Jim sold one the Shop 356s. He never sells a Shop 356 until it is restored. Let’s back up. About ten years ago, BJ was told by one of his RMVR corner workers that there was a 356 for sale in his apartment complex parking lot.
BJ and I headed over there and it was a huge complex hundreds and hundreds of apartments. We drove thru the large parking area didn’t see a 356 which was supposed to be on a trailer. We asked a security guy about it and he said he saw it being moved into a garage and there it was, a rust bucket with a VW engine and custom VW wheels. We thanked the owner and passed on the 356. Months latter, we were contacted by a kid who had bought the 356. He had got it running and had some questions and parts. He called a few times.
Then he called and said he had just bought a 911 and wanted to sell the 356. The price was right for a rusty ’61 Coupe so we bought it for $5,000 less the engine.
The kid delivered the 356 on a twelve foot dual axle trailer which was part of the deal.
We put the 356 in the back of the storage building as a future project and stored the trailer outside at Bill’s place in Franktown.
When Bill passed, we brought the trailer home and noticed from the license tag it had been at Bill’s for ten years. The trailer bed was completely shot. Since we had the remodel project next door, we had the contractor order some 2x12s and replaced the trailer bed. A couple of coats of Thompson’s Water Seal and it looked good. A twelve foot trailer is too short for a 356 which is a little over thirteen feet bumper to bumper.
We advertised the trailer in the RMVR classifieds thinking it would be good for a small race car. We got a call from a guy in the Springs who wanted it to haul his car behind his motor home. His car? A 356! We explained that the 356 would hang over the rear but he didn’t think this would be a problem. We also told him the tires were over ten years old and would have to be replaced. Again, not a problem and he drove up and bought it for $450. So we made a little money as the trailer was free and the lumber was about a hundred bucks.
A while back, we were going through the 356 Registry classifieds looking for price trends. We saw a wanted ad for a T-5 Coupe roller. They wanted the shell for a customer project, no door or lids or parts. We thought about the ’61 in the back of the storage building. It was a project we hadn’t got to in ten years so we offered it, no response. Last month, when we were again perusing the 356 Registry classifieds we saw the ad was still there and sent another email. They said they had been out of the country and could we send pictures, which we did and they passed on the offer. Then they got back to us and said they wanted it. We told them we would leave the doors and lids on but remove all the parts. We also said we would remove the transmission and make it a roller with a dolly we had. They called and said they needed the transmission for transport and they would ship it back. They agreed on the asking price of $5,000 and we sent our bank information. BJ and I hustled to get all the parts off the 356 and clean up what had been a mouse house for ten years. We received the money in a few days and a few days later the transport guy showed up. BJ and I rolled the 356 shell to the street and the transport guy used one of the cars he was transporting to pull the 356 on to the trailer. Never saw that done before!
A few days later the buyer said they had received the 356 and the title and could they send back a 356 transmission they had so they wouldn’t have to pull the tranny out of the roller. We said sure as we hadn’t thought we would get the tranny back. So, why did we sell a Shop 356? Well, we hadn’t got to it in over ten years, it was taking up space and it was another of those “bottom everything” jobs that take months of metal and body work. We made a little money on the deal and got a lot of parts that we can use in future restorations. The one unanswered question was what they are going to do with a rusty roller?
We continue on the reassembly of the Shop ’61 Coupe “Casper”. BJ found some electrical issues which surprised us as the 356 had been driven to our shop and we hadn’t done a detailed inspection. We have a few more parts to install and then we will install the engine which we have cleaned up. The sheet metal stripped and painted and parts cleaned, painted or replaced. Once the engine is installed we will take it to the mechanics for checkout and then it will be for sale. But it may wait until after the move.
The roof is done. Beautiful red Mediterranean tile. So good to see this done as the tiles had been sitting loose on the roof for a few months as that is how they are delivered.
But the big news is the drywall was delivered and will be installed this week. Five hundred 4×12 drywall panels and a hundred gallons of drywall compound. And they will start in the basement which means soon we can position the shelves and organize parts. BJ and I will spend weeks doing this but we look forward to it and we like an organized shop and we have been disorganized for months. We don’t have a move in date but the contractor mentioned “the holidays”. Could mean Thanksgiving or Christmas.
BJ and I will attend this month. We have been to the previous four Rennsport Reunions. Details next month.
Alex was baptized on Sunday morning. She was very happy and all her friends were there.