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356 reproduction sheet metal

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  • 356 reproduction sheet metal


    I exchanged some e-mails with Justin a couple of weeks back. With some of the fantastic work being done here I thought it would be an interesting idea to compile a list of the best fitting reproduction sheet metal out there. As more and more pieces are available from various vendors I think it will help to have an overview who sells the best fitting piece for each application.

    To be honest I have a bit of a self interest in this. I will be starting on the restoration of a '56 coupe soon which needs quite a bit of help. I will be sure to detail some of the work here.

    My thought is to make a spread sheet to capture all the info, post it here and update it when information become available. So far The only entry I have is from Justin who tells me that for rockers the Zims/Siemonsen are the ones to get.



  • #2
    Thanks for getting this started Joris, I'll go first.
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    While I do like the simonsen's rocker panels I do have a word of warning about their forward battery replacement wall. Its stamped a touch too tall. The tapered lower flanged lip hung way too low and was much too pronounced under the nose apron. Its stamped so deep that it required the removal of the cross brace on the battery floor to get it to seat down flush. This was before I figured out what the problem was.

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    I was on the DDK site some time back and ran across this project photo and the forward closing wall immediately jumped out at me. That's an over exaggeration hanging way too low under the nose. I'd bet a simonsen's wall.

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    Original. Hangs a little but not that pronounced.
    Justin Rio


    • #3
      Thanks for joining in Justin. I will start on the spread sheet this weekend. Is there a forward battery box wall you do like?

      On battery boxes, I noticed that restoration design has tooled up to make the early style T-1 battery box floors


      • #4
        If its a true T1 style box. Most repro panels are almost always geared toward the T2 model.
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        Rear simonsen wall is built for T2. the relief for the battery in the wall is about an inch wider on T2 cars. I had to cut it in half and section out the excess for it to fit between the lateral walls. Its mocked up in my T1 coupe here. note the overlap excess that had to be removed.
        Justin Rio


        • #5
          Hello All,

          Haven't been on here much. But after a request, I am back to let you know that we have been working away on a bunch of stuff for the 356's.
          As a lot of you know already, there are so many parts on these cars that no one has reproduced yet, which is leading us to having to make our own, or find donor parts. We have been plugging away at some new parts to make the restoration process a little more easier.

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          NEW A/B/C rockers

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          Speedster Dash
          Rear inner fenders for cab/speedster/roadster
          Front firewalls, hinge pockets
          T6 Shifter Tunnel
          Chassis Frame Rails

          We are always making improvements to parts we already produce, and are always adding to our line up.

          If you have any questions/comments, or would like to be on our Newsletter list to receive notifications of new available parts and SALES, you can email me at:

          Cheers, Alex


          • #6
            HI Alex,

            Thanks for posting. Can you clarify which improvements you have made on your rockers and how they differ from the various rockers currently in the market place? Being in the market for a set myself I am curious to learn how these compare to the Zimm's ones and why you feel your version is superior.




            • #7
              Hello Joris,

              We have compared all of the rockers that are available from the different suppliers. One is too long, the other is too short. Edges do not have the correct contours, incorrect depressions, etc.

              We all know that these cars were hand built, so some variance should be accounted for. We are selling our rockers UN-assembled. This will allow the end user to fit the rockers to their car. This will allow for better fit and finish.
              Another problem that the other supplier rockers have is when that little piece of wire is installed at either end of the rocker, they do not have any rust preventative inside that seam. It wont take long for moisture/rust to take its place inside there. With RD rockers, they are galvaneal (rust preventative embedded into the steel)

              Cheers, Alex


              • #8
                Hello Alex,

                Thank you for the clear and concise answer, that helps. It sounds like you have addressed all known issues that I am aware of with the rockers. I look forward to trying them.



                • #9
                  Hey Alex,

                  Welcome back! Are you guys offering any Pre-a chassis frame run sections? Like front suspension back to A pillar? The speedster dash looks fantastic!
                  Justin Rio


                  • #10
                    Hi Justin. Thanks.
                    Are you referring to this part?

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                    • #11
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                      Sent to me by Mike at Restoration Design as a pair for proofing. They were sent at no charge but I offered to pay if they stayed on a customer's car and I could bill them to that project. In this case, they are staying on a Carrera Speedster.

                      BTW, I take the wire out of the ends (wiring that also comes on NOS rockers) and re-do the wire from the rocker and over the arches to the approximate ending forward or rearward. Also, we used to pride ourselves on eliminating the rocker overlap with the joining panels "to prevent the joint where rust first formed" but now just spot weld the overlap for "originality."

                      The only "problem" I have seen in the repro rockers (from various vendors) is an over-done "drain" detail(s) on the bottom curve-under. Easy enough to re-form that prior to installation, but it should not be obvious to a viewer looking from the side.



                      • #12
                        Hey Alex,
                        Yes, that would be one of the items I'd need. Is that made from 18 gauge?

                        New battery box assembly by Trevor Marshall.
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                        A really nice assembly ordered for a T2 with T2 details.
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                        Embossments and spot weld details are fantastic.
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                        Reinforcement tab for the over rider tube strut mount included.
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                        Short T2 bracket mounts.
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                        T2 style twin removable access covers.

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                        Only mistake is the battery recess wall is the narrower T1 style. Original T2 for comparison.

                        More details about this wall discrepancy can be found here:
                        Justin Rio


                        • #13
                          Yes, 18G


                          • #14
                            Moin moin Justin,
                            Did you talk to Trevor about the litle misfit?
                            It could certainly fit one 356 thats between the two types..... Porsche just wanted the production to keep running....even with an older or Newer part fitted to a 356 that needed to be done asap
                            But it looks really nice workmanship done on it.


                            • #15
                              I started this topic and never really followed up on it. Shame on me. Anyway, Jon is getting ready to start on my car and we are putting together a list of panels I will be needing.

                              The early nose panels are a bit different, there was an interesting discussion on these on the registry recently. I looks like RD is working on a new nose stamped out of one panel with the correct details (chin and horn grill location) as such we will be trying this panel.

                              Battery box is still a question if we can save most of it (preferred) or need to replace the complete unit. If we replace just the bottom the new panels from Simonsen looks very nice for a front wall I am unsure, you guys have any suggestions?

                              Rockers, I have some NOS ones we might use. Otherwise the new ones from RD look nice and I believe that Bruce and/or Justin have had good experience with these.

                              Biggest issue right now is the cowl, mine is severely damaged. Have seen NOS ones over the years but never piked one up. This will be a toss between finding a new pieces or a donor piece, or fabricating a new area