September 2002 Newsletter

Denver Grand Prix

I worked the last Grand Prix in 1991 and had a great time. I even have a piece of tire rubber that Al Unser Jr hit and it hit me in the chest. It’s on the wall in my garage.

This year both BJ and I signed up as volunteers. We worked Fri-Sat-Sun from 6AM till 6 at night. In exchange we got a hat, two t-shirts, a free lunch and some water. We had a ball!

We worked no mans land. The area between the spectator fence and the track fence. The idea was to keep spectators out of this area. We had few problems. On Sunday I had a great assignment out of turn four. Very little problems with spectators and I could be right on the wall as the Champ cars came by at 140 MPH. The work came harder as the crowd grew and it was obvious the spectator bridge couldn’t handle the load. BJ took charge and organized a crowd crossing of the track via radio. He was commended by Race Control. Way to go Beej! Bob Petitt drove the FedX truck on the CART victory lap. He set the fastest time of the day for big trucks.

While the CART Race had little passing, it was exciting to watch the speed, both the TransAm and RMVR race were outstanding. It was great for watching. RMVR got to run twenty cars. CART wanted loud classics.

So it was Corvettes, Camaros, 911, Audis, BMWs and even a 50’s Cadillac as the Pace Car. RMVR put on a great race. There was lots of pre-race commentary, an exciting race (Corvette won). Champagne and a winners tour of the track ended the day.

If you missed the race this year, plan on next as CART has a contract for the next thirteen years.

Porsches and Pastries

This newsletter is a little late as I wanted to cover Porsches and Pastries on Sept. 15th.

We had a great turnout; over 40 356’s and way over a 100 folks. Both a mix of 356er’s and friends and neighbors from Parker. There were new faces, even some 356 folk from out of state who happened to be in the area. My thanks to Jen for the pastries; she made 1,100 and they were all gone. (Also, someone left an Olympus digital camera-we have it in a safe place.)

Barb and I got to show off our remodel project and had lots of complimentary comments. Made us feel good as it was six months of decisions, dirt and design. We gave out some tenth anniversary gifts and if you weren’t here, pick up one next time you are by.


With cleaning up after the remodel and getting ready for Porsches and Pastries, the shop work was on the back burner. We did get the Shop ’56 Speedster up to Trevor to sort out the shift linkage. When I took it for its first run it was obvious we had a steering problem. It turned out to be a steering coupler failure. We have seen three of these this year. (Have you checked yours lately?) The steering coupler is that rubber doughnut that you can see if you take off the inspection cover in the front compartment. If yours is a forty year old part you may want to replace it. Cost for 356 – 356B is $8 but you C drivers get to pay $140. The VW part changed on the C and due to liability concerns only the Porsche part is sold for C’s.

Joe Leoni helped sort out the electrical problems on the Shop ’56 Sunroof Coupe. It took him thirty hours. Would have taken me four times as long and I would have been very frustrated. Thanks Joe!

What we have learned this year is we over committed. We had three shop cars and three customer cars. The problem with this much work is while you make progress on all you never really finish and don’t get that satisfaction of feeling done.We hope to sell the Shop ’56 Speedster next month; finish and sell the Shop ’56 Sunroof Coupe and hopefully finish the Shop ’61 Roadster. We should also finish Chris’s ’59 Convertible D and do most of the work on Gene’s ’62 Cabriolet. So, the rest of the year will be real busy. While I have been putting off commitments for next year, folks are already lining up. But I do want to finish the Shop ’64 Coupe and of course the Shop ’57 1500GS Carrera. I plan to do a super job on the Carrera as it deserves it but it will take more time. So it looks like only one or two customer projects for next year.

BJ and I also want to make an outlaw out of the Shop ’61 Coupe. We plan to chop the top and put in a Speedster windshield. Maybe section it and put on a rally roof scoop. So if all goes to plan we will exhaust our shop cars and will be looking for more. Let us know if any abandoned project 356 is out there.

Also we always enjoy the L.A. Swap Meet after the first of the year. If you have parts, contact us as we need parts for restorations and inventory.


The RM356PC event in November is a tour of the Warbirds shop in Ft. Collins. Details next month. Also, December 8th is the RM356PC Christmas party. If you are not a member, now is the time to join. Contact us for details.