Caring for a classic Porsche car
Why a Porsche Classic technical trainer is a ‘caretaker of dreams’
Woman standing next to a red classic Porsche 911
Meet Stacey Chandler, a technical trainer teaching the next generation of Porsche Classic technicians, who tells us about ORIGINALE magazine and her tips to keep a Porsche in top condition
Stacey Chandler is a technical trainer who works for Porsche Cars Great Britain, where she trains the next generation of Porsche Classic technicians. Put simply, what Stacey doesn’t know about working on classic Porsche cars isn’t probably worth knowing. She teaches her students about everything from routine classic car maintenance right through to full engine rebuilds. Though the process behind restoring and maintaining a classic Porsche can be intricate, Stacey does her best to make it digestible for all her trainees. “Diagnosing issues with the first generation of Porsche cars isn’t done in the same way that technicians diagnose current cars today – where you plug in a tester,” says Stacey from the middle of her gleaming workshop. “It demands a hands-on approach, tuning into the car’s symptoms and relying on sight and sound to aid diagnosis.”With nearly eight and a half years at Porsche, Stacey is finely attuned to the differing demands of classic models. She started as an apprentice technician and worked her way up, fixing everything from the Porsche 356 to the Taycan. Then, in early 2022, Stacey was encouraged to apply for the job she has now. The training workshop that she now runs was built up from scratch, she tells us.What are Porsche Classic technicians and what do they do?Stacey’s ambition has always been to work with classic cars – one that she is now fulfilling. “Sometimes I have to step back and say ‘This is a dream,’” says Stacey. “I started with a bare workshop and a limited budget. But now you can see how far we’ve come.” Every corner of Stacey’s workshop is thoughtfully designed, ensuring her students – the next generation of Porsche Classic technicians – are equipped and inspired. From the decor to the facilities and the creation of that special Porsche feeling, everything in Stacey’s space is about nurturing dreams big and small. “A lot of what I do is about fulfilling little dreams,” explains Stacey. “It’s not always about the big ambitions – often it’s the little dreams that count.”Another dream of hers has been to create a network in the UK, Europe and the Middle East where technicians from all over the world can talk to each other and solve their problems. This emphasis on the value of community – an important aspect of all corners of Porsche life, whether owner, fan or employee – grew out of the challenges that Stacey faced early on in her role. “I often felt isolated when dealing with complicated issues on my own,” she recalls. “So building this community of technicians became a personal mission, ensuring that no one else felt as lost as I sometimes did in my early days.”
Mechanic inspecting underside of classic Porsche 911 with torch
It took Stacey Chandler years to learn how to repair classic Porsche cars – now she is passing on her knowledge and passion to future Porsche Classic technicians
How a classic air-cooled Porsche sparked a dreamWhat is it about classic cars that makes hearts beat faster? For Stacey, it’s all about the authentic craftsmanship they embody. “I was drawn to classic cars from a very young age,” she explains. “Their distinctive colours and shapes set them apart from modern cars. For me, classic cars are a thing of beauty and a thing of dreams.” Like many, one of Stacey’s first encounters with a classic Porsche came when she was out with her parents. They pointed out a G model 911, a 3.2 Targa. It was sat imperiously in a car park, flourishing its huge whale tail and gleaming in vibrant Guards Red. “It was my mum’s dream car,” says Stacey. “These cars always stand out – even in a mundane setting like a parking lot. And once you’ve spotted that first Porsche, then it seems that the world is suddenly full of them.”From there, her car bug grew. Stacey talks of childhood memories spent at drag racing events and being on the constant lookout to try and spot her favourite classics. This helped feed Stacey’s early fascination with engineering but the big catalyst came when her family bought a split-screen VW classic camper van. “Restoring the camper was an introduction to the world of air-cooled engines,” Stacey recalls. “And that sparked the air-cooled dream for me.” It was a passion that led Stacey to visiting car shows – where, for her, Porsche engineering was always the star of the show. “It was a progression from simply appreciating the classics to truly understanding the wonder of air-cooled technology,” says Stacey.
Woman in a classic Porsche workshop looking at a magazine
“When the new ORIGINALE comes out, we send it to our technicians and encourage them to use it”: Stacey with ORIGINALE magazine in her workshop
Why is using Porsche Classic technicians for your Porsche important?Stacey believes that the unique relationship between Porsche customers and Porsche Classic technicians is what keeps classic Porsche cars on the road. “There’s something truly remarkable about Porsche Classic,” says Stacey. “When you interact with the owners, you witness first-hand their passion for their cars. For them, it’s not just about the destination, but the journey itself. The choice between a scenic back road or a fast motorway can define the whole mood of their day and make it special.”
Line of classic Porsche 911 cars in a workshop
Stacey’s workshop: where classic Porsche dreams come true
Stacey believes that the enduring presence of classic Porsche cars on our roads today is down to three things – exceptional quality, a tight-knit community of enthusiasts and the undying passion for classic cars displayed by these fans. “Many of these people grew up with posters of iconic models like the 959, G model or 930 Turbo on their bedroom walls,” she reflects. “That in itself – the dream and passion that they share – is what has kept these cars on the road for so long. For a long time, specialised parts for classic Porsche cars were limited, and the Porsche Classic service we see today was on a smaller scale. It took the passion and the dreams of the owners to build this service and this community, and to ensure that their dreams were preserved.”What is a Porsche ‘caretaker of dreams’?“I still see myself as a caretaker of dreams, even though I’m not directly working on the cars anymore,” says Stacey. For her, it’s a role that has continued with her switch to mentoring others and helping them to spread the networks, knowledge and passion that drive the Porsche Classic community. “The technicians I work with give me back that same feeling of happiness through the knowledge that I now share with them,” she says. “And they’re now experiencing that feeling I used to get as a full-time technician – that moment when you hand someone their keys and see their face light up as they drove off in their car.”
Interior of Porsche with Porsche ORIGINALE magazine on seat
The glow of excitement that Stacey sees in the faces of classic Porsche owners is replicated whenever she takes one of her workshop’s training cars out for a drive
Although Stacey takes great pride in her work, she’s fully aware of the huge responsibility that comes with it. “Trying to understand and know everything about 75 years of Porsche history is mind-boggling some days,” she says. “But helping people with what I know is a great thing. At the end of the day, we’re all learning from each other. I don’t see myself as just a teacher or a trainer. I see us as a community helping each other rather than a regimented approach.”What is the Porsche ORIGINALE magazine?One of the big factors in helping Stacey and her students stay on top of things in the Porsche Classic universe is ORIGINALE. This magazine, with its blend of Porsche Classic car parts and accessories and lifestyle features, celebrates Porsche and its commitment to authenticity and integrity. Each issue brings a focus on new parts and information that are indispensable in the restoration process of classic Porsche cars. “New and upcoming parts are always featured in the new issue, which is always exciting,” says Stacey. “When you look through the magazine, I always find something that I can add to my training sessions. When the new ORIGINALE comes out, we send it to our technicians and encourage them to use it. There’s really nowhere else you can get that kind of detail. It’s the kind of information you can’t just look up online. With the print version, I can mark it up, highlight it or go back to the magazine later.”
Birds-eye view of Porsche ORIGINALE magazine on workshop bench
Every time a new issue of ORIGINALE comes out, Stacey says it acts as a huge inspiration for all that work with classic Porsche cars
“When the new ORIGINALE arrives, often people will say, ‘Oh, these parts are now available – we can do this job we’ve been putting off for years,’” says Stacey. For her and other Porsche Classic technicians, it’s also nice to be inspired by what other Porsche fans are doing with their dreams, which ORIGINALE provides plenty of reading material on too. The benefits of using Porsche Classic genuine partsLike all classic cars, restoring or maintaining a classic Porsche isn’t always straightforward, says Stacey – so having a manufacturer who takes its role seriously in helping people maintain its cars makes all the difference. “Regardless of the modifications you make to the car, if you can retain the originality and integrity of its structure by using genuine Porsche Classic parts, it helps immensely in the future,” explains Stacey. “With the Porsche stamp on these certified parts, you are given reassurance that the manufacturer is behind you and not just someone who has made a part in their shed.”“When you buy a genuine Porsche Classic part, you’re not just getting a duplicate of an old design – it’s been re-engineered and modernised,” adds Stacey, highlighting the PCCM Plus infotainment unit as a great example. “It’s designed to look authentic to a classic Porsche but shares functionality with that of a new car. It’s not just a carbon copy of what it was – it’s been enhanced, improved and refined by Porsche.”
White classic Porsche 911 Targa on sunlit English country road
Stacey out an about in the English countryside in her workshop’s Porsche 911 Targa (F model)
What is your favourite classic Porsche?Before we leave Stacey, it was time for one more question. Just like every teacher has their pet students, every Porsche Classic technician must have a favourite car, right? “Trying to pick my favourite Porsche is almost impossible,” says Stacey with a grin. “But the best all-rounder for me is the 2.4 Porsche 911 S. Even now it still feels luxurious, despite the manual windows. And then there’s the elasticity of the engine. You can take it out for a drive, let the car stretch its legs and it will take whatever you throw at it and then just go back to idling. It’s a car that really engages all your senses – you smell it, you hear it sing when you take it through the revs, you feel the warmth of it. It all adds to the experience.”It’s this same kind of intense feeling for the car that prompted Stacey to buy an F model Porsche 911 Targa as one of nine training cars for her workshop. “When I was setting up the workshop, I had a lot of good feelings about a lot of different cars,” says Stacey. “You usually know within the first 10 to 15 minutes whether the car is going to work or not for the training programme. When this Porsche 911 turned up, it was different. There was a 2.4 Porsche 911 S with an F-body, which is the one downstairs, and a G-body that had a ducktail. Both had the MFI fuelling [mechanical fuel injection] that I needed for the programme. When I compared the two, I immediately said, ‘For me, there’s nothing like an F-body. This is where my heart is.’”“With this Porsche 911, you can see the excitement in the car,” says Stacey, describing how impressed she was when looking inside the car and see how well preserved it had been.“It’s all about getting training cars that are exciting,” she adds, explaining what it’s like for her technicians when they first arrive at her workshop. “As soon as you open the door to our workshop, it’s like: ‘Wow, look at all this!’” It’s exactly this passion and enthusiasm for classic Porsche cars that Stacey is helping pass onto a new generation of technicians and, in turn, is reflected back in the cars that they work on and care for. Stacey’s essential car care tips for Classic Porsche owners1. Always use genuine parts to retain authenticity.2. Regular servicing is crucial to maintain the car’s health.3. Store your car in a cool, dry place to prevent rust and decay.4. Listen to your car – often, the sounds it makes will tell you what it needs.5. Love and passion go a long way. Treat it with respect and it will serve you for years.6. Stay in touch with the Porsche Classic community – they can give you insights you won’t find anywhere else.7. Grab the latest issue of ORIGINALE – a must-read for all classic Porsche owners.
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