At Porsche Centre Swindon, we are proud to be an Official Classic Porsche Centre. Our technicians thrive off the opportunity to work on classic Porsches, and we are delighted to see many customers bringing their older Porsche cars to us to take care of.
Recently, a customer wanted his Porsche 356 fully restored, so it was a fantastic chance for one of our Classic Technicians to get up close to an original classic Porsche.
The 356 was Porsche’s first sports car which ran in production from 1948 to 1965. Over 76,000 cars were made which came in several variations of the 356. The car we saw at our Centre was a perfect example of a 356b from 1963. The 356b variant had a facelift from the 356a, and is most noticeably different at the front of the car where the bonnet is squared off and the petrol cap is placed on the front right wing.
When the 356 came into our workshop, Ashley Wilson jumped at the chance to work on such an iconic Porsche. Ashley has worked at Porsche Centre Swindon for two years, and at Dick Lovett for four and a half years. Ashley was thrilled to put his classic Porsche knowledge to good use while working on this special project. In his own time, he has completed various vehicle restoration projects of his own, including his VW Beetle and Campervan.
To start off the restoration, Ashley completely inspected the car to highlight any issues to be rectified, and to get a general idea of the condition the 356 was currently in. The initial diagnosis of the car found a major oil leak from the engine and gearbox, as well as a fuel leak from the carburettors.
This called for a complete mechanical rebuild of the vehicle. The engine was removed, stripped down and rebuilt using new gaskets and seals. The cylinder heads were machined with new guides and seats for running lead-free fuel.
Any worn components were replaced where needed with Genuine Porsche Parts and modern updates such as electronic ignition were included. All of the engine tinware was powder coated where possible and bright work was passivated.
The gearbox was stripped and rebuilt using new components where necessary. All of the seals and gaskets were replaced and the rear suspension was stripped, cleaned and rebuilt with powder coated or plated components.
Next, the front suspension with the hubs was stripped and rebuilt. The braking system was completely overhauled, the backplate’s were powder coated, all necessary wearing components were replaced, and the shoes were dialled into the drums for maximum braking performance.
The front tub and engine bay were cleaned and refreshed using new sound deadening and trims. The fuel system and tank were cleaned, checked and refurbished.
The wiring system was inspected and repaired where necessary and the new fuse box was fitted.
The interior of the car was stripped and the components were sent to the trim shop. The seats were stripped by Nahoulakian Classic Car & Motorcycle Trimshop; a small family run business that specialise in making bespoke seats for cars and motorbikes. Ashley undertook a rebuild of the soft materials to keep the patina of the vehicle.
Finally, all systems on the vehicle were checked, inspected and any remaining functional errors were fully rectified.
The customer has since run-in the car and then the running-in service was completed. This included valve clearances, carburettor adjustment, and sync and adjustments to the ignition system.
If you would like more information about the restoration process or are thinking of undertaking a restoration project on your own classic Porsche, then please contact us. We are happy to help with Parts enquiries, rebuild quotes and also repairs and paintwork requests which can be carried out at our local Official Porsche Approved Bodyshop, Spraymaster.
Or contact Porsche Centre Swindon on 01793 398 526