Fresh off a win from the first-ever 2019 Porsche Cars Canada's Classic Restoration Competition, the 2020 Restoration Challenge is well underway. This year the subject of our restoration is a 1960 Porsche 356 Cabriolet affectionately named, Louise.
The winner of the competition is judged on the use of original parts, the quality of the finished product and a before/after comparison to appreciate the amount of work involved.
Vaughn Wyant found Louise in California and where everyone else saw junk, he saw beauty. “Louise was literally delivered to us with bungee cords holding it together,” Vaughn says, “But I’m not interested in what she looked like, I’m interested in the potential of what she could look like. She’s a Porsche convertible from the ’60s with an original hardtop, engine, and transmission. She is going to be magnificent.”
The restoration team faces a substantial amount of corrosion as Louise was stored ‘topless’ for years. Two members of our team will spend the better part of two months repairing the metalwork on her body alone. Sourcing original parts will also be complicated, as many of the parts are no longer in circulation. To ensure Louise remains period correct, our team will likely hand-fabricate the majority of these parts.
But, our team is up to the challenge. Team lead Wes Moskwa says once the metalwork is finished the restoration will progress quite quickly. “I’m sure we will be hard at work on her right up until she needs to be loaded up for transport – just like the previous contender. Nine months is a tall order for a complete restoration, never mind complicating it with the rarity of parts and hand fabrication of a good portion of her body.”
Our team is unfazed by any additional pressure coming into the 2020 competition as the previous year’s winner. Instead, we focus on exceeding our own personal standards. Wes says, “There were so many great cars competing in 2019 and I expect everyone to ramp up their restoration quality. We will have to do the same to remain competitive alongside them." Join us in cheering on Porsche Centre Saskatchewan to defend our title as champion of the Porsche Cars Canada Restoration Challenge.
To truly begin the reconstruction process, we need to strip Louise back to her bare-bones. The nose, rear body and panelling were removed so the technicians could grind down her rusted edges and cut out the parts that are too heavily damaged.
Marc Ouayoun, President of Porsche Cars Canada was kind enough to stop by the shop to visit Louise and witness the transformation. The difference between a restoration and a masterpiece is time and imagination. Our technicians have the imagination, but time is of the essence.
When you look at Louise, you might see rust, neglect and disrepair but beneath the corroded exterior, we see rich potential waiting to be unlocked. As our technicians make her beautiful again, we are capturing the process to give you the full picture of her incredible transformation. Follow us as we create the Portrait of Louise.
Sometimes a work-of-art must be torn down so it can be rebuilt fully. We trust Louise’s ability transform and she’s already nearly unrecognizable. The damage to the A and B pillars has been completely repaired and large sections of the rear, including the upper trunk panel, body panelling, flanges, and firewall have been hand-fabricated and installed. She is now being mounted on the ‘rotisserie’ and prepared for a light sandblast so the assembly of the front suspension and cable s can begin before she returns to her four wheels.
The engine is the heart of a Porsche. Louise’s heart needed a little tender love and care, but in our technicians’ capable hands, she is well on her way.