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1959 356A S/R coupe project chassis # 108625

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  • 1959 356A S/R coupe project chassis # 108625

    5/11/17

    The next welding chapter is a very late production 1959 Sun Roof coupe. I only have to help with the steel work. Once that is complete the owner will take it home to dry fit the rest of his parts and then its off to his trusted bodyshop for final paint.
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    The owner is a stickler for originality and detail so extra care will be taken but its no where near as rusty and I don't have to construct a body from thin air so its going to be alot more straight forward as compared to my adventure.
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    Original nose appears to have been hit patched and hit again. Its pretty lumpy and mishapen at this point so a new nose from Trevor's was ordered.
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    Battery box is in similar condition so a new assembly was also ordered from Trevor's. BTW: I'll be cross measuring and checking for deformation in and around the front suspension to determine weather it needs to go on a frame dozer.
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    Floors and longitudinals are of course gone and expected on a car with a large hole in the roof.
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    but again nothing like what I just went through.
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    However rot in places like this does tell me there will surely be some suprises along the way.
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    Aside from the frontal damage and rusty floors the rest of body appears to be in pretty nice condition. No suprises under this primer as its already been media blast clean so what you see is what you get. All closing panels are matching numbers but the original doors will need some lovin'.
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    This is a very late A and as you can see some B series details like this reverse light embossment where beginning to show up as Reutter began tooling up for the new production run.
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    Well this completes the intro for now as I won't be hitting it hard until the coupster is gone... Within the next few weeks give or take.

    Thanks for looking
    Justin Rio

  • #2
    sure looks like a nice shell justin

    Comment


    • #3
      Justin,

      Looks like it needs more work than I thought after seeing that one photo. It makes me realise how lucky I am still to running a car with original floors, front nose, battery box and longitudinals. You tend to take these things as normal they just are not in the world of 356.

      Of course by the time you have finished with it, the underneath and body will be better than mine for sure. Look forward to the instalments when they come along.

      Roy

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      • #4
        Looking forward as well. Never get tired of people fixing up these cars and learning and discoverying new tricks. No one car is ever the same.
        Scott
        1960 356B T5 - under major resurrection.
        356 Registry main thread;
        http://forum.porsche356registry.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=35854
        1968 912 - running like a scalded cat.

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        • #5
          Thanks alot you guys! It has its issues but still alot nicer than what I've been used to these past couple of years. No Roy, this is clearly the "normal" for the 356 world. A 356 like yours with its OG floors in solid condition is a rare exeption and almost unheard of in a car that had hole cut into its roof. Thanks again.
          Justin

          New panels from Trevors.
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          Most of the new panels we'll need for this car arrived a few months ago.
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          new nose section
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          left door will need reskining.
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          New battery box unit and upper closing wall.
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          A clean look at that pretty new nose.
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          rear inner wheel house closing panels.
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          both doors will need new bottoms.
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          Nothing prettier than shiny new panels.
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          Gave the new nose a quick test fit. Things were looking up almost immdiately.
          Thanks for looking!
          Justin
          Justin Rio

          Comment


          • #6
            Oh my goodness Justin, those body parts from Trevor look so good. He has really done so well in producing those. When you look at the nose and battery box alone they look so good. and the view of the nose section placed in position is so close!!

            I guess? Trevor was quite young in the early 70's when I was working on my car. He really is a great help to the 356 community who have all the rust problems. Of course to fit these parts still needs such skill and the correct welding equipment. In the early 70's my gas welding set up with full size bottles, nice torch and nozzles, good long pipes were perfect for the time, providing you were really good at welding!! But now I know, I could never get the results you can obtain without being an expert on Mig and Tig. Progress I guess.

            Hope the front suspension was not twisted by the internal front nose damage.

            Roy

            Comment


            • #7
              "No surprises under this primer as its already been media blast clean so what you see is what you get."

              One of my favorite sayings is: "There are no GOOD surprises in restoration."

              I doubt that we will read; "Wow, I didn't really need to cut that piece off. It was hardly damaged or rusted!" Or; "Those torsion bars are close enough to where they belong....I'll just adjust the steering when I'm finished."

              What is seen is like the proverbial 'tip of the iceberg' and they all look better in an overall dull light gray.....

              Sorry, gotta be a realist about these things! It's like the old saying; "The older I get, the better I was."

              Good luck. BTW, I am having to work a bunch of bad compound curves out on my latest Trevor A nose. Not continuous curves, peaked at the welds and demanding a bunch of hand work to not need 'mud.' Still, Trevor is a treasure in the Big Picture.

              -Bruce the Wet Blanket

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes Bruce I can see where you are coming from, and you are correct look deep and its never the same as a passing glance. And from a glance the panels produced by Trevor can look too, but can never be as precise as a full one piece stamping I think.

                So as you say, you have to modify what you get and be thankful you can at least modify something rather than trying to form parts yourself.

                I can understand though how frustrating modifications on new metal must be, you need to have a lot of experience, to know how to that for sure. As I have said many times, I am so pleased to have an original nose panel, those compound curves are great to look at but so hard to reproduce.

                Roy

                Comment


                • #9
                  I could not agree more with you Bruce. That comment was aimed more toward the body/exterior. With it blasted clean I know for sure there are no lap jointed-brazed on fender sections or nasty clips lurking under a half inch of filler from way back when. As for the chassis I am under no illusions, I always consider it worse than I think it might be. On a rare occasion not but that approach keeps me sane. For instance I have a sinking feeling that the front beam on this car is probably not exactly where it should be; it might be alright but coming at it from worse case reduces the stress and disappointment factor as you well know.
                  So your not a wet blanket at all, just an absolute realist and it is fair warning for anyone considering buying and/or attempting to restore an old crashed and rusty car such as this.
                  Justin Rio

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                  • #10
                    Is that a '59 Corvette in the background of the pre-B reverse light out-dent picture?

                    Tony Daskeyman still has a late '59 (356) he bought when he was 15 and hanging around my first 'real' commercial shop in '73. A $300 (I think) "driver" with nerf bars, that stood out. New to the trivia, we thought it was a B clip that had the hole for the light filled. Pre-Internet nye-eve-ah-tay.

                    I have seen several Convertible Ds that had the reverse light bump without the punching of the hole for the actual (generic) light. Between all models, anomalies were common. Who would have thought that Porsche would build a Roadster with all the front T-6 features...and after all that trouble, only have made ~240 of them?

                    -Bruce

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                    • #11
                      Hey Bruce,
                      No, its a '62 and the only American car I've really lusted after. The fit and finish does leave a lot to be desired especially as I look at it through the prism of exacting 356 standards. My next thought is, so this is when Detroit "made them" huh? Oh well it is what it is...

                      9/5/17

                      Prepping left door for metalwork starting with a baseline fitment.

                      To begin this project I'm breaking the ice with the left door. It requires a new skin and door bottom. Keeping in mind all that has to be done to the shell itself this might seem out of sequence but after the new floors and longs are in I won't be able to commit to the rocker reinstall until I have a finished closing panel to establish the final door gaps against. So either way it all has to be done. Besides the coupster project still occupies my rotisserie for the next several weeks so I'm working on what I can to get the ball rolling here.
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                      Car arrived with hinges mounted and shimmed "correctly" I can only assume? Going to know for sure here in just a little bit.
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                      Of course it doesn't go right on as the pin holes are clogged with primer so some reaming was required. I learned on my coupe project to always mask these off for this very reason.
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                      Bottom of the original numbers matching door in need of replacement.

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                      Door hinge mounted and seats in nicely. This secondary bodyshop damage pretty much sealed its fate. These giant holes could pass for bullet holes but no its some geniuses way of pulling out old accident damage instead of just removing the door panel to get at it from behind.. Shit like this drives me crazy especially when it means the demise of an original panel.
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                      Rear gap is great with a nice transition off the top to the quarter window opening.
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                      Lower gap runs slightly tighter as Bruce has said is what is normally found from factory.

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                      Front gap also just as nice. So for sure factory undisturbed.
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                      Original rockers have been rubbed a couple of times but are otherwise in surprisingly nice condition. These will be carefully removed and reinstalled eventually.
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                      Original door frame installed next to check for clearance and contour fitment with the opening. Also very nice.
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                      Gap between the air deflector and B-pillar also noted. These are all the things I wanted to record as my baseline factory fitment before I begin cutting and changing anything.
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                      Next I set the striker and latch to finish off my established fit so I'll know just how much the door might have changed once all the metalwork is complete.
                      More later...
                      Thanks for looking!
                      Justin
                      Justin Rio

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Justin,

                        You are so correct, the door gap is so good on this car. That really made me take attention. Wonder if the other side is the same?

                        I am going to enjoy this thread I reckon.

                        Roy

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          "Keeping in mind all that has to be done to the shell itself this might seem out of sequence but after the new floors and longs are in I won't be able to commit to the rocker reinstall until I have a finished closing panel to establish the final door gaps against. So either way it all has to be done."

                          My learning curve has eventually included the process of not finishing ANYTHING until ALL the parts are aligned as best they can be, then lacing the parts together, starting with the doors.

                          In your case, the door(s) may be considered "done" and can be left alone to be recreated after the other panels are added (with underside parts included)....UNLESS the replacement skin(s) are not of the same contours and affect the fore and aft panels.....a rock and a hard place situation.

                          Personally, since I build from the doors, I'd get the skin and rebuild the doors first and see how that fits and measures and perhaps tack/fasten the doors together with all their original or repro parts and go from there.

                          What I'm saying is what you know....temporary attachments are whole lot better than complete welding when the need to adjust comes up and seeing everything together allows the "eye" to get the preview of a finished job after the measuring and or jigging.

                          I was taught that walking around and staring at a chassis or whole body of a 356 at all levels, all angles, is not "wasted time." Get back 30 to 50 feet, even if it means taking the car outside. It can be amazing what "pops out at you."

                          BTW, I am now "cheating" when the logitundinals are to be replaced. Since no matter what new parts are used or installed in "correct" methods, there seems to be less rigidity in a 356 than the original.

                          I now add (on an A) additional vertical slices of sheetmetal from the top of the heated air tube to the underside of the threshold. Tacked-welded every inch or so. Makes a big difference and never to be seen until the next person tears it open. Simple engineering adding VERY little time to the job or weight to a positive result on either a Coupe or (primarily) a Cab or other open 356.

                          Now to get back on my own '58 s/r A.......with too many of the same issues you illustrate so depressingly.....and why I am fitting a much better left door with a number that matched another 356 that exists no more. I also have an alternator for it's un-matching "big" engine and am investigating electric A/C and additional electric heating, including seats.....and better wipers, etc. Love the A shape, not the primitiveness.

                          Good luck with the new project,

                          -Bruce

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                          • #14
                            I hope I won't bore you too bad with the details Roy.

                            Thanks a lot Bruce! Great tips and sound advice as always. Agree, without some sort of dedicated factory type body jig what else can a mortal guy realistically do (& keep sane) but build outward from set and adjusted closing panels. I sure hope you set some time aside for your project S/R.
                            Thanks again!
                            Justin

                            9/7/17

                            Taking a close and detailed comparison of Original and new to determine left door reskin plans.
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                            Trevor's new door skin is a beautiful piece and ideally I'd hate to cut up something so pristine but I needed to find out if using it whole or only a section of it will give me the best and most accurate end result for the least amount of work.
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                            Everything below the door handle line is obviously going but whether I use it all rested on how accurate this top cap area and details match up with the original.
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                            At first glance this cap contour and its shape is very nice and seems to match up well with the original but upon closer comparison things began to deviate. Par for the course...of course. Will post those findings next.
                            Thanks for looking!
                            Justin
                            Justin Rio

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have seen original cars with "numbers matching" doors on a Cab that were made from Coupe doors with obvious hammer marks and re-contoured with lead, "as needed."

                              Ergo, you could use lead to match your "original" door details and still be "original." It's just "sculpting."

                              Ya gotta love it.....the earlier the Porsche, the more latitude a restorer has to be "original."

                              -Bruce

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