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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:46 pm 
356 Fan

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:04 pm
Posts: 5
I have owned this '64 C coupe for just about twenty years. Hoping to preserve it as a decent car I could drive for a long time, I undertook the necessary repairs and maintenance to keep it going. Without presently going into detail about everything that has already been done for this car, I believe it is accurate to say that everything mechanical is in the best possible condition, including engine, transmission, suspension, brakes. All of these were completed by 2011. I drove the car for three summers, adding about 7k miles total. Though it has remained a fine 356 to drive, there were clear indications that the body was deteriorating even faster than I was.

I reluctantly submitted my car for restoration, the agreed-upon plan being to take it to bare metal in order to have complete knowledge of what it would need to survive. This commenced in January, 2014. I should say at this point that my reluctance to start work on the body was based on what I knew in my heart was going to happen: The cost would mean that I would have so much money invested overall in the car that I would not feel comfortable driving it as I had done before. This was not simply a case of diminishing the value of a fully restored 356 by driving it. My age, the necessary financial planning with respect to income, and the need to preserve and keep other assets, meant that I knew going into the project I would have to sell this car at the end. I know I am certainly not alone in having to face such a dilemma about our wonderful little cars.

Of course we found quite a bit of rust, but fortunately it really is essentially a solid car. Over the course of the past three years a great deal of the metal work has been completed, but the progression seems to have stopped. The shop has expanded significantly, to the point where nearly all of the work they do is now either insurance work on modern exotics or contracted minor body work for a huge local version of one of the national used car mega-stores. My 356 is sitting on its rotisserie encased in a large plastic bag, where it has now been for many, many months. To be fair, neither the shop owner nor I expected the shop's expansion back in 2014. However, the fact remains that he has only one qualified fabricator/welder, who has zero time available to finish my car. No matter what either of us would like to have happen, I can clearly see that he will never get back into the position where it would be likely he could allocate the skilled labor time necessary to see this project to completion. The shop owner is fairly young and is working extremely hard to develop his business, to survive and support his family. I can see that he has no real choice but to put my project off to the side, hoping that someday he will find the time to complete it. I have gone along with this up until now, mostly because of the artistic gifts even I can seen in his fabricator, and the incredible quality of finish work the owner has done on other cars. We were both hoping this would be his entrance into the classic Porsche world.

Unfortunately, for me anyway, intervening events have changed my calculations. Thanks to Agent Orange exposure, among other delights, I now have what is fairly likely to be a terminal illness. This is nothing that will be immediate, or at least so I am told by those who should know. However, there are a few other nasty little buggers competing for the victory claim. Frankly, I don't give a damn which one wins as long as I can hold them at bay to finish some stuff I'd like to do. I was terrifically lucky to live to see twenty-five years, so I went for broke and hoped to live to see the Red Sox win the World Series. A little panic set in after three titles, so I amended my supplication to include the Cubs, which certainly should have worked out, but somehow did not. Notwithstanding what will be likely to happen if I make completion of this 356 my final benchmark, I really need to see this project through to completion. A lot of this is selfish: I do need the funds from its sale. But, something else matters too, and that is what I would like to focus on: I would like to leave something that I truly love, to exist well beyond my time here, to make someone happy beyond what any material object has a right to do, and to carry on as an early bearer of the mark of Porsche. I have known this car since December, 1971, and was finally able to buy it in 1997. It deserves to have someone really drive it again. I am the third caretaker, but, really, that is all that I am. People tell me that it's only a material object, not even very rare for a Porsche, and I have no answer for them that they can ever hope to understand. But I know, as do all of you. Like anyone, I've made many mistakes (many of them clearly understood ahead of time, well before acting), but I do not want this car to be one of the last ones I get to make.

After all of the above, what I need from you guys, if you can, is to help me find someone who has the skill and time to finish this car. It can be an individual, individuals, or a shop, that does not matter to me. What does matter is that time is of the essence. I am open to any reasonable option with respect to later sale, but first it needs to get done, and done right. I'm not in any way looking for charity or volunteers; what I need is someone who can do the job, be paid fairly, and see it to completion without a lot of delay. I am happy and willing to help, without any remuneration, in any way that I can, including temporary physical relocation if it should be necessary.

I have a large number of photos available, for anyone who could be interested. I can also take any additional photos that may help the decision. I'd love to put my direct contact information here, but it seems that could be problematic. For the record, my 356 Registry began, if I recall correctly, in late 1996.

Best regards to you all,

Norm Gile
Eastern Massachusetts
Car is physically located just outside Boston, MA USA

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:55 pm 
356 Fan
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:00 am
Posts: 7250
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Norm, have you thought of working with his skilled welder about working weekends for cash. The shop owner might be ok since he is kind of letting you down.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:02 pm
Posts: 5996
Location: SE Michigan
Norm; best of luck. I hope you find a solution.
Sincerely,
Vic

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:26 am 
356 Fan

Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:37 pm
Posts: 167
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Norm,

Contact Tom Tate, the president of the 356 regional group, Typ 356 Northeast, based in Medfield, MA.
His contact info and regional website is listed in the club info section on the Registry website. I am sure he can help you network to find a good shop near you.

Thanks for your service to our nation and keep us advised on what else we can help with.

356 Regards,

Peter Opa Boettcher
Cincinnati, OH

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:31 am 
356 Fan
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Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:48 pm
Posts: 176
Location: Hillsborough, NC
Norm:
From what you have written, this is a worthy project that you have invested your heart in and I hope that you can see it out. There must be another shop that you can move it to, considering the New England area is sports car and classic car crazy.

This is an awesome club for members helping each other, and Peter's recommendation to contact Tom Tate is a good example of that. Also there are other active clubs (SCCA, AACA, marque-centric clubs, etc) whose leadership you could contact to see if anyone has a lead on a shop that could help you out. I have done this myself with good results.

Please keep us updated. I hope that you can find a way to move this project forward.

Best to you,
=rdsieber

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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 6:42 pm 
356 Fan

Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 11:16 am
Posts: 1395
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Norm, if you are still wrestling with this, give Alex Finigan a call. He works with Paul Russell and Company in Essex. Alex has been a member of the Registry since the 1970's.

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