July 2005 Newsletter

Great News!
Jen and BJ left July 14th to go to China to adopt their daughter (and our first granddaughter), Alexandra. They will be back the 30th and the fun begins.

West Coast Holiday Canada
Those of you that have been to the Banff area of Alberta Canada and said we had to visit were right. We’ve been to Switzerland and of course the Colorado Rockies but the scenery around Banff is spectacular!

It was a two and half day trip to the Holiday hotel in Kananaskis Country. The first thing we noticed crossing into Canada was no Interstate and no rest stops. You have to stop in the towns the highways travel through. Also everything is metric. Which was great when driving our ’63 Sunroof Coupe as it is European built and has the KPH speedometer. The second thing I noticed (after the spectacular scenery) at the Delta Lodge was all the trash receptacles were bear proof. There were plenty of hiking trails and many had the caution about bears. (We didn’t see any but did see mountain goats, eagles and elk).

There were about 75 356’s registered which is a great turnout for the first Holiday in Canada. Long drivers were from New Hampshire, Texas and California. A reception was held in the hospitality area Thursday evening to review plans for the tour the next day. Sixty 356’s blasted down the mountain and into the National Park around Banff. Great twisty roads along the Bow River. The only problem was it was Canada Day and the tourists were up in force. Few places to stop due to crowds. We pressed on to the Lake Louise ski area for a private lunch and trip up the gondola (after a briefing on grizzly bears). The trip back to the hotel was on your own. Over 340 kilometer tour in perfect weather.

Friday the concours would be held at the Banff Springs Hotel. Huge beautiful hotel with 820 rooms built in the 1880’s. Puts the Broadmoar to shame. We woke up Friday and it was raining!

Departure for the concours was delayed an hour (Joe Leoni gave his afternoon tech session early).

At the Banff Springs hotel the concours site was at a large soccer field. Barb and I prepped out the 356 in light rain and then toured the Hotel. Fantastic! Old world charm and luxury with the best views in Banff.

The rain stopped and there were huge crowds at the concours as it had been advertised in the newspaper. I answered a lot of questions about 356’s and we had a great time. We left at the close to get back to the hotel and prepare for the semi-formal awards banquet. I had wondered about the dinner as we were not provided with meal tickets. It was chicken, salmon, beef and vegetables served family style. A great banquet!

When they announced the awards, Barb and I took third in the B closed class. Since the 356 is an eighteen year old restoration we never expected to win anything; I think it was because I took time to talk about the cars.

Before we left for Banff, we picked up the Shop ’58 Cabriolet at Autoweave and dropped off the ’57 Carrera. We also picked up Rons 59 Cabriolet at Blast Tech and dropped off the Shop ’57 Speedster. The Speedster just had surface rust and we need clean, shiny metal to finish the repairs. We also took Michael’s ’58 Speedster to Trevor. This Speedster is the one we have been storing for over four years for the owner in New Jersey. Michael came out four years ago and drove it to the Charity Concours. Since then it hasn’t been driven and we had some concern with the steering box. Hopefully, Trevor can make it stop and go and we will insist that Michael make arrangements to move his Speedster. We need the space and not the liability.

Before he left, BJ finished almost all the metal work on Andy’s ’61 Coupe. I’ll finish the right front clip and perhaps do the under paint, caulk and undercoat. BJ will do the finish work to get it ready for the painter. Then I will bounce back and forth between the Shop ’57 Speedster and Ron’s ’59 Cabriolet. The Cabriolet had been disassembled fifteen years ago in Kansas and then stored outside for awhile. Every part will need work or replacement. Ron dropped by and we gave him the front spindle, control arms and brake drums to disassemble and repair. We will need them and the transmission which Tevor has to get the Cab off the dolly and onto the ground.

I also need to get the Shop ’58 Cabriolet ready for sale. The guys at Autoweave did a great job on the top. I had fabricated a top frame out of two broken frames. While I got it to work somewhat, they had to do more work to get it to function with the headliner, padding and top cover. I also gave them latches which came with the 356 but were incorrect. Somehow they made it work and I’ve since replaced the latches (thanks Carquip!) and it works much better.

Restoration Book
I’ve started on the second edition of the 356 Restoration Book. I plan to add a lot more detail and spend time in the assembly phases to help those that are restoring a 356 they bought disassembled. We will also have a start to finish description/pictures of the Shop ’54 sunroof Coupe restoration. If any of you have ideas on what should be added, give me a call.