January 2007 Newsletter

Richard Petty Says Hi!
A good friend of BJ’s moved from Denver To Nashville to be the marketing director of a large country/western radio station. The station was hosting a NASCAR and Country event and BJ and Jen (and Alex) were invited.

At cocktails before dinner BJ was talking with Richard Petty and when asked, told Richard that he and his father restored old Porsches. Richard said “I’m sure you do a great job and say Hi to your father.”

BJ and Jen had dinner with Ryan Newman and his wife who introduced them to Michael Waltrop. All in all, BJ talked to about twenty NASCAR drivers. When you see BJ, ask him about his NASCAR stories.

Our congratulations to BJ for being named RMVR’s Worker of the Year.

Colorado Winter
Man, it’s been cold and snowy. This gets in the way of restoring the 356s. Even though, the shop is in the basement we have work to do in the garage and have not been able to get to it. For a while the storage building had five foot drifts in front of the doors. There is no way we can get our trailer in to move 356s. If we have to move them we will use Larry’s Towing who specializes in transporting sports cars. We recommend him if you need this service.

Speaking of Colorado weather, there won’t be a newsletter next month as Barb and I will be on vacation. Aloha!

We have not been able to put any miles on the Slate Gray ’64 Coupe due to the weather but we already have some potential buyers.

We got the carpet and windshields in the Shop ’57 Sunroof Coupe plus lots of other parts. When we did the brakes we used a new master cylinder and rubber brake lines. We can usually restore the wheel cylinders and they were easily done on the ’57. We try to reuse the steel brake lines but on the ’57 the tunnel line broke at the front when we removed the old master cylinder. So we replaced all the steel lines. The ’57 will go to Autoweave probably when we pick up the Shop Speedster.

BJ has finished the metal work on the Shop ’58 Coupe and will start the prep for paint. This will free up the MIG welder and plasma cutter and I can start metal work on the Speedster 80013 (the thirteenth Speedster made).

A couple more areas to check for rust. At the front of your 356 below where the tie rods exit the chassis is an important area call the front strut. It is a ledge and a perfect mud trap. If rust damages this area your front suspension is compromised. The rust can move from this area and damage the front of the floor pan. You have to remove the wooden floor boards to inspect this area.

Another area which is less common for rust damage is behind the sound deadening material in the engine compartment above the carburetors.

What happens is you drive you 356 on a cold humid day and park it. Heat from the engine exits the carburetors and causes condensation on the cold metal behind the sound deadening material. We have found this damage on two fully restored 356s. The owners never knew they had rust damage as the sound deadening material had not been removed during restoration.

Have you ever driven your 356 in the rain with the rear quarter windows open? Not a good idea! Rain gets inside behind the interior rear side panels which have a vertical groove for rigidity. However the factor glued the side panel insulation with horizontal glue strips. A little dam is created and the metal panel rusts out. We see this quite often. As mentioned in our restoration book we once saw this whole panel rusted away and missed it during our evaluation as when we looked at this panel from under the fender, the back of the side panel had been undercoated and looked like metal.

That about wraps up the discussion on rust. There are lots of areas where we see rust. We enjoy the detective work of determining what causes rust damage.

Rennsport III
Rennsport III will be November 2-4 this year at Daytona International Speedway. BJ and I attended Rennsport I at Lime Rock, Connecticut and Rennsport II at Daytona.

This will be a huge event. At Rennsport II there were over 600 racing Porsches and dozens of legendary Porsche race drivers. Anyone that enjoys Porsche racing should attend. The event is open to the public. At Rennsport II BJ and I would get there early in the morning. All the garages were open, no crowds and we could enjoy looking at some famous racing Porsches. Then the races started! Over eighty Porsches in a race group on the high banking and into the infield race track. There were at least twenty 356s at Rennsport II including 356 serial number 1. Details on Rennsport III at www.press.porsche.com or www.go race.com.

East Coast Holiday
The 356 Registry ECH will be June 26-July 2 in Harbor Springs, Michigan. This is a beautiful area at the top of the lower peninsula. All the events will be held at the resort hotel and include a hill climb, concours, gymkhana and swap meet. Barb and I are registered and look forward to meeting friends in Michigan.

We have attended many Holidays all over the U.S.. Many of the areas of the country we probably would never have visited if there hadn’t been a Holiday. (Why take a trip when the best scenery is right here in CO!) But we treasure the memories of Mt Vernon, the Alamo, Carmel, Sedona, Banf and the other great venues.

Grandpa News
Christmas was a bit overwhelming to a 2 1/2 year old. She opened the first two packages and then just wanted to play with what she had in hand.