31 August 2008

Finding my M346 (Apr-May 2004)

Discovery & Export to USA: Having been heavily involved in T34s for the past 20+ years I've always had a hard-on for an M346, a right-hand-drive Electric Sunroof model. These were the rarest of the T34 models and there are currently less than 20 survivors worldwide. I'd driven Janet & Clive Richardson's 1964 M346 during a 2000 vacation in Germany and was hooked! In March 2004 I finally found one for sale that met my requirements, but it was in England. It was the second oldest M346 known to exist, was a daily driver, looked mostly complete, and was unmodified. I was extremely fortunate to have the legendary expertise of Andy Holmes to inspect, purchase, & arrange for shipping of it back to California.Andy Holmes inspected, puchased, & arranged for shipping to the USAOffloaded from cargo ship 24 days after leaving EnglandFirst stop: Scott Perry's work to visit his 1965 M343It arrived at Port Hueneume (Oxnard) in late May and my first stop was Scott Perry's work in Thousand Oaks to see his 1965 M343 and welcome my M346 home (above).Roof was painted Pearl White for the proper two-tone lookSeats & carpet were restored by Jose Rodriguez in Vista, CARims were powdercoated semi-gloss blackI spent two intense weeks replacing parts, painting the roof white (thanks Jimmy!), & redoing the seats & carpeting (thanks Jose!). It made its debut at the VW Classic in June 2004, driven by none other than Andy Holmes (below) who was over on vacation with his wife Theresa & daughter Sophie! The M346 was a huge hit with the T34 community and it would be the last time it'd be seen driving for more than 5 years!
Andy Holmes driving an M346 to the VW ClassicMy 1962 Cabrio replica & 1965 M346 ready for the T34 Dinner CruisePosed near the VW Classic hotel