The brief was simple: rejuvenate a classic Porsche sports car.
The 2021 Porsche Classic Restoration Challenge saw close to 40 dealerships from around the U.S. take part by giving in need Porsche sports cars expert attention. Teams of certified Porsche Technicians and the official catalog of 60,000 unique Porsche Classic Genuine Parts were enlisted to return the cars to their former glory. Represented in the competition were Porsche 356 models from as early as 1956, five generations of the 911, transaxle models like the 944 and 928, as well as modern classics such as the first-generation Boxster, which is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary.
After months of diligent work, documentation and check-ins, cars judged to be regional winners moved on to compete in August semifinals in each of the three U.S. Porsche sales areas. Those three finalists are now vying to be the overall national winner during Sportscar Together Fest at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, hosted by Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA). Fans will be able to vote for their favorite restoration September 10 and 11. Final judging will be by PCNA’s Joe Lawrence, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Glenn Garde, Vice President After Sales, and Doug House, Manager Technical Support, and the winner will be announced Sunday, September 12.
Judging panels throughout the competition have included Porsche Classic and Porsche Cars North America area managers and experts, and scoring was based on a rubric which looked for authenticity, craftsmanship and, most importantly, a smooth-running engine. These cars are meant for the road, after all.
The three finalist sports cars, as well as a select group of other Challenge vehicles, will be on display all three days of Sportscar Together Fest prior to announcing the winner on Sunday.
Area East - Porsche Warrington
1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Type 964
When Porsche Warrington acquired its 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Type 964 it was in need of a total makeover down to the carpet. Most pressing, however, was the neglected Marine Blue Metallic paint that had been peppered, burned and scratched after years on the asphalt. The complete respray was one of many details that elevated the era-appropriate restoration to Area East winner.
“The Porsche Classic Restoration Challenge was a great experience for our dealership. It not only encouraged the collaboration between parts, service and sales, but it also brought everyone together around a vision that demonstrated our collective passion and enthusiasm for the Porsche brand,” said Marc Brenner, General Manager of Porsche Warrington. “We look forward to sharing our project and using it as a Porsche Classic show case with not only our customers, but fellow enthusiasts and our entire dealership team.”
Area South-Central - Porsche Dallas
1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Targa Type 964
It was another Porsche 911 Type 964, this example from Porsche Dallas that would capture the eye of judges at the Porsche Experience Center Atlanta, where the regional finalists of South-Central were being inspected. Pebbled leather on the roof and side mirrors looked factory-fresh, and just as clean as the navy leather inside.
“We were given the opportunity to partake in the Classic Challenge with our client’s 1990 911 C4 Targa in Dunkleblau – “Dark Blue.” We really enjoyed getting to know the client and the ownership history of the car. The client’s initial plan was to just get the car drivable again but once we looked the car over, we realized it was going to need a lot of work,” said Patrick Huston, General Manager of Porsche Dallas. “The most rewarding part of the challenge was building the value of restoring the car to the client, which made all the hard work worth it on that first test drive. Being able to feel the performance of the 911 during its first test drive, compared to how the car would barely move when we first received it, was well worth our efforts into making the car new again. Something interesting of note, this 911 is number 90 of the 964 platform.”
Area West - Porsche Ontario
1989 Porsche 911 Targa G-Model
The bold red “Carrera” lettering down the side of the 1989 Porsche 911 Targa G-Model tips a hat to the work the Porsche Ontario team did under the hood of its Area West winner. With an engine-out restoration underway, the team decided to upgrade the performance and aesthetics of its 117,000 mile sports car into an RS-inspired ride. The results are stunning.
“If you told me I would be re-building a 3.2 Carrera engine as part of a Porsche Classic competition I would have told you that you were crazy,” said Manni Viana, Porsche Ontario Service Manager. “This project was a culmination of all the love and passion for the brand that I’ve had since childhood. I have been with Porsche for over 30 years as a Technician in Motorsport while doing retail and now as a Service Manager at the newest Dealership in Los Angeles. It wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my owner Steve Kienle, my GM Mark Marchant, my Foreman Matt Esber and my whole team at Porsche of Ontario. Being able to put my skills to the test and be competing among the best Porsche restorations in the country is one of the best achievements I’ve had in my career and I have never been prouder.
“Metal sharpens metal and to be a finalist in Indiana with the best, is an honor.”
Sportscar Together Fest Info
The Porsche Classic Restoration Challenge winner will be announced Sunday, September 12, at Sportscar Together Fest. Tickets for the three-day event are now on sale here.
To ride along for the transformation of these amazing cars, enthusiasts can watch this space on Porsche Newsroom and follow #porscherestorationchallenge21 on social media.