May 1998 Newsletter

Vintage Racing

Last month I told you of the fun I had at Drivers School. What I didn’t report is what I suspected but hadn’t confirmed. That noise I heard on the last laps of the last race was the crankshaft breaking! Now you don’t break a crank in one race, it’s something that starts as small cracks and worsens over time. Since this engine had previously been in a dune buggy, I have a picture of a guy/gal flying over a sand dune and taching 8,000 rpms. I don’t know if this happened but it is the reason to tear down and inspect a race engine every 3-4 years.

So my racing may be done for this year unless I have enough spare parts to get an engine together before the end of the season. If not, we will do Drivers School and the necessary races required for a license next year.

While I didn’t race last year I thought I had time to race this year. But if anything my schedule of restorations is more full this year. And Vintage racing takes time.


I think I’m the last 356 Porsche restorer in the Denver/Colorado/Five State area. Many shops have closed or are closing their doors. If there is another shop doing 356 Porsche restorations, let me know; we can share the work.

I’ve been getting 5-6 calls a month to do restorations. Right now I’m saying “not till after Monterey”. I really want to finish some of my own 356’s so I won’t be taking any new work until next year.

I was sort of complaining about all the calls until I got the call you dream of. The guy said he had three Speedsters and wanted me to look at them. Well I did, and while we don’t have a deal yet, I’ll let you know what happens.


Barb and I have reserved a 4 bedroom condo at Monterey Dunes for August 6-16. Norm and Karen Petitt have two 3 bedroom condos reserved next to us. We want to firm up folks for these rooms. If you have expressed an interest in staying with us, please call and confirm your dates. If we don’t hear from you by June 1st, we will open it up to other interested parties. The rate per couple is $82 a night. The Hyatt is getting $150 a night during the Holiday and $300 a night during the Historics.

The condo is north of Monterey about 15 miles in the town of Moss Landing, so you would need your own transportation to and from the events.

Tech Tip

Here is one you won’t ever use but I thought I was pretty clever so will share it for my own ego. When I opened up Ron’s ’58 Coupe longitudinal, I found the heater tube rusted away at the rear just before it exits the body. What I did was take a cardboard tube from Christmas wrapping paper and split it down the middle. I then rolled it smaller and stuck it inside the two rusted ends. I traced on the cardboard the missing metal, removed the cardboard, cut the pattern and rolled it over my repair piece. ((Remember I bought 20 feet of the correct heater tube pipe from Conway four years ago.) I cut to the pattern with my plasma cutter and believe it or not, it fit! Fortunately the missing metal was low so I didn’t have to weld on the top of the heater pipe.


I finished the reassembly of Greg’s ’64 and he picked it up and drove it back to Colorado Springs. This 356 got a little frustrating at the end when it wouldn’t start. He drove it to my shop so it should have started since I didn’t do any mechanical work. It ended up being worn out points and a plug wire shorting out against the oil canister. (Have you checked your plug wires for wear?)

Unexpectedly, Ron’s ’60 Cab came back from Eisenbud’s after an engine rebuild. This was another 356 that wouldn’t start after I finished the restoration. But this was one was obvious after we found no compression in one cylinder. Anyhow I did the final detailing on this 356 and Ron drove it back to Cheyenne. I started the metal work on another Ron’s 356 and by the next newsletter should have it done. Ron will finish the body work, paint and reassembly. So far in five days, I’ve installed a new pan, longitudinal, threshold/rocker, front and rear closing panels and numerous rust areas. I’ve yet to start disassembly of Barb’s Twin Grille Roadster for repaint but this will be done for Steamboat and Monterey. I also have to pick up the pace on Norm’s ’54 Race car and Chris dropped off his ’57 Coupe for paint touch up. Hey! As long as I’m enjoying what I do, I’ll keep doing it (“but Jim you have to learn how to say no”). .Someone asked me how long I intended to keep doing this-guess as long as there are cars and it is fun.

Upcoming Events

The annual Charity Concours is May 31st at Arapahoe Community College. Please enter your 356 in either Concours, Street or Display (non judged). If you are judged you will get good feedback on how to improve your 356. Display is fun! Registration is $30 after May 16th and all proceeds go to United Cerebral Palsy; contact Lynda Prilika at (303 989-0806).

There will be a spectator Vintage Race at the new PPIR track south of Colorado Springs on June 6-7. Plan to attend and watch the 356’s show their stuff.