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Adventures of Nate and his car
12/01/07

NEW!
Were moving now. The body work is coming to completion, but my funds are coming to exhaustion. Hopefully I can make magic happen to get it into Paint, then we wait again.
11/19/07

Alright, without sounding like a broken record, I am back... again. Well, it has now been two years since an update, but I am actually moving forward at this point. After a two year hiatus, we are cooking along on the car again. The body work is now done and undercoating applied (I have pictures, but I have to reformat for the site). Hopefully it will be painted in the next month and then comes reassembly. I have now owned the car longer off the road than on, so it will be nice to have it back together and on the road. Look out for an update soon.
5/23/05

I'm back! It has been a really, really long time (over a year) since I did an update. I can say that I have successfully managed to work up some motivation to inform all of you what is going on. I just attended the 356 mid-atlantic Grimes Airfield run. I have to report that I did NOT enjoy driving my 356, but my motorcycle (not nearly as fun as the 356). It was really nice to see everybody! I left feeling motivated to try to get my car going again. As with most restorations, things always come up to mess up progress (ha ha ha). Let me think, since my last update, a semi totalled my daily driver (in a Walmart parking lot) and my house needs new windows and a new roof. Needless to say, things have not gone as smoothly as I would have liked. The end result is that the car takes a back seat to all these "more important" things. The only nice thing was that my transmission came back from Vic Skirmants at 356 Enterprises. It is shiiiiiinnnnyyy and making me want to move again. I am currently trying to clean out my dungeon (I mean my garage) and dig out my door hinges. I think that they are stored somewhere between the torture rack and the guillotine (dry comedy alert!!!). Then, the car is going to be taken back to BBE for a skim coat and final paint. Hopefully then, I can start to put the ex-bondo beast back together. I think that the only thing I may do is get some solid dish alloy wheels for it. Bob Laepple's Speedster gave me the inspiration to try to track some down. Well, I am going to try to get some new pictures soon. Hopefully it will not be another year until the next update!
5/04/04

Hi all! It has been a reallly long time since I did an update and I finally got up the motivation to inform all of you what is going on. Last fall I had a change of direction as an Entrepreneur. As some of you know, I am the cofounder of Digital Indigo Technologies and my partner and I decided that it would be best to sell my half to him, so that he has more financial flexibility (Plus, I have another full time job that limits my availability). I thought it be best, since I have always had other ambitions to start a light duty excavation company (something that CAN'T be outsourced). I am still involved with Digital Indigo's operations, but now I have the freedom to operate my own company (Fichthorn Enterprises - http://www.fichthornent.com). F.E. not only handles excavation, but I also do website design in cooperation with DIT hosting the site. My latest contract was for Children's Healthcare Resources of Philadelphia for their Philadelphia Fatherhood Practioners Network - http://www.pfpn.org. Unfortunately, the car has taken a backseat to a Diesel truck, trailer, and skid loader. But, now that the business is providing for itself, I can get back to work on putting it back on the road. The current plans are to take the car back to BBE for its final bodywork and get the thing painted. Besides the bodywork, I just got off the phone with Vic Skirmants, who is going to rebuild my transmission. Hopefully, I can get it on a pallet and shipped out be next week (We'll see).
7/11/03 Sanity check .... yep, still insane! All 12V Parts are in, yea! The car has now begun it's complete restoration, so much for light sanding and off for a cheap paint job. I have decided to go all the way with a complete repaint, body work, etc. etc. I have stripped the car and sanitized the metal and it is now completely in primer. Also, all of the fabricated metal pieces for the front and passenger side have been welded in and are in primer (I don't have pics of them yet, but I will soon). Other new plans are to partially replace the driver's side rocker (The original was pretty bent up and has some rust and we all know that I HATE rust!) and to replace the door bottoms and POR-15 the heck out of them (some rust was poking through, so with the new bottoms they will be as good as new). Also, the seat bottoms that I spent so many fun hours on are CRAP (ok, not crap, but they are too wide)!!! They were 911 seat bottoms that were masquerading as 356 seat bottoms. FOR SHAME!!!! Parker Tyler admitted that he did not know that he sent me the 911 bottoms, but I now have 356 bottoms from 64C parts car in primer and ready for paint. I have also decided to add an oil pressure guage where the clock was. Well, that's all for now. I am going to wrench on the car this Tuesday and weld a small hairline crack in the driver side seat bottom. The doors should be done by then too.
5/2/03 Well, nobody has given me any new information about my car. Ohhh well. In other news, the decision to take the car to 12V has been made. I wasn't too happy about it, but the MSD to keep the engine in check does not like 6V, sooooo the car is being taken to 12V. The good news is that I will have brigher lights, easier starts, etc. Oh yea, I can use my radar detector again!!! Muhahahahaa. Plus, after being out of commission for a year, I needed a new battery. We are installing a step down for the multi-gauge, a 914 wiper motor (since we have it, might as well not mess with the 6V motor), a new lightweight 12V starter (YEA!!!), new bulbs all around, etc. etc. I do want to mention one thing that really sucked, the darn tach!!! I had an electric tach plate, but since there was a supply issue and a new electric tach wasn't cheap, I ended up with a new pump plate to reuse my mechanical tach. Anwyay, my Dad is going to help me continue on the sanding adventure to prepare the car for final body work and painting. I just hope the tedious work won't drive him mad (he is new to this car restoration thing). I'll let you know about his sanity in my next update.
4/14/03 I have decided that some history of my 356 might be in order. I created the history section and mailed the talk list to hopefully drum up some news.
4/10/03 I think I am going to name the car Gilligan after Gilligan's Island. I feel like I started out on a three hour tour and ended up almost a year later on a deserted island (Bruce is the professor, John is Thurston Howell, and I am the Skipper). Ok, ok, that WAS kind of stupid, but it was meant to show frustration and I am sure you get the point. Anyway, the day we are rescued, I mean, of moving forward is now underway!!!!! I finished painting POR-15 on the entire interior on Tuesday the 8th. It took almost 4 hours to do the final scraping, degrease with Marine Clean, and prep with Metal Ready (Proper preparation is a pain in my rump). After all that was done, the wonderful POR-15 went on the car and me!! That stuff does NOT come off very easily and I have the jeans to prove it. The pedal cluster was installed in the car on the 9th and the tach situation continues. Hopefully Helmut at North Hollywood Speedo will sell us a 6V electric tach. If he doesn't the cover from the other engine will have to be tapped for the full flow and the mechanical tach will go back in (There is never a shortage of speed bumps). Also, the decision to put in an MSD to limit the readline was made (It will prevent me from causing expensive engine damage while I learn how to drive it properly).
4/4/03 The rollbar and the pedal cluster is finished and painted. I am planning on putting POR-15 on just about the entire car. Then the fun of putting in the fabricated panels will begin! I don't have too much to report, except that I am signed up to go to Pocono on May 24th. Bruce will be my instructor, but I need to finish the car to run, sooooo I HAVE to hurry so I can get the car off to the painter.
3/4/03 I am now stretching and shrinking new metal sections for the rusty sections of the car. There is no greater feeling than custom fabricating new pieces for a Porsche! It is amazing what you can do with the right tools. Especially if it is a correct piece that is made of REAL metal instead of Bondo and steel wool! (Pay attention all short cut takers out there) I have completed the sections for the passenger side and drivers side, but the rust still needs to be cut out of the passenger side. I am planning on tack welding all the new pieces in place this Saturday.

In other news, the summer is fast approaching and I am getting excited! I think we may have this thing on the road by summer and see what the new engine REALLY does.
2/12/03 Valentines Day is drawing closer and I haven't had a chance to work on the car in about two weeks (I better get hoofin and get Roses!) . Bruce has been on vacation and the shop is having technical difficulties (Heat, Hot Water, etc., etc.). Soooo, I have been pushed back to working on the car tomorrow. Hopefully I get the lead melted out and I can get a crash course in welding! That's right WELDING! For those of you nuts who would rather slap on Bondo in those nice rusty areas, SHAME ON YOU!!!!!
1/29/03 What the hell have I gotten myself into!!!!
I have been scraping undercoating and removing paint/bondo for a while now. I would LOVE to strangle the previous owner for taking shortcuts with Bondo! I HATE BONDO!!! It seems that the closer I get to finishing, more stuff comes up! At this point all of the rust areas have been uncovered. The next step is to repair all of the rust with fresh metal and lead in the seams. Then the sanding will begin and be sent for new paint! Yea!!!
P.S. If you EVER get this deep into your car, save yourself a LOT of headaches and find a good media blaster!!!!
11/5/02 I just got to take my friend Brian's 97 C4S for detailing at my neighbors house. I had it for 3 days and it was fun to drive (I live approx 50 miles from work). Sooo, 100 miles in a C4S is a little different than in my 356. My GOD it handles well!!! I still like my white coupe better, believe it or not! It's lack of refinement/power and the fact that it makes me work harder when drive it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.
7/3/02 I dropped the car off at BBE yesterday! The madness will begin later this week with John installing the engine. Then Bruce is going to POR-15 the interior (Will keep it from rusting for a loooooooooong time).
7/1/02 I successfully removed the interior, scraped off all of the interior paint/padding, etc. and put it back in again (for a stupid car show)! I am planning on taking the car to BBE on 7/3/02 for it's transformation. The rollbar, swaybar, racing seats, Fuchs, 5 point harnesses, engine, engine monitoring system, and other assorted goodies are going to be installed.
5/19/01 I have just made the car a family heirloom. My wife and I just got married today and we used it for the trip from the church to the reception. Everything was flawless until the following day when the steering wheel came off as we were driving it to the airport for our honeymoon! It seems that the car is REALLY original down to the steering coupling, which was broken into several little pieces. God was looking down on us that day!
NOTE TO SELF: Remember to state that it is not "Nate's 356" , but "Stacie and Nate's 356". (I love you dear!)
7/15/00 I have just purchashed my first Porsche! I wanted a 912, but was lucky enough to find a 356 approx. 7 miles from where I live. The ironic thing is that I had never seen a 356 until about 2 months earlier (being 22 years old). It seems that the seller/private dealer purchased the car from an estate sale and I would technically be the second owner. Anyway, I picked it up for a good deal and it has the original engine. Yea!