February 2005 Newsletter

We had positive feedback on the last month’s newsletter. Folks called to say they knew exactly what I had gone through with the clutch cable problem. You really have to enjoy solving problems with these 40-55 year old cars. (I will admit that when I got that rod stuck in the clutch cable tube I thought about how I could reroute the cable.)

Since we didn’t cover progress last month we will bring you up to date.

There were continuing problems with the soft top and seats for the Shop ’58 Cabriolet. I was able to obtain needed parts and trailered the Cab to Autoweave for carpet, top and boot. We are going to try and use a tan leather interior that came with the 356. However, the interior was from a Coupe which has more pieces than a Cabriolet so we should have extra leather to do Cab pieces.

Michael’s ’61 Coupe was painted Silver and all available parts were assembled and the 356 was returned to Michael. We will probably see it again as Michael finds parts.

The Shop ’57 Carrera was also painted Silver and is back here awaiting reassembly. This is going to take time as I am shooting for a show car results.

BJ finished the metal work and rough finish on the Shop ’64 Coupe. He also did the underneath paint, caulk and undercoat and the interior paint and caulk. This Shop car was Signal Red originally. Since there are too many red sports cars we will paint it one of our favorite 356 colors-Slate gray.

Trevor finished the brake and other work on the Shop ’64 Irish Green Coupe but weather has precluded us putting miles on it. I started the metal work on Scot’s ’55 Coupe and am almost done. A major issue was the driver side door. Scot had his 356 on ramps in a single car garage. He had a friend help to push it backwards off the ramps as he steered. At it came off the ramps the driver side door flew open and was caught by the garage door opening. Major twisted metal. I worked on this first and was quite happy with the result. I opened up the inner door sheet metal by blowing out numerous spot welds with the plasma cutter. Using clamps on the workbench I was able to reposition the interior sheet meal and tack it back in place. Then I worked on dents in the door skin. One deep crease I was able to pull with the stud gun; others I had to pull out then shrink as the door skin metal was stretched. (We call this “oil canned”) I kept hanging the door until it was flush with good gaps and then finished my welds. It is great when you can save a door that was original to the 356. Most of the remaining work was redoing previous repairs and installing a new battery box floor, repairing the hood, plus minor rust issues. Scot will end up with a numbers matching 356 with original floor pans and longitudinals. We will have this ’55 356 painted the original Turkish Red (another red sports car). Remember we are doing this work in exchange for Scot’s other 356, a ’54 Coupe.

Next into the shop will be Andy’s ’62 Coupe which we have had blasted but not yet evaluated. And of course, I bought another 356. This is a ’60 Coupe. I had looked at this 356 a few years ago. It was really rough! It had a VW engine and was missing lots of parts. I decided not to buy it. A young guy bought it and found a 912 engine for it. The engine had come from a running car but had not been started in fifteen years (heard this one before!). The guy has some mechanical skills and got the engine running, and with a few parts we sold him, he drove the 356. He also bought a nice short trailer for the 356. He found another Porsche to work on and wanted to sell the 356 with the 912 engine and trailer. I bought the package as I was about to fix up my trailer and this trailer is better. Plus a running 912 engine is a possible good deal. Don’t know what I will do with the 356.

The net of this is we have to wrap up our customer commitments so we can complete and sell the Shop cars. It is a seller’s market right now and we should have four or five ready for sale this year.

Bill Frey attended the Barret-Jackson Classic Car Auction in Scotsdale, Arizona last year and said it was a must see. So Barb and I planned to drive down in late January but we found we had some free miles and so flew instead. Over 900 classic cars were fore sale and it was quite a car show! There were only six Porsches and only two 356s. One was an A Cabriolet and the other a C Cabriolet. Both sold in the mid 40’s. There were issues with both cars. I have a problem with using the term “fully restored” for a 356 that may drive but needs a lot of work. If you have an appreciation for top classic cars, I would put the Barrett-Jackson Scotsdale auction on your to-do-list.

After the auction Barb and I went to Maui, BJ and Jen went on a 10th anniversary cruise so now we are rested-let’s get to work!