Saturday, September 13, 2008
Otto's. One Überwältigend Porsche Shop
I was in LA this week recording some radio spots for one of my advertising clients, and what a shock to learn that Otto's was literally across the street from the recording studio. So, one day at lunch I walked over to say hey, and ask for a look around.
Let me start by saying I love shops that are a bit disorganized, a bit oily. They feel real. Some may go in for the sterile Formula 1 pit look that a dealer offers but you just get the feeling you are paying too much for the look, not the service. One of the many reasons I love my garage in Denver, Storz, is the ramshackle feeling of the place. Well, that and the excellent and honest service.
Rule, any garage that offers you a latte while you wait is overpriced.
The garage was filled with every flat-six powered car around, from a 1965 911 to a 996 Turbo. And the awards, some from as early as 1965, show Otto is no newbie when it comes to racing Porsches.
Otto was on the phone most of the time but let me walk around. But just as I was leaving he said, "you want to see something interesting?" Uh, sure.
We walk over to the body shop portion of his shop and he uncovers an all original 1970 914-6. Not one speck of rust. Totally A-1 original. The best part is the story that he tells of driving past the 914 for 20 years and the guy not selling it or driving it because of a 'bad back'. Well, Otto finally gets to buy it. Cleans out the fueling system, drains and fills the oil. Fires it up. Drives it about 100 feet and realizes it has a rod-knock. Ouch. Even the best of the best get sold a fib sometimes. But, I guess having to rebuild an engine is no big deal when you are one of the most respected engine builders around.
And, though I am usually not a fan of vanity plates, I did think the one on Otto's personal 993 was pretty cool.