June 2005 Newsletter

Concours d’ Elegance
This years charity concours was the biggest yet. There were 330 registered cars, over 4,000 spectators and twelve vendors. We had twenty 356’s. I had a judging team of Phil, Roland and Howard and we judged the 356’s and a half dozen Accura NSX’s. The NSX’s were really good concours cars. Over $76,000 was raised for Cerebral Palsy of Colorado. The 23rd annual event will be next year; plan to participate.

BJ and I lost three days of work when the septic system backed up into the basement shop. This last happened eighteen years ago and there was no assurance it couldn’t happen again. The problem was this time it happened twice! We had the septic tank pumped and the floor drain unclogged and cleaned the floor/carpet and the 356 parts that were on the floor and two days later had to do it again. Both the septic and Rooter guy came out for the second time over the Memorial Day holiday and we are sure the problem is solved. Hey, you know it happens.

One of the challenges on the ’57 Carrera was there was no floor boards or rubber floor mat. Being a right hand drive 356 these are not common items. For the floor boards I made templates out of tar paper and transferred to plywood. The third try worked out well and the floor boards fit and looked original. For the floor mat I ordered one and asked that it not be cut. But how to cut it? Using a tar paper template would be difficult with pedals and floor switches sticking up. Simple, I used the floor board as templates and the cuts with a sharp utility knife and the floor mat turned out great.

(Safety tip: When using utility knife or Xacto knife to cut rubber change blades often. A dull blade can slip and cut something other than rubber.)

So the ’57 Carrera is ready to go to Autoweave; hopefully this week. We will drop it off when we pick up the Shop ’58 Cabriolet. We should also get Scot’s ’55 Coupe back from the painter and Ron’s ’59 Cabriolet back from Blast Tech soon.

We have used three different chrome platers here in Denver. One went out of business, one lost important small parts and the third, Ajax Plating has done great work for us the past eight years. Well, Ajax Plating is no longer doing chrome plating. The Denver Fire Department required too many expensive retrofits to their building that they had to stop chrome plating. In the future we will use Paul’s Chrome Plating on the East coast. We used them once in the past and they did good work at about the same price as Ajax. Call me for contact info on Paul’s Chrome Plating if you need chrome work.

So BJ is close to half done with the extensive metal work on Andy’s ’67 Coupe. Andy dropped by and was pleased.

Jim is finished with the Carrera, so what next? We have plenty of projects but since we picked up the recently purchased ’57 Speedster and ’59 Coupe, I decided to start on the Speedster. It seemed I hadn’t done any fabrication or welding in months as I worked on the Carrera. The Speedster came with all the required replacement panels and the previous owner had already done an excellent job on the floors and longitudinals. So, I started on the battery box. The side pieces were in so it needed the two front pieces, the three rear pieces and floor. I got them tacked in in a day and the battery box looks great. BJ and I will have to schedule use of the welder until I start on getting the Shop ’58 Cabriolet ready for sale.

Car Collection
A guy in Elizabeth was impressed with the students at Elizabeth High School and their weekend car wash to raise money for the high school band. He contracted with them to do some of his car collection. He has 500 cars! All Nash and American Motors.

He agreed to a public tour of his museum as a fund raiser for the band. BJ, Jen, Barb and I went last Sunday to Rambler Ranch. Probably 200 of his cars were on display. I was most impressed with a prototype Pinin Farina Nash. Only one was made and Nash couldn’t afford to build it.

Another prototype was for the AMX, it even had a rumble seat! The museum also has a huge collection of memorabilia and toys; even a glass model 356. I would estimate at least 5,000 pieces; the largest collection I’ve ever seen.

We spoke with the owner, a guy in his late thirties. He has 175 acres and they had just delivered material for his next outbuilding which will be 18,000 square feet. (Yes Barb has the comma in the correct place!) We discussed having a joint 356/AMC event. A real juxtaposition.

356 Holiday
Barb and I leave Tuesday the 28th for the 356 Holiday in Banff/Kananaskis, Canada. Over the years people that have been to this area say it is just beautiful and we should go. It had always been an idea for us and now a 356 Holiday makes it perfect. We will trailer our ’63 Sunroof Coupe as I will also take parts and my book for the Swap meet. Details on the Holiday next month.