There’s an overwhelming contingent of hot cars on cool greens during Monterey Car Week. As a spectator, every show is more overwhelming than the next. If you’re looking to distill your tastes and focus on one marque, however, look no further than the Werks Reunion. A little more structured than Concours d’Lemons but a whole lot looser than the Pebble Beach Concours, this Porsche-only car show brings together a throng of gearheads looking to spend some time with Stuttgart’s finest.
The 2019 iteration was the fifth Werks Reunion in Monterey. At 7 a.m. Friday, Porsches started rolling into Corral de Tierra Country Club in Salinas, California, and tightly packed themselves on the golf course like German sardines. Next up: breakfast, professional judging, lunch, booze, laughter, and drooling over Porsches (not necessarily in that order). As the show wound down in the late afternoon, glass trophies were handed out, at least one winner per model, including the polarizing 356 Outlaw class. Corporate sponsors awarded their favorites.
Though really, you’re the real winner here. Even if you were absent from Monterey’s Werks Reunion, we’ve compiled a list of our seven favorites from this fine show.
Wide-body kit, chrome Jongbloed wheels, and 20,000-league deep blue, this heavily modified Porsche 914 looked fast even parked on the Concours greens. Product of a four-year, father-son build, the 914 “Leichtbau” (“lightweight design,” in German) is powered by a Type IV 2.6-liter engine. Hold on to your lederhosen.
The Signal Orange Porsche started its life as a 911T. Porsche gurus TRE Motorsports and Kundensport eventually got their schnitzels on this ride, morphing the car into an homage to the 911S/T. The car is powered by a 3.4-liter engine, piping out sweet rally tones with a three-outlet exhaust. Rear seat delete: check. Roll bar: check. This street beast gives all impressions that it is track ready.
Not many liveries can make us weak-kneed like the Gulf colors. From LeMans-winning GT40s to McQueen’s silver-screen 917, the pairing of robin’s egg blue and orange immediately elicits a sense of speed and heritage. So why not painstakingly hand-paint the scheme on a Porsche 911? Jon Gunderson first stripped his 1973 911 to bare metal and then affixed RSR fender flares and bumpers, an aluminum wing, and a center-fill hood. Then he crammed a 350-horsepower 3.5-liter engine (replete with modern, made-to-look-mechanical, electronic fuel injection) in the narrow space behind the wide rear tires. Finally, paint, and voilà, a 911 RSR fit for the Mulsanne Straight.
Robert Abbott says that his safari-style 911 is “inspired by my love of Porsche rally cars and my fear of potholes.” It’s a neat build, but it looks pretty crusty, huh? Psych. The rusty green paint job is actually just a vinyl wrap pulled taut over rock-solid body panels. Safari 911s are making a push in recent popularity, and only time will tell if it’s a fad or here to stay.
Bone stock and black, on paper this 912 shouldn’t stand out. In person, holy moly, the car is a stunner. In the trunk pumps an equally immaculate 90-hp 1600-cc flat-four. This was the last year of the 912’s five-year production run, and at 50 years old, this survivor car with more than 214,000 miles on the odometer is as clean as the day it rolled off the line.
2016 Cayman GT4
Hatched from Porsche’s Weissach Motorsport, the Cayman GT4 has a mid-engine layout; the steering, brakes, and front suspension of a GT3; and the naturally-aspirated flat-six from the 2016 911S. The car passes the eye test, with all ages. Craig and Mary Lou Kugler were awarded a trophy from the Hagerty Youth Judging Program, where kids (ages 8–14) graded select Porsches at Werks Reunion.
This early ’90s Porsche power ballad is stock and immaculate. Why mess with perfection? Draped in Rubystone Red, owner Richard Shelton’s Porsche Carrera RS is one of only 1910 964RSs produced.
As we departed from the Werks Reunion through the undulating backroads of California’s Central Coast, it was a joy to watch this eye-searing 964 grow larger in the mirror and subsequently pass us on our way back to Monterey.