I have a 1961 356B original body.  Does anyone know who would sell a rolling chassis for this?

Original Post

Matt:  Ashcreek (paged just above) has a restoration shop down near Bridgeport and may be able to help.

If you have an original 356, there IS no "chassis" per se, because it is  a monocoque assembly - the body and chassis are all one piece (welded together).  While some of the suspension parts may be similar to our VW-based cars, they are not identical replacements unless you have a 1952 - 1955 car, NOT your '61 B-series.

However, there is hope.  Try calling Jerry Dascoli at Meister Restorations in Center Barnstead, NH and talk with him about what can be done.

Phone: (603) 776-3561

This type of restoration is what he does as a business.

Also, Rick's Custom Fabrication in Massachusetts does undercarriage parts:

37 N Central Street

E. Bridgewater, MA  02333

Phone: (508) 350-9722

Want to "go it alone" and just buy the parts?  

Then contact Adam Wright at Unobtanium Inc. in Ravenel, NY (up near Albany)

Here's their website:   https://unobtanium-inc.com/menu

Contact info is on their site.  If Adam doesn't have what you need, then you don't need it.

If these guys can't help you they may be able to recommend someone who can, maybe closer to your home, but the vast majority of original 356 owners in New England use these guys all the time.

Good luck!

Gordon
The Speedstah Guy from Massachusetts

 

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Well I don’t quite get it.... 356’s have a full welded up pan structure and so why do you think you can put a sub frame under it.   But as others said it would need some custom work and you could probably redo the pan with a rotisserie setup and redo the pan welding in a whole replacement pan area.

 

IaM-Ray posted:

Well I don’t quite get it.... 356’s have a full welded up pan structure and so why do you think you can put a sub frame under it.   But as others said it would need some custom work and you could probably redo the pan with a rotisserie setup and redo the pan welding in a whole replacement pan area.

For clarification, the 356 doesn't have a "pan". They have a unibody structure, as in evidence with Wolfgang's picture above. The suspension parts hang off the structure which makes up the skin.

It really was what separates an original 356 from a replica. The OP's question regarding a structure to hang a body on indicates that the original structure was lost along the way (probably to rust), but that the outer panels were salvageable.

It'd be a neat project to follow.

A VW pan with engine and trans could be done - but it would be worthless when done.  The same amount of welding would go into the replacement of OEM rusted panels.  If you don't have the OEM suspension, transmission, engine - I would sell what you have and consider a replica.

Thanks for the clarification, but my reference to a pan was simply to make a comparison.  I do think that there are sufficient parts suppliers now, that make all the stamped steel substructures,  to be able to recreate the complete undercarriage, and weld up the whole unibody structure.  It would not be cheap but then the amount of work would be probably close and you would have a P- VIN.  In the end, that is what people want and it could allow to resell it.  Just saying.

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