March 2012 Newsletter

Had a call recently from Jeff. He is a car broker that specializes in classics. He helped us sell Shop 356s in the past but had moved out of state. He called to thank us for documentation we had provided for a customers restoration. He was selling the 356 for the owner and our detail on the restoration would significantly help sell the 356.

Who was the customer? We have had close to one hundred customers and we could not remember the 356. Jeff gave us enough detail to remember. About fifteen years ago we got a call from an original owner who wanted his 356 restored. He was in New York and we said we do not do out of state 356s (at that time) as we want the owner involved. He wouldn’t be put off and said the 356 would arrive next Friday. It did. We did an estimate and provided a lot of detail on the restoration. He had said he was doing the restoration so his son could have it for his sixteenth birthday. When it was done he flew out to drive his 356 to the family farm in Illinois. The owner appeared to be in his sixties. We asked him how old his son was. He said “eight” . We told him his 356 would have to be driven and cared for as it couldn’t just be stored for eight years. He understood.

According to Jeff the owner had passed away and the son never got to drive the 356.

Title Problem
Our second 356 was the ‘63 Sunroof Coupe which we still own. We helped restore it when we lived in Minnesota twenty five years ago. We had it titled in Minnesota and flat towed it to Colorado when we relocated. We titled it in Colorado and registered it every year until two years ago. Then the DMV asked for our insurance card which we sent. The VIN on the insurance card did not match the VIN on the title which was R13804005 some piece of industrial equipment.

We know how to get a title that has been lost or is incorrect. There are companies that provide this service for a cost. But the company we had used was out of business. So we waited as the ‘63 Sunroof Coupe was due for some mechanical work which resulted in an engine rebuild. We also waited since we knew the Colorado titling process was complex:

-You need a certified VIN inspection (fortunately this is easier than in the past).
-You need a VIN search by the state ($2.20)
-You need an appraisal by a licensed Colorado dealer on their letterhead with their license number.
-You need a bond for twice the appraisal value (not too expensive)
-You need a sworn statement of fact on the title problem.

There is a lot of confusing paperwork but we are almost there and hope to be driving the Black ‘63 Sunroof Coupe soon.

The ‘60 Silver Cabriolet with the red interior has been Sold! It is on its way to Austria. We were quite happy with the sale price and long term readers will remember it was a 356 that was missing everything.

The Shop ‘64 Dolphin Grey with blue interior (original colors) is still for sale but a swap may be in the works with an older owner who has one restored and painted but not assembled or checked out. He does not have the skills or time to finish his 356 but wants one to drive. Maybe a trade.

BJ has most all the metal work done on Viney the Shop ‘64 Coupe. We are waiting on a front clip which has been delayed. We will probably send for the Kardex information from PCNA as the market seems to want original colors. The original engine for this 356 caused us concern as the oil filler cap had almost rusted away and we were concerned metal flakes could have gotten into the engine. An oil drain and flush reveals problems so it is being disassembled to determine the extent of a rebuild.

The Shop ‘58 Fjord Green Cabriolet is almost done. We decided to do this 356 as a high end driver as there is a lot of interest in it. Only 2,672 T-2 Cabriolets were manufactured. A small number increase the rarity. We have installed the wiring and did a complete brake job with new metal and rubber hoses, new wheel cylinders and master cylinder. The top frame was blasted, primered and painted and installed for checkout prior to the paint job. The tan interior with leather for the seats and any vinyl for the rest was taken to the upholstery shop. We just took the dash, front and rear seats and quarter panels. Juan the upholstery guy can do these without the 356 as we have a few more parts to install on it and check it out. The ‘58 Cabriolet came without seats and they are hard to find. In fact all Pre A and 356A parts are hard to find. We paid twice what we had paid in the past for the seats.

One of the parts we leave to the last to install is the hood latch. We leave it to the last as is it can be difficult to install particularly if the latch assembly is not original to the 356 and metal repairs have been made to the hood. We have spent a full day on some front hood assembles. So we installed the female part of the latch. Cleaned and loosened the male part and checked the parts would work together. Attached the male part to the hood. Used tape to see if it was centered. It was. Closed the hood; it latched. More importantly it opened. That makes our day!

Grandpa News
Alex has finished up with her swimming lessons. She now swims better than anyone in the family. She is looking into a hip hop dance class or a taekwondo class to take after school. But this summer she is going to take family trips, a week class at the Denver Zoo and a bowling camp.