(Note that in the interests of privacy, we protect our customers by not publishing full VIN or engine number data on the internet. That's why the last digit is just "x".)
One of us, Richard, has been rebuilding Porsche 356 engines since 1986, starting with an SC engine. That particular engine was over-revved at about 3AM when it became airborne as the pilot was bringing a patient to a hopital after the person had collapsed at a pool hall. In the quiet morning air, the acute ear could hear the hiss of compression loss. Tear down the next day confirmed it: Exhaust valve on cylinder one had lightly kissed the piston and was bent.There was a loss of carbon from the piston crown, but luckily, no further damage...
Richard was confident in working on the SC because he had become the apprentice of Dave Brown, Porsche racing engine preparer and proprietor of Weissach Engineering in Colorado Springs, CO, notably winning the 1986 Porsche Cup, among other honors. Dave took Richard on because in the second half of the 1970s, Richard had begun rebuilding VW engines, starting with a 2200 cc type III engine, and had moved on to building 36hp VW based Okrasa engines. So, he was ready to learn about the ins and outs of the Porsche 356. Dave taught Richard on at least a weekly basis for about three years until Richard moved back to California.
When Richard returned to the San Francisco Bay area in 1989, he quickly became friends with a good number of notable 356 people and became an apprentice of some such as Richard V. Lukes - Richie, to his friends, co-founder of Lukes and Shorman of Berkeley CA - also a famous Porsche wrench with substantial racing credentials, mostly from the '50s and early '60s. Though he was retired, Richard visited Richie weekly, or more often through the last five years of Richies life, wherein Richie taught him about all manner of things regarding the Porsche 356.
Another person apprenticed under was "Red" McClintock of Porsche Services, also in Berkeley. Red, unlike Richie, was not retired and was running a thriving business servicing all types of Porsche machines. Richard rented space from Red and this gave the two men a lot of opportunities to work together. Red probably wouldn't have had patience for a novice, but by then Richard was getting to be pretty good, but still lacking in "years in the business." Red liked to play thought-games with Richard, and the two conducted experiments together. For example, Richard brought his crankshaft collection to the shop while Red gathered up a number of different gland nuts and the two of them proved on a great handful of crankshafts and gland nuts that the mythology and lore about torqing gland nuts into the ends of crankshafts was mistaken. (Perhaps we'll put up a web page about that sometime...) Unfortunately, Red died of a heart-attack while working out one day when he went home for lunch.
Then, there was Harry Pellow, "The Maestro," who Richard had learned about in 1986 when he bought his first 356. The seller of that car had given Richard a copy of Secrets of the Inner Circle (and a handful of the early Registries), and Richard had called Harry to buy a set of 80mm bore pistons and cylinders. When he got back to the Bay Area in '89, he did a bee-line straight to Harry's place, HCP Research in Santa Clara. Harry and Richard had a lot in common and became fast friends. During this time, the Porsche 356 Registry's "356Talk" email list had begun and Richard and Harry were both among the very early members. While Richard and Harry met often, did many deals together, and both emailed and called each other on a nearly daily basis, this relationship was unknown to many on the 356Talk list, who felt the two men were antagonistic toward one another. Richard and Harry remained friends until Harry's passing a few years ago.
Active in Porsche 356 circles, Richard gained the friendship of many people from whom he could learn, such as Richard Miller of San Diego, and Bud Hopkins of Pinole, CA, Orr Potebnya, of Olympia, WA, among very many others. One great person who the 356 community seldom hears from is Ron Redden and his Rennwerk of Denver, CO.
Nothing quite tells a story like photographs, so here are a few showing our work, cores we have, or other interesting things.
When you're ready to have us work on yours or build you one, just let us know.