September 2011 Newsletter

The Oklahoma Twin Grille Roadster sold. It was sold at a fair market value for the rarity– one of 249. A higher price could have been achieved but economic uncertainty probably played a big part.

We finally got the Texas ‘60 Coupe-Goat Car– back from the mechanics and took it for a test drive. The used muffler we provided is too loud and it backfires. We will order a new one. The owner plans to pick it up early next month.

When the husband of the owner of the Illinois ‘60 Cabriolet told her that 356Restore called it Mr. Rivets, she said, “It’s a she and her name is Happy Car”. So, Happy Car it is and BJ is almost done with the body work. The owner has not decided on the color. While the Shop ‘58 Cabriolet was at the painters and the “Goat Car” at the mechanics we spent a lot of time cleaning, buffing, painting and preparing parts for the Shop ’64 Signal Red engine, Shop ’58 Cabriolet and the ’ 60 Cabriolet “Happy Car”. There are many parts for a 356 and each one has to be prepared for reassembly. We enjoy this work as you can work on many parts at the same time so there is a variety in the work unlike the big jobs of metal work and body work. Funny how BJ seems to get this part of the restoration. And we hate to say it but BJ is better on these jobs than Jim.

The engine is ready for the Shop ‘64 Dolphin Grey Coupe so we will check it to see if it is ready for engine installation and take it to the mechanics. It has been a year since we last worked on this Shop 356 and its tough to remember how we left it.

Making the 356 Better
Having worked on over 100 356’s and evaluated many more, its funny how 356 owners thought they could make their 356 better.
Chroming the engine parts does not make the 356 go faster, it just makes it look like a hotrod instead of a sports car.

Changing engine components i.e. Weber carbonators, electric ignition, special mufflers just changes the Porsche engine design balance and leads to problems. Dynometer testing of these modifications shows little improvement and often a degradation in the 356 engine performance. A well engineered race engine is another story but the pros have had fifty years to test race modifications.

An outlaw 356 is different but it is not better. Some outlaw modifications are clever but you have a personalized 356 which may or may not appeal to future owners. The net is , the Porsche design of the 356 is well engineered, few people can make it better.

Off Topic
At the last Porsche and Pastries event, BJ’s cousin Doug Casten brought his BBQ rig from Iowa to provide us with really great ribs and brisket. Folks still comment on the great BBQ.

Well, Doug recently took a 5th in chicken, 1st in ribs , 3rd in pork and 1st in brisket. Doug became a Grand Champion for the first time. We will probably schedule the next Porsche and Pastries around Doug’s BBQ contest schedule as we want him back.

We’ve mentioned before that since 356Restore sorts out alphabetically at the top of the 356 Registry vendor list, we get lots of calls and Emails for advice. A recent Email was a record. The family 356 needed restoration and a friend said he could do it. It went to the shop and sat there for twenty two years! The owner passed on and now his son are trying to complete the restoration. They sent us pictures and we have been giving them advise.

For fifteen years, we could drive down the hill for a mile to the Ace hardware store. Once or twice a week we would make this trip for shop or household supplies. We knew the store layout, the people were friendly and called us by name.

But then a Home Depot went in at the bottom of the hill. The hardware store held on for a year but had to close. Now when we need light bulbs for the house or spray paint for the shop we have to wander through the big store with seldom anyone available for help. But recently, a large Ace Hardware store went in about five miles away. We were familiar as there was one in Highland Ranch about ten miles away. We would go there as they had a better selection of spray paint than Home Depot.

We went to the new close Ace Hardware. We were greeted right away. The staff had headsets to communicate. I asked if they had the Preval bottle sprayers that we use for small parts. There was none on the shelf but they communicated and found some in the back. We told the manger they needed to have just the sprayers in addition to the complete unit. He said he would check, we saw him at the computer. As we were checking out he came and said he found them, had ordered a dozen and they would be there Wednesday two days later. They were and we bought a half dozen. Guess what our new favorite hardware store is.

Next month will be busy with the West Coast Holiday in Palm Springs (which we will miss). The Rennsport Reunion at Laguna Seca (which we will attend) and the Porsche Race Car Classic to benefit lung cancer research (which we will attend).

Grandpa News
Alex celebrated her 7th birthday over the Labor Day weekend with a trip with Grandma and Grandpa and Jennifer up to Vail CO. She enjoyed the heated pool the most. BJ was in Hastings Nebraska with RMVR racing. Alex has also figured out that gift cards are a really cool gift to get,