October 2003 Newsletter

The RM356PC drive to Vail to view the vintage sports cars that drove the Colorado Grand was great fun. We had twenty six 356s and received lots of public interest. We were able to check out the Colorado Grand cars. Plenty of Ferraris, Maseratis, Mercedes and classics. There were six Blower Bentleys all lined up in a row. All the same color green and all were very impressive.

We used the trip to checkout my ’63 Sunroof Coupe which hadn’t been on a long trip since the Holiday in Durango. We wanted to ensure it would be ready for the trip to the Holiday in Taos. It checked out fine but I think I will switch mufflers as the sport muffler drones at constant RPM.

For the Taos trip, I drove my ’63, BJ drove his ’64 Coupe and Barb got to drive the truck with all the parts for the swap meet and my technical presentation. We convoyed down with a bunch of Colorado 356s. It started to rain at La Vieta pass and the only problem was a thrown fan belt on one of the 356s.

Jen had family business in Minnesota and flew into Santa Fe on Friday where Barb picked her up to join the activities. Friday was also the drive of the Enchanted Circle. Although it rained we put over 100 356s on the road. The New Mexico State Patrol blocked the road in front of the hotel so all the cars could leave safely. What a sight!

After the drive there was concern about the Concours to be held the next day as it was still raining and no way to clean the cars after the drive. Plus would they let us on the golf course? While the organizers wrestled with the issue I gave a Technical Session on rust. There were about 85 folks in attendance and I had plenty of rust props that we have cut off 356s over the years. The presentation was well received and I even got in a plug for my restoration book. Saturday morning it was still raining but over one hundred 356s headed for the Concours. About 10:00 AM the sun came out! What a pretty sight with all the colorful 356s on the green lawn. Entertainment and a great lunch was served in the clubhouse.

After the Concours Barb and I toured Taos and did some shopping. Taos has changed since we were last there over ten years ago. We will have to return-(and do some serious shopping). *editor’s note!

I was in charge of the swap meet and was glad the rain stopped. There is nothing worse than wet parts.

The Saturday night awards banquet was great and the Sunday morning swap meet was well attended. Once again they were all over us with flashlights at 5:30 AM as BJ and I unloaded. We did well at the swap meet and made enough to pay for the trip. After the swap meet we packed up and headed home with no problems. The Holiday was great and we congratulate the organizers on a fine event. They were a small group and lived in various parts of New Mexico.


Well, Ted’s ’59 Carbiolet didn’t make the trip to Taos. Autoweave got his interior done and we took the 356 to Trevor’s for the engine installation. But Trevor found problems with the transmission and then bent axles and then brake problems and then carburetor problems and then generator problems and then.. I have never seen Trevor so frustrated. Ted’s Cab had been updated with disc brakes and a later transmission and it was all done wrong. Better to leave it home than have those problems on the road for Ted’s first Holiday.

Trevor finished Ted’s car after the Holiday and we picked it up. The same day we picked up Gene’s ’61 Cabriolet at the painters. That Oslo Blue paint looks great! So we are very busy again. We installed the windshield in Ted’s Cab plus the seatbelts and rubber mats. We still have some small parts to install and some work on the brake lines and wiring harness. Trevor will come down and we will sort out the 356. Hopefully Ted will soon be enjoying his Cab.

It has been a long and tedious restoration. There is a message for new owners to have someone qualified evaluate a 356 prior to purchase.

Next up will be the reassembly of Gene’s Cab. All the parts have been prepared and it should go quickly. Meanwhile, BJ is doing the metal work on Michael’s ’62 Coupe. Quite a bit to do and once again we are going to have to put a new front clip on the car. Then after Michael’s there is George’s ’60 Coupe but it needs minimal metal work. We have to replace the windshield in the Shop ’64 Coupe as the original cracked. We are still waiting on an engine for this 356 but it will be an Al Lager engine!

Tech Tip

You should know how to replace your fan belt. The AAA guy may not know how. You need a spare fan belt, the pulley wrench and a screw driver. Place the screw driver in the notch at the back of the pulley. When it catches, use the wrench to remove the nut. Count the shims and location and replace as found. There should be ten shims. Hats off to the driver in the convoy who did it in the rain!