1951 356 Gläser Cabriolet

Also from Issue 163

  • Rennsport Reunion III
  • Driving the Brumos 914-6 GT at Daytona
  • Wingho’s Wild W3 (964) Three-Seater
  • French Kiss: An Early 911 With Panache
  • Tightening Up the 997 Turbo
  • 356 Notchback Revitalized with 911 Power
  • Market Update: 924, 944, and 968
  • 400,000-mile Carrera 3.2 Reborn
  • Cayenne GTS: The Best Cayenne
  • Base 997 Coupe Short Test
  • Porsche Icon: 908/2 Spyder
  • 911 Master-Cylinder Re-do
  • Gasoline Direct Injection
Buy Excellence-163-cover
1951 356 Gläser Cabriolet 1
1951 356 Gläser Cabriolet 2
Oops! Someone forgot to paint the upper latch.
1951 356 Gläser Cabriolet 3
Ryan Moreland buffs the first coat of a repainted #5142.
1951 356 Gläser Cabriolet 4
Overspray on lower edge of newly installed top would have to be addressed.
1951 356 Gläser Cabriolet 5
The big to-do.
1951 356 Gläser Cabriolet 6
Blue tape marks problem areas in front trunk, like chips, poor paint, and incorrect colors.
1951 356 Gläser Cabriolet 7
The repainted car, with blue tape on its doors to mark screws that need to be hand-painted.
1951 356 Gläser Cabriolet 8
Racks hold parts not yet on the car, including the body bumpers.
1951 356 Gläser Cabriolet 9
Doug Livelsberger applies hand glaze to buffed clearcoat.
1951 356 Gläser Cabriolet 10
1951 356 Gläser Cabriolet 11
1951 356 Gläser Cabriolet 12
1951 356 Gläser Cabriolet 13
1951 356 Gläser Cabriolet 14
1951 356 Gläser Cabriolet 15
1951 356 Gläser Cabriolet 16

Putting the 356 on a lift provided a good opportunity to remove cobwebs and dust from the bottom of the car accumulated in the past four years. Except under the engine, no oil was present. The suspension components were wiped down, as were the brake backing plates and inner wheel rims. Rolling out of the trailer back at home, #5142 coughed and died — it was out of gas. Unfortunately, a brief trip to the nearest gas station to purchase three gallons of 93 octane was apparently just long enough for a local mulberry-eating feathered friend to stop by for a closer look and leave a present.

Remaining assembly was scheduled to begin at 8:00 AM Friday, September 14. At this point, #5142 still didn’t have bumpers, headlights, or windshields. Nor were they with the car. At around 2:00 PM — don’t ask — reassembly finally commenced. Unfortunately, the windshield was left behind at the shop, and the guy from the glass company who removed it was on vacation! The repaired bumpers were put back in place and the headlights were reassembled and installed. An emergency trip to Hobbytown USA was made to acquire two shades of tan enamel paint to be mixed to repair a chip on the pinstripe of the spare wheel. During the supply run, Livelsberger took the opportunity to remove the overspray from the rear of the cloth convertible top. This was accomplished using a small brush with fiberglass bristles and patiently flaking off the dried paint. Had the paint been heat-cured in a paint booth, this could have been done almost immediately.

By 7:00 PM, it was time to put the windshield in. With the center post in place, the seal was draped around the two halves and a length of nylon cord was placed in the groove in the rubber. The installation process sounds simple enough: put each half of the glass into the slot in the center post and apply pressure while pulling the string out, which pulls the rubber lip over the metal flange on the inner frame. The right side went pretty well, but the left side ended up around a half-inch too far to the right. We elected to pull it to the left while beating on it. After about 15 minutes, it had moved about half the desired distance, deemed close enough based on other tasks not accomplished.

These consisted of installing the door handles, window cranks, windshield wipers (new ones were supplied at the last minute by VW guru Terry Shuler), long neglected hinge covers, Gläser badges, and hood seal. The left-side piece of the engine-compartment upholstery had to be glued back in place, necessitating another trip, this time to the hardware store for spray adhesive. Oh, yes, the gas tank needed to be repainted after removing the cute brass tag put there by the muffler shop that repaired it in California!

All this wrapped up around 9:00 PM, leaving only a slightly dirty, heavily fingerprinted car. Livelsberger left us a squeeze bottle of Malco Plum Crazy High Gloss Hand Glaze and wished us well. At 6:00 AM the following morning, the clean-up with glaze, glass cleaner, and Wolfsteins Ragg Topp convertible top cleaner commenced. A much prettier 356 was loaded into our trailer at around 8:30 that night for its 300-mile journey to the Glenmoor Gathering in Canton, Ohio.

Connect with Excellence:   Facebook Twitter