The man has been a Porsche fanatic since he was 23, and has forgotten more about building fun to drive air-cooled back road burners than most of us will ever learn. He is an indelibe piece of the Southern California Porsche scene, and has had his hands in the engine compartments of many of the Porsches that live there (and all over the world) through his shop Benton Performance. Donut Media sat him down to talk during a few minutes of John’s rare down time to ask him a few questions about the ai-rcooled Porsche scene, and what’s driving their continued popularity.
Analog, Visceral, Tactile, Audible
Vintage Porsches are described by Benton as analog, visceral, tactile, and audible. In a world of ho-hum daily drivers that are a little too good at being cars and not all that good at providing diving excitement, these are all characteristics that help to explain why ai-cooled Porsches are so popular right now. Car enthusiasts are the real deal when it comes to their preferred driving experience, seeking out an opportunity to struggle and overcome. Anyone can drive the 405 freeway during rush hour. It takes a certain kind of driver to extract the most from the Angeles Crest Highway at dawn on a Sunday when the rest of the world remains asleep.
Just like the driving experience, owning an air-cooled Porsche is a bit of a struggle as well. Do you know how to properly warm up an early carbureted car? Do you know how to keep the fan spinning fast enough to cool the motor in bumper-to-bumper traffic? Do you know how to care for and maintain a vintage Porsche? Have you ever had to change ignition points on the side of the road? There is an exciting challenge to keeping one of these weird old Porsches alive.
There’s a little more to it than that, or even what John provides in this video, but if you’ve got the time, go ahead and click play. You won’t regret it.