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Willhoit Auto Restoration has been in the business of restoring the Porsche 356 since 1976. All work is performed to the highest standards at our 14,000 sq/ft Long Beach, California facility, and our cars are often in the winner's circle at Porsche club concours events. While the cosmetic standards of our work are extremely high, we believe the real joy in owning a 356 is the driving experience. Our goal in restoration is to provide you with a 356 that is not only stunning in appearance but also a pleasure to drive and use the way Dr. Porsche intended.

Please look over the shop features and services listed below. If you have any questions or need guidance in selecting a model that will be right for you, please contact John Willhoit at (714) 356-1735 or email to: john@willhoitautorestoration.com

We welcome visitors and encourage you to come by the shop and examine our work. Please go to our CONTACT page for details.

Shop features include:

  • A custom-built spray booth that enables us to paint an entire 356 at one time. Replicating the factory procedure and eliminating color matching and blending problems, particularly with metallic colors.
  • A complete factory paint library with samples of virtually every standard color used by Porsche from 1950 -1965. Included as well are samples of the various component colors, such as, engine and chassis black, steering column tan, wheel silver, Koni shock blue, etc.
  • A custom-built chassis rotisserie with body jigs for precise replacement of floor and longitudinal panels without body twisting. After extensive testing, we now offer installation of our own specially engineered stiffening panels which considerably reduce flexing of the longitudinals in open cars.
  • Engine, transaxle and suspension rebuilding to precise factory specifications as well as performance modifications suited to your individual driving style. Years of experience give us the ability to offer you fully tested performance combinations. Please see the CATALOG section for engine, transaxle options, sport suspension kits, wheels/tires, etc.
  • All ground-up restorations, and most partial restorations, are fully documented with detailed digital photographs. This has made it possible for us to document the progress of each job and to provide the owner with a complete photo history at any time.

Of course, any of the services we offer during a complete restoration are available separately. We often provide metalwork, paint, engine / trans. rebuilding and other mechanical or assembly work for customers who are restoring cars themselves. No job is as they say "too big or too small".

Additional services:

  • Complete servicing of all 356 models.
  • Chassis, transaxle and engine parts degreasing and ultrasonic cleaning.
  • Expert rust and collision repairs.
  • Paint samples of over 50 original factory colors (a 5x8" color sample card that is suitable for color matching with your painters paint of choice is available for $35 per color).
  • Stripping and restoring of engine and chassis sheet metal and components to original satin black finish (correct fan shroud and oil can refinishing).
  • Refinishing of steering wheels, steering columns, blinker housings and dash knobs to original color and finish.
  • Restoration and/or replacement of original tarpaper sound insulation.
  • Restoration of fuel tanks.
  • Restoration of original jacks to concourse condition.
  • Dyno testing and break-in of every rebuilt engine on a state of the art Superflow 902S engine dyno. Also, dyno testing and fuel curve optimizing of customer supplied engines.
  • Factory correct conversion from 6V to 12V.
  • A complete line of WR Products for the 356 (see the CATALOG section).

Pre-purchase inspection service:

If you are considering the purchase of a 356 in the Southern California area we can provide a complete pre purchase inspection at our shop in Long Beach. For off-site inspections we can usually refer you to a qualified inspector in your area. For special cars we are available to travel for inspections. Please inquire.

Labor rate and scheduling:

Our shop labor rate is between $90 and $140 per hour (depending on the technician) plus parts and materials. Once a car is scheduled for a complete restoration, there is usually about a 1-year waiting period before we can begin. The average time/materials required to perform certain aspects of the restoration process are listed on the Restoration Planner page. The Restoration Planner can be used as a guide for any Porsche restoration, whether performed by Willhoit Auto Restoration or by any other quality restoration shop. A complete ground up restoration is very seldom possible for less than $200K. Our average restoration is between $200K and $350K.

Our goal has always been to be the "best" never the cheapest, and our customers have come to expect, and demand, an extremely high level of quality and function from the cars we restore. If this philosophy appeals to you, we look forward to discussing your project.

For an appointment please call John Willhoit (714) 356-1735, or email to: john@willhoitautorestoration.com