The "GP" of GP AutoWerks
Founder & Owner
Oil line replacement in progress due to rubber sections beginning to degrade.
Valve cover being installed. Grey Line gaskets are used as a matter of shop preference. Their sealing performance is beyond all others. Combined with the proper cover cleaning and fastening method, these covers will be vault tight now. This eliminates oil weeping that, when dripping on hot heat exchanges, can smell into the cabin. In the extreme, oil on exhaust parts can ignite. Is smart thinking to attend oil leaks sooner than later.
In 1970, a young Mr. Perdomo began his mechanical career in a fuel station garage in West Miami. After rising through apprentice ranks, he joined Miami's London Motors in 1975 as a senior mechanic. With London Motors, he evolved from American to European sport cars attending Ferrari, Triumph, and Porsche.
After four years with London Motors, and in November of 1979, Mr. Perdomo opened his own Miami-based service & repair shop located in the warehouse district by the Miami River and 20th Avenue. The "River Shop" serviced performance sports cars of all kinds, Porsche becoming his favorite.
Fomfor Racing approached Mr. Perdomo in 1981 to join their team as a crew mechanic. Mr. Perdomo's responsibility was preparing & maintaining the company's GT and eventually GTP race cars. Specifically, Mr. Perdomo's had authority for the team’s BMW M1, Porsche 935, and March. The Fomfor team, with Mr. Perdomo in a crew position, competed in both North and South America circuits with the most notable races being the 12 hours of Seabring, 24 Hours of Daytona, and Miami Grand Prix. In the absence of Crew Chief Albert Naon for the 1984 season Miami Grand Prix, Mr. Fomfor had Mr. Perdomo step into the Crew Chief position. Under Mr. Perdomo's mechanical leadership, the team won that year’s Miami Grand Prix in their class running a M1 with Mr. Fomfor at the wheel.
After the 1984 race season, Mr. Perdomo decided to dedicate his energies mainly on his shop's interests. He subsequently phased out of his crew position on good terms with Fomfor. Other racing participation followed but with significantly less travel requirements.
In 1987, Mr. Perdomo joined ranks with Porsche Haus. Given differences of "mechanical opinion," Mr. Perdomo moved to Eurpoean Connection. During these years with Porsche Haus and European Connection, he dealt exclusively with Porsche service & repairs with responsibility primarily on engine rebuilding, transmission rebuilding, engine tuning, and PPI.
1992 saw Mr. Perdomo reopen his own shop dedicated to Porsche-only car care.
A few more adjustments to this engine are needed before the chassis---waiting above---is lowered onto it.
External thermostat is being removed from hard lines. Unwilling to be persuaded with a wrench, heat is applied to expand the nut.
930/Turbo power plant at the beginning of its restoration journey. As you may appreciate from this side view, these engines are plumbing-intense. Beyond the larger control ducts easily seen here are hidden a myriad of even finer lines.
At the "Bird" shop, an engine begins a rebuild journey. Inspections are made before an engine/transmission are cleaned. This is because there's evidence in exactly where and engine is dirty and what sort of dirt/grime or other "marker" is there. I make notes of such evidence as it may prove important downstream.
Credentials of a Miami Porsche Specialist
George began his auto mechanical career in Miami in 1970. Originally dedicated to servicing American muscle cars and doing high performance engine builds for off shore racing boats, he soon transitioned to European sports cars and then to Porsche care exclusively. His service & repair capabilities embrace all Porsche systems including: engine, transmission & drive train, brakes, suspension, chassis, air conditioning, electrical and interior. In addition to street, he has racing crew and Crew Chief experience with mechanical authority in GT and GTP class competition. George's Porsche mechanical history spans 30+ years embracing Porsche models from the 356 to 991 and track 935.
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Shop Notes & Photos:
3.2 liter Motronic engine has just been resealed to eliminate typical oil leaks. While engines are removed from their chassis, we look for other issues both present and looming. Whatever is found is advised to the owner who then has the opportunity to make more economical repairs given their engine being as accessible as it is at the moment.
Inside the shop a 356 cabriolet with Speedster behind. Both are in collectible condition. Each is in for regular maintenance. Targa at left is one of GP's Porsches.
In a few minutes, this engine will mate up with its transmission. In another hour and a half, the owner arrives with plans to depart from the shop driving his 911 cross country to Colorado. Delivery will be on time as promised.
Beginning in 1948 with the making of the 356, Porsche's iconic distinction was their air cooled engines. Porsche's last air cooled production model engine is in the 993. Designed by Toni Hatter, this model was manufactured between 1993 and 1998. Suggestion: If you have an air cooled Porsche, keep it... and take care of it. As air cooled Porsches become increasingly rare, there's a very high probability a well cared for air cooled 911 will be of collectible value---hopefully more than you have invested in it.
~ INTERVIEW ~
Next are excerpts from an interview with Mr. Perdomo. From this dialogue, the man and his perspectives on Porsche and related matters are revealed to an interesting degree:
Q: George, what’s your opinion on the quality of Porsche service in the South Florida area?
A: “I know all the major players in the area, and they know me. Surly we don't all see eye to eye about everything... let's face it, that's life & business. Fact is, every South Florida Porsche service & repair facility has good and bad points. It’s all a matter of personal value at any given moment. For example, you’re in a rush to get your car by the end of today. Your mechanic at XYZ Porsche shop says… we can only do that if we install an inferior part and rush the work. Yeah, do it you say. You get your car but now have an inferior part installed in a questionable manner. Is the shop to blame or did they do right by offering you the solution as they did? My point is, quality as a value is different given the circumstances and individuals involved.
Where I’m easily critical of the market is in regards to my own business. There are three fundamental concerns customers deal with. Quality. Speed. Price. My shop has and never will be the fastest in terms of apparent speed. That’s because of my insistence on superior quality craftsmanship. Look at it this way… when you have to return to any shop due to an inferior job having been done the first time, then what might be considered slow and mythodical work (that’s done right the first time around) is not so slow any more. Slow and mythodical is, in reality, faster and more economical… but many people don’t see it this way. After many years on the front line, I know doing a job right the first time around is the best way to go for everyone involved.
I want to enjoy what I spend most of my time doing. In order for me to do this, I insist on consistently working towards a very high level of quality---a world-class level. Doing so is what gratifies me. And as I just mentioned, quality the first time around is good business for all involved. Anyone who feels the same... they understand this without my having to explain it.”
Q: You’ve got 40 years experience working on Porsches. Over this time period, what is your favorite Porsche to work on?
A: “I can go in two directions here. First, I’m thinking in performance terms. Secondly, I’m thinking in terms of simplicity and ease of component access…
My favorite performance car to work on is the 935. This is a beautiful Porsche from an esthetic and engineering perspective. And incredibly fast. To work on a 935 is very gratifying.
Where pure workability is concerned, there’s no simpler Porsche to service than a 356. There’s also a time travel of sorts---you step back into history working on a genuine 356. Bear in mind these were cutting edge in their time.”
Q: Choose a favorite Porsche race car driver.
A: “Porsche’s 24 Hour of Le Mans championship victory in 1970 stands out in my mind as a pivotal point in Porsche’s history… so I can’t help but think of the driver’s that drove into the record books that day in a Porsche 917... Hans Herman and Richard Attwood.
I know first hand how racing is very much a team endeavor. Where a win exists, it demonstrates not only the capability of the driver, but of a group of individuals all striving for and achieving the same goal. It’s an amazing experience on both an individual and interpersonal level. Brings me back to my racing days with the Fomfor team. The memories are flooding back now.”
Q: What is your perspective on the Porsche’s car evolution over time?
A: “Porsche has a reputation for making exceptional performance cars. It started with the 356 and spans their entire history to the present day. Certainly many aspects of Porsche as a manufacturer and retailer of sports cars and the cars themselves have changed but that's another story entirely.
It’s incredible to imagine a 356 sitting next to a 918 Spyder. Those two cars side-by-side quintsentially represent Porsche’s evolution from their beginning to the present day. Look at the design of each car…they're both cutting edge for their period. I’ll not say one is better than the other---each has its unique attributes which makes a compelling statement for the Porsche designers, engineers and manufacturers that participated in each car’s creation.
When considering Porsche’s evolution, there are any number of moments in the company’s history which are defining but I’m going to pick what I think is a key marker. In my opinion, this marker will become more and more of a defining point as time passes. That marker is the 993. That model has the last air cooled engine Porsche manufactured. An era came to an end with the 993 as Porsche shifted from air cooled to water cooled engines. Air cooling was a Porsche hallmark. It was a distinction they started with.”
Q: Would you like to say who your favorite customer is?
A: “If you are asking for a name, I'll pass on that. If you're asking me to describe what makes a favorite customer... that I'll gladly do.
A customer that trusts what I do explicitly is highly favored. Why? It immediately allows me to focus my energies on what I do best---Porsche service & repair. Of course it's human nature to doubt. And surly a new customer has every right to wonder how things will turn out with their car in my hands. It takes one job to prove myself. And it's clear when a customer has made the transition from wondering what's going on to genuinely realizing my dedication to high quality Porsche car care."
Q: You work on certain Porsches only. The 356 through 961, Cayman, Boxster, 928 and 944. Why only these?
A:“To be clear, you’re pointing out that my shop's repertoire omits the Panamera, Cayenne, and Macan and that’s true. No offense to owners of these Porsche models… I simply like working on Porsche sports cars. There's a pleasure I get from attending that type car that I don't get from a non-sports car. It's a competitive thing---my racing background coming through."
Q: Yes or no. Are older Porsches of a higher quality than newer models?
A: “I know Porsche owners who will have no Porsche less than 3 years of age. Talk to them about classic Porsches and they don’t see the appeal. Obviously for them quality means a relatively new Porsche. On the other hand, I know owners who love their classic Porsches and would never consider buying or leasing a new model because to them, quality is in a classic. In my opinion, quality is subjectively defined. I know I'm skirting your yes-no request but I don't see this being black & white.
If you want to delve into objective quality, we’d then have to define the parameters of what quality is. I’ve not thought about it to any great length but I believe if there is a fair gauge for objectively measuring quality…(long pause)… the conclusion would likely be an even draw between older and newer model Porsches. The reason I say this is because a fair gauge would very likely balance out the pros and cons between both ends of the age spectrum. Change a few parameters here or there and the gauge can be biased to favor either classic or contemporary. Bottom line, I believe quality is a matter of personal perspective. In a nutshell, I'll say... to each their own."
Q: What Porsche do you have?
A: "I own two 911s and a 914. The silver '75 has no engine at the moment. I'm thinking about what engine I'd like in that. The body is in good shape and the silver is the original color to the car.
The '76 Targa is my driver. The metallic bronze color is original to the car---very few were painted this color. It's set up with very tight suspension for hard cornering. Whale tail and chin spoiler were added for high speed stability. There's an aero dynamic chart that's included in the site that compares the effects of Porsches with and without various spoilers.
The 914 is an interesting project car. The yellow is the original paint. For a '74 car, it's in very good condition. The wheels I changed to Fuchs. And I have a 2.7 6 cylinder that will go into it. This will be beyond fun to drive once completed. I'm considering selling the silver and yellow as I'm running short on garage space. I do want to finish them first."
Q: You’ve made a successful career of mechanical services. Can you point to any singular experience or turning point in your life where your mechanical inclinations were hatched?
A: “There are two instances in my life I consider pivotal. The first is with my Father. My first recollections working together with him on cars is when I was 5 years old. I recall watching my Father bent over an engine with my handing him tools as he asked for them. As I think of it now, the sensations come back to me... the sunshine, the breeze with the distinct odor of oil, the sounds of the neighbor hood in the background...
It was amazing to me how my Father could take something out of an engine and then put something back in and… it would always work. That was the beginning of my fascination with mechanics. And I believe the experience with my Father and the fact that what he did was always of great quality… that rubbed off on me. I’m very appreciative to my Father. He’s an exceptional individual and I am fortunate to be his son.
There’s a second moment in my life when I recognized my career interest would be dedicated to Porsches. It was in 1978. I was working as a garage mechanic for London Motors. The shop was located at the SW corner of US 1 and 27th… where the Metro-rail Station is today. The shop had all variety of performance cars come through the doors… mostly Triumphs, Corvettes, and Ferraris. One day the shop’s owner handed me the keys to a white, ’74 911 Carrera along with the service request sheet and a Porsche Service Manual. It was a mystical moment. I insisted on taking the day off to study the manual---staying up all night---and remember when finishing… I was hooked. After servicing that Carrera, the car’s owner came to me and told me that it had never run better. At that moment, it was as if a switch had been turned---I knew exactly where I was headed. It was not long after that Carrera that I opened my own shop near the Miami River and 20th Avenue. We’re talking late seventies. At that time, the premier Porsche was the 930. There were a number of them in Miami then and I probably maintained the majority of them. Love that car. Still do. To this day I consider it one of Porsche’s best production cars and a real pleasure to work on... and drive.”
Q: Your racing experience. What memories stand out?
A: “The owner of Fomfor Racing, Francisco… he had a textile business in South America that financed his racing interests. He drove for the pure enjoyment of speed and the thrill of competition. His Miami garage was close to mine when my shop was located near the river---I’ve since moved to Bird Road just off the 826. He noticed the performance cars coming and going from my shop and one day introduced himself to me. Our discussions and my reputation eventually led him to invite me to join his team as a crew mechanic. Wanting to manage my shop work, I participated with Fomfor on a part time / per race basis. Francisco didn’t want a full time team so the arrangement we had worked well for both of us. A few days ahead of a race we prepared a car for the given track… then, packed up the car, parts, equipment and the team headed off to the race where we’d spend a few days. When traveling like this and away from my shop, I had a qualified, trusted friend take over for me until I returned.
Racing was both stressful and fun at the same time. We were a small, solid team. Not only did we work well together but we had a good time away from the track as well. We performed consistently well at our budget level but found it hard to compete with teams where money was no object. Our best finish was 1st in class for the ’84 Miami Grand Prix. I was Crew Chief for that race and very proud of what we achieved. All that one strives to accomplish is acknowledged by taking first at an event like a Grand Prix.”
Q: Looking to the future, where is GP Auto Werks headed?
A: “There are many more exceptional Porsche service & repair years in me here in Miami... I love what I do! With that in mind, my plan is to continue the business and expressing myself in the quality of the work my shop does---there's no need for me to think beyond these essentials. I'm proud of the work my shop does and the reputation that's been built over the years… that’s a solid foundation on which to keep moving forward on.
I’ve had offers to join other Porsche shops. I tested some of those guys... Because I enjoy and value doing a certain caliber of work, it's hard to fit where the expectation is not aligned with the way I work. That's not to sound arrogant. I have my style and work ethic and others have theirs. That said, I'll express my appreciation for the invitations made, and my respect to the individuals involved---thank you."
Q: How would you like to wrap this up?
A: "Am thinking of the individuals that make my business... my customers. Over the years my shop has had its share of ups and downs as every business does. Through the highs and lows, I've had the pleasure of making this journey working with and for exceptional individuals---some are easy and some are a challenge. It's all good! I want to say thanks to you (my customers) individually for your trust. Looking back, it's been a great ride. Looking forward... gona be better than ever!”
4551 SW 71 Ave.
Bay #1, Miami, FL
the Greater Miami
GP AutoWerks is an independent Porsche service & repair shop located in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. Serving both street and race track enthusiasts, GP AutoWerks provides a full range of Porsche mechanical capabilities from simple adjustments to comprehensive engine and transmission rebuilding for both classic and contemporary Porsches. Porsche, the Porsche crest, and Porsche car model names are under licensed use by Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA) from the owner Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche Aktiengesellschaft, Porsche AG ("Porsche.") No association or affiliation with Porsche, PCNA or AG is intended or implied by GP AutoWerks who happens to
specialize in service, repair, PPI, modification and restoration of Porsche vehicles. Videos shown are Porsche productions presented for educational & entertainment purposes only. Permission for presentation is on file. Thank you.
Photos of Porsche service & repair, including engine & transmission rebuilds, brakes & suspension, body werks, interior, modification & restoration, and PPI work including parts and cars depict the property of GP AutoWerks' customers. All such images are used in this website with the expressed permission of GP AutoWerks' customers. Thank you.
Photography, unless credited otherwise, is © 2015-2020 Karl Hansen. All rights reserved.
Photo captions are provided to reflect photo content and credits appear where due.
Website © 2020 Karl Hansen. All rights reserved.
Happy Porsche driving! And remember to please buckle up because being glad you did is a wonderful thing ~~~