This week, we had the honor of visiting a Porsche enthusiast’s dream: Espo Porsche. Espo Porsche is basically your one stop shop for Porsches, they will literally work on anything from a 356 to a Cayenne. The shop was started by John Esposito in 2010, with the aim of combining proper craftsmanship with Porsche’s loyal fanbase.
John is a true artist, when it comes to cars. Since junior high, John had taken his schools’ autoshop classes, developing his hands on skills along with his passion for cars. It’s no surprise that right after high school, he went to work at a body shop. It was these body shops that inspired John’s love for Porsches, he was always surrounded by them. Although HE loved the cars, it didn’t seem that the places he worked for shared his passion and attention to detail. “They hacked the Porsches there, hacked them terribly. Uneven panel gaps all around,” he said. It was this poor quality work that motivated him to open up his own shop, to do things the right way. John ended up building is his first 911 in 2014 (a 911SCRS recreation) and opened Espo Porsche‘s current shop in 2010. He has been working on Porsches for over 47 years.
If there was one thing we took away from our interview, it was that there’s nothing like an old 911, nothing at all. He went on and on about how new Porsches are too “sterile” (aka luxurious) and not focused solely on driving pleasure. I could imagine the scene right then and there. Imagine carving up the canyons in a 1973 (he said 1969-1973 911s are the best) 911S. You didn’t have many features, but you also didn’t have any distractions. Just you and the open road with nothing but time, this was what we as the car community had been looking for with modern cars. I realized that with all this technology, cars aren’t as fun to drive anymore. We don’t hear the true engine, rather an exhaust muffled by turbos. We don’t feel the roads with the steering, we can’t even shift our own gears for God’s sake. I now understood why air cooled Porsches have shot up so high in value, people miss this feeling.
This was emphasized even more when we were shown how easy it was to work on these old cars. With 4 bolts, you could drop the engine and fix whatever you wanted, the steel chassis were easy to reinforce and repair if needed be. Porsche knew people would be driving their 911s, and they built them like so. The engines were made of steel rather than plastic, there were no complicated electronics that would break. Everything was mechanical, everything was simpler. Today’s aluminum 911 bodies are lighter, that’s a fact, but they’re not as easy to repair, the same goes for the plastic engine components.
Today’s cars are truly excellent, and mind mindbogglingly fast, but they’re missing something, something that the charts can say. They’re missing that special aura about them, “No one’s gonna restore a 996.” Thanks to Espo Porsche, I learned that in order to save the sports car, we need not to look towards the future (electric motors and more tech) but to the past; that’s when sports cars were truly about the art of driving.
Before I end this article, I would like to thank everyone at Espo Porsche for inviting us over and truly reviving our passion for air cooled 911s. A special thanks to John for the interview and to @womeninporsche for giving us a tour of the amazing facility!
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