As expected, there was no time to get a newsletter out last month. The 356 Holiday took precedence. Actually, it took all of Barb and my time in early June. As Registrars, we were receiving up to 16 calls a day. We had volunteered as Registrars thinking we could get everything done before the event and have time to visit with new friends and customers. Well it turned out, registration was the focus of the event and we had little time to participate. The feedback from the over 300 attendees (160 356 Porsches!!) was it was the best Porsche event ever! Not just 356 Porsche event but any Porsche event! We provided a challenging rally, coasting contest, autocross, concours, and some of the best of Colorado’s mountain scenery. The fact that participants had to drive between Snowmass and Crested Butte was a first and hopefully a drive between venues will be repeated in the future. These cars were meant to be driven! However, there were some problems. I looked in many engine compartments and saw neglect. Come on folks! No fiber washers on gas lines! Old dirty fuel filters! No oil! Loose air cleaners! These are strong cars but they must be maintained!
While I thought I had the 356 that I sold to Millie’s son Brandon in good shape, it had some problems with the fuel system. these were corrected by the 356 Holiday mechanic – Ron Appleton. Thanks Ron! Ron worked on a lot of 356’s that were not prepared for Colorado’s mountains. While he was contracted by the RM356 Porsche Club, he did more work than expected and much of it should have been done by the owners prior to the event. I strongly endorse Ron Appleton for any of your 356 mechanical needs (he does all my work). He is at Appleton Autowerks in Boulder.
Well, it’s been obvious for months that I am overcommitted, I like to think it is because I try to do quality work at a fair price because I really enjoy working on 356s. However, I tend to do more than estimated due to discoveries of poor previous repairs. This backs up the schedule. My solution; no more schedules. After I finish what I believe to be my commitments, I’m only going to work on 356s that will be a challenge or fun and only for customers that I want to work with. I have twenty four 356s on my to-do list so I won’t be hurting for work, I’ll just be more careful in selecting cars and customers. If you read into this some disappointment in past projects; you’re right. I will no longer work for investors, customers that won’t lift a wrench, or nit-pickers.
In the last newsletter, I indicated that Jon’s ’59 Sunroof Coupe was taking more time than expected. Well, over the last month it continued to take time. Many, many parts were missing from this “complete” 356. Plus, I could not fit a 5 1/2 ” wheel and 195 tire under the rear wheelwell. The problem was eventually discovered. Someone experienced oversteer and slammed the rear into a curb the transaxle yoke was bent 3/4 ” and both mounts were damaged. Replacing these parts got the 356 to roll without rubbing the fender but the wheel fit was still tight with 165-15’s and 4 1/2 wheels. Jon missed the Holiday but we got everything else to work and sent the 356 for alignment under the supervision of Tom Conway. Everything else to work was primarily electric and I have problems with 356 electrics. My solution, get someone who enjoys an electric challenge. Welcome Miles Christensen! Miles joined us as a part time helper after the Holiday. After three days, he had all the electronics on Jon’s 356 working. I would never have guessed that the brakes wire runs thru the turn signal switch and if it’s bad; no brake lights. When you think about it, the turn signal and brake share the same bulb. So Miles, who restored his own real nice ’56 Coupe is helping out with 356RESTORE’s commitments. Also joining us part time is Scott Petitt, the son of Norm Petitt. Norm owns one of the early 356 steel bodied race cars circa 1952. We will be getting this 356 ready for a big event next year! So, I’m teaching Miles and Scott body work and they are helping me finish up 356RESTORE commitments.
So, what progress have we made since the Holiday? Well, we got the shop ’60 Coupe and ’58 Cabriolet turned into rollers so we can put them into Bobby’s barn as we won’t get to them for a while. Oh! By the way, I bought two more shop cars, so I now own six. With the ’62 Roadsters and the ’63 Sunroof Coupe, this means eight 356s at 8356 Sunburst Trail! The plan is to store most of these 356s with the exception of a real nice ’57 Coupe which we should have for sale by the end of the year. I’ve been working on John’s Speedster which I planned on returning to him in primer so he could fit parts and let me know problems prior to paint. However, I rushed the project and as he pointed out, there is no use to fitting parts if the parts don’t fit. So while I worked on John’s Speedster and Miles worked on Rhome’s Roadster and Scott worked on Tom’s ’52 Coupe, Alan’s Roadster came back from the upholstery shop and Mikes ’65 Coupe was finished at Blast-Tech and Ryan has Jim’s Speedster just about done and Warren authorized the finish and paint on his ’65 Coupe and we still have to pickup Scotty’s ’53 Cab and Bruce has been hanging in the wind and I have a chance to buy back my first 356!