July 2012 Newsletter

The charity Concours at Arapahoe Community College in June was the biggest yet. The weather was perfect and 462 classic cars showed up. There were over 11,000 spectators and the net revenue to the charity was $115,000.

We had heard about the 356 Club Concours at Dana Point, California and decided to attend. We volunteered to judge and judged in both the full concours street concours. The difference being the undercarriage is judged in the full concours but not in street. We estimate over 150 356s attended but only about 40 were judged, the rest were for display. The venue is beautiful! A grassy park on a high bluff over looking the Dana Point harbor and the ocean.

We were judging the engine compartment and just about every 356 we inspected was perfect; no dirt or stains. However, we are always able to find some small flaw. On one full concours 356 we could only take off one tenth of a point as it was almost perfect but we found some chipped paint on a clip. We were later told that the engine compartment on this 356 scored perfect at the PCA Parade.

The other judges on our team were very knowledgeable. Many had judged at Porsche Parades and Pebble Beach. On one 356 A coupe, we noticed that it had a 356 B style fan shroud. We took off points and mentioned it to the owner. He said it was one of the last 356 A’s produced and had many 356 B features including the fan shroud. He had pictures of the original engine compartment as delivered. Once again, we learned something new about 356s and our pencil had an eraser.

After picking up Kirk and Kelli’s ‘60 Cabriolet at the top shop, we took it to the mechanics for engine installation and checkout. Kirk thought the estimate for an engine rebuild in Denver was high and shopped around and got a lower estimate from a respected 356 shop in North Carolina, we sent the engine there and when it came back from the shop, we assembled all the sheet metal and peripherals that we had restored. One of the first things the Denver mechanic checked was the flywheel endplay. It was out of spec and would require two spacers to adjust and two spacers are not recommended. So the engine was crated up and sent back to North Carolina. We will store the ‘60 Cabriolet until the engine is returned and checked out.

The ‘64 coupe we call “Viney” had the under carriage painted and undercoated and was taken to the painter. It will be Signal Red, so we will have two ‘64 Signal Red shop cars for sale. The Shop ‘58 Cabriolet is waiting for time at the top shop and engine rebuild and installation. Then it will be for sale.

The ‘59 Sunroof Coupe from Wyoming was placed on our rolling frame jig as the whole right side longitudinal had been removed by someone that did not know how to restore a 356. Fortunately, bracing had been used and the Coupe was almost square. With “Viney” off to the painter, we moved the ’59 Sunroof Coupe into the shop. The owners, Sam and Sally, had obtained almost all of the panels needed to get the 356 back into shape and BJ started on the right side longitudinal. The 356 will require a lot of welding as the shop used a spot weld bit to remove panels that did not need removal.

Last month we mentioned a ’56 project Speedster that we had purchased. Well, it arrived and it is as rusty and crusty as we expected. Most of the panels are there but a lot of the metal is not. We had it blasted and more of the metal disappeared, Blast Tech said they were going to send us a sympathy card!

However we have done all of this work before and enjoy the challenge. We will not be taking pictures as they could scare off future buyers. Most of the exterior and interior front end panels need repair but these have become available from vendors due to the 356 popularity and projects done today that would have been scrapped previously.

We have ordered the needed panels and will start repairs on those that we can save.

In the meantime, every time we touch the rusty crusty Speedster we get scratched as the blasting blew out the rust and left sharp edges. An issue with the Speedster is the left longitudinal rocker/hinge post area. Most of this area is missing and not all the panels are available from vendors. We have only parted out one 356 in twenty years and we had the stripped down chassis up against the wall in the storage building and the left side was undamaged. Out came the sawzall and we had a complete left side area to take to Blast Tech along with an A rear clip and replacement hood. So the plan will be to get the left side of the Speedster square using the door as a jig. Then start on the floor and tunnel, to do this we will use the frame jig and all the while we will have the top frame attached.

We hope to show progress on the Speedster at Porsches and Pastries September 22.

Grandpa News
One of the neatest things that Alex, BJ and Jennifer got to do in Hawaii was a night time snorkel dive with the manta rays. They put on wetsuits and dived into the water with about seven other boats and 100 people. The divers went to the bottom at 45 feet they lit up the ocean with their LED lights. The snorkelers lit up their rafts with LED lights and then here came the plankton and then here came the manta rays. Thirty three rays showed up in over an hour. The rays have wing spans from 6 to 16 feet and they swam with in inches of everybody as they twirled in the ocean scooping up plankton. It was one of the most amazing things Alex had ever seen.

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