I purchased my last Porsche from Michael Willhoit a little over two years ago (that's a picture of it below). Since that time Michael and I have become friendly and he even agreed to sponsor my site (hence his advertisement to the right over there). The other night we got to talking shop and I asked him about all the Porsche 928s he has listed for sale and the story behind it (as I always thought Michael was just an air-cooled guy). Boy was I wrong.
Michael started Willhoit Enterprises in 1974 and, as he likes to say, only recently became an "overnight success" For the past 34 years Michael has sold quality Porsches and is known as one of the premier dealers for 993s and other low-mileage air-cooled cars. It turns out, he should be known for much more than that!
As most of you know, production of the Porsche 928 started back in 1977 (for model year 1978) and rolled forward for the next 18 years (the longest production of any other Porsche model besides the 911). Willhoit purchased his first 928 immediately upon their release to the public. According to Michael, "When the 928 came out in 1978 I couldn't find one around home so I had to fly to Dothan, Alabama to buy a brand new one in Tobacco Brown Metallic paint with Cork leather interior. Let's just say, I got a lot of looks on the way home. No one knew what they were. The design was so new it looked like a space ship." The new futuristic design didn't stop Michael from selling the 928 and going on to buy and sell many more.
A life changing event
Fast forward three years to the night of June, 5th 1981. At exactly 10:01 in the evening, driving home from a Porsche auction, Michael had just glanced down at his speedometer (71 mph) while driving east on Interstate 44. What he saw when he looked up changed his life and set him on the path he still follows today. Coming straight at his 928, in the wrong lane and with no lights was a drunk driver. The drunk driver hit Willhoit's Porsche head-on. The impact killed the drunk driver instantly and broke the back of Michael's wife (in the passenger seat) paralyzing her from the waist down. As tragic as the accident was, Willhoit is convinced that the 928 saved the life of both he and his wife. "If we had been driving a 911 of that period we would have been dead." As a result of that accident Michael says, "I believe in the 928 and have done everything in my power to keep the car in the public eye and help people to appreciate their true value."
Now, almost 30 years later Michael continues to locate and sell low mileage 993s and Porsche 928s. In fact, while it's tough to qualify, as the result of a freak accident Michael probably sells more 928s (of the GT and GTS variety) than any other independent dealer in the country.