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Porsche Classic Restoration … with a twist

Porsche dealers can now compete in one of three categories: Preservation, Restoration, or Individualization, putting the emphasis on creativity, 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 the 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, from 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 the production of street vehicles only.

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 increase 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.