June 2008 Newsletter

We took a little time out from 356 restoration to get our own 356s ready for the 25th annual Exotic Sports Car Show and Concours D’Elegance. We had not driven the ’63 Sunroof Coupe or ’62 Twin Grille Roadster in twenty months. First up was the Coupe. We charged the battery and added five gallons of gas to a half full tank to which we had added Stabil when we last parked it. We turned the fuel selector to Auf (on or open) and immediately we had gasoline flowing onto the driveway.

We turned the fuel selector to Zu (off or closed) and the gasoline stopped. Good! Must be the rubber fuel line from the petcock to the line in the tunnel. We jacked up and supported the Coupe and sure enough the short section of fuel line was leaking. It was the 7 mm fuel hose and off the 356, although it looked like new, you could see cracks inside when you flexed it. We replaced it with 5/16 fuel hose from NAPA and used hose clamps as it doesn’t fit as tight as the original 7 mm hose.

No leaks! But we better check the line from the rear of the tunnel up to the engine. Good, it’s the 5/16 hose. We found the fuel pump gasket had dried out and need to be replaced as the fuel pump was weeping. With this done, we primed the carbs and the engine started right up. A short drive and the Coupe is good to go. We had almost forgotten how much fun it is to drive a 356.

The problems with the fuel hose we suspect is due to the additives including Ethanol that has been added to the gasoline. The 5/16 NAPA fuel hose does not seem to be as affected as the 7 mm fuel hose.

Next up the Roadster; and guess what. Same problem plus the O rings on the Zenith jet covers are leaking. The O rings were cracked and you could tell they had not been compressed. We used new and hopefully better O rings to solve the problem. We primed the carbs and the engine started right away. A short drive and it is good to go. It actually drives better than the Coupe as it is a normal engine while the Coupe is a Super and has been modified with a big bore kit and higher compression.

We ended up only driving the Roadster to the show as Barb had granddaughter duty and we don’t have a car seat for the 356. It was a great show with lots of participants and spectators and we met many friends.

BJ finished up some rework on the Shop ’54 Coupe and it is off to the painters. We will paint it Silver and hopefully have it for sale soon.

The Shop 57 Sunroof Coupe was picked up by the transport driver to be taken to the West Coast Holiday at Lake Tahoe where it will be met by the new owner. Since the ’57 is Aquamarine Blue the owner has license plates that say “I B BLU”. We also sold the Shop ’59 Outlaw and have a potential buyer for the Shop ’58 Irish Green Coupe. They had previously owned Speedster 84356 (neat number) but had sold it and have to have another 356.

BJ is doing some more paint prep work on the Shop ’60 Cabriolet. It will be off to the painter soon and will also be Silver. We had sold the previous owner a Cabriolet soft top and got it back when we bought the 356. We fit it prior to paint prep and it fits good. It is best to fit parts like soft tops prior to paint as if they don’t fit you could have major problems once the 356 is painted.

Vintage Racing
Last month I mentioned the hard work and fun I had working corners at the La Junta race. I said I would buy the corner workers beer at the next race. Well, I was planning on maybe twenty corner workers at this month’s Pueblo race. We had sixty! And they were all needed as we had 180 vintage race cars! This was the largest vintage race event in this area and it demonstrated the continuing interest in vintage racing even with the loss of our race tracks. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like the new High Plains Raceway out by Byers will be ready this year. The uncertainty on oil prices has caused delays in construction bids.

Back to Work
With most of our shop 356s restored and sold we have started scheduling customer work. This week we are picking up the ’61 Roadster that had been stored since 1972. We will get it ready for media blasting and then start the metal work and restoration. After the Roadster, we have scheduled a ’61 Sunroof Coupe that needs reassembly. We had done the metal repair on this 356 about ten years ago. The owner didn’t have time to finish the project.

After the Coupe will be a ’60 Cabriolet and then another Cabriolet. So it looks like we will have fun for another year. We still need Shop 356s, so if you know of any let us know. (We have worked on over 100 356s and most have been Colorado 356s but we doubt we have completely restored Colorado!)

While we were working on Shop 356s we stopped selling 356 parts as we needed them for restorations. With most of the Shop cars done, we are now selling parts. We’ve got some bras, wire headlight covers, a luggage rack and lots of restoration and mechanical parts. So if you need something check with us.

Grandpa News
I thought I was busy but Alex has a full social calendar with summer school/camp, swim lessons, church activities, play dates, birthday parties (do all her friends have summer birthdays?) and of course sleepovers at Grandma’s and if we are lucky afternoon naps which seem to be fewer.