down to see its Slate Gray paint. Kit is thinking of Slate Gray or Black for her ’64 Coupe.

We are holding the Shop ’64 for paint while we check out the three painters that presently have our 356s.

While the media is saying the economy is in the dumps we are not seeing a major change in Porsche restoration activity. However, we are seeing signs of a slow down. Prices for 356 parts are advertised and then lowered when there are no buyers. When we place orders with vendors we are getting quick turn around. For example, we ordered a complete interior and top for the Shop ’60 Cabriolet. It came in two weeks; we expected the normal four to six weeks. Local suppliers also appear less busy. So what does it mean to the 356 hobby/business? We are not sure, but right now we don’t see a major impact.

For example, the last two Holidays were overbooked with hundreds of 356s and owners. The next West Coast Holiday is in Sedona, Arizona next October and it is already more than half booked. It will probably close out early next year so register now if you plan to attend.

Barb and I participated in the previous WCHs at Sedona in 1989 and 1999 and plan on attending in 2009.

Now that most of the shop 356s are restored, we have started to sell parts again. BJ and I plan to attend the big 356 Swap Meet in the Los Angeles area next March. This is always a fun road trip as we stop in Las Vegas going out and coming back.

We found a Carrera tachometer in some of the parts we bought a while back and sent it out with some other instruments to be restored at Palo Alto Speedometer. Helmut called and said it was a rare Carrera 2 tachometer and that someone had modified it and he recommended we restore it back to a Carrera2 specs as it is quite valuable. We agreed as very few Carrera 2s were produced in the early sixties. By the way, five instruments were restored and returned in two weeks; it normally takes six to eight weeks.

Tech Tips
Here are some random tips that we use all the time:

Mask off areas with aluminum foil and tape to protect them when using touch up paint.

Semi gloss black or satin black are the best match to the factory black paint.

Small rust areas can be stopped by cleaning and applying “Rust Treatment” available at NAPA. It coverts the rust and stops its growth. The area will still have to be repaired.

“Invisible Glass” is the best glass cleaner.

3M General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner 08984 will clean and restore rubber and clean other parts. We use it almost daily.

“303 Aerospace Protectent” is one of the best treatment for rubber and vinyl.

Grandpa News
Don’t tell Alex but she is getting a computer for Christmas. Hard to believe four years old and a computer!