February 2012 Newsletter

Yes, we had a relaxing vacation in Maui, HI. Plenty of sun, read lots of books, caught lots of fish and relaxed. Met a 356 guy who had contacted a 356 owner on Maui who invited us to visit. We thought we would meet the owner, say nice things about his 356 and be back at the beach in an hour or two.

Well, when we arrived the owner had his 1958 Carrera GT Speedster, Devin sports car and Shelby Cobra in the driveway. After he got to know us he said ”Lets go for a drive”. My friend didn’t want to drive and I had driven a Carrera, so I said I’ll drive the Devin. What a blast! This Devin was 1200 pounds on a tube frame. Devin in the fifties made lots of kit cars and factory cars in various configurations, VW engines, Porsche engines, Corvair engines and even V-8s; both front and rear drives. They were very competitive. The ride was most of the way up the Haleakala volcano. Haleakala is 10,000 feet and we went up more than half way. Plenty of twisty turns. The Devin had a Type 1 engine but it was fast. Only about ten feet in first until you had to go to second. Then lots of acceleration out of second and third. I’m chasing a Carrera GT and staying right with him. Plenty of exhaust noise! I can heel and toe in sandals but I’m in shorts and near the top we arrive in the clouds, No heater! No wipers! so we back off. Had lunch at Grandmas, a coffee and sandwich place known to locals. And then back down the volcano. What a drive! When we got back the owner offered me the Cobra but I said no, it would be a let down from the Devin. So yes, we had a great vacation.

We had the Shop ‘64 Coupe known as “Viney” disassembled and media blasted. After twenty years outside, many of the parts will have to be replaced. We pulled the engine and did not try to turn it over. The oil filler cap had rusted away and we were concerned rusty metal may have gotten into the oil. When we pulled the fan shroud it was full of vines! We carefully checked the oil canister and did not see any metal flakes, so we took it to the mechanic to drain the oil and flush and inspect the engine. Hopefully we can save this original engine.

BJ started on the metal work on “Viney” while we were on vacation. We were aware that this 356 had taken a hard hit on the front but were surprised to see after blasting that it had been rolled and had a replacement top. But since the windshield and side glass fit we didn’t except a problem. We ordered a new front clip and BJ opened the front to rebuild the battery box. He replaced the front bulk head and battery floor. There was minimal damage to the battery box sides. BJ had to use the porta-power to move the battery box forward. Fortunately there was no damage to the front torsion tubes. The driver door could have been repaired: the 356 probably rolled on that side, but we had a better one in inventory and it fit well. So BJ continues the metal work on “Viney” and I have been assembling the Shop ‘58 Cabriolet. It sure looks good in Fjord Green and will look great with a tan interior and top. We have most of it assembled with major issues being the wiring harness and brakes. The Shop ‘64 Coupe in Signal Red remains in the shop waiting on a rebuilt engine. We are using a 912 engine we had so it will not be original. Many 356 owners have upgraded to the 912 engine, some saving their original engine so we don’t expect this to change to effect value. The Shop Dolphin Grey ‘64 Coupe and the Shop Silver ‘60 Coupe remain on the market. We have an offer on the Silver ‘60 Cabriolet and it may be off to Germany.

The Illinois ‘60 Cabriolet is at the painters and we have most of the parts ready for reassembly. This is another 356 stored for twenty years but fortunately, inside. The engine needed a rebuild and the owner choose to have it done on the East Coast. We had it disassembled and shipped as basically a short block. The East Coast mechanic will do the rebuild and checkout using his parts and send it to us and we will assemble with the owners parts. The owner hopes to get out here soon to see the “Happy Car” in paint.

The Rocky Mountain Vintage Race schedule:
3/24-25 Fire Rescue (Crash and Burn)
4/21-22 Driver School– PPIR
5/12-13 Spring Race-HPR
6/2-3 Trans AM -Pueblo
7/2-3 Pikes Peak Hill climb
7/21-22 Charity Race– HPR
9/1-2 Fall Race-Pueblo
9/29-30 Enduro-HPR
HPR is High Plains Raceway out by Byers, CO. The track built by all the racing clubs in the Denver area. 2.55 miles fifteen turns, up and down hill; if you haven’t been yet plan on it. No admission charge and visit all the cars and drivers. PPIR is the Pikes Peak International raceway south of Colorado Springs. Closed for awhile but now open to amateur racing. The Pikes Peak Hill Climb now has a class for vintage racing. Pueblo is located 5 miles west of Pueblo off Hwy. 50.

Heads Up
If any of you plan on doing business with Classic Investments, a classic car shop here in Denver; give me a call.

Grandpa News
Alex finished up with all her swimming lessons and at age 7 is a much better swimmer than any one in the family. She is signed up for a class at the Denver Zoo this summer and is looking at a Science or Robot building class also this summer. Between classes and vacations she is booked until the fall with activities.