The Classic community is growing and thriving in Porsche’s 75th year and as part of the festivities, the Porsche Classic Restoration Challenge is inviting U.S. Porsche dealerships to prove their classic chops by returning a favorite model from the 1950s to the 2000s to its former glory.
Now in its third year, the Restoration Challenge is aimed at cars 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. America is home to more classic Porsche vehicles than any other market in the world, and more than 60 dealers are expected to participate.
“The response from the Porsche community and our participating dealerships for the past two years has been tremendous. It’s incredibly rewarding to watch a classic Porsche vehicle go through a well-documented, step-by-step restoration that the challenge expects, and the results certainly show,” said Jonathan Sieber, Senior Manager, Porsche Classic at Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA). “We’ve added new elements to the competition this year, which we believe will really resonate and capture the full range of capabilities and creativity from our dealers.”
Changes to the challenge for 2023 include the introduction of three different categories for dealers to compete in. The Preservation category is intended to keep original components of the vehicle present, enhancing the vehicle to improve its overall function while not restoring it to like-new condition. For instance, this could mean making minor paint corrections versus a full vehicle repaint. The Restoration category is for those projects going through a true restoration process, returning it to like-new condition. Vehicles in the Restoration category will be most closely aligned with original production specifications. Based on the Porsche Sonderwunsch program, the Individualization category is for those entries that fulfill a special wish. This is the category for the creative use of Genuine Parts.
The change to three categories in the competition means there will also be three overall champions crowned this year, one for each category. Adding to the excitement, this year’s national finals will be held at, and awarded, during Rennsport Reunion 7, the world’s largest Porsche fan gathering, September 28 to October 1 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Scoring for the competition began this month and runs through mid-August, when entries from three sales areas – East, South-Central and West – will be judged at one of three central events. One area winner for each category will be decided at the central events and all nine cars will be on display during Rennsport Reunion 7.
Joining the Classic roster for the first time are the Type 987 Boxster and Cayman and 911 Type 997 models, making them eligible for the challenge. In total, entries can now include Porsche 356 and 914 models, six generations of the 911, transaxle models like the 944 and 928, as well as modern classics such as the Boxster, Cayman and first-generation Cayenne. The competition is limited to production street vehicles only.
Judging panels throughout the competition have included Porsche Classic and PCNA area managers and experts. Scoring was based on criteria that include not only restoration – such as engine, suspension and interior – but also creativity, authenticity and craftsmanship are all taken into account. In the end, the Dark Blue Turbo from Champion marked every box and impressed the PCNA reps and fans.
“Taking a vehicle missing parts when the project began, Champion Porsche’s efforts to restore a well-appreciated and worn 930 Turbo exemplify our goal at Porsche Classic - keeping all classic Porsche models on the road,” said Jonathan Sieber, Manager Porsche Classic with PCNA. “The margins were incredibly thin. Our biggest takeaway from all three finalists, and every entry in the competition, was how the Restoration Challenge brought people together. Teams bonded over these vehicles while working on them and the dealerships were able to share their passion for classic sports cars with enthusiastic customers.”
A panel of experts from PCNA will be judging the progress all along based on criteria that include quality of the finished vehicle - such as engine, suspension and interior – but also marketing and documentation, like the Classic Technical Certificate, which includes original vehicle production information. The criteria also encourage marketing activities by dealers to generate excitement for customers, fans and employees in their communities.
Porsche Classic in North America is poised for its own exciting year, on top of the marque’s 75th celebration and the 60th anniversary of the 911 model line. A new stand-alone Porsche Classic facility featuring Factory Restoration began accepting customer vehicles in January after breaking ground in late 2021 as part of a $50 million investment in expanding PCNA’s Atlanta headquarters campus.
Factory restoration in the U.S. previously operated out of the One Porsche Drive building. The new factory restoration facilities increases the number of service bays from three to 14, and will add a paint booth, upholstery shop and body shop not available on-site before. Factory restoration is only one element of the new 30,000-sq-ft Classic headquarters. The first Classic fitting lounge in the world, climate-controlled storage for up to 36 projects, a multi-purpose event space and offices round out the Classic HQ grounds, which overlook the extended driver development track at the Porsche Experience Center Atlanta.
To see the transformation of these amazing Challenge cars, enthusiasts can watch this space on Porsche Newsroom and follow #porscherestorationchallenge23 on social media.
2022 Porsche Classic Restoration Challenge
After months of diligent work, documentation and check-ins, the 1989 911 Turbo Type 930 restored by Champion Porsche won top honors over the 1996 911 Carrera 4S Type 993 from Porsche Exchange and 1982 911 SC G-Model from Porsche Palm Springs. The three regional finalists in the 2022 Porsche Classic Restoration Challenge went through an ultimate evaluation during the three-day Sports Car Together Fest hosted by PCNA.