Posted by: porschebahn | May 9, 2009

Me and 123631 – Captain Peter Bartelli and his 1963 Porsche 356 Carrera 2 GS Coupe

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                                                    Me and 123631

Porsche Carrera 2000 GS Coupe 123631 was born on March 8th, 1963 and left the factory bound for the Porsche Dealership in Frankfurt, Otto Glockler Sportwagen GmbH., on March 11th, 1963.  It was painted 6205 Champagne Yellow and sported Continental tires, fog lamps, Talbot mirrors, seat belts with shoulder harnesses and a radio kit (loudspeakers, suppression kit and antenna).  On April 25th, 1963, the Carrera found a home with its first owner, Dr. Ing.Ulrich Esterer of Helsa (Kassel). During his ownership, the Carrera was regularly serviced at the Glockler dealership as well as the Kahrmann dealership in Fulda.  The Carrera saw daily use around Kassel for many years and later traded in for a new 911.  

TWA Captain Joe Stonskas was based out of New York in the early ‘70s and flew to Frankfurt quite often.  It was there that Joe saw the “Zu Verkaufen” notice at the Glockler dealership in Frankfurt.  It was 1971 and Porsche 123631 was for sale.  The princely sum of $5800 was paid and Captain Stonskas became the second owner of 123631 ( I later found out that this cost included freight to the USA, customs duty and some German fees).  Captain Stonskas imported the car to the West Coast, USA.  In 1983 Captain Stonskas, 60, retired from TWA and moved to Las Vegas where he still resides.  The Carrera, paint now faded and with some undiagnosed engine noise, was soon parked permanently in the back of his garage with 89,460 km on the odometer.

In those days Joe Stonskas was quite active in the Porsche Club of America. He served on the PCA Rules Committee and there met Dennis Frick of New Cumberland, PA.  Dennis worked at IBM and was an avid Porsche 356er and PCA member.  A deal was struck in 1988 to bring 123631 to the East Coast by meeting at the Saint Louis Gateway Arch….but that’s another story.  However, in one of life’s many twists, Dennis chose early retirement from IBM in order to expand German Classic Cars, his shop dedicated to the restoration of the German auto, particularly Porsches. With customer cars now the priority, Carrera 123631 remained parked in the garage, never registered or restored. 

 By 1990, I was attending an annual event known as the Ski Roundtop Swap Meet, a Porsche only swap meet held in April initially organized by, among others, Dennis Frick.

GCC would host an Open House the night before and I first saw 123631 around 1993.  Intrigued, but already involved in a Speedster project, I would inquire about the Carrera every now and then…”Not for Sale” was always the response from Dennis.  I finished the Speedster in 1997 and won the PCA Parade that year in San Antonio.  By 2003, Dennis had formed a new, larger shop, Europa Macchina (EM) and 123631 was quietly for sale IF the restoration was done “in house”.  My good friend and Porsche 356er Matt Peckham and I pooled our pennies and with some creative trading with Dennis, began the project.

Carrera 123631 was totally disassembled, every nut, bolt and part was inspected and a plan for replacement was made if not serviceable. The rather long “wish” list of needed and “wanted” parts was updated frequently. Reproduction parts were kept at an absolute minimum. As anyone who has done a restoration knows, it’s a tedious and time consuming job, especially when it’s a Carrera.   The EM shop is about 150 miles from my NJ summer home so I couldn’t be there every day to check up on the progress, but I could still be involved in the research and parts search. I sometimes even took home little projects to stay “involved”.  One such project was the original wiring harness, which took me 3 months to clean. NOS decos and badges were located as well as someone who could actually rebuild the Eberspacher Gas heater. NOS oil coolers were found….thanks Ray!  The annular disc brakes, unique to early Carrera 2s, proved to be a challenge in rebuilding.  New discs were forged in California.  Caliper pistons were manufactured in a machine shop in NJ.  NOS glass was located…thank you Stuart and Gary.  It took me 3 years to acquire all the right toolkit items.  There still remains some confusion as to what is actually IN a ’63 Carrera toolkit! 

EM was terrific in sending pictures and progress reports every month (along with a detailed bill!). The body required some metal work, mainly both rockers and one longitudinal had to be replaced.  A few small rust holes were patched. The original floors were fine as was the battery floor and doors.  All those years on the West Coast and Las Vegas paid off.  Bill Doyle in Jackson, WY was sent the engine for rebuild.  It returned about 12 months later. What a work of art…thanks Bill!! The interior was fabricated by Autos International in green leather.  The goal here was to return the car to its original German specification (trim, options and color). The original color, 6205 Champagne Yellow was applied in 2006 and marked a milestone in the restoration. Reassembly began in April 2007.

Unfortunately, Matt Peckham went through a “life style change” in 2005 and soon I became the sole owner of 123631.  Progress was halted a few times due to cash flow and the search for necessary parts, however, in February 2009, Carrera 123631 was driven on the street for the first time in over 25 years.  The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in March was its first outing and showed very well. My Carrera remains a “work in progress” as I refine its presentation.  I love spending Saturdays in the garage tinkering with the ultimate 356.

 Many individuals helped in this project and provided much needed advice and services.  All are Porsche enthusiasts whom I’ve known for years. My thanks to:

The crew at Europa Macchina, Dennis, Lori, Ron and John

Bill Doyle

Tony Euganeo

Gary Kempton  (Passed away June 6th, 2009)

Victor Miles

John and Ray Paterek

Matt Peckham

Jim Perrin

Brad Ripley

Weldon Scrogham

Captain Joe Stonskas

Stuart Zeh

Written By:

Peter F. Bartelli

Continental Airlines

I want to thank Captain Bartelli for taking the time to share the story of his Carrera 2 GS Coupe with us. He displayed the car at this years Amelia Island Concours where he was showing it in the 4 Cam Porsche class. It has received the most hits of the thirteen cars I posted from that show. Magnificent car and story, Thank You Peter.

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Responses

  1. Would you sell this car? and if so, for what price?

    you can contact me by email: fupu286@gmx.de

    thank you!

  2. I had the pleasure of knowing Joe Stonks for some 30 + years. And while I was aware that he had owned a 4 cam 356 at some point, he had a tendency to not brag about it, or much of anything for that matter. I’m glad that I finally am able to see photos of the car. The photographs are wonderful, and I would expect the actual car is even better. Thank you for sharing. Mike Kogler


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