This 1960 356B Porsche came to us from a Gentleman in Miami. In addition to painting the car the owner would like us to address some damage to the left front of the car and improve the fitment of the left door. Overall the car is in good condition. The car was purchased from California and was owned by the same person for 25 years. The previous owner was a Porsche mechanic so the car has been well taken care of.
There is a little parking lot damage on the right front fender. We will will take the body to bare metal then metal work the body back into shape so we use as little filler (bondo) as possible. Although this left front area looks to be only superficial damage we will show you what we find later during the job.
Looking at the hood gap you can see that is much tighter than it should be, especially on the left side. The small dent on the left side is not enough to close up the gap, this is a sign that something else is going on. At this point we are under the impression that the front of this 356 will not be much of a problem to get back into shape. Although it is not easy to see in the picture you can also see some yellowing under the white paint in the front. Normally the yellowing is a sign that there is some rust under the surface trying to get through.
The bottom of the passenger door is going to require some rust repair and fitment.
The car is coming apart for paint. We will take this car to bare metal since we have found a couple places where the paint is starting to yellow, a sign that rust is below the surface. As we take apart the car we are looking for other clues to what has been replaced thru the years.
Wire racks are perfect to keep everything from one car together. Digital cameras have sure made things a little easier in the restoration business, many detailed pictures are taken to remind us how to get this car put back together.
Our next job is to get the paint off the car. There are a couple choices, dip the car into a vat of paint stripper - but the entire car must be stipped and you have be very careful to get all the stripper out of all the body seams. Media blast the car, sand blasting, glass bead plastic, plastic bead blasting - all are used to remove paint but there is alot of clean-up get the media out the car. You could also use a machine to sand the paint off the car. We decide to chemically strip the car.
This is the rear section after a couple rounds of chemical stripping. The stripper is applied then allowed to sit for a couple of minutes, when the paint starts to bubble we use a putty knife to scrape the paint off. Messy job and it takes a lot more time than one might think.
Here you can see what the first application of stripped has done to the paint after about 5 minutes.
The front of the car is coming along nicely. You can see the large patch of body filler ( Bondo) in the front of the car. The paint stipper does not work as well on the Bondo, it is faster to sand the Bondo off with a dual-action sander.
Alot more body filler in the left front than right front. At this point I would like to say that when this car was built in 1960 there was NO BONDO used anywhere in the car. True craftsmen assembled these cars and used old-fashioned metal working techniques to fit and form the panels. They used lead which they heated and paddled with wooden tools to smooth the body panels and fit the gaps, not the safest thing to do and the preparation of the panel is very important to make sure the lead bonds to the metal surface.
The rear of the car required very little bodywork, the lighter grey color around the rear decklid opening and side windows is the original lead filler that Porsche used on this cars instead of modern day Bondo products.
I have no idea why the windscreen cowl area was so badly damaged on this car. Before the car was stripped to metal this area was also yellowing, a sign that rust was coming up from below.
We knew there would be problems in the left front because of the poor fitment of the hood. A section of the nose had been replaced years ago and welded on in the wrong position. The improper position of this repaired section was also causing a very poor fit with the front bumper. This type of work is quite common to find on these cars because the values did not warrant having them fixed and high level bodyshops. Back in the day it was more about getting it back on the road than making in "correct".
Finally a pretty picture - sort of....
Preparation is everything. Sometimes after days of bodywork it seems that nothing is getting better, then you spray a little primer on it you can see the beauty that is in store.
The right door needed quite alot of work due to rust and previous poor bodywork. Although this is will not be a show car we want our work to show how much we care about the details, details like door gaps. Most importantly, 10 years from now we do not want to see rust coming thru our hard work.
This is a picture of the car in the paint booth after it has been painted with Glasurit in Light Ivory.
All the time and fitting has paid off, there are no signs of the problems we had when the project was started.
You can see that the dash in the 356 is also painted body color, we removed everything from the dash so we could repaint it and give it a clean new look!
This is a photo of the original radio in the condition we received it.
Special care has been taken to bring existing components as close to new as possible with still maintaining the original part. This is the radio after it was cleaned up and ready to be reinstalled in the car.