November 2008 Newsletter

Jim’s ’61 Sunroof Coupe is still at the painters. They got delayed by insurance work. We picked up the Shop ’60 Cabriolet at the other painters and it looks great in Silver. In fact George saw it and decided to paint his ’60 Roadster the same color. His original color was Ivory and his black interior will still work. The Shop Irish Green ’59 Coupe was picked up by the transport company and is on its way to Michigan. The new owners plan to drive it to the West Coast Holiday in Sedona, AZ next October. With the sale of the Shop ’59 Coupe it makes the sale of four 356s for 356RESTORE this year. All at market price and our best year ever. We still have the Shop ’60 Cabriolet, the Shop ’64 Coupe and the Shop ’54 Coupe to sell.

The ’58 Speedster arrived from Wyoming and at first look didn’t appear too bad. We disassembled the few parts and took it to Blast Tech for a media blasting of all the metal. We saw plenty of fiberglass and hoped it could be blasted off. Blast Tech turned the Speedster around in and few days and it was obvious there was more metal work than originally expected. A thorough evaluation indicates this had been a race car, with multiple holes in the dash and fire wall. All the holes for the side deco, badges and hood handle had been brazed closed. The bottom four inches of the nose had been cut off and the Speedster took a hard hit in front of the driver door and the front closing panel was crumbled. The door had been replaced and the rear of the front fender repaired with overlap metal, rivets and fiberglass. So this is more work than expected but nothing we haven’t seen before.

BJ has already started on the battery box repairs. He finished the Shop ’64 Coupe and it will be off to paint. The original color was Heron Gray which is a pretty color with reds and blue in the sunlight. But on a cloudy day it looks like a 1955 Ford Coupe. We may go with Slate Gray when we see how Jim’s ’61 Sunroof Coupe looks in this color. So we moved the Shop’64 Coupe and George’s ’60 Roadster out of the shop for paint and brought down the Wyoming Speedster and Shop ’60 Cabriolet. I started on the doors on the Cabriolet. Remember, this was the 356 abandoned in Carbondale and it was stripped of all parts. When we did the metal work years ago we had to find doors, hood and deck lid and make them fit. So this won’t be a numbers matching 356! We were fortunate to have the Cabriolet side frames and glass but when fit the glass was too tight to operate and there was no more adjustment. We had new tempered glass cut that was 1/8th inch narrower. It fit fine. While waiting on the glass we decided to do the Cabriolet brakes. I wrote a note to order rubber and steel brake lines but first checked what we had on hand. We have lots of drum brake parts from the various parts collection we have bought in the past. We had some new rubber lines of various lengths which was good as we never use old rubber lines which can swell on the inside and cause braking problems. We also had some new steel lines. We decided to start at the back of the Cabriolet and referred to the brake parts diagram in the Stoddard parts catalog. It looks like we have all the parts including the standoff and coupler so we dry fit everything and it will work.

Now let’s blow out the line from the tunnel to ensure it is clear. We usually tape a paper towel over one end to see what crud and bugs might be in the line so we go up front to secure a paper towel. Damn! Somebody snapped the line at the front. Probably trying to get it off the master cylinder. We will have to replace the tunnel line as it would be too difficult to flair the end for a new connection, plus the line is old and will probably break if we futz with it. Standing in the corner of the shop is a tunnel brake line from NAPA; we check and it is too short. But if we can find a coupler and a short piece of steel brake line we can make it work. We have the parts! Now to get the old line out. Just one clamp in the tunnel and out it came. The new line with extension went in easily. We primed the new master cylinder with fluid prior to installation. We always use a new master cylinder as it is a single point of failure. We probably have over thirty old master cylinders on the shelf. The new master cylinder would not fit. It turns out we had repaired the front bulkhead where the master cylinder attaches but had not bolted the pedal cluster to the floor. When the pedal cluster was bolted down, it moved up and the hole in the bulkhead was partially blocked. A little grinding with the Dremal tool and the master cylinder was attached thru the bulkhead to the pedal cluster. All that is left is the adjust and bleed the brakes. We next did the emergency brake. Again, we had all the parts on the shelf. The only issue is attaching the spring in the tight confines of the tunnel. Next, more parts to go on and the electrics.

Grandpa News
Barb was holding the kitty and told Alex that Kit Kat had sticky stuff on its fur from the tree. Alex thought for a minute and said, “It’s sap, Granma”.

Jim Kellogg
8356 N. Sunburst Trail
Parker, CO 80134