Wunderground: Southern California’s best Porsche collection is now open to the public
Santa Clarita Porsche is the crown jewel in the Galpin Motors family of dealerships. The state-of-the-art facility was opened just in time to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it recently reopened. We took the opportunity to get a tour from Porsche Santa Clarita’s General Manager, Joe Allis, a longtime Porsche owner and fanatic in his own right because this location offers more than your average dealership experience.
You might expect a high-end car dealership, especially Porsche, to offer a bright, minimalist look with lots of glass and a spic and span service bay. What you don’t expect is to walk across the showroom floor and find yourself standing directly above a carbon-fiber 935 race car, staring at it through a glass floor.
Porsche Santa Clarita has a restaurant so that owners can grab a bite to eat while their cars are getting an oil change and service. Owners can even sit in a lounge and see their car being worked on through floor-to-ceiling windows. They can also shop at a well-stocked Porsche Design boutique to select the perfect eyewear, timepiece, or luggage to complement their motorcar. But why do any of that knowing you’re sitting one floor above one of the coolest collections of Porsche cars and memorabilia this side of Stuttgart?
A quick trip down in the elevator reveals Wundergound, likely the best collection of rare Porsches assembled since the Petersen Automotive Museum removed the Porsche Effect exhibit to make way for movie cars. The first car you’ll see is the aforementioned 935, slowly spinning on a turntable to show off the multiple types of carbon fiber weave used to create its new, wider bodywork, massive wing, and intricate rear diffuser.
There are significant cars that represent turning points in Porsche’s history, rare models only offered to a select few buyers, and even original blueprints submitted for design patents. Here are our favorite cars and items.
This replica of the 1948 Gmund Speedster doesn’t even have a Porsche emblem; those wouldn’t come until 1952. It also shows how much the design would change before the 356 would debut. The more upright front and bulbous hood were close to what would soon be produced, but the final product truly got it right.
This projection highlights the evolution from 356 to the current 911 and includes all of the generations in between. You can watch as the wheelbase grows and the silhouette shifts slightly, while still keeping the basic DNA.
In 1998, 500 911 Turbo S models were offered to 918 Spyder buyers. Perhaps these would be their winter beaters, who knows? They featured unique mirrors and spoilers, among other bits, to set themselves apart from your average 607-hp 911 Turbo S.
Porsche had intended on calling its new rear-engine coupe “901” but Peugeot already had trademarked all of the three-digit numerals ending in 01, so Porsche settled on 911. However, a few 901 badged cars were built. This one has been reunited with one of the last 356 models built. Their serial numbers are just a few digits off.
While many of the cars in the Wunderground collection are pristine and built as Porsche intended, this is a Galpin collection, so hot-rodded cars are welcome. This RWB build belongs to Galpin COO Beau Boeckmann and was featured at the 2018 SEMA show.
If you’d like to take a tour of your own, Wunderground is open seven days a week. It is inside a dealership, however, so you may come in to grab lunch and a take in a tour and wind up leaving in a new Cayman. That’s out of our hands.