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1963 Cabrio Garage Find - Introduction and questions!
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AB westy nut
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2023 8:32 pm    Post subject: Re: 1963 Cabrio Garage Find - Introduction and questions! Reply with quote

Well I bought it! The price was right for both of us and now I can't wait to dive in. Thanks for all the feedback and helpful input fellas. The obsession begins...
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1963 Ruby Red 356 Cabriolet
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Sebastian Gaeta
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2023 1:46 am    Post subject: Re: 1963 Cabrio Garage Find - Introduction and questions! Reply with quote

AB westy nut wrote:
Well I bought it! The price was right for both of us and now I can't wait to dive in. Thanks for all the feedback and helpful input fellas. The obsession begins...


That is outstanding, Iím very happy for you and look forward to watching your new adventure unfold.
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Bugged Again
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2023 5:51 am    Post subject: Re: 1963 Cabrio Garage Find - Introduction and questions! Reply with quote

So glad for you. Itís an absolutely great starting point. Please let us know how you plan to approach this project. Neutralize the surface rust and reassemble and make a driver first or attack the body and go from there?

Iím looking forward to following along.
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AB westy nut
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2023 9:44 am    Post subject: Re: 1963 Cabrio Garage Find - Introduction and questions! Reply with quote

Thanks! I'm pretty excited for sure. I think my approach is going to be to learn as much as I can before jumping in. I've ordered 4-5 must-have books and plan to do a lot of reading and research. Then I'll start by completely stripping the body and cataloguing everything. At that point I can assess the bodywork needed and decide how much I can do and how much I'll leave to the pros. Most likely I'll send the shell to a body shop for restoration while I restore the engine, gearbox, brakes, suspension, electrical, etc. I think the most fun will be figuring out the parts I need and going on the hunt to make this as authentic and factory-original as possible. To that end, are there reproduction part sources that are high quality and acceptable to use in a resto, or should I only be using original or NOS parts? Not necessarily looking to make this a concourse restoration, but I am a stickler for detail and originality! A few things off the top of my head that I know I'll be looking for:

- upholstery source for seats and interior panels
- all the sound deadening material that gets adhered to the body in various places
- best tires for original look and performance
- exhaust source
- convertible top restoration (anyone supply a good tonneau cover?)
- lights and body trim
- any other good sources for used parts outside of the Samba?
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Starbucket
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2023 2:28 pm    Post subject: Re: 1963 Cabrio Garage Find - Introduction and questions! Reply with quote

I would think long and hard before striping the body because it looks really straight as it sits but when you strip it, all the fine layers of filler that makes the car look perfect will go away and you will be left with something that you will wonder how they got that piece of junk to look so good. I worked in a resto. shop and every car that we stripped the owner would swear we switched their car for a wreck and would want to know what happened to their car.
Pelican parts has good stuff. the 356 registry might be a source for parts and advice, but you have to become a member. Cooker sells original style and size tires. You can put wanted ads in samba classifieds. Good luck and have fun.
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Bugged Again
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2023 3:03 pm    Post subject: Re: 1963 Cabrio Garage Find - Introduction and questions! Reply with quote

I have to agree with Starbucket. I was hoping you were going to put it together and drive it for a while. What could happen is youíll get overwhelmed. Your car as it sits could be a driver in a few months. If you strip it down and use pro body shops you may not like what can happen. There are some great companies but those come with a price and long lead time.

Give yourself the time to enjoy it first and learn while you put it together. And yes, Iíve restored several cars.
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Sebastian Gaeta
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2023 3:28 pm    Post subject: Re: 1963 Cabrio Garage Find - Introduction and questions! Reply with quote

Starbucket and Bugged Again are spot on, but here is some info for you new questions:

The best resources for parts is Stoddard/NLA which operate as separate companies in a way. The owner of NLA is Brad Ripley who was Chuck Stoddard's parts manager and then the Parts Director for Porsche Cars North America before going on his own. Years later the new owner of Stoddard bought out Brad but he still has some of his own stuff reproduced and always gives excellent advice. Sierra Madre also has some nice things reproduced that are not available at Stoddard. Those three will cover everything you need that is being reproduced. As for good used parts Adam Wright in upstate New York has a warehouse full of original parts.


- upholstery source for seats and interior panels Stoddard and Autobahn Interiors in CA
- all the sound deadening material that gets adhered to the body in various places All three of the parts places previously mentioned
- best tires for original look and performance Universal Tire sells the Michelin XAS in 165/R15 with the old Dog Bone pattern and rounded shoulder. Excellent tire for our cars.
- exhaust source The three parts sellers already mentioned but try to stay away from the Dansk, it has horrible fitment issues and is a real bear to get on, then the flanges crack after a few hundred miles. On both of my cars I have a stainless factory style Sport Exhaust from Concept One in Canada. Expensive but perfect fit and will last a lifetime. You just fit front bumper guards on the rear to eliminate the holes. Very cool look
- convertible top restoration (anyone supply a good tonneau cover?) Autobahn Interiors. When you send them your top, they have a jig that they will use to build it and it will fit and look perfect. They can make you a tonneau as well.
- lights and body trim The three sources mentioned will have all of that.
- any other good sources for used parts outside of the Samba? Adam Wright as previously mentioned plus The 356 Registry website but as stated you must be a member.

As for the Registry, you really should join as the info and resources there are on the same level as The Samba is for our VWs. You will not see the same level of info, parts or support here because not every 356 guy is also a VW guy. The level of activity and the technical resources far outweigh what we have here. Not knocking the Samba at all, I spend as much time here as I do on the Registry but as I said I am a VW guy too and most 356 owners are not, at least they no longer do and they spend all of their time there.

I am happy to help in any way I can, I have been driving these cars for 30 + years and have accumulated a lot of friends and resources over those years and am happy to share them with you.
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Sebastian Gaeta

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'64 356C cabriolet Signalrot
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AB westy nut
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2023 1:18 pm    Post subject: Re: 1963 Cabrio Garage Find - Introduction and questions! Reply with quote

Thanks guys. Hmmm, I hadn't thought about just making it a driver for now but maybe that's the way to go. Though, I just look at the work that needs to be done and all the parts that are missing and wonder, does it make sense to gather all that stuff now, install new body seals, run electrical, fuel lines, glue in carpet, etc. only to have to pull it all out again when I eventually do tackle the body? Is it like putting lipstick on a pig? I do love the idea of driving this thing sooner than later though!

Sebastian, thanks for the resources. I'm familiar with most of them, and Concept One is about a ten minute drive away from me. They're the go-to for my Westy. Do the Porsche dealerships still supply parts for the 356?

I will certainly be joining the Registry. I will likely get the car delivered in the next week or so, then the fun begins. Stay tuned!
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Sebastian Gaeta
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2023 1:43 pm    Post subject: Re: 1963 Cabrio Garage Find - Introduction and questions! Reply with quote

AB westy nut wrote:
Thanks guys. Hmmm, I hadn't thought about just making it a driver for now but maybe that's the way to go. Though, I just look at the work that needs to be done and all the parts that are missing and wonder, does it make sense to gather all that stuff now, install new body seals, run electrical, fuel lines, glue in carpet, etc. only to have to pull it all out again when I eventually do tackle the body? Is it like putting lipstick on a pig? I do love the idea of driving this thing sooner than later though!

Sebastian, thanks for the resources. I'm familiar with most of them, and Concept One is about a ten minute drive away from me. They're the go-to for my Westy. Do the Porsche dealerships still supply parts for the 356?

I will certainly be joining the Registry. I will likely get the car delivered in the next week or so, then the fun begins. Stay tuned!



That's a good point about getting all of the pieces you need and then sticking them on a car that needs bodywork. It's kind opposite of painting your car and then just putting back on the old stuff without refinishing them or buying them new. In your case the stuff would be half new and half old.

I totally understand where Bugged Again and Starbucket are coming from. Garages are littered with abandoned projects like this, they just don't want you doing the same thing to the same car, but if you are 100% confident that you won't abandon it then do it.

On the other hand, you could just get all the missing stuff used and put the car back together so it all looks right. I looked through your pictures again and you are really not missing much but the interior stuff will be expensive. You could just clean up what you have and see if it is usable and get a cheap loop carpet kit while you are driving it before restoration. These cars are not difficult to disassemble and reassemble and the more practice you have the better you will know your car, so doing it once to make it a driver and then doing it again when you eventually restore it will be fun projects. The disassembly of my car in the previous pictures took one Saturday. After the cleanup and detail it will only take a Saturday and Sunday to reassemble it since I have done it so many times. Obviously assembling your will be a bigger task than what I am doing but you get the point, it's just no that big of a project so don't let that weigh too heavily in your decision.

Also, I would not buy any 356 parts from Porsche dealers because Stoddard reproduces most of the parts sold through their Classic parts program so just do business with them.

Congratulations again!
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Starbucket
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2023 3:24 pm    Post subject: Re: 1963 Cabrio Garage Find - Introduction and questions! Reply with quote

If you make it too perfect you will be afraid to really drive and enjoy it and once the Porsche bug bites you, you will probably forget about making it perfect because you won't want to be without driving it for an extended time. I don't know if they have Hagerty insurance up there but if they do check into it as they will cover it for full value with just pictures at a reasonable price and they have a "build policy" that covers it during restoration as you move it between shops and in yours plus there is no limit on driving. Good luck and keep us informed.
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AB westy nut
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2023 3:27 pm    Post subject: Re: 1963 Cabrio Garage Find - Introduction and questions! Reply with quote

Thanks again guys. All good advice for sure! I'll keep this thread going with progress updates. And yes, we do have Hagerty here and I'll be looking into that right away.
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Slip356
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2023 5:40 am    Post subject: Re: 1963 Cabrio Garage Find - Introduction and questions! Reply with quote

As an aside, Iíve had Hagerty on my nice driver quality signal red 62B Cab for nearly 20 yrs and am very happy with them. Several small claims, broken windshields, ran out of gas once etc. Have my car insured for $150k, 0 deductible.
They are professional in claims handling. Also have my 78 Westy with them and two other classic cars as well.
Really neat project you have here, if I wasnít 81 yrs old would love to tackle it.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2023 5:47 am    Post subject: Re: 1963 Cabrio Garage Find - Introduction and questions! Reply with quote

Whenever you do decide to reassemble I have found the parts books to be invaluable along with the shop manual. The parts books give you an exploded view of what goes where and in what order, which the shop manuals do not. Here is a link to Porsche Classic parts manuals in pdf form. I would just use this instead of buying the parts book which is 100s of dollars if you can even find one. This also gives you parts numbers on top of the exploded views:

https://www.porsche.com/usa/accessoriesandservices/classic/genuineparts/originalpartscatalogue/

Scroll down to Porsche Classic Genuine Parts Catalog and select 356B/356C and download the file.
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'63 Beetle Turkis
Ď64 Karmann Ghia Coupe Manilagelb/Black Roof
'64 356C cabriolet Signalrot
'65 356C coupe Rubinrot
'67 Karmann Ghia convertible Heliosblau
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AB westy nut
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2023 3:13 pm    Post subject: Re: 1963 Cabrio Garage Find - Introduction and questions! Reply with quote

That's a great resource, thanks!
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AB westy nut
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2023 3:49 pm    Post subject: Re: 1963 Cabrio Garage Find - Introduction and questions! Reply with quote

Anyone have any experience with https://dr911.ca/product-category/356b-60-63/ Porsche Parts? They have a warehouse in Calgary aparently. Looks like they supply a lot of parts, just not sure about the quality.

***edit*** I should've googled first. Laughing Seems he's got quite the reputation...
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2023 4:05 pm    Post subject: Re: 1963 Cabrio Garage Find - Introduction and questions! Reply with quote

AB westy nut wrote:
Anyone have any experience with https://dr911.ca/product-category/356b-60-63/ Porsche Parts? They have a warehouse in Calgary aparently. Looks like they supply a lot of parts, just not sure about the quality.

***edit*** I should've googled first. Laughing Seems he's got quite the reputation...


I know you will want to look around but in the end you will likely order the vast majority of your parts from Stoddard in Ohio and NLA in Nevada. They are the go-to parts places for the 356 restoration shops and are the two suppliers that actually have the parts reproduced that everyone else sells.
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'63 Beetle Turkis
Ď64 Karmann Ghia Coupe Manilagelb/Black Roof
'64 356C cabriolet Signalrot
'65 356C coupe Rubinrot
'67 Karmann Ghia convertible Heliosblau
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2023 6:28 pm    Post subject: Re: 1963 Cabrio Garage Find - Introduction and questions! Reply with quote

Canada puts a BIG tariff on imported parts so Ca supplier may be more cost effective if good quality.
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AB westy nut
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2023 8:53 pm    Post subject: Re: 1963 Cabrio Garage Find - Introduction and questions! Reply with quote

Yes, Iím inclined to stick with the known commodities. Years ago, I had a shipping address in Sweetgrass MT just across the border. Iíd get parts shipped up for the Westy and then Iíd just drive down and pick it up. Star bucket is right, the duty is brutal.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2023 5:59 pm    Post subject: Re: 1963 Cabrio Garage Find - Introduction and questions! Reply with quote

Going through another little box of parts that came with the car, I found some more good stuff and also some unknown little bits. The exterior door handles (still work with the original ignition key Cool ) and interior door handles, what looks like the glove box lock (no key Crying or Very sad ), some other unidentified chrome bits and black plastic trim rings, and the PORSCHE script, which I'm presuming is for the rear. There was also a "60" script - was that factory on a '63? I thought I read somewhere that that had been phased out at some point.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


There were also about a dozen of these little screws with a ball end. Anyone know what they're for?

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Or these things?

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Or this?

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2023 6:12 pm    Post subject: Re: 1963 Cabrio Garage Find - Introduction and questions! Reply with quote

Picture #1
top middle luggage strap brackets for the back seat
below those are the windshield washer squirters
below those are the wiper arm bases over the pivots
below those is a headrest bracket for the rear of the seat, two are needed per seat

top right window winder spring
below that are the window winder and interior door handle escutcheons

Picture #2
Yes, rear scripts. You car is a 60 "normal" or Damen and they were very much available in '63. Not to worry, they are great engines with lots of low end and are great in town drivers.

Picture #3
Those are the male end of the Tenax fasteners for your top boot around the rear cowl.


Picture #4 washer squirters
Picture #5 headrest bracket

No worries, correct glovebox lock key blanks are available and a good locksmith can get you hooked up.
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'63 Beetle Turkis
Ď64 Karmann Ghia Coupe Manilagelb/Black Roof
'64 356C cabriolet Signalrot
'65 356C coupe Rubinrot
'67 Karmann Ghia convertible Heliosblau
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