Monterey, California – Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) has unveiled the triumphant champions of the 2023 Porsche Classic Restoration Challenge. The highly anticipated judging took place during Rennsport Reunion 7 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, spanning from September 28 to October 1.
In its third year, this prestigious event extended its reach to Porsche Centers across the United States, marking a significant milestone. These centers vied for glory in three distinct categories: Preservation, Restoration, and Individualization.
Entries from three distinct sales areas – East, South-Central, and West – underwent rigorous evaluation at three centralized events. These regional victors earned their spot at Rennsport Reunion 7, where the ultimate champions were unveiled. In an exciting twist, attendees also had the opportunity to cast their votes for the coveted “People’s Choice” award, adding an extra layer of excitement to the proceedings.
Jonathan Sieber, Senior Manager of Porsche Classic, expressed his enthusiasm for this year’s Restoration Challenge, saying, “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. Seeing the crowd’s reaction to the amazing craftsmanship is a joy.”
The judging panel, comprised of experts from the Porsche Club of America and PCNA, meticulously evaluated each entry, ultimately awarding the following titles:
Individualization Winner: Beverly Hills Porsche, 1991 911 Carrera 4 Coupe
Beverly Hills Porsche embarked on a mission to reimagine their 1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 4, aiming to deliver an exhilarating driving experience in sunny Southern California, akin to Porsche’s Sonderwunsch (special wishes) program. Their meticulous approach included disassembling the engine, extensive cleaning, dry ice blasting, vapor blasting, and a tumbling process to restore the finish to its original splendor. The engine was upgraded from 3.6 to 3.8 liters, fitted with new pistons and cylinder barrels, enhanced with racing springs and upgraded valves. Modifications to the cylinder heads enabled the integration of new gaskets. A single mass flywheel replaced the dual mass variant, and the crankcase was adapted to accommodate a GT3 high-performance oil pump. To ensure longevity, all hardware and brackets were coated with cadmium for superior corrosion resistance. The cooling fan received a Speed Yellow finish to match the revamped leather interior adorned with Speed Yellow French stitching. The headliner transitioned to Alcantara, and the gauge cluster featured a customized Speed Yellow tachometer bearing the Porsche 75th Anniversary logo. This Carrera 4 now boasts the finest Porsche Genuine Parts from the ’90s, delivering modern performance, comfort, and safety while preserving the classic Porsche essence.
Restoration Winner: Napleton Westmont Porsche, 1994 911 Turbo 3.6 Type 964
Napleton Westmont Porsche, a Porsche Classic Partner, selected a 1994 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.6 as their entry for the challenge. Although the paint appeared decent at first glance, a closer examination revealed significant interior work was needed. Upon dismantling the vehicle, it underwent essential dry ice blasting, exposing the inadequacies of previous paintwork. In light of these findings, the decision was made to strip the entire vehicle down to bare metal. Every inch of the car received meticulous attention, ensuring proper body lines, applying epoxy primer, sanding, and ultimately receiving three coats of Porsche black paint, finished with three coats of clear. After weeks of painstaking wet sanding and polishing, the car was ready for final assembly. The exterior was polished once more before reinstallation of the headlights, taillights, corner markers, and bumpers. With a revamped interior featuring new carpeting and reupholstered seats, the car was primed for its national debut at Rennsport.
Preservation Winner and People’s Choice Award: Gaudin Porsche of Las Vegas, 1996 911 Turbo Type 993
This remarkable vehicle had sat dormant for eight years, allowing the oil system to equalize. A meticulous restoration process ensued, commencing with the removal of the exhaust system and manually turning the engine over to drain the cylinders of oil. The brake calipers were stripped of their modified orange paint, refinished in factory Brembo red, and meticulously rebuilt with new pistons and seals. The fuel system underwent thorough cleaning, including the replacement of the fuel pump and bench testing of the injectors. The top end received resealing, new piston rings, and a rebuild of the cylinder heads with fresh valves and guides. The intercooler, initially painted orange, was refinished in factory satin black, complete with the correct engine decals. The outdated M030 shocks were upgraded to Porsche’s newly engineered and Nürburgring-tested Bilstein M030 setup. The aftermarket stereo equipment and amplifiers were removed, returned to factory specifications, and replaced with a Porsche Classic Radio. Unique rootwood components were meticulously restored, including the cracked steering wheel, shifter, brake handle, original carpet, and leather upholstery. After years of exposure, the Speed Yellow paint, which had turned foggy and white, was meticulously restored to a brilliant mirror finish through wet sanding and polishing.
The Restoration Challenge was tailored for cars from the 1950s through the 2000s that demanded the expertise of Porsche-trained technicians, who share the same passion as many owners. These technicians have access to over 80,000 Porsche Classic Genuine Parts, ensuring top-notch craftsmanship. Nearly 70 exceptional vehicles entered the contest, underlining America’s status as the world’s largest market for classic Porsche vehicles. The opening of a dedicated Porsche Classic facility, dedicated to Factory Restoration, earlier this year marked a significant milestone in PCNA’s expansion of their Atlanta headquarters campus, with a substantial $50 million investment.