It all started when John Benton went to look at an original 1960s Porsche 911 up for sale. The car turned out to be way more work than he was willing to take on at that time, but he noticed a Porsche 912 in the same lot that appeared to be in decent condition. Now, years later, Petrolicious discovers just how that 912 sculpted Benton’s life and career.
Initially, Benton admits he wasn’t the most knowledgeable Porsche expert, but had many hours of wrenching on aircooled Volkswagens under his belt. The 912, with its aircooled flat-four engine, wasn’t too far off from a VW, so the car turned out to be the perfect lead-in to the world of Porsche.
Over time, Benton upgraded the engine, culminating in the 1.7-liter screamer he drives today. As he built his car, he discovered his passion for building and restoring Porsches, and turned it into the successful performance shop he operates to this day.
Benton shared the workshop with John Coffee, a well-known Datsun 240Z expert. Coffee, before his untimely death, created a Peking-To-Paris 240Z, wearing seriously cool off-road suspension components, tires, and running gear. “John just hit a home run,” says Benton. “It’s his legacy.”
Take a look at Benton’s 912 and Coffee’s 240Z Peking-To-Paris car in the video below.