December 2015 Newsletter

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356 Parts Prices
We’ve mentioned before that we don’t do engine work. So why do we have so many engine parts? We think the reason is that the Porsche 356 appealed to men with an engineering background. It was unique, air cooled and rear engine. Plus, it was German.

Many of these early buyers would do more than just specified maintenance. They would buy parts to improve performance or have spares. These parts would follow the 356 when it was sold. Almost every 356 we have bought came with extra parts including engine parts.

Recently, Stoddard announced a new reproduction part, valve covers. Their price for one valve cover, $320. We have 52 valve covers. We have sold them for $100 a pair and have sold very few.

Thom, the painter is doing a repaint for one of our customers and the customer wanted a new rear windshield. We told Thom we had never bought one as the weren’t being reproduced and were seldom damaged. We would just use new seals and perhaps decos. We have eleven rear windshields. We told Thom to come and pick one. Then I remembered Stoddard is now selling 356 rear windshields. Their price is $928. Thom and I agreed on a fair price for the customer.

So have Porsche 356 parts prices gone up? Have they gone up as much as the 356 prices?

We have Stoddard price list from1985 and 1995 and today’s prices are on their website. A B/C ashtray sold for $18.50 in 1985, 22.65 in 1995 and today it is $77.00. A “Porsche” emblem sold for $23.50 in 1985, $50.40 in 1995 and today is $81.00. An A rocker deco was $46.75 in 1985 and $52.95 in 1995 and today is $77.00.
On the other hand, a teardrop taillight was $109.00 in 1985 and $190.00 in 1995 and today it is $77.00. We think this is because the poor design of the teardrop taillight creates a big demand for replacement. Big demand means larger quantities to reproduce and lower cost.

But how to explain windshields? An A Coupe was $150.00 in 1985, $390.00 in 1995 and $648.00 today. And then there is a baby moon hubcap, $13.00 in 1985, $46.00 in 1995 and $40.00 today.
And finally, a C crankshaft in 1985 priced at $299.00, $1,188.00 in 1995 and either $2.,704.00 for a crankshaft from Porsche Classic or hard to believe an NOS factory crankshaft is available for $4,242.00.
So, the net is mixed, some parts have gone up significantly while others have been stable or gone down. Competition and offshore reproduction has a lot to do with this. In 1985 it was mostly Stoddard, Tweeks, NLA and Doc and Cy’s. Today there are more Porsche parts vendors and we have the Internet.

We picked up the Shop ’64 Sunroof Coupe from Juan the upholster. We have been doing carpet and headliners on Coupes but on the higher value 356s it is best to have a professional job. Years ago we said a sunroof adds $3,000 to the value of a Coupe. Then we said $5,000. Now we say $10,000 but others argue for more.

BJ thought he was done with Barney the Shop ’62 Coupe but then he positioned the rear bumper. The hole in the fender where it attached was in the wrong position! It was too far forward. So whomever did this rear clip in the past really got it in the wrong position. BJ had been making repairs so the decklid fit and the rear teardrops lights were in the correct position. But with another repair we decided to just put a rear clip on the 356. We had one that matches to the factory welds. This will be a better solution that patch repairs.

Jim has not done much 356 restoration as he has been setting up the new shop. The parts cleaner and blast cabinet will not be needed, FREE to pick up.

The Move
All the parts are in the shop except for the parts for 356s being restored. These parts will go over when we move the cars. We have a temporary path to the basement door which has been enlarged to seven feet wide. However the path is mud and gravel and will only be safe when it is frozen. While BJ and I were going to trailer the 356s to the new shop, we decided to use Larry of Specialized Towing to move the 356s.

Once the shop is up and running, we expect to move only one or two 356s a month in or out of the basement shop. When we do landscaping the path to the shop will not be obvious as it is now. The rest of the remodel is progressing but is doubtful we will move in by Christmas. The kitchen is in and the appliances due this week. The tile floor is finished but the carpet is not yet installed. The final plumbing and electrical has been started but not yet completed. There is a lot of finish work but in general we are very pleased with the work. This is the first home that we have designed.
Barb is very good at design and there are hundreds of decisions to be made. She will ask Jim about knobs and pulls for cabinets and about paint colors and her choices are right on. Jim did decide on the various plaster options and went with a subtle stucco effect which really blends with the Mediterranean style of the house. Jim of course designed the 356Restore shop and received very positive feedback. Barb refers to it as a museum. Hey, I think there are some tax benefits to a museum!

Grandpa News
Did you know that Christmas is coming up soon!!!
The Santa lists have been rewrote almost everyday and the plans with Minnesota Grandma and the cousins over Xmas break is exhausting.
Porsche for Christmas