February 1996 Newsletter


I had been working six days a week without a break since Thanksgiving (and even this break was combined with business) so I went to Phoenix! Barb was in China helping Dixie adopt Dixie and Jim’s baby girl (welcome Danielle!). Phoenix hosted the first Vintage Sports car race of 1996 and I was told this was a great event. It was! The race was at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) which was one of the best tracks I’ve attended. We had 220 vintage racers in seven groups. Practice and qualifying was on Friday with races on Saturday and Sunday. There were forty Colorado drivers there and plenty of Porsches. It’s great how the 356 can still beat the 911!

I helped Scotty with his Mini Cooper. Scotty also owns five 356’s and I just finished his ’53 Cabriolet in primer. Anyhow in Phoenix Scotty had his Mini and had one problem. Remember what we discussed in this Newsletter about changing brake fluid? Well Scotty did well in Friday practice but after his brakes locked and in qualifying they caught fire! Scotty who has raced sports cars for forty five years (deduct 45 from 1996!) calmly stopped, unstrapped, grabbed his fire extinguisher and put out the fire and drove back to the pits.

The next morning we bled the Mini’s brakes and while the fluid to the rears was OK, we found discoloration and black specks through the front lines. We purged and bled the lines and all was fine for Saturday and Sunday races I hate to admit it but Scotty passed two 356’s during the races.


Well I wasted some time this month preparing for the PCA Tech Session. There was little 356 interest. I also spent time preparing for the Restoration Clinic at my shop on Sunday March 17 (starts at 11:00 AM if you get this newsletter in time). The Shop ’57 Coupe is almost done. The interior is complete. The engine is in and I just need to complete some linkage adjustments and electrics. I may hang on to this 356 until the RM356PC event at Mountain View Speedway on June 8th. If it performs well, I’ll set the selling price a little higher.

Paul’s ’52 should have been done but after engine start up at Appleton’s I still have to reposition and weld in the shift bracket before driving. Plus I found a gas tank leak which required tank removal because whoever painted the tank used the wrong paint and it blistered and got inside the tank from around the filler opening. And the rear brake shoes are still swollen because seals were missing on the tranny and 90 weight leaked onto the brakes and whoever put in the wiring harness did it wrong and there is no power out of three fuses. Such are the joys of 356 restoration.

Mike’s ’65 Coupe is nearing completion. All the metal work is done and we’ve stared on primer, caulk and undercoat.

Warren’s ’65 is close to paint. We discovered no metal under the bondo on the driver side rocker so we had to replace the rocker. It will be nice to get this long term project wrapped up.

Don’s ’59 Coupe is at the paint booth and I need to put in a headliner plus windshields and return it to Don and Joe for re-assembly. They plan on getting it back together in two weeks (good luck guys!)

The Rocky Mountain 356 Porsche Club will host another West Fest in June. This will be a track event at Mountain View plus the swap meet, show and drive at Ed Carroll Porsche in Fort Collins.

Some progress on the ’52 Coupe from Lincoln. Appleton’s got the engine running which is a big relief but we still had to solve some problems with the linkage due to the later transmission.

Upcoming Events

There will be a restoration clinic and chili feed at 356RESTORE on March 17th. This is in connection with the RM356PC club monthly event. Everyone is welcome including non-members.