November 2009 Newsletter

newheaderWest Coast Holiday
Barb and I had a great time at the West Coast Holiday in Sedona, Arizona last month. Over 200 356’s including an American Roadster and a Glockler. It was held at the same resort that hosted in 1989 and 1999. The Arizona folks host a Holiday every ten years. Barb and I were there in ’89 and in ’99 and hope to be there in ’19.

Larry Myers drove up from Tucson for the Saturday concours which is held on the golf course at the resort. It was great to see Larry, he looked the same as when he was active with the RM356PC (same crew cut). He had made a display of his participant badges at almost all the SCCA races he had raced with his Speedster.

Larry was the SCCA Midwest Champion in 1967, 1969, 1972 and 1985. He was also a driving instructor for RM356PC and instructed the Colorado Highway Patrol. Tom and I purchased the badge display from Larry and it will be exhibited at our shops.

The mechanic had tested Kit’s engine on the test stand. It had been stored for twenty years and had almost 100,000 miles on it since the last rebuild. After the valve adjustment the engine started and seemed to run well. Kit wanted her carburators rebuilt and after this was done the engine was started again on the test stand. A knock was heard! Teardown revealed a broken crankshaft which was not apparent until the third piece was removed. The endplay had been OK! So Kit is waiting on a rebuild and we have her ’64 coupe covered and in a secure storage until we can reinstall the engine.

We picked up the Wyoming Speedster at the painters and have started assembly. We also dropped off Caroline’s ’63 coupe and Ed’s ’65 coupe for paint.

While waiting for the painter, we disassembled the ’64 coupe we recently purchased and took it to Blast Tech.

So the shop ’54 coupe is in the shop for reassembly but waits while we start on the Wyoming Speedster. The other shop ’64 coupe is painted in the original Heron Grey and waits for reassembly. The shop ’60 Cabriolet is almost fully assembled but needs correction to the top. Shop cars will have to wait until we finish the customer cars. Fortunately Ed will do his own reassembly. BJ will start on the metal work on the second shop ’64 coupe when it gets back from Blast Tech and also assist on the reassembly of the customers 356’s.

356 Restoration Book
The second edition is out and selling well. You can order it on-line from the publisher at or we have some and would be happy to sign and mail if you would like one or as a gift. The price is $29.95 plus $4.00 shipping.

More Progress
While waiting on the Wyoming Speedster we did some work on the shop ’54 coupe. We were cleaning up the E-brake cables in the tunnel when we found something in the forward part of the tunnel. It was grease! A pound of it! On the Pre-A, the E-brake cable goes through a bowden tube and then up to an E-brake handle on the steering column. Underneath the 356 is a zerk so you can grease the bowden tube. Normally, when you lube a 356 you apply grease until you see the old grease coming out the fitting. The bowden tube takes only a little grease but someone kept pumping the grease gun expecting to see the grease. They almost filled the tunnel!

We had most of the parts for the Pre-A dash and decided to install them. One part we were missing was the glove box so we ordered one. Expensive, as not many Pre-A’s were made (we appreciate that they are being reproduced). When the glove box arrived we figured a quick five minute installation. Wrong! After many tries it was obvious that the glove box can only be installed with the dash removed. A nice feature on the Pre-A’s. So five minutes turned into two hours.

Over a year ago we mentioned that we were working on a rare Speedster number 80013. The thirteenth one made and it came over on the first shipment to Max Hoffman. The owner decided he wanted a show car and spent a lot on the final body work and paint at another shop. Since we do not do show cars, but driver level restorations, we opted out of the reassembly due to the time that it takes to do a show car. 80013 has returned to California for final assembly.

Last Race
The Enduro is the last race of the season for Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing. I decided not to race as age has lessened my skill and concentration. Scot Petitt asked to drive with Bill Frey. The ’52 racecar was modified by Bill to accommodate Scot who is a big guy. The Enduro is an hour and forty five minute race with two mandatory ten minute pit stops. Both Bill and Scot drove an excellent race. Scot passed eight cars on the first lap! Scot also said the ’52 was the most neutral car he had raced. A tribute to the excellent work Bill has done on the ’52 racecar over the years.

Barb and I plan to vacation in Maui again this February. On our computer on the favorites list we have a link to the web cam at the Hale Pau Hana resort. If you would like to check out the beach action go to

Grandpa News
On her last visit, Alex showed me her computer skills. Yes, they have a computer lab in Kindergarten. She even has Spanish lessons!