March 2003 Newsletter

Anaheim Swap Meet

BJ and I loaded up the truck and headed out to California for the big swap meet in early February with the obligatory stop in Las Vegas. Bill Frey and John McConnell also followed us out as both had parts to sell. Plus John trailered his A Coupe hoping to sell it.

We all did well. BJ and I sold $7,000 worth of parts; Bill sold a lot of his stuff and John sold his Coupe and lots of parts. The turnout was probably bigger than last year. Hundreds of vendors and thousands of buyers/spectators. There was a large car show and lots of great 356s. This year it was for charity and the local youth organization did quite well. You should plan to attend next year. We will publish the date in the newsletter when it is firm.


After the swap meet, Barb and I were off for a vacation. Plenty of Maui sun and real relaxing time. When we returned it was “hit the ground running”.

Vern finished Rob’s Cabriolet in Aquamarine Blue and we brought it back to the shop. Rob is doing the reassembly here and will drive it home. We took Vern the shop ’64 Coupe which he had finished in primer but we pulled when we had the shop Roadster repainted. The ’64 will be finished in Irish Green by the end of March and then we get to do reassembly. Reassembly is one of the more enjoyable parts of the 356 restoration. You are making a car!

The other painter, Dan, (also called Don), finished Chris’s ’59 Convertible D in Ruby Red and we will assist in reassembly. Ted’s ’69 Cabriolet is back from Blast Tech and BJ has started the extensive metal work. Ted’s Cab will be featured in our restoration book as we need plenty of pictures. We thought we could get by with pictures we had taken over the years but the publisher and reviewers wanted more pictures. We have identified over 150 pictures that should be included and are about halfway there. We thought we would have a problem taking pictures of the disassembly phase as we don’t have any 356s ready for disassembly. So we will disassemble my ’63 Sunroof Coupe. This will yield better pictures as all the parts are clean.

Taking pictures while doing work adds time. Do something, take a picture, do something, take a picture, etc. Plus we have to be careful with light when shooting metal work. (Anyone out there experienced with photo software? All the photos are digitized but we will need help getting them publication ready. Could use some help, for a fee of course.)

Shop ’57 Carrera

Many of you know this was my first 356 twenty years ago. I got it for $750 without the four cam and then traded it away. I bought it back a few years ago and it had a four cam. Recently Dave Seeland was by and I told him the Carrera had originally been imported to Bangkok, Thailand. Dave said he wondered if the Prince had driven it. That got my attention and I asked Dave if he could find out anything about the Carrera’s history. Dave had been the Four Cam Editor for the 356REGISTRY for fifteen years and had some info from 1972 that mentioned a Carrera owner in Thailand. With this name, I wrote to the Royal Automobile Association of Thailand requesting information. My letter was forwarded and early this month I received an E-mail from the grandson of the original owner. His grandfather raced the ’57 Carrera extensively. Prince Bira of Thailand also drove the 356. The grandson will be sending me pictures of his grandfather racing the 356. With information from Thailand and from previous owners we hopefully can document the history of this 356. I will write an article for the 356REGISTRY. The grandson indicated that he had been trying to locate the Carrera and my letter was a fortunate surprise. He mentioned that when his grandfather and grandmother went to Stuttgart to pick up the 356 they were so impressed by the car they ordered another Carrera for their home in Switzerland. He also indicated the family would be interested in purchasing the ’57 Carrera. Since it will be for sale when we finish the restoration we will see what happens.

West Coast Holiday

Rooms at the headquarter hotel are going fast. Get your reservation in early. Call the Sagebrush Inn at 1-800-428-3626. The Holiday is October 2-5. The event registration form is in the latest Registry magazine. If you don’t have one (you should!) contact us and we will send the form. Please register early. The East Coast Holiday will be September 3-7 in Asheville, North Carolina. The registration form is also in the Registry magazine.

Other Events

The annual charity event for Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing will be July 19-20 at Second Creek Raceway. Mark your calendar now. That same weekend will be the Gmund Gathering at the Maybee’s sponsored by the RM356PC. This is your chance to autocross a Porsche tractor.