November 2006 Newsletter

The Screwdriver
We had a call a while back from the new owner of a ’59 Coupe. He had inherited the 356 from his uncle. It was a California car and had been stored since 1971. Only 27,000 miles on the odometer. We thought this might be a preservation candidate but we determined it had a ’63 engine and probably some paint work.

When we evaluated the 356 the owner showed us the tool kit. It was in original condition and only missing the long Jorg flat blade screwdriver. I told them the tool kit was quite valuable and would be more valuable if he could find the screwdriver.

On his next visit to California, the owner went through all the storage areas in his late uncle’s garage. No luck. But when he was taking the trash out to the dumpster he cleaned up the area around the dumpster and there it was! A little bit rusty but in good shape. He cleaned it up and he now has a complete original 1959 Porsche 356 tool kit. I told him to add it to his insurance at a value of $2,500.

Trevor got the Shop ’64 Slate Grey Coupe running and stopping and we brought it home. It has some paint damage on the nose and we will take it to the painter for touchup. It will be interesting to see what caused the damage as the problem is behind the bumper and the bumper is not damaged.

BJ is doing the metal work on the Shop ’58 Coupe. We will be able to save the original floor pan but almost all the inner longitudinal needs repair. It adds to the value of a 356 when you can say it has the original floor pan.

We picked up the ’57 Sunroof Coupe in its new original color Aquamarine Blue paint and have started reassembly. This will take longer than usual as we have to take pictures and add comment to the second edition of our 356 Restoration book. We are featuring this restoration in a new Part 2 of the original book. As we find more details during this restoration we add it to the original book which is now Part 1. The net is we will have a new book with a lot more detail on the 356 restoration process.

Speedster 80013 arrived by truck from California. We drove it from the road to the garage. We took plenty of pictures and started disassembly. We removed everything but the front suspension and used our rear dolly to roll it on the trailer for the trip to Blast Tech. We wanted all the paint and filler and undercoat off everywhere. We took pictures under the dash so we can duplicate the factory paint in the future. Usually we don’t have them blast under the dash but for this rare 356 we wanted to get it back in bare metal everywhere.

Blast Tech turned it around quickly and we brought it home. The good news is all the numbers match, there is no major collision damage and the doors are almost perfect. The bad news is there is lot of previous repair using overlapping metal and unground welds. All this had been covered by bondo outside, inside and under the 356. The metal repair doesn’t concern us as we have done it all before. The issue is to what level the owner wants to restore this rare Speedster. It is one of ten in the first shipment of Speedsters to Max Hoffman in New York. We continue to do research on the unique features of these early Speedsters. We have been greatly aided by the publication of the Type 540 book which was published as part of the Speedsterfest celebration in 2004.

We are also being aided by Tim Goodrich who restored the prototype Speedster (12223) and the first three production Speedsters (80002, 80003, 8004). These were some of the featured 356s at the Speedsterfest and Tim did museum quality restoration.

We also had the opportunity to evaluate Speedster 80005 which is here in Colorado in a private collection. While we have not yet finished our research, we have determined there are unique features common to all the early Speedsters and features that are varied between them.

I will be doing the metal work on 80013 and the reassembly on the Shop ’57 Sunroof Coupe. BJ will continue the metal work on the Shop ’58 Coupe. We have to get the Shop ’64 Coupe paint issue fixed and sorted out and sell it. We also expect our Shop Speedster and two customer 356s back from Autoweave. We are starting to look forward to our annual vacation in Hawaii in the first of the year (on these cold snowy days in Colorado, go to and click on the webcam to view our favorite beach).

Fifty percent of the metal work we do is rust repair, forty percent is poor previous repair and ten percent collision damage. Now that your 356 may be parked for the winter it would be the time to check for rust damage before it gets worse.

The rust usually starts behind the front wheels where stones are thrown on the front closing panel. Check this area. If there is even surface rust, treat with Rust Treatment from NAPA, item #765-1232. This product used to be called Extend, we have used it for twenty years. It works! Check above the closing panel where there is a ledge. Make sure it is clean. Remove your inspection cover in the front compartment and check the top of your diagonal member. These two areas must be clean. More checks next month.

Grandpa News
They sure start to get independent at age two but she is still Grandpa’s pride and joy. Grammie has to deal with the independent issues when “we” babysit. They negotiate cooperation by playing “deal or no deal”! Each wins 50% of the time.