Porsche Classic Restoration Challenge awards top honors to Porsche Ontario
Atlanta, Georgia. As the high-revving 911 GT3 Cup cars making up the Porsche Carrera Cup North America field concluded its race weekend on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) track Sunday, a champion of the Classic variety was being crowned in Victory Circle.
Three regional finalists in the 2021 Porsche Classic Restoration Challenge went through multiple rounds of evaluation during the three-day Sportscar Together Fest hosted by Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), September 10-12, to determine an overall winner of the inaugural competition. Fans were able to vote for their favorite restoration on Friday and Saturday, and final judging was conducted by PCNA’s Joe Lawrence, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Glenn Garde, Vice President After Sales, and Doug House, Manager Technical Support, with the winner announced Sunday afternoon.
After months of diligent work, documentation and check-ins, the 1989 Porsche 911 Targa G-Model restored by Porsche Ontario won top honors over the 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Targa Type 964 from Porsche Dallas and 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Type 964 from Porsche Warrington.
“What a trio! We are proud to have competed against Porsche Dallas and Porsche Warrington this weekend at Sportscar Together Fest. Both of their teams did an incredible job on these 964 Carrera vehicles,” said Manni Viana, Porsche Ontario Service Manager, after lifting the winner’s trophy on the famed IMS podium. “What started out nearly a year ago has now resulted in a Restoration Challenge national championship. We couldn’t have done this without the hard work from our Tech Foreman, Matthew Esber, and the rest of our team. We’d like to thank everybody that voted for us and supported us along the way. We’re proud to bring the trophy home.”
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 important, a smooth-running engine. In the end, the RS-inspired build from Porsche Ontario marked every box and impressed the PCNA reps and fans.
“Everything from the 3.2 Carrera engine and two-tone interior, down to the documentation, was immaculately done by Porsche Ontario,” said Jonathan Sieber, Manager Porsche Classic with PCNA. “Your eye is drawn to the Targa by the red lettering and Fuchs wheels, but it’s the amount of detail and attention the team put into every step of the process that gave it an extra edge in the competition. Porsche Ontario produced a restoration that captures Porsche passion.”
The U.S. is home to more classic Porsche sports cars than any other market in the world. After decades on the road, some will inevitably be in need of a little extra care. Enter the Restoration Challenge, where Porsche Classic encouraged U.S. dealerships to acquire a car that was due for some expert technical attention to ensure many more years of driving pleasure. The 2021 Porsche Classic Restoration Challenge saw close to 40 dealerships from around the country take part. 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.
In addition to three finalists, other Porsche Classic Restoration Challenge vehicles on display at Sportscar Together Fest included projects from Porsche Bend (1966 Porsche 912), Porsche Tucson (1966 Porsche 911), Porsche Monterey (1997 Porsche 911 Type 993), Porsche Santa Clarita (1955 Porsche 356 Speedster), Porsche Fort Myers (1983 Porsche 911 Type 930), Porsche Barrington (1968 Porsche 912), and Harper Porsche (1971 Porsche 911 T).
Background information on each of the finalists:
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.”
It was another Type 964 Porsche 911, 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.”
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 rebuilding 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.”
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