Thursday, March 16, 2017

44 years of repairing Porsches in San Clemente in the same shop. Wow.

As a teenager in the late 1960s, Staggs belonged to the era when hundreds of thousands of VW Beetles were sold in the U.S. each year, and every kid learned to work on these air- cooled runabouts.
 Staggs worked on Beetles in the parking lot of his high school in San Clemente, then moved on to Porsches by visiting the shops of the best Porsche mechanics and asking questions for hours.

Staggs sits at his wooden workbench in a primitive two-bay shop not far from PCH in San Clemente, California. It's the same shop where he has done business since 1973. He specializes in the 356, and he does car repair in the classic way: one man, one toolbox, one car. He can, in that manner, do just about anything. "Depending on what you want, I can repair your car, or I can really fix your car, or I can make your car like it was when it was new," Staggs says.

One service Staggs doesn't perform is concours-level restoration. "We're more interested in people driving their cars," he says. Neither does he want much to do with newer Porsches. "Fancy 911 Turbos or whatever—I have actually no interest in those things. Can you even get it out to nine-tenths of its ability, ever? With a 356, there's no power steering, no power brakes. And you can hear the engine and you're working the clutch, heel-and-toeing. It doesn't get any better than that." dec 2017 update

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