September 2009 Newsletter

newheaderThirty Seven Years!
That’s how long it had been since George had driven his 356. He drove it home from 356RESTORE after we completed the restoration. But first, we drive it for checkout and then let George drive with us to see if he remembered. He did, and we both agree it was a sweet driving 356.

When George was in college he saw the ’61 Roadster by the side of the road with a For Sale sign. The Roadster was rough and you could see red paint stains on the driveway where the owner had painted it to get it ready for sale. It looked like he used a brush. George asked the price and it was too much for a college student and the owner said others were interested. But weeks went by and the 356 was still there. The owner said his folks wanted it sold and what would George offer.

George offered less than half the asking price and bought it for $1,100.
George drove it, fixed it and had it painted at Import Auto Body, but with the demands of his new profession he parked it in 1972. After waiting two years, he finally got it to 356RESTORE in late 2008. His big smile after the test drive made it worthwhile for both George and 356RESTORE.

Off Topic
Our off topic comments last month on adhesive floor tile for the shop brought more comments than anything we’ve written recently. One guy contacted us for more information and used it to order the black and white floor tile from Lowes. However, he was charged seventy-eight cents a tile. Turns out we got ours at the Lowe’s cost without markup!

The second edition of “Porsche 356 Guide to Do-It-Yourself Restoration” is now available (finally!).

You can order from the publisher at or if in the Denver area I will have some for sale. The price is $29.95. The second edition has 152 pages and 318 photos and illustrations. I hope it is the definitive Porsche 356 restoration book and since it is the only Porsche 356 restoration book it must be, until we write the third edition.

When we picked up George’s ’61 Roadster at the mechanics, we dropped off Kit’s ’64 Coupe. With George’s Roadster back, all we had to do was solve some electrical issues. Wash, wax and test drive.

We had seen the electrical issues before we took the 356 to the mechanics. The left front park light, left rear park light and right license plate light wouldn’t work. According to Joe Leoni’s 356 Electrics book this was controlled by fuse number eight. But the fuse wasn’t blown. So we took Joe’s trouble shooting advise and jumped from the top of fuse two to the bottom of fuse eight. The lights worked after we replaced some bulbs. But with the jump wire off it wouldn’t work but the fuse looked good. Well, we decided to work on it after the mechanics trip. When we got it back; the same problem. We decided to try another fuse. It worked! The p roblem was the original fuse had aluminum tips and after forty plus years they no longer conduct electricity. The replacement fuse had copper tips. We found the same solution to the wipers on fuse number four. Something to check on your 356.
BJ finished the paint prep on Caroline’s ’63 Coupe and it will go to the painter when we pick up the Wyoming Speedster. One thing we found in Caroline’s 356 when we disassembled it was a box of roadside flares. They must have been in the 356 for a long time as they had disintegrated and looked very dangerous. Do you have some? Have you checked them?

Ed brought his ’65 Coupe over for metal repair and paint. We had worked on his 356 back in 1994 when we were making house calls. Ed and his Dad were doing the project together and needed some help on the tricky parts. The project got delayed and Ed recently restarted the project. We had an opening and he brought the 356 over. Most of the remaining repair was to remove warped metal due to the use of a torch for repair. The left door was pretty warped and they are difficult to re-skin. We had a better door and did a replacement but fitting a replacement door is also difficult. We got it and the other repairs done in a week. BJ is doing the paint prep and Ed will have our painter paint it in Signal Red. Ed will do the reassembly.

So as 356s come back from the painter it will be reassembly time, the fun part of 356 restoration. With no major customer projects scheduled we can get back to the Shop ’54 Coupe, the ’60 Cabriolet and ’64 Coupe which have been painted and are also to be reassembled. More fun!

There probably will not be a newsletter next month as Barb and I will be attending the West Coast Holiday in Sedona, Arizona October 14-18. They had their first Holiday in 1989 and their second in 1999. We attended both and are looking forward to this Holiday.

Grandpa News
BJ and Jen were with Alex on her first day of school. All the kids in her kindergarten class were lined up in their uniforms in front of the door waiting for permission to file into the building when one of the boys looked over and saw the playground and asked “when’s recess?” Our kind of guy; he has a future at 356RESTORE! I asked Alex how was her first day of school. “Good,” she said “I got a sticker”. And when I asked what the sticker was for she said “Best napper.”