Monterey, California. Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) has announced the 2023 Porsche Classic Restoration Challenge winners. Judging occurred during Rennsport Reunion 7 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, September 28 – October 1.
Now in its third year, Porsche Centers across the United States were invited this year for the first time to compete in one of three categories: Preservation, Restoration, and Individualization.
Entries from three sales areas – East, South-Central, and West – were judged at one of three central events. Area winners were on display during Rennsport Reunion 7, where the champions were crowned. The crowd also voted on an overall "People's Choice" award. The winners were crowned during the event.
"Sharing this year's Restoration Challenge finalists at Rennsport Reunion 7 has provided an exhilarating platform, not only for Porsche Classic but for our Porsche Center finalists to share their cars and passion," said Jonathan Sieber, Senior Manager of Porsche Classic. "Seeing the crowd's reaction to the amazing craftsmanship is a joy."
A panel of experts from Porsche Club of America and PCNA judged the finals. Here are the winners:
Individualization winner: Beverly Hills Porsche, 1991 911 Carrera 4 Coupe
Beverly Hills Porsche set a goal to reimagine their 1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 for a driving enthusiast to enjoy daily in Southern California, in the way the Porsche Sonderwunsch (special wishes) program would. The engine was disassembled, degreased, dry ice blasted, vapor blasted, and put through a tumbling machine to bring the finish back to new. The cylinders were bored out from 3.6 to 3.8 liters, and new pistons and cylinder barrels were fitted. Racing springs and upgraded valves were installed, ahead of modifying the cylinder heads to receive new gaskets. A single mass flywheel replaced the dual mass flywheel, and the crank case was modified to fit a GT3 high performance oil pump. The hardware and brackets were all coated with cadmium for superior corrosion resistance, ensuring longevity of the vehicle. The cooling fan was painted Speed Yellow, to match the reimagined leather interior accented with Speed Yellow French stitching. The headliner was then replaced with Alcantara, and the gauge cluster customized with a Speed Yellow tachometer featuring the Porsche 75th Anniversary logo. This Carrera 4 has been upgraded with the best Porsche Genuine Parts of the ‘90s. Providing modern day performance, comfort, and safety, while retaining that classic Porsche character.
Restoration winner: Napleton Westmont Porsche, 1994 911 Turbo 3.6 Type 964
Porsche Classic Partner, Napleton Westmont Porsche, selected this 1994 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.6 for their challenge entry. To the naked eye the paint looked good, though the interior needed some work. They knew it would need new upholstery and carpet, but nothing major. But like every 30-year-old car, it was hiding more than expected at first sight. After the initial tear down, it was sent for some much-needed dry ice blasting. The car had been painted at least once before, and most of the bodywork that was done had not been done well. Based on those findings, they decided to strip the whole car down to bare metal. Every inch of the car was re-worked, body lines properly gapped, epoxy primer applied, sanded, and repainted in 3 coats of Porsche black, all finished in 3 coats of clear. After weeks of wet sanding and polishing, the car was ready to come back for final assembly. The exterior went through one last polish before the headlights, taillights, corner markers, and bumpers were re-installed. Once the interior was finished with new carpeting and reupholstered seats, the car was ready for its national debut at Rennsport.
Preservation winner and People’s Choice Award: Gaudin Porsche of Las Vegas, 1996 911 Turbo Type 993
This vehicle had not run in 8 years, allowing the oil system to equalize, so the exhaust system was removed, and the engine turned over by hand to drain the cylinders of oil. The brake calipers were then stripped of the modified orange paint, refinished in factory Brembo red, and rebuilt with new pistons and seals. Next, the fuel system was cleaned of old fuel, the fuel pump replaced, and the injectors bench tested. The top end was resealed, the piston rings replaced, and the cylinder heads rebuilt with new valves and guides. The intercooler had also been painted orange, so it was refinished in factory satin black with the correct engine decals. The old M030 shocks were updated to Porsche's newly engineered, and Nurburgring tested, Bilstein M030 setup. The aftermarket stereo equipment and amps were removed, returned to factory spec, and a Porsche Classic Radio was installed. With unique, specially optioned rootwood components, the team fully revitalized the cracked steering wheel, shifter, and brake handle, along with the original carpet and leather upholstery. After years of sitting outside, the Speed Yellow paint had turned foggy and white, but was restored with a wet sand and polish to a brilliant mirror finish.
The Restoration Challenge is aimed at cars built in the 1950’s through the 2000’s that are due for expert attention from the best possible hands: Porsche-trained technicians who are, like many owners, passionate enthusiasts, and have a portfolio of more than 80,000 Porsche Classic Genuine Parts at their disposal. Roughly 70 vehicles were entered in the contest. America is home to more classic Porsche vehicles than any other market in the world. A new stand-alone Porsche Classic facility featuring Factory Restoration opened earlier this year after as part of a $50 million investment in expanding PCNA’s Atlanta headquarters campus.