When opportunity comes a’knocking…
Its no secret that I love taking pictures. And as a car guy, it makes sense that I like to take pictures of anything cool with four wheels. En route back to Columbia from a service visit in Kansas City to do Joseph’s 135i, I spotted a pair of classic 911s and jumped at the opportunity to snap a photo. I posted this photo on Instagram and a few days later received a phone call requesting that I come up to Indianapolis and prepare this very 911 for the upcoming Mecum Auction. The story was that the owner, Mike, had just purchased the pair from the west coast and was driving them back to Indianapolis, one to sell and the other to rebuild. I had never been to Indiana at all and adore working on Porsches, so I enthusiastically accepted the offer.
Success loves speed
The auction was but 10 days or so away from our initial phone call, so we wasted no time getting the flight booked and the show on the road. The following Monday, I was at Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta, bright and early.
Its certainly a city obsessed with speed and motorsport culture. I had hardly just collected my bags and was bombarded with racing themes throughout the airport, including famous race cars and a few cars to be entered into the Mecum auction.
I then called a ride and headed north to rendezvous with Mike at a Redstone Engineering. Stunning is not even the word for what I set foot into — these guys are among the most talented group of people I’ve ever encountered. I’ve been to car shows and seen garage restorations, but this was an entirely different level of obsession and dedicated craftsmanship. We’re talking scratchbuilding bodies and frames, suspension components, engines and performance gear to the strictest of tolerances and utmost quality. They can build one-off cars from scratch, or use original blueprints as they did with the Porsche 935 shown below for a client in Germany. They also housed the only Porsche F1 car left in existence, boasting the only Porsche v12 left (they only made them for their F1 cars, but come on, its a Porsche V12). A few other gems rested in the back, such as a BMW E9 3.0CS, a Porsche 356, and a race-spec Ferrari 458.
From there, I rode with Mike back to his place to begin working on the ‘79. I got most of the work done there: beginning the paint correction, engine bay cleaning, and leather recon.
I knew that I couldn’t spend all of my time working; I had to get out and see the city as well. So between sessions, I hit the city to explore the sights and people. On this particular morning, I rode an electric scooter around town in weather that was simply sublime. One thing I absolutely had to try, as a coffee connoisseur, was some local coffee. Indy’s City Market did not disappoint.
I was back over at Mike’s later that afternoon. The next day, mostly completed, we had to move it to the auction site where I would finish it on the show floor. Of course, I had to get another photo as this was the first time seeing the car out on the road with its new look. The shine was incredible.
I had never been to a Mecum auction, either. Upon entry, it really struck how vast of an event it was — they took up the entire fairgrounds with thousands of cars. This place was heaven for anyone even remotely interested in cars, especially American made. There was one of everything. Every year of the Impala, Bel-Air, Mustang, Charger, GTO… You name it, and it was there, probably twice. Of course, there were a few high-dollar Europeans as well, including a Daytona Spyder and a hybrid Porsche 918.
But of course, I had to finish up the car as well - the correction and coating were both finished on the show floor of Mecum.
This car and trip made for a phenomenal experience for both myself and the company. A huge thanks to Mike Phillips at MCPI and Garnett at Redstone Engineering for the hospitality and the opportunity. If you’re ever in the area of Indy, I strongly encourage that you stop by their facilities and be blown away.
Until next time,
Derrick D. Bundy