May 2015 Newsletter

Crazy Market
We commented last month that we were ready to take the Shop ’64 Coupe (Viney) to the mechanics for engine installation and checkout. Well, we did and then we got a call.
A local guy was trying to locate a 356 for sale for a friend in California. We told him we would have two or three for sale this year. He asked for details, so we told him about the ’64 Signal Red Coupe which should be for sale in a few months. We indicated it was at the mechanics for checkout.
Well he knew the mechanic’s shop and went there and took pictures of the ’64 and sent them to his friend. The friend wanted to send us money! For a 356 that isn’t ready for sale! We told them we don’t price a 356 until we’ve driven them but we would put them at the top of the list. With this market we expect a big list.
So what is selling? Well, the top 356s, i.e. concours quality, are probably selling but we won’t know as they are private sales to collectors.
Good driver level 356 will sell quickly because the buyer knows they can’t afford a concours level 356. The buyer expects to pay more for number matching and COA specifications; but expect to pay less if not matching. Often, they will indicate this in their wanted ad.
Then there are the buyers that want a project. They know they can’t afford a driver level 356. They may or may not have the skills for restoration, but they will have a 356 and they are valuable.
If the project buyer doesn’t have restoration skills. They soon find experienced restoration shops are up to their eyeballs with work. Hopefully, they don’t find an inexperienced shop that will mess up the restoration and we will be back to what we saw over the years.
We think some of these project 356s will sit for a while and once the thrill of owning a 356 wears off, the 356 will go back on the market.
As indicated in the past. The most frequently asked question is “What does a 356 restoration cost?” Since may folks go to our website we have made a FAQ on our home page. Check it out.
The FAQ shows a range of $20,000 to $40,000 or $50,000 depending on the mechanical work. The $20,000 assumes an average 356 restoration, but we haven’t seen an average in years. Projects on the market now are what we used to call rust buckets. Stoddard recently had a contest to find the worst rust bucket and they would award $5,000 in parts. Well, they had about two dozen entries and they were really rust buckets. About half were going to be restored by the owner and half by restoration shops.
So it is a crazy or exciting market depending on your involvement. Yes, the Porsche 356 has increased in value. Will the value hold? Yes, as Porsche only produced 79,316 and they were well designed and engineered.

BJ is proceeding with the body work on the Shop ’62 Coupe (Barney) but then we looked at the rear clip. It wasn’t right. Whoever did the work in the past did it wrong. So , a little more metal work. See previous comments on past poor restoration and the quality of today’s 356 projects.
Jim is doing the reassembly on the Shop ’61 Coupe (Casper). It is going well and we had to order a lot of replacement parts. The bill was $1,750. Yes, 356 parts are going up in price. Not to be unexpected.
The customer ’64 Coupe was disassembled and taken to Blast Tech. We also took some engine sheet metal for the Shop ’61 Coupe. Since this 356 was driven to our shop the engine should be ok, so we will clean and paint the engine and reinstall.
The customer engine was removed prior to taking it to Blast Tech. We will take this to the mechanics for evaluation. As described in out web site FAQ, 356 mechanicals can really drive up 356 restoration cost. Hopefully the customers engine is ok. The recently purchased Shop ’64 Sunroof Coupe is waiting for the painter to evaluate. Best case is the paint will just need buffing. The missing sunroof panel can be painted to match and the engine checks out. The issue with this 356 is it came without a title. We have had this problem in the past. There are companies that work this problem as it is not uncommon in the old car hobby. It just takes time and money.

The Move
No, we haven’t moved yet. We are in the final construction phase. The last two dormers are being completed and this has taken time with the rain and snow. We should be dried out by the end of this month. That means basic construction completed and doors and windows installed. Then all the subcontractors come in and progress should move quickly. We probably will move in this fall.
We have the shop move all planned and it will be a big job. Many of you have volunteered to help and we will take you up on your offer. Since the move is just next door, we could probably form a human chain to pass boxes. Joking, as the distance is about two hundred yards.

RMVR Schedule
May 16-17 Spring Race at HPR
June 13-14 Pueblo Grand Prix
Aug1-2 Charity Race HPR
Sept 5-6 Labor Day Hastings Neb.
Oct. 3-4 Fall Race HPR
Oct 24-25 Spooktractular PPIR

Grandpa News
I was in the living room reading and Barb, Alex and Sammie were on the floor playing Go Fish! Or as Sammie calls it Go Fishing! When it was Sammie’s turn she wouldn’t take just one card but two or three. I doubt she thought of it as cheating just competitiveness. She likes to win!