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58Bonne's 1958 Bonneville

2019 June
of the Month

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Car and Driver: 100 Porsche Dealers to Become “Classic” Repair Shops, and America’s Getting Two

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Air-cooled 911s and 356s stopped being cheap about a decade ago, the 2.7 RS and any winning Porsche race car with the number nine at the beginning of its model designation are pure unobtainium, and yet we’re hopeful we’ll ride the next wave, maybe on a 914 or (likelier) a Boxster Spyder. Obvious fact: Most Porsches that aren’t SUVs or hatchback sedans have bright resale values ahead of them, and Stuttgart finally has awakened to the potential of making serious money on these classic rides. Witness the first Porsche Classic Center, which opened in the Netherlands.


Like Mercedes-Benz has done with its Classic Center in Irvine, California, Porsche wants to make the sort of lucre pulled in by the most esteemed independent Euro shops, and cash in on the servicing, parts, and repairs purchased by its most fervid owners. Porsche wants to transform 100 dealerships into “Classic Partners,” which will serve the full catalog of 52,000 original parts and take loving care of its air-cooled beauties, such as with specially formulated oil in Porsche-branded tins. These dealers will employ separate Classic floorspace with trained staff, paint bays, unique repair tools, and routine maintenance—all of which, Porsche promises, will go beyond what an ordinary dealer can do with these cars. More than 70 percent of all Porsche models ever built are still on the road, and beyond the profit potential, Stuttgart wants to take a more direct role in keeping them running.




Currently, there’s one such dealer in Holland’s Gelderland province; we’ll see two Classic-certified dealers in the U.S. One will be at Porsche’s Atlanta headquarters, as yet another attraction at the Porsche Experience Center (where you also can test drive nearly every model variant on a 1.6-mile track). The other will be at a second Porsche Experience Center scheduled to open in Carson, California, during the third quarter of 2016. That center also will headquarter the company’s factory-run North American motorsports division when it moves from Santa Ana. (Need a new GT4 Clubsport while your 917 is in the shop? ‘Tis the place.) Additional Classic Centers will be scattered across Europe, Japan, Australia, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates.


At the moment, Porsche isn’t quite ready to refurbish and then resell its own vintage machines. (Mercedes has just begun that very process in Germany). Right now, the best way of landing a pristine 911 C4S or a slantnose 930 is to attend a cars and coffee and leave a Post-It note on the owner’s windshield. We hope, anyway. If the owner got our note and is reading this, just let us down easy, okay?


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