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People who buy Porsches are considered Strange by many people. And those who purchase 356 Porsches,... well.

You LIKE to drive a THIRTY FIVE, FORTY YEAR OLD CAR??? Instead of a new Volvo? Must be some kind of Nut. Stay away from him children. But I can't, Mommy, he's got such a cool car. (Note also that "Cool" is back in Vogue again. Will Wide Ties be far behind?)

Many years ago, a 356 Owner had a Speedster. Sad events forced him to sell the Speedster but he vowed to have another someday.

Fast Forward, oh, 15-20 Years.

The guy did it- he GOT his Speedster.

He MADE it from a 356C Coupe!

And Interesting it was.

The front end looked like a 911 Speedster, with the unmistakable squared-off 356C hood giving it a "911" sort of look.

But there was the Unique Speedster Windshield, Frame and soft top, so the part above the beltline looked like the Real Thing.

The Front & Rear Wheel wells had been broadly "flared" to allow Great Big Mag Wheels and HUGE 225-50 X 15 Tires underneath. (Well, you gotta fill the Great Big wheelwells with something. 165 X 15 Tires on stock wheels would look strange.)

The Rear had the "Whale Tail" appearance (without the Whale Tail), but with the Original, intact 356C Dual Grill Deck Lid intact. The curves to do this were Complex and Interesting.

Across the back, about where the rear bumper would go was a Red, wrap-around "PORSCHE" from a mid-'70's Carrera, incorporated into the tail light bar that wrapped completely around the rear of the car.

Inside, the dash was unmistakable a 356C, with the gauges arranged in-line rather than in a Speedster-like pod.

Yep, it's a 356C Speedster all right- enough to make the Purists Gag! Which is why the Maestro kinda liked it.

And it had a Problem.

The Owner had done a Hellofa a job on the body work and paint, but sadly hadn't a clue about Engines.

And now his Magnificent Creation, the 356C Speedster was not running too well.

In fact, it was running damn HOT! Just on the trip over to the Maestro's Shop- a mere 10 miles, the temp gauge showed 2/3. On the Freeway, at sustained high speed, it went into the Red.

Now, that's a Real Problem, thought the Maestro.

So, what was wrong?

The 356C Speedster Quiz, Part 2

The Maestro was about to ask ifin the Magnificent Creation, (which looked like what would happen ifin you had an Interesting Exchange of Genetic Material from a 356 Speedster, a 911 Speedster and a 930 Turbo (without the whale tail), was 6 or 12 Volt, but didn't have to after the guy started the engine. From the RINGGGG-a-Ding Ding of the 6 volt Solenoid WHANGING into the Ring Gear Teeth of the Flywheel, he KNEW it was 12 Volts.

So he grabbed just the Magic Timing Light (and didn't have to lug the 12V Volt battery he uses ifin the car is 6 Volt), and hoofed it on over to the Magnificent Creation.

He hooked up Sear's Finest Timing Light (the one with the Dial) and signaled the owner to fire it up.

RINGGGG-a-Ding Ding went the starter. And Whoom went the engine, settling "down" to an 1800 rpm idle.

The Maestro hooked up the Timing light, placing the Inductive Pickup on #1 Plug wire and figuring out that the guy had reversed wires at the coil got some Power and pointed the Business End of the Magic Timing Light at the Pulley.

Illuminated by the White Light of Xenon Truth and with the Magic Dial set to "0", the Pulley "OT" mark notch shows up nicely.

WAYYYYYY to the left in the notch in the Case!

Did the Maestro find a way to go back in Time to measure Retard on his Timing light's dial?

What does this Mean?

This means that the Timing is WAY TOO FAR ADVANCED!

Subsequent adjustment of the Dial on the Magic Timing Light showed the Idle Timing to be FORTY-THREE DEGREES ADVANCED!

At Idle!

Put that your Pipe and smoke it!

The Maestro was Curious about what the High Speed Timing really was, since the guy had DRIVEN the car for many miles this way.

The High Speed Timing was almost beyond the Scale on the Dial- SIXTY DEGREES! That's right! 60 Degrees High Speed Advance!

That's Piston Popping Time!

SERIOUS Piston Popping Time!

No WONDER the poor engine was Overheating badly!

Time to make an Adjustment.

The Maestro eyeballed the Distributor in the Beast.

It was, of course, an .019 VW Distributor, which has INSUFFICIENT Spark Advance for a 356 Porsche!

VW .019's and .010's have a mere 20 degrees Mechanical advance. Porsche Distributors have 30 degrees Advance. And Viva La Difference

But that wasn't the whole problem. This puppy was "Static Timed" to have SIXTY Degrees High Speed advance, with is totally WRONG for EITHER VW or Porsche!

Like I said, the owner didn't have a clue about Engines.

The Maestro told the Owner about the Joys of the .050 Distributor. How it DOES have decent Mechanical Advance- twenty-eight degrees usually, which with 5 degrees Static Lead gives you 33 Degrees High Speed, which is just about where you want to be.

But the guy didn't have enough money with him to buy a New .050 (and they're only $95, or $125 Individually Tested on the Maestro's Special Machine, you pick the advance you want from 26 to 30 Degrees!)

But with no money, honey, all the Maestro could do was to adjust the timing on the VW .019 down to something reasonable, so the Owner could drive to an ATM to get bucks to buy the .050.

And no, he didn't have a Credit Card.

The Maestro loosened the Distributor Clamp Bolt, noting that it's really a pain to do when the Distributor Clamp is put on WRONG! Like this one had been.

Anyway, he got the clamp loose, and rotated the Distributor Clockwise to retard the spark back into the ballpark.

He set the High Speed Timing at around 30 degrees, and the Idle timing ended up being about 13 degrees advanced.

That meant there was only 17 degrees advance being delt out by the VW .019 Distributor on the engine. Not good. It'll run but not very well.

It'll certainly run BETTER now than with SIXTY degrees advance!

(Well, maybe it won't but it won't overheat nearly as much!)

With the Timing sort of under control, the Maestro turned his attention to the Carbs.

They were new Webers, purchased from someone else.

"How come you bought these from somebody else," asked the Maestro pointing at the Webers?

"Well, because they were a few bucks CHEAPER than you."

"Right. There are those who are Cheaper", said the Maestro, pointing at the Linkage Arms, "But see the linkage arms on 'em? They're the ones the Importer always puts on."

"I don't use those arms!"

Why not?

Take a look at the Downcoming Linkage Rods- see how they are NOT Symmetrical.

Now, think of how much MORE Symmetrical they'd be ifin the Ball on the Right Hand Linkage Arm were to point to the FRONT rather than the Rear.

"Why, yes, That's Right!" said the Owner. "The linkage arms WOULD be more Symmetrical then. Thanks. I'll just reverse the ball."

"No," said the Maestro. "You CAN'T "just reverse" the ball on the Importer's Linkage Arms!

Ifin you try- the back of the Idle Stop part of the Linkage Arm will HIT the Downcoming Linkage rod and WEDGE at half throttle!

It's the Ralph Nader Governor (and he's running for President!) that the Importer mustave been forced to put on by Mean, Nasty Bureaucrats in Washington.

The Maestro noticed this itty bitty problem years ago and made up Linkage Arms so you CAN put the ball on the Right hand Carb pointing towards the Front and NOT hit the downcoming linkage rod.

The Maestro's Linkage arms, like Monica, go All The Way Down!

Giving you FULL THROTTLE and all the Power you so rightly deserve.

The Maestro reached around the front of the Fan Shroud and felt for the Bell Crank on the Fan Shroud.

His hand found the Bell Crank and after a little tactile stimulation discovered that the coat hanger like rod was at about a 45 degree angle.

Is this correct?

Keep the 356 Faith


Not good! That means half your "gas pedal" travel just ain't there.

You want to have the Bell Crank as near VERTICAL as possible to get Max throw on the carb linkage.

It makes a TREMENDOUS difference in the "feel" of a 356 to have the carb linkage adjusted right!

Especially in a 356C Speedster!

Otherwise it would be "All Show and No Go".

But the guy couldn't afford four hours of the Maestro's Manipulations, so, so much for that.

In fact, the guy was trying to SELL the car. Hard Times had hit again.

The Maestro had just seen, the DAY before, another Magnificent Creation at the First Carlsen Swap Meet of the Millennium.

It was a Monkey-Vomit Green 1959 356A Coupe, but when it backed into the last parking stall before the Swap Meet Only territory, it was obvious it was not powered by your usual 356 engine.

The Louvered Deck Lid indicated a 4-Cam Carrera, but the sound was different.

Eventually, the owner of the "A" opened the deck lid and the Maestro couldn't resist- he just HAD to go over there and see what was inside!

Was it a 411 VW? A 928 V-8? A V-12 Allison?

Nope, it was a 911 shoehorned into the rear of the 356A, with the Big Red Air Intake snuggled so far back into the rear of the engine compartment, the Maestro wondered how enough air could be sucked in to keep if from melting into a pile of exotic alloy(s).

It was For Sale too, as the sign on the front window indicated. And for a mere $76,000 you could be the Owner of this Monkey-Vomit Green Magnificent Creation.

The Maestro restrained himself and went back to selling Gold Plated Porsche Engines and Synchrometers at the Swap Meet.

Ironically, the owner of the 356C Speedster wanted to sell it too.

The Maestro reminded the Owner of his Worldwide Buy/Sell List the Maestro Maintains on The Computer. Buyers and Sellers from all over the World can get the 356 of their Dreams, maybe, for a mere $95/year.

Maybe he'd put this Magnificent Creation on the Web Site (www.hcpresearch.com) in Auction format.

"So, how much did you say you wanted for this?"

And the guy mentioned a Price Too Far.

The Maestro was noncommittal. But figured that who knows, someone out there might want a 356SC Speedster, a cross-pollination of a Boxter, a 356A Speedster a 911 Turbo (withouit the Whale Tail) and a 356SC. So he asked:

"What's the lowest price you'll take?

The guy thought a while and said "Well, I've got to get some money up...", and mentioned a lesser price, but one still a Tad too High. And besides, what would the Purists say?

The guy left, but returned the next day, (Tuesday), got the .050 Distributor and stuck it in in the Maestro's parking lot, not wanting to pay the Maestro's $25 fee for Installation.

The Maestro heard at least three separate failed attempts at getting the engine running, the WHAM, BAM Thank you ma'am of the Starter "engaging" the Flywheel was unmistakable.

Finally, the Maestro heard the Magnificent Creation fire up once and for all.

And it DID sound better than before with the .019 VW Distributor!

The Maestro wandered out to the Magnificent Creation, Timing light in hand.

Once again, he attached the Timing Light and aimed the Pulsed Xenon Flash Tube at the Pulley.

The Light of Truth showed, once again, that the Timing was WAY too advanced.

"You sure like Way too advanced Timing, don't you," the Maestro asked the Owner.

"Well, I just guessed," the Owner said modestly.

The Maestro set the High Speed timing to 33 degrees, which made the Idle Timing around 6 degrees.

'Tis not so Deep as a Well, nor so Wide as a Church Door, but 'twill serve.

With the Timing now right, the new Webers could be adjusted.

The Maestro tightened down the Distributor clamp on the .050, and told the guy to fire the Beast back up again for a Final Check.

The Owner reached inside the car, turned the key, but the car was still in FIRST GEAR!


(He had neglected to take it out of gear before.)

The Magnificent Creation lurched forward- right into the concrete Wall of the adjoining building that was 2 feet away.

At first the Maestro thought nothing had happened. He had seen the 356 suddenly lurch away from him (fortunately it was in First Gear, and went FORWARD, NOT Reverse or it would have lurched over the Maestro!)

Think of the Lawsuit!

But when the car was pushed back from the Concrete Wall, the pushed in place right in the middle of the nose was Obvious to the Most Casual Observer.

Oh, man too bad! The Magnificent Creation had a Big Ding!

It was then when the Maestro had a thought. Y'know this might be a good time to buy a car.

Not just any car. A Magnificent Creation ... (with a Ding).

So, how much did you say you wanted for this? $XX Thousand."


"Would you take x now?"


And the Maestro knew IMMEDIATELY that he had big too HIGH! He shoulda said FIVE!!!!

But Hey- it IS an "Open Car"!

But was the Maestro unhappy for overbidding on The Magnificent Creation?

NO WAY! He was happy as a Clam! It made his Duck Quack!

Now he didn't have to get the 1958 356A Cabriolet back on the Road again. He WAS On The Road Again! With that wind-in the what little hair he has left feeling! With Disk Brakes and the top down!

Top down wheels that'll give the Purists Absolute Apoplexy!

He can't wait to drive up to the next 356 Get Together in his Magnificent Creation, by then with a Gold-Plated MaestroMassaged Engine that'll complement the car so well that some in-the-money IPO Billionaire will just HAVE to HAVE the car and trade his house in Los Altos Hills for the Magnificent Creation!

That'll make the Maestro's day!

Like the Magnificent Creation made his day today- Tuesday, 8 August, 2000.

Keep the 356 Faith

The Maestro did- and look what he got- a Magnificent Creation!



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