January 2003 Newsletter

Tech Tip

When was the last time you checked your transmission oil? It is easy to do. The fill location is about two thirds of the way up the tranny on the passenger side. Remove the fill plug and stick your little finger in. It should come out with some of that sweet smelling 90 weight oil on it. (Actually, tranny oil is foul smelling and the smell won’t come out of your clothes). If it smells a little burnt you could have trouble.

West Coast Holiday

It’s confirmed! This years Holiday will be in Taos, New Mexico October 2-5. Mark your calendars now! Registration information will soon be available via the 356 Registry web site. Go to 356REGISTRY.org and click on West Coast Holiday.

For those of us involved in Holidays put on by the RM356PC we know there are two things we can do to help.

Register early! This helps the organizers pay for goodie bags, badges, t-shirts, etc. that have to be ordered before the event.


Barb and I have already volunteered to help out and you should also. Contact Dave and Ann Stinchcomb at DAVEANNST@aol.com or (505) 898-2255.

Those of us in Colorado know how beautiful the Taos area is and how many exciting things are available. Plan now to attend this West Coast Holiday.


Meanwhile back at the shop. We lined up another painter and delivered Chris’s ’59 Convertible D for a Ruby Red paint job. Dan joins Vern as the painters helping out 356RESTORE. Dan has eighteen years as a professional and has a shop at home to do weekend/evening work. Vern is finishing Rob’s Cabriolet and should be available for the Shop ’64 Coupe. It will be a few months before we get on top of the paint work backlog.

BJ finished Gene’s ’62 Cab and it will be ready for its Oslo Blue paint job.

Ted’s ’59 Cabriolet should be back from Blast Tech and we can start the metal work. This 356 will definitely need a front clip. We air chiseled about ten pounds of Bondo off the front, some of it an inch thick.

I have completed most of the metal work on the shop ’57 GS Carrera. All that is left is work underneath including scraping off the tar that was applied and repaint, caulk and undercoat. Removing tar is a dirty, messy job and even with all the fans going it stinks up the shop/house. Wonder why Barb puts up with me.

Restoration Book

The Porsche 356 Restoration book is out for review. Over thirty people volunteered to review the book and I picked five. I wanted amateurs that had done a complete 356 restoration including metal work as this the primary audience. We do have one professional reviewing the book and he said he was up late at night reading it. Hopefully, this was a positive comment. The book will probably be called the “Porsche 356 Restoration Book” as this is how people search for resources. “Jim’s Hobby that got out of Control” would be a good title but probably not sell. We also learned how important the cover is as a picture of it needs to go in book catalogs prior to publication. This is how books are ordered by suppliers.

BJ and I have started preparing parts for the big swap meet in Anaheim, California on February 2nd. We like to have all our parts clean, painted and priced. So this takes time. The new blast cabinet really helps. We should be back in the shop February 4th after the obligatory stop in Las Vegas. Barb and I leave for vacation February 5th and return February 15th. So there may not be a newsletter next month.

Tech Tip

There is a section in the restoration book on how to restore 356 front hood hinges. We have been doing this as a mater of course as we can’t do front end repairs on a 356 with a hood that hangs up.

While the repair is tough to describe involving filing and cycling the part, I thought of something to add to the book to make the process easier. I was cleaning rear lid hinges for the swap meet when it occurred to me that this is the same mechanism as the front hinge. This would provide an example of how the front hinge mechanism should look as rear hinges seldom wear as much as the front. So we will add this tip to the book. If you have hinges that hang up, give me a call and we will send you the book section on this repair. By the way, since rear hinges seldom hang up they are not often replaced. We have a large collection that haven’t sold at $80.pair. When this happens it means the price is too high. We will reduce them to $40/pair. We’ll let you know if they sell at the reduced price or if they just aren’t as frequently needed. We will also reduce the prices on our large inventory of drum brake parts as they haven’t moved. Give a call if you need brake parts.

One part where I really missed the market was 16 inch wheels for the Pre-A. I was selling a bunch at $50 each and was running out. When a customer called for 16 inch wheels I asked him why I was selling so many. “Easy, Jim,” he said, “everybody else sells them for $150.”

Since our 356’s are 40 to 50 years old, parts are getting hard to find. This winter would be a good time to survey your 356 for parts that may be needed in the future. Make a list and purchase parts at swap meets now that might be needed later.

Barb and I say Aloha!