Everybody has their “thing.” For John Willhoit, it’s certainly a German thing. For the past 37 years, he and his custom 1971 Porsche 911T have been Stuttgart’s outpost in Los Angeles County. Whether in his shop restoring classic 356s and 911s or on the road thrashing his own rear-engined machine, Willhoit’s German thing is a good thing indeed.
Revived in 1988, today’s Carrera Panamericana is still dangerous, fast, grueling, and addictive, as driver Conrad Stevenson can attest. Stevenson got his first taste of the race in a friend’s Studebaker in 2001. After a couple more years of participating in friends’ cars, Stevenson decided it was time to build a car of his own, in this case a 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale.
When new, this was the least expensive Porsche available and had a ‘less is more’ philosophy behind it. Indeed, the car was intended to be taken to the track and be a legitimate club-racing contender. It seems that that’s precisely how this 356 spent a large portion of its early life. Raced around Connecticut, the car racked up trophies and actually won the E-Production Championship in 1963.