October 2008 Newsletter

We had the engine sheet metal for Jim’s ’61 Sunroof Coupe media blasted in preparation for paint and detailing. We don’t blast the oil filter canister or oil filler as media could later get in the oil and destroy an engine. We strip these parts by hand. While inspecting the fuel line that connects the carbs behind the fan shroud, we found some tape. Under it we found some solder. It turned out the throttle control arm behind the fan shroud had rubbed and worn through the fuel line. We had some fuel lines on the shelf and found one also with wear marks in the same area. Have you checked the fuel line behind the fan shroud? You can imagine what a fuel leak in this hidden area could do

We recently evaluated a ’64 Coupe. The tires were Michelin XZXs and the date code was from 1992 or 1982! We were upset! The owner said he reads this newsletter and knew about the danger of old tires but-(we don’t want to be an alarmist, but folks these are forty five plus year old cars and tires and fuel lines are important. End of sermon.)

Progress Continued
So Jim’s ’61 Sunroof Coupe should be back from the painter soon and we have most of the reusable parts ready for reassembly. The Shop ’60 Cabriolet and ’54 Coupe will also be back from the other painter soon. So, as expected we will be busy with the fun part of reassembly.

The Irish Green Shop ’59 Coupe has been sold and will be going to Michigan. This is the shop car that wouldn’t hold an idle and was missing head bolt washers ($1.25 each) that allowed blow by and cylinder damage. The engine was repaired and runs great.

BJ has the Shop ’64 Coupe almost ready for paint and Scott has been helping out part time and has George’s ’60 Roadster almost ready for paint. And to top it off, we have a ’58 Speedster coming down from Wyoming. This 356 needs a front and rear clip and the hot rod shop in Wyoming realized they were not up to the task. They had purchased the clips but didn’t know how to proceed. Our arm was twisted and we agreed to do the clips only. We know the owner would like to try to get us to do the full restoration but man, we have a lot of work ahead of the Speedster. We have done quite a few front and rear clips and they are fun. About 80% jigging, positioning and measuring and 20% welding. When done it’s like you created a new 356.

On our first drive of the Shop Irish Green ’59 Coupe, the speedometer began to whine and eventually spun around and blew the needle off as we were trying to disconnect it while driving. We substituted a spare while we have the original rebuilt. We also noticed the tachometer was running slow. So we swapped out tachs, same problem. So we pulled the tach core and noticed damage on the instrument end. Swapped core but the core was short. Tried another core, same problem. So we replaced the tachometer cable which means removing everything to get to the tunnel and positioning the cable so it doesn’t interfere with the shift rod or other tunnel pieces. The tachometer still seems slow so we tried two other tachs, same problem. We will have to get the tachometer rebuilt along with the speedometer. Six hours to work this problem. Now you know why some shops won’t work on a 356. A customer wouldn’t understand a bill for $300 to $500 to fix a simple tachometer problem.

We were invited to exhibit Barb’s Twin Grill Roadster at the Morgan Adams Concours. This is a benefit for Pediatric Oncology research and featured both classic planes and cars at Centennial Airport. About twenty planes and sixty cars and thousands of people. Good food, good music. There was a flyby of war birds and lots of items for their silent auction. Our favorite plane was a T-33 trainer jet with two seats. We flew in the back seat of one of these when we were in the Air Force. Our favorite car was a fantastic Mercedes Benz 500K sedan. Just beautiful in black. Bill had the rebuilt engine for our ’52 Coupe race car ready for the Pueblo Enduro. We started it for the first time on a Thursday and trailered it to the track the next day. Bill drove practice on Saturday and I drove qualifying. We kept the RPMs down to break in the engine and I qualified at the back of the pack.

There were sixty eight cars starting the hour and forty minute endurance race. Bill started at the back due to my slow qualifying time but soon got the revs up and started passing cars. He made the two mandatory ten minute pit stops but drove the whole race. Bill finished thirty seventh, only two minutes behind the winning 911. Most of the cars ahead of Bill were big bore cars. For those of us aware of Bill’s six year battle with cancer this was an amazing race and finish.

The asphalt is down and the new High Plains Raceway will be ready for racing next Spring. BJ, as co-chief of Flagging and Communications, went out to the track to locate the corner worker positions. There is a video of the new track at www.highplainsraceway.com so you can tour the new track. While the track and paddock are in, more funds are needed for the timing tower, garages, restrooms (showers?) and other facilities. You can contribute at the above website. If you enjoy classic sports cars now is the time to be part of vintage racing.

Not much Grandpa News as she has been busy with a visit from her Minnesota grandmother.

Jim Kellogg
8356 N. Sunburst Trail
Parker, CO 80134