June 2004 Newsletter

356 Values
A few years ago we restored a Shop ’61 Roadster. This was a complete car and appeared to have minimal damage. The engine had been rebuilt five years earlier by Ron Appleton. This was a big plus! We paid a premium for the 356, $14,000.

As we got into it, we found no collision damage and only minor rust damage to the battery box and front closing panels. We decided to restore the car to close to show car level. We spent time doing things we don’t normally do on driver level cars, like chrome and detailing the suspension. The Roadster was finished in the original Aetna blue with red interior.

When it was time to sell it, it went to a collector in New York for $45,000; a very good price (and one of the few Shop 356s on which we made a profit).

A few months ago we started getting calls about the Roadster. It appeared the collector was thinning out his collection and the Roadster was for sale. The Roadster went to a classic car dealer in New York; we don’t know the selling price. The dealer called us and we gave him details on the history and restoration. They put pictures on their web site with a very accurate description of the car (and some nice words about our work).

A potential buyer called and we told him about the Roadster. He asked if it was worth $85,000! There was no price on the web site. This blew me away! I explained to the potential buyer the value of 356 Roadsters and the difference between 1961 single grille and 1962 twin grille Roadsters. He decided the 1961 Roadster was over priced.

Next, I got an e-mail from the dealer. You could tell they were upset, I cost them a sale. The e-mail was very professional and asked for information on 356 values. I responded with the values from Excellence magazine.

Another call from a potential buyer and the price was down to $63,000 or $65,000 with the tool kit! I explained about tool kit values and told him if he liked the Roadster and thought it was a fair value he should buy it even though it was over market.

When BJ and I talked it over he said, “think of it this way Dad, someone values your work at twice the market value”.

A couple of messages here. If you continue to improve your 356 it should maintain or increase in value. And there are buyers who only look at appearances and not the inherent condition or market value of a car.

We had a great time at the RM356PC Ed Carroll Porsche West Fest in Fort Collins. Although the turnout was low, it was fun. The highlight was a tour of a classic car shop that does the mechanical work on early Italian sport cars. The place was full of Buggatiis and Talbot Lagos. The shop guys were great fun, you could tell they enjoyed their work.

Next week a bunch of us will be at the Speedster Fest in Monterey California. Over 500 356s are expected and over 1500 participants. A few of us are staying at a condo right on the dunes and beach. It should be fun. We will report next month.

An event coming up in July is Gmund West 2004. This will be Sunday, July 25th at George and Sharon Maybee’s in Henderson (north of Denver). George has created a replica of the Gmund, Austria building where the first 356s were built. This event gets larger each year and we expect hundreds of Porsches and representatives from the 356 Registry, Porsche Cars North America and Porsche AG. Even the 356 Registry Goodie Store will be there. You don’t want to miss this one. To register contact Susan Bucknam at Portia@ipa.net or call Sharon Maybee at 303-655-9831.

Well I did it again! I agreed to restore a ’55 Coupe in exchange for a ’54 Coupe. While we won’t start on the ’55 until next year we will pickup and store the ’54. Lets see, that gives us five Shop projects when we have time-the coyote, the shop outlaw, the ’57 Carerra, the ’58 Cab and the ’54 Coupe. Plus since our 356 Restoration book was published we have lots of customer calls. Will we expand? Hire more people? Get a bigger shop?-Nah! BJ and I will keep having fun and the work gets done when it gets done.

More Progress
Speaking of getting work done-BJ is just about done with the extensive metal work on Mathew’s ’54 Coupe, I’m just about done with the metal work on David’s ’58 Coupe but also got interrupted to get the Shop ’52 race car ready for the Pueblo race. It was hot in Pueblo and since I have a 1720 engine in the ’52 I ran in D Production and they ran away from me. So it wasn’t a lot of fun but the ’52 performed flawlessly.

Then the mig welder broke. We have had no problems for fifteen years. So metal work stops while it is fixed. I can put George’s ’61 together and BJ can start getting the gaps and contours correct on Mathew’s 356. Coming back from the painters soon is Michael’s Coupe and Fritz’s Coupe plus Matt’s 356 is at Blast Tech. It will be busy!