October 2007 Newsletter

356 Restoration Book
The publisher contacted us and needed to know when the second edition would be ready. We told him we would try to have it ready in six months. He said that that time frame was good as it would be available for the 2008 Holiday season.

The publisher has sold out the second printing. So far we have sold 3,250 copies. This is way more than we both expected and again indicates the strong interest in the Porsche 356. We started the second edition last year but was interrupted by health issues. (Recent test results indicate I remain cancer free.) The second edition will have a lot more detail; particularly for those restoring a 356 missing parts. There are problems fitting reproduction and parts from another 356 as these Porsches were made by hand. At present, the second edition is half done.

An interesting month. We did two PPIs (pre-purchase inspection) and one insurance claim. The insurance claim was for a 356 that didn’t quite stop in time and took an SUV in the left headlight area. Fortunately the owner had recently switched to the classic car insurer we have recommended and there will be no problem with the claim. The problem will be when we can do the repair.

One of the PPI’s was interesting as the potential buyer was in Las Vegas and was unable to travel to inspect a local Cabriolet for sale. The Cab was a good driver with good paint and just a few issues. The possible buyer’s name was XN. He explained that he was of Romanian heritage and because people had trouble pronouncing his name he just picked two letters from his name. He did this thirty years ago and has had no problems. Hard to forget his name now! He may pass on the Cabriolet but has a strong interest in the Shop ’57 Speedster.

The other Speedster 80013 has gone to the painter. The owner flew out and we went over the metal work and parts needed. The plan is to have the painter do the body work and paint the Speedster in red primer. We will then completely assemble the Speedster checking for fit issues prior to paint. 80013 will be painted its original Signal Red paint. Of the ten initial Speedsters that came over on the first boat to Max Hoffman in New York, most were Signal Red.

The goal is to have all the parts for 80013 ready for assembly when the Speedster is in primer. This means coordinating with the vendors for chrome work, instrument rebuild, keys, wiring harness, rubber seals and hard to find parts. Hopefully it will all come together.

BJ finished the metal work and body work on the Shop ’54 Coupe and it is ready for paint but we are holding it. We brought the Shop ’59 Cabriolet into the shop to redo the body work.

This is that Carbondale Cab that was stored outside on private land that when the land became public it was towed off as an eyesore. The tow operator gave it to his brother who got it for the $50 tow fee. We did the extensive metal work on this Cabriolet six years ago. Fortunately there were no bullet holes but the 356 was missing lots of parts. We had most of the parts and sold them to the owner along with doing the restoration. We returned the Cabriolet to the owner who was going to have a friend paint it and then do the reassembly. The paint and reassembly never happened as other projects got in the way. So, he sold it back to us.

It is interesting to look at the work we did in the past and compare it to the work we do now. We obviously do very good work after many years and many 356s restored. A lot of the credit goes to BJ who is doing excellent work. BJ should have the Cabriolet redone in a few months and we will probably send it to the painter ahead of the Shop ’54 Coupe as it is a more valuable 356.

We picked up the Shop ’54 Outlaw at Autoweave and it looks great with its Silver paint and new interior. We went with the red interior but put in Recaro seats in red with a silver material down the center. The rear seats were done the same way. It really looks sharp and those that have seen it think it is great. The issue with 356 Outlaws is finding a buyer who likes what has been done to make the 356 unique. This outlaw has the fuel filler opening in the hood and a big touring gas tank. It has a clean look with no hood handle or bumpers. It has nerf bars. It will probably be hard to sell as we have to find a buyer who likes what we have done. We did it for a customer who didn’t have time to do the mechanicals and sold it back to us. Some of these projects remind us of when our kids move away from home and then back again!

The asking price of project 356s has gone up as has restored 356s. This is a concern to us as we buy rusted out incomplete projects as shop cars, restore them and hopefully sell at a profit. We may be doing more customer work in the future and will probably have to increase our rates to maintain profitability.

We mentioned previously about uninformed buyers getting a 356 and trying to restore it for a profit. Our concern is that the restoration might be the chicken wire and bondo approach. We had a recent call from a project buyer that wanted to know how to get the 356 body off the frame! Be careful out there!

Grandpa News
Well I think she is brilliant!

BJ and Grandma were in the front seat driving on an errand and Alex was in her car seat in back. Barb, talking to BJ, used the word “advantage”. Alex piped up from the back and said, “I don’t know advantage, but I know bandage.”

Alex is three now and although a bit shy at first she is handling her nursery school days very well. So maybe all her chatter will be to her advantage!