June 2010 Newsletter

We mentioned last year that we are starting to receive 356’s from out of Colorado. The first to arrive is a 1960 Coupe from Texas. It is a family 356 purchased by one brother at the factory then given to another brother. Both enjoyed it but eventually it was stored outside for the last fifteen years.

It is complete but very rusty. Unfortunately, the goats would climb up the back to get on the roof. Their hooves scratched the rear windshield and damaged the seal allowing rain to get into the rear interior. Lots of rust in the rear seat area. Many of the parts are also rusty but we have replacements on the parts shelves. BJ did the disassembly and the 356 is at Blast Tech. When we get the naked 356 back we will prepare the restoration estimate. The owner is the wife of the grandson. She is an ER doctor. She got our attention by emailing us a picture of her three year old triplet daughters with a note that they want to ride in the 356.

The next out of state 356 is a 1962 Twin Grille Roadster. And believe it or not it is owned by a retired ER doctor in Oklahoma. He brought over some parts prior to having the 356 shipped. It is due this week. The 356 was “restored” by a shop in Kansas in the early 1980’s but was returned unassembled as they just got “burned out on the job”, “need shop space for insurance work”, “anyone can reassemble the car”.

356Restore gets to redo some of the other shop’s work and do the reassembly The owner is aware of the rarity (only 249 Twin Grille Roadsters) and its value. He plans to sell it as it would be tough for his children to share it. The doctor is 79. As we were unloading his car full of the parts, there was a heavy box and I said that I would help carry it. The next thing I know he had lifted it out of the car and carried it down the ramp into the shop. I told him I hope to be as spry as he is at 79.

Joe Leoni came and helped with the wiring on the shop ’54 Coupe. Pre-A’s are difficult to assemble the electrics as many wires are not coded. For example, there are two yellow wires for the right turn signal and two yellow wires for the left turn signal. Which is which?

We still have electrical work to do on the Shop ’54 coupe but I switched to the Wyoming Speedster for the final debugging and to get it ready for the Concours. Joe helped me solve the final electrical issue and I put a few miles on the Speedster. It sure is fun to drive. I had forgotten how much noise a Speedster makes without any sound deadening insulation. I also forgot how confined you are with the top up. Unfortunately, the Concours was postponed because of the rain and the owner may pick up his 356 prior to the reschedule date.

We also did some work on the Shop ’61 Cabriolet. If you remember, we could get the top to latch with great difficulty but could no get the latches to lock. We were told the problem was probably with the rear bow we had fabricated out of conduit pipe. We fixed the rear bow but still had the problem. The solution was to adjust the top up just a little bit at the hinge. And now the top locks. But now, the side glass doesn’t seal to the top. We will go back to the Shop ’54 Coupe and get it ready for engine installation and checkout. We find that if we walk away from a problem a solution will occur to us.

The Dolphin Grey ’64 Shop Coupe should have newly upholstered blue seats done soon and we can get it ready for sale. The engine has been disassembled and the case, crankshaft and most of the parts are good. It looks like we will need pistons/cylinders and bearings.

The other Shop ’64 Coupe is at the painters getting its original color Signal Red paint. BJ has been restoring parts for the Shop ’64 and the Texas 356.

Tech Tip
Super Glue now comes in a gel. We find it easier to use than the liquid. We also use two-part 5 minute epoxy glue. Get the Locktite brand in two bottles. The two cylinder push tubes are hard to use.

We needed a window regulator for the Shop ’64 coupe. No problem we have a lot on the shelf. In fact, we had fourteen Coupe window regulators but they were all for the passenger side. We needed a driver side. We did have one broken driver side and we were able to repair it. It is not uncommon to have a few driver side door parts as they get the most use. The factory never expected parts to last for fifty years. We also have twenty-three valve covers. Now we don’t do engine work, how did we get so many valve covers? Well, when we buy project 356s or parts, quite often the seller was a gear head and bought engine parts. Since you could buy 356s for $1,000 or less in the ’70’s many were bought as projects and the first thing the gear head would do was to pull the engine. In the past twenty years we have bought many 356 projects that were never completed and came with extra engine parts.

We have had a positive response to Porsche and Pastries scheduled for September 25th. BJ’s cousin from Iowa is bringing his smoker and will be doing ribs and brisket. And of course Jen’s pastries.

Grandpa News
After completing kindergarten with very good marks Alex will be hanging out in Minnesota and Hawaii to relax and regroup as she heads for first grade.