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.
“There was a guy who lived up the street from me who had one,” Geoff Ombao remembers of his boyhood. “And every time he drove by, it was like watching Santa Claus driving the ice cream truck.” Santa’s ice cream truck, in this instance, was a DeLorean DMC-12, a stainless steel, gullwinged car that–thanks to the Back to the Future film franchise–would be forever associated with time travel in the popular imagination. For Ombao, however, the car’s appeal lies in the marque’s short-lived, tumultuous history.