January 2010 Newsletter

We hope to finish the restoration and deliver the two customer 356’s before Barb and I go on vacation next month. Aloha!

Caroline’s ’62 coupe sure looks good in its new Ivory paint. We installed a new charcoal carpet and was able to reuse her black vinyl interior. In fact we were able to reuse most of her origi- nal parts and it sure makes life easier as original pieces fit. For example the reproduction aluminum trim pieces at the threshold of the door do not have the screw holes that line up with the factory holes in the 356 body. The trim has a to be cut to fit and new holes drilled. Average time to install the four reproduction trim pieces is one hour. Reusing original pieces is ten minutes. Or $110 parts and labor or $10 labor. True, new reproduction trim looks better than fifty year old pieces but we like the patina. Once again on Caroline’s 356 as in many 356’s we work on that had been previously been “restored” we had to redo work that had been previously done wrong. This is not to slam the previous owners or “restoration” shops as years ago they did not have the resources available now. And years ago the Porsche 356 had little value.

The Wyoming Speedster has turned out very well. It is also Ivory and the owner went with a tan interior and top. We had ordered the interior and when it arrived we called the upholstery shop to get on the schedule. He said he could get to it the next day so we trailored it there and ten days later we had an almost finished Speedster. All that is left is to reinstall the parts removed for the upholstery, install the rebuilt engine and take it to the mechanics for start up and checkout. So we should be finished with the customers356’s and get back to the shop ’64 coupe (2), Shop ’60 cabriolet and the Shop ’54 Coupe. Three are in paint and just need assembly. We will be looking for more 356’s to restore later this year. So if you know of a 356 needing restoration (yours?) or of a shop 356 we could buy as a project give us a call.

Interest in the Porsche 356 remains high and growing. One measure of this is the number of internet hits on the 356 Registry forum “356 Talk”. In December there were over 72,000 visits to 356 Talk from 13,300 visitors. Twenty three percent of these visitors got to 356 Talk by using Google.

If you don’t check 356 Talk occasionally you should. This is the place where 356’s and 356 parts are advertised for sale. The talk part has questions, answers and discussions. Many of the 356 experts participate in this forum. Just about every day we learn something new about the Porsche 356.

Another measure of the 356 interest is the calls and emails and shops visits at 356Restore. While these were down in the last quarter of last year they are now increasing. The second edition of our 356 restoration book is selling well and is being used for actual 356 restorations. Many folks who bought the first edition just bought it because it was about the Porsche 356.

As far as the values go, the market dipped 10-12 percent in the last few years but may be improving. It is hard to tell as we see asking prices at the old high levels but can not confirm sales.

We also see reasonable asking prices with honest descriptions of the 356. We see these on 356 Talk and recommend this site for those searching for a 356. We do not recommend E-bay unless you have the 356 inspected before the sale. We have restored some E-bay purchased 356’s and they were really rough once we got down to bare metal. The new owners paid too much and were very disappointed.

The 2010 East Coast Holiday will be September 22-26 in Cleveland Ohio. The West Coast Holiday will be October 6-10 at Park City, Utah. With this close a venue we would hope to see many Colorado 356s. We have restored over sixty Colorado 356’s and would like to see them all there. In California there is an annual event called the North meets South. The northern and southern 356 owners alternate hosting this event somewhere in mid-California. This year it is in San Louis Obispo April 29-May 2nd. We expect about 150 or more 356’s at these events. Get details by going to www.356Registry.com and click on Events.

The Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing schedule has races at the new High Plains Raceway track on April 16-18 and May 15-16 followed by the Trans-Am Invitational at Pueblo June 12-13, A summer race at PPIR June 26- 27, a race in Hastings Nebraska September 3-5 and the ending Enduro race at High Plains Raceway October 2-3. More information is at RMVR.com

RM356C Badge
In the previous newsletter we mentioned how the local 356 club had to change their name from “Rocky Mountain 356 Porsche Club” to “Rocky Mountain 356 Club”. This was due to Porsche protecting their rights. As a result of the name change, Gary Moschetti of the club designed a new club badge. It is outstanding! A front engraving of a 356 mounted on a Colorado pine cone. It is the best club badge that we have seen. Congratulations to Gary!

Grandpa News
Alex thinks that besides swim lessons and gymnastics, that dance class would be fun. Wish we had her energy!