March 2013 Newsletter

newheaderBack to Work
We had a great vacation. Plenty of sun, plenty of books read and beautiful sunsets. I even set a personal best time driving a Devin sports car from seal level to the top of Haleakawa at 10,000 feet. A relaxing and needed vacation.

The first thing we did after returning from vacation was prepare a list of priorities. We have so many projects going on we have to concentrate on finishing 356s, not doing what we enjoy most. So this meant the challenge of metal work on Jim’s project took a lower priority to completing the restoration of all the parts for the Magnuson’s ‘59 Sunroof Coupe, getting all the parts ready for the Shop ‘64 Coupe (Viney), getting the Shop ‘61 Coupe ready for Blast Tech, doing final checkout of the Signal Red Shop ‘64 Coupe and resolving the transmission issue in the Shop ‘58 Cabriolet, and thinking about starting work on the Shop’63 Coupe.

Following these priorities we got all the parts for the Magnuson’s 356 ready for assembly. This means spreading out all the parts on three tables, picking up a part, checking condition, cleaning it and painting or polishing. Then the next part and putting parts together as subassembles. Cleaning is with lacquer thinner for greasy parts. 3m Liquid Adhesive Cleaner for rubber, the wire wheel for metal and steel wool and chrome polish for chrome. Painting is with two part epoxy primer followed by Satin Black spray paint. Cleaning parts is enjoyable as by the end of the day you have accomplished a lot.

The Shop ‘64 Coupe will be back from the painters first so we will start assembly but will stop and concentrate on the Magnuson’s ‘59 Sunroof Coupe when it is painted. The Magnuson’s is probably the last customer 356 for a while as we have a lot of Shop 356s in progress and we don’t receive revenue until they are sold.

The Shop’64 Coupe came back from Blast Tech (thanks for the quick turnaround). Normally, we spend $700-$900 for a complete blast job on a 356 but this one was $1200. The owner so loved his 356 that as it started to rust away over the last forty five years he restored is with chicken wire, bondo and a street sign.

Appropriately, the street sign he used for the battery box was a “DEAD END” sign. BJ has started on the metal repair now that the 356 has been blasted and it is nothing we haven’t seen before.

Working the priorities we finally got back to Jim’s project. Starting at the back we got the rear lid repaired and latched and restored the engine compartment. Then we got the doors to latch with the correct seams. For the front end although the front end was level, hood fit was poor and side to side and up and down on the fenders was off. We thought about this on vacation and decided the only approach was to cut off the outer skin of the front and start over. With the front end off we could set the hood correctly and tack it in place then place the whole front end on the chassis and determine where to change the inner structure to make the correct fit.

The Shop ’64 Coupe was White; the original color but a very poor and cracked repaint. BJ likes to name the 356 projects. Do you remember “Frankenstein”, “Goat Car”, ”Dracula”, or “Happy Car”? Any how the White Shop ‘64 Coupe is referred to as Casper. Disassembly of Casper revealed many of the previous owners “improvements”. He had a 12 volt battery and battery tender installed to maintain power for a 12 volt, 50 watt Pioneer radio for which he had to cut a hole in the dash.

We will use pieces from this 356 to graphically demonstrate some points when we give a technical session at the West Coast Holiday in October in Santa Fe. The point will not be to ridicule what the owner did but why he did it and the value of the 356 over the last forty five years.

With the current value of 356s, we are hearing a lot of “ I bought my first 356 for $xxx”. Yes, we have a few of these stories. Our first 356 purchased in 1978 for $750. It was a right hand drive, bent Sunroof Carrera Coupe but with a pushrod engine. We have documented this 356 in the 356 Registry and in this newsletter.

Another 356 we bought for $800 in 1999. This was a 1952 Coupe. Advertised for sale here in Denver. A potential buyer in New York asked us to evaluate the 356. Four flat tires on a ratty trailer with all the parts removed and stored inside. Missing was the engine, fuel tank, instruments, interior and other parts. When we informed the potential buyer he passed on the 356. Months later the owner called and said no one was interested in the car. We told him why. He asked if we wanted to buy it. We said no as we had to many 356 projects. He said for $800. We said ok and he dropped off the 356, trailer and all. This is the 356 we turned in to a race car. One of the oldest Porsche still racing.

West Coast Holiday
The last we heard the October event in Santa Fe is filling up fast. We heard over 150 356s registered so far. Plenty of hotels available. The balloon festival is the same time up in Albuquerque.

Grandpa News
Alex bought an iPod with her birthday money and uses it for music, games, texting and communicating with her friends. She is now looking at a Microsoft Surface as a tablet and laptop. She tried to explain what it does and what is included in this laptop. Her father just gave her the tilted head puppy dog look “What?”. If it is not in metric and we can not hit with a hammer, we do not understand it.

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