October 2006 Newsletter

Porsches and Pastries
We had a great celebration of fifteen years of 356RESTORE at Porsches and Pastries. Sunday, October 15th was a beautiful sunny Colorado day. About forty 356s showed up and well over 100 people. We had folks from Wyoming and New Mexico and owners whose 356s we had worked on but not seen in years.

We can usually tell the success of a party by the food remaining. It was almost all gone! The breakfast burritos were great and the barbeque was a big hit. And of course the pastries, Jen outdid herself! As a retired pastry chef and new mother she hasn’t lost her skills. Thanks Jen for being the pastry part of Porsches and Pastries.

Those of you that have been to the shop may have noticed a white board titled “356RESTORED” and on it the owner’s names and 356 model of cars we have worked on. A few years back the board was full with about 86 names/356 models and we recently wondered how many 356’s we had worked on. By going to our website- 356RESTORE.com we reviewed all of the newsletters from the last fifteen years and discovered we had worked on 100 356’s!

So we folded that into the fifteen year celebration – fifteen years and 100 356s! We made up goodie bags with t-shirts, caps, coffee mugs, scratch pads and a list of all the 356s worked on along with other goodies all celebrating 15 years and 100 356’s. These were given to the 356 owners at the celebration. We also wanted to recognize those who had supported us over the last fifteen years.

We recognized Tom Conway of Carquip who has shared 356 restoration tips and advice with us since we started 356RESTORE. Gary Nardi of Blast Tech who has taken at least sixty 356s down to bare metal for us. Ron Nelson of Autoweave who has always done correct and high quality 356 interiors for us. Dan Diltz who is our painter and while only with us for a few years is providing us with exceptional 356 paint. And we recognize Joe Leoni of 356 Electrics who has not only helped us resolved Porsche 356 electrical issues but has provided his wealth of knowledge to the entire Porsche 356 community.

How We Do It
How could 356RESTORE work on so many 356s in fifteen years? After all it’s just Jim and BJ. Well, it is not; in addition to those we recognized at the party there are parts vendors, supply houses, mechanics and others that share their knowledge and experience of the Porsche 356. With many folks with forty to fifty years experience, there is a lot of knowledge to share.

I’ve said “that after you have restored twenty 356 floor pans the next twenty are easy”. Well, while that is true, our process in restoring 356s is what has allowed us to work on so many. We know how to disassemble a 356 and get it ready for media blasting. We specify what we want blasted and when we get it back we can see the damaged metal and what we need to repair or replace. We have developed good welding skills and use tools and techniques that bring the 356 back to factory specs. True, some 356 basket cases can not be made perfect without tons of money and time, but we provide a 356 that will be admired and driven.

We usually have multiple 356 projects underway. While one is at the painter another may be at Blast-Tech or Autoweave. While BJ may be welding, I’m getting parts ready to reassemble. While one of us is prepping a 356 for paint the other is assembling a painted 356. We keep doing this and the 356s get restored. Yes, we were surprised we had worked on so many 356s, but we don’t kill ourselves. We start at 8:00 AM and quit at 3:56 PM. We take a break mid morning and afternoon. We break for lunch and do absolutely no work after 3:56. We also use Friday afternoons to clean up the shop. While I also use to work a six day week, I recently switched to five days (recognizing that at age 65 there is more to life remaining than 356s). Why do we do it? Well it is enjoyable. Each 356 teaches us something. It is like solving a mystery.

I have said that when I was a “suit” in the computer industry my job was not to have problems. We had plans, status meetings, plan revisions and critiques all to avoid problems. Well, at the end of a day of working on 356s, we have solved a lot of problems and feel pretty good about ourselves and the results.

Progress this month was mostly getting the shop ready for the party. We disassembled the Shop ’64 Coupe and it will go to Blast-Tech. We picked up the Shop ’58 Coupe at Blast-Tech and BJ is starting on the metal work. We expect Speedster number 80013 to arrive this week and we are anxious to see what will be required for a high level restoration. This is a rare 356!

We will have three 356s coming back from Autoweave and one from the painter. We will pickup the Shop ’64 Slate Gray Coupe from Trevors and need to finish it for sale. If everything happens at once we will be packed full! But that just means more fun.

While we didn’t race the Pueblo Enduro this year, we did attend to give support to the other 356 drivers. Since BJ was working race control I got to go in the tower during the races. Turn 10 is the final turn before the straight and where the tower is located. Man! I didn’t know we went so fast through that turn!

Grandpa News
Those of you that get the Newsletter via the Internet may have missed the great pictures of Alex we mailed last month. We e-mailed it later. Hope you saw it – pretty much says it all for us – Alex and fixing Porsches.