May 2006 Newsletter

North Meets South
A few weekends ago, Barb was going to be visiting her sister in Texas and BJ, Jen and Alex visiting friends in Tennessee. So it looked like a weekend of TV dinners and NASCAR.

I checked and saw that the 25th Annual Porsche 356 North meets South event was to be held that weekend. This is where 356 owners in the north of California meet with those in the south. Usually, somewhere in the middle. This year it was in San Luis Obispo. I had heard that this was a big event and contacted them to see if I could just attend the concours on Saturday. They said the concours was open to the public as it was held at a beautiful park opposite the event hotel. They also asked if I would give a technical presentation after the concours. I said sure and they offered a t-shirt and steak dinner.

I flew out, got a hotel and got up early to get to the park. And the 356s started coming and coming and coming.

Over two hundred and twenty 356’s parked on the grass by the lake. All the colors and all driven to the event. There were even two 36s that we had restored. My favorite was a ’65 Coupe that the owner had picked up at the factory in 1965. It was all original! Now you can learn a lot from original 356’s, but what was original on a 1965 Karman Coupe may not apply to a 1958 Reuter Coupe. One thing (of many) I noticed was that the nut and threads of the bolt securing the bumper guard to the bumper were hand painted body color and the nut and threads securing the bumper bracket were painted black. This is something we will do in the future (there will be no recall!) as this hardware is prone to rust.

My technical presentation on 356 Restoration was well attended by at least seventy five owners and I got a nice round of applause and the steak was excellent. I left before the award presentation as I had a long drive to the airport the next day.

Back in the shop, we started reassembly on Rob’s ’59 Cabriolet. As mentioned last month, every part has to be cleaned or replaced. The Cab was disassembled and left out in the Kansas weather years ago. The Cab is also missing many parts. Fortunately our recent parts purchases will meet many of the needs.

I installed the headliner and carpet in the Shop ’59 Silver Coupe Outlaw and also put in Recaro seats. The carpet and rest of the interior will be red with a silver material in the middle of the seats. Bill Frey checked out a ’59 spare engine we had on his test stand so we will install it and then off to Autoweave for upholstery.

We picked up the Shop ’64 Slate Gray Coupe at Autoweave and there were three other 356s there. Ron said they must be multiplying at night. We were familiar with these 356s as we did the restorations. We haven’t had time to finish the Slate Gray Coupe due to work on Rob’s Cab and the Shop ’59 Outlaw but will install the glass and engine soon.

BJ continues on the Shop ’57 Sunroof Coupe and has found no surprises yet. We always expect surprises on 356 restorations and marvel when one goes easy.

The other day we were installing new windshield deco in a windshield seal. Moderate difficulty as we’ve done this over fifty times. When we went to install the center deco clip we found we had installed one thick (later) deco and one thin (early) deco. We had used the wrong combination of parts without checking first! We needed both side decos to be thin and didn’t have a set of new ones. New ones come anodized and our large collection of used windshield decos (never throw anything away) were all unannodized. We used steel wool to polish our best set of used decos and started over.

Same as the ol’ adage “measure twice, cut once” – sort out your parts then begin the assembly!

The 23rd Annual Exotic Sports Car Show and Concours D’ Elegance is coming up Sunday, June 4th. There is always over two hundred classic sports cars at this event held at Arapaho Community College. Porsches, Ferraris, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguars, Corvettes, BMWS are just a few of the marques that participate. Admission is $10 and the proceeds go to Cerebral Palsy of Colorado. If you haven’t entered your 356 you can do so at the event. You can be judged or just display your car. We usually have over twenty 356s. We will display our 1952 Silver Race car.

Also coming up on Sunday June 25th is Gmund West 2006. This is an all Porsche event (including Porsche tractors!). It is called Gmund West because George Maybee has built a full size replica of the Pfortnerhaus in Gmund, Austria where the first 356s were built. There is usually over one hundred Porsches and the 356s are displayed on the curving lawn. Other Porsches are displayed nearby. Continental breakfast, brats and dessert lunch ($10) and a biergarten are available. Located at 12360 Levi Circle in Henderson, Colorado (close to Brighton). Call Sharon Maybee at 303-655-9831 for event information.

Tech Tip
If you are getting ready to drive your 356, now is the time to bleed and check your rubber brake lines. We talk about this every year. Do It!

Also, we have talked about the effect of today’s gasoline on rubber fuel lines. Check and replace these lines as necessary. There are a lot of great 356 event this year. Be safe and be ready.

Grandpa News
She is almost two and getting impatient to be a big girl. It is hard to manage a spoon and remember “please and thank you”! Other than that, she is our little darling.