May '19

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58 THE SHOP MAY 2019 mance in Anaheim, California. The com- pany is headed by John Benton, who has been working on Porsches for more than 34 years, according to a clock on the com- pany website (www.bentonperformance. com/legacy). While Benton obviously caters to all air- cooled models, he specializes in the four- cylinder 912 made from 1965-'69. Besides service and restoration, Benton also enjoys a growing and enviable reputation as a win- ning rally car builder. During the 2017 La Carrera Panameri- cana, also known as the Mexican road race, Benton was preparing for the start in a livestock arena in Querétaro, Mexico, when two guys approached. "Day zero was the next day," says Benton. "We're doing our qualifying prep, and they walk up and I'm in the zone—don't bother me—when Javier, this big, robust man, says 'John, John Benton. We have come to talk to you. We want to do the race next year.' His business partner, Juan says, 'We want you to build a car.'" "I don't know if that's possible," John replies. "You don't just build a winning race car. You build it and then you play with it. It's hard to go out the first time and win. It's not that easy." Still, Benton told the pair to visit him after the race if they were serious. Benton Performance's Mexican road rally adventure. By Tony Thacker 58 THE SHOP MAY 2019 Outlaw few years ago, hot-rodding a Porsche would have been seen as sacrilege—it ruined the car and detracted from the value. Only the craziest would customize a Porsche. Suddenly, however, the term Outlaw Porsche entered our vocabulary as compa- nies such as Emory Motorsports in North Hollywood, California, and Singer Vehicle Design in Sun Valley, California, made it cool to customize Porsches. Now, they seem to command more money than ever. Indeed, Singer just partnered with F1's Williams Advanced Engineering to offer a custom 911 for a cool $1.8 million. A PORSCHE PROJECT Another company making a name for itself in the Porsche market is Benton Perfor- The story of a race car built in a year for the 2018 La Carrera Panamericana, also known as the Mexican road race, had a happy ending following a rough start.

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