West Coast Holiday
Santa Fe, New Mexico
What an event! The biggest ever! Two hundred and fifty two (252) 356s. Maybe more with late registration and visitors in 356s. Five hundred and thirty (530) registrants. The headquarters hotel was right on the Santa Fe Plaza and the other hotels were just a few blocks away.
We had planned to trailer the Black ‘63 Sunroof Coupe because we needed to take the truck with swap meet parts. We ended up just taking the truck due to time constraints.
It was an easy six hour drive to Santa Fe and we registered , did some shopping (granddaughters come first), a nice meal and early to bed as we had a trip to Albuquerque for the Balloon Festival the next morning. This was the Forty Second International Balloon Festival. It was huge! We got there before sun up and there were plenty of vendors with coffee, hot chocolate and our favorite warm mini doughnuts. Thousands of people and you can walk around at least a hundred balloons as they would unload their baskets, lay out the balloon and fill them. The morning we were there is was what they call the shapes i.e. frog, clowns, astronaut etc. A great event for children and there were plenty of them having a great time. As the sun came up there were a hundred balloons filled and ready to fly. They didn’t fly that day but flew the next day which we watched from our TV in our warm hotel room. This is a fantastic week long event and we plan to return with Alex and Samantha.
Back to 356 stuff. That afternoon I participated in a forum on 356 restoration and values. It was mostly on values which made me uncomfortable. There was talk of $100,000 to $200,000 restorations and putting your 356 in to a trust. I spoke up and said we did not consider a 356 to be an “asset” and having worked on over one hundred and twenty 356s a $100,000 restoration was ridiculous (I did not say that, but hope it was implied). The next day was drive out tours and an autocross. Many 356 left to see the beauty of New Mexico. Barb and I did more shopping (actually it is fun in Santa Fe). Plus, we could consider how to decorate our new home. We are waiting on the engineering plans for the remodel and then will start construction. But according to Barb it is not to early to think about decorating. The big day of course is Saturday. The concours is around the Santa Fe Plaza. The Holiday organizers had this well planned. Groups of 356s i.e. all A models, all Outlaws, all Roadsters, all B’s, all C’s would leave at staged times to enter the Plaza area and park in assigned areas. The Plaza streets were closed to other vehicles. It went very well and by 0930 there were over two hundred and fifty 356s on display. Time to vote for our favorites. We have a trick for doing this. With over sixty C model 356s to judge you could go crazy taking notes and trying to remember. So, we look at the lower horn grille. If it has small rivets, it is an original piece; larger rivets a reproduction. If small rivets , we next look at the headlight screws if slotted we will consider the 356; if Phillips and even with small rivets we won’t consider. We use different tricks for other models and were able to judge over two hundred 356s in a few hours. Of course, our selections hardly ever match the winners.
Some of our observations. Since we are restoring a Speedster, we took time to look at the rubber trim on the chrome cowl piece. With over twenty of this model to look at we could not determine a consensus. Some were short, some were long, some were notched and many had black caulk to fill the gap.
There were a lot fewer Cabriolets in attendance. Over sixty C model 356s, only eight were Cabriolets. There were also quite a few 356s with nerf bars, we thought that was passé. There were also quite a few non stock wheels. Saturday evening was the reception and awards banquet. The food and service were excellent. The awards went quickly with pictures of the winners on a large screen. A few of our picks received awards. Then we had an excellent presentation by a participant in the recent Peking to Paris race/rally. They drove a Porsche 911 and had a real adventure. They had some issues but finished the race. Other Porsches entered also finished.
One of the goody bag gifts were posters provided by Porsche depicting their historic wins in LeMans with a caption “ Mission 2014. Our Return”. Yes, Porsche is developing a car to return to LeMans level racing and our favorite Formula 1 driver Mark Weber is leaving Formula 1 to drive for Porsche.
The final event of a Holiday is the swap meet. We always do well at swap meets, usually selling enough parts to cover the Holiday expenses and make a small profit.
Our approach is to present clean parts with a description and a price. We only sell parts we have duplicates. Other vendors bring old dirty parts without prices. You have to haggle. We have a table that extends off the rear of the truck. One early buyer took a video of all the parts, emailed the video to a friend in Europe and got a text message back with an order! We have to admit we did raise our prices on parts but they sold quickly with no haggling. Once again, we covered our Holiday expenses and made a small profit.
We got the boot installed on the Shop ‘58 Cabriolet and it will be for sale shortly. We got the Magnuson’s engine to the mechanic for evaluation. BJ continues on the Jim and BJ project which should go to the painter shortly.
“Happy Birthday to you” is now “Happy Birthday you you”