July 1996 Newsletter


While we took time off for family affairs, we still made some progress this month. We finished the underbody work on Don’s ’59 Coupe and installed the headliner and windshields. The 356 was delivered to the Black Forest where all Porsches should return. While there, we picked up Tom’s ’53 Cabriolet which Don’s brother Joe had stored for us for two years. Thanks Joe!

This month we plan to pick up the three shop cars stored in a nearby barn and one in Greeley. Those will go in my leased storage area. Finally I will have all my 356’s together.

Work continues on Norm’s ’52 SBFRC. There was a pressboard wood cover over the rear firewall. Upon removal we found about forty pop rivets and some major holes. We don’t know what was installed on the firewall, but I’m restoring it to its original shape. There was also plenty of brackets and holes in the rear floor pan, probably from racing seat configurations. The major problem has been rust in the longitudinals. This 356 race car has over a hundred one and two inch holes drilled into the inner metal. With so many holes in the inner longitudinals, water (probably from washing as the 356 has factory plexiglass side windows) got into the longitudinals and the 356 rusted from the inside out. Similar to Lauren’s problem when his 356 was stored outside with the sunroof open.

Anyhow, I repaired the longitudinals which is better than replacement as the Pre-A longitudinals, rockers and jackspurs have a different curve than later 356’s. And of course it’s hard to find Pre-A sheetmetal. After we get all the rust out and apply epoxy paint, caulk and undercoat, we will fabricate front and rear valances. This will give the 356SBFRC a Gmund look. By the way, in 1982 at Monterey, Norm met the Porsche bodyman that drilled all the holes in this 356SBFRC. He is still alive and we hope to fly him out here for Steamboat and conduct an in depth interview on what went on at the Porsche factory. More later!


It’s been awhile since I mentioned Open Shop. It’s still on every Saturday from noon till 3:56PM. It’s a great time to look at 356’s under restoration, check out parts, bench race and enjoy a beer or pop. I have had as many as twelve 356 folk out for Open Shop and usually one or two each Saturday. Everyone is welcome, you don’t even have to own a 356 to come by!

To get to 356RESTORE find Paker on the map (southeast of Denver, south of Aurora.) From the north, go south on Paker Road past Main Street. The next intersection is Hilltop Road. Go east 1 3/4 miles to N. Sunburst Trail. Turn right and go exactly one mile to 8356 N. Sunburst Trail. The shop is in the basement. Honk if I don’t answer the door. (I might be grinding!)


1957 Coupe, serial No. 100510. Ivory with burgandy leather interior. Rebuilt “C” engine. No rust, no leaks, looks great. Runs good but need to break in the engine. Chrome wheels, Konis, all new rubber. Priced at $13,500. You may remember this 356. It belonged to “Hammerdown” Nancy Smith. While Steve did most of the restoration, 356RESTORE finished it.


Unfortunately, blasting will not remove heavy undercoat or tar. The best tool to use is wood chisels; putty knives are too flexible. Just get the 356 up in the air, a good pillow under your head, eye protection and 6-8 hours later you will see what you have. Hopefully, it will be good metal.


356RESTORE has lots of 356 parts at very good prices. Usually 50% of retail. Plus these are originals not repros. While my interest is resoration parts, I have quite a few engine and tranny parts. I am not an engine/tranny guy and will let these parts go cheap or trade for items like turn signal lights, hood handles, etc. I have a large selection of drum brake parts i.e. backing plates, wheel cylinders, shoes, springs, etc. I probably have over forty plastic tear drop lenses at $3 each Drop by or call!


Don’t forget Summerfest this weekend at Snowmass (July 26-28th). We will be there so no Open Shop on Saturday the 27th.

Also at Steamboat over Labor Day there will be a race class just for 356’s. We have twenty-eight 356’s so far but could use some more. Contact Norm Martin at (303) 237-2428.

Also the 356 REGISTRY East Coast Holiday will be October 24-27 at Cypress Gardens, Florida.