May 2007 Newsletter

Some progress was made this month but mostly on BJ’s part as my energy level is still low.

Moving 356s was needed. The Shop ’57 Speedster is at Trevor’s, the Shop ’58 coupe went to the painter and the Shop ’54 Coupe is in the Shop. We traded the Coyote ’57 Coupe ex-race car for engine work and parts. We had planned to make the Coyote a street outlaw but we really wanted to see it race again. A young guy will run it with the local clubs. We even moved the Porsche tractor into the storage building and out of the backyard; not sure when we will start on the tractor restoration.

Since we had space in the storage building we bought another 356! A 1960 Cabriolet. This was one we did the metal work for a customer and he was going to do paint and assembly. That didn’t happen so we bought it. This was the Cabriolet that was abandon on private property in Carbondale. When the property became public the car was removed on a police order. The sale price was $50.00 plus $2.20 for a title search. Not only did we do extensive metal work on this Cabriolet (fortunately no bullet holes!) we sold the owner lots of missing parts. So we can get this Cabriolet ready for paint pretty quickly.

As BJ started on the ’54 Coupe it was obvious the right front fender needed major repair. The headlight bucket had been previously repaired incorrectly; there was a major dent and a one foot square overlapped patch repair.

Fortunately we had a NOS section of an A right front fender. What is a NOS part? Well, these were parts the dealerships had in inventory for the 356. As the 911 models came in and 356 repair/replacement fell off these parts became old stock. These parts were often stored and eventually became known as New Old Stock – NOS. These parts are obviously valuable as they are original manufacture and not reproductions. We have very few NOS parts left.

The few NOS sheet metal parts we have we acquired years ago from a longtime Denver Porsche repair shop that went out of business. If they needed to repair the left front clip on a 356 they would buy a complete front clip from the dealer, cut off what they needed and save the remaining piece. These are the pieces we bought and are almost out of. Anyhow, BJ did a very good repair to the ’54 Coupe.

I decided to do a minor repair on Speedster number 13. On the top of the left front fender was a one and half inch tear in the metal, probably due to rust. Whenever we had visitors they would notice and point to the damage so I thought it would be a quick fix. I cut out a small patch and tacked it in place. As I welded, the original metal was being blown away. It was way too thin! I had seen a lot of previous repair grinding in the area and the metal is way too weak. Fortunately, we have a NOS fender section to make a correct repair. Almost all the metal work on Speedster 13 will be rework because of poor previous repairs. Fortunately there is no collision damage to the rare Speedster and the doors are in great shape. Everything else? Well, a lot of work.

Concours Prep
The annual Charity Concours is Sunday June 10th at Arapahoe Community College. This is the 24th and the biggest car show in Denver. Please enter your 356 for display or judging. We encourage judging as you get the results and this allows you to improve your 356 and maintain or increase its value.

This concours is basically a clean car contest. Each 356 starts with 300 possible points and deductions are made by judges as they find problems. The judges only have five minutes to evaluate the 356. They evaluate the exterior (65 pts), the interior (60 pts), the engine compartment (60 pts), the storage compartment (40 pts), the chassis rear (40 pts), and the chassis front (35 pts). They will be looking for the condition of chrome, glass, rubber and fit and finish. They will not be looking under the 356! So spend a day really cleaning your 356. You will get the judging sheets back so you can see what more can be done. You may even win a prize! The value of a 356 is enhanced with a concours award.

A few tips. Judges know where to find dirt – it hides. So lift up those rubber seals and mats and clean underneath. Dust under the dash along the steering column. Get the glass and chrome to sparkle. Clean behind the engine shroud. Try real hard to get the grit out of the seat seams; then vacuum it all again! A judge, that Barb worked with the very first time she judged, marked 10 points off the interior score on a car because there was a crumpled tissue in the door pocket. So be sure to clean out the door pockets and good luck!

The May meeting for the Rocky Mountain 356 Porsche Club was on car detailing, hope those of you who attended got a lot of tips to help your cleaning techniques.

(Note: we allow young children to sit in our 356 at the concours while their parents are standing by and we encourage others to do the same.)

Grandpa News
Congratulations to Cal Ensor – Speedster owner/driver who just made the great-grandfather category. Seems like we swap more grandkid-stories as car stories anymore!

My chemo is over and should ensure I remain cancer free so we can restart open shop again; no more worry about infections and I can play with Alex. She has her own playhouse now built to look just like Grandpa’s house but it needs a garage for a mini 356.

Open Shop
Saturday, June 16th from 11:00 to 3:00 we will provide lunch. This is a week after the concours so everyone should be clean and shiny and drivable! Please come, I’ve missed your visits.