Tuthill Porsche Factory Tour

June’s 313 tour took our members on a short hop down the road to Banbury to get the inside line on Tuthill Porsche, whose workshop has, for over 35 years, been doing remarkable things with air-cooled Porsches.

Run under the particularly energetic direction of Richard Tuthill, who bounds around the facility like an unusually tall, excitable puppy, Tuthill Porsche was founded by his father, Francis, who still cuts a lofty figure around the workshop despite having stepped back from managerial duties. They are the figureheads of a small band of incredibly talented people who constantly refuse to accept the perceived limits of what can be done with six horizontally opposed cylinders slung out at the back of that timeless shape.

You know things are off to a good start when the cars that greet you in the lobby are an ultra-rare Porsche 959 finished in stealthy black; a Brumos-liveried 911 RSR with genuine North American racing pedigree; and the mighty ACS, a towering beast of a Baja-style off-road 911 developed in partnership with a California outfit you might have heard of named Singer. This, however, is just a prelude to what lies through the doors and into the cavernous space beyond.

Tuthill’s vast, spotlessly clean workshop is home to a constant buzz of activity around the cars they prepare for competition, as well as those they service and restore for discerning clients. Front and centre is the machinery built for the 2.0L Cup, a historic one-make series touring some of the most beautiful, storied circuits in Europe and restricted to perfectly petite, early narrow-body 911s.

In sharp contrast to these cars are the hulking, jacked-up beasts created to take on the East Africa Safari Classic Rally. Replete with knobbly tyres, big ducktails and impact-absorbing bash bars, they’re testament to both the versatility and durability of air-cooled 911s, and the sheer variety of work that goes on within Tuthill’s workshop.

In fact, the motorsport side of their operation is growing so fast that a second, identically-sized building is being constructed to house it, allowing more space for the constant stream of customer cars and one-off builds being cared for in the first building. During our visit, these ranged from a pristine Speed Yellow 996 GT3 to a unique hot-rodded 914/6 retrofitted with the engine from a 2.7 RS 911.

Outside, meanwhile, sits a line of cars on chunky tyres and bearing the branding of the Below Zero Ice Driving experience, in which punters can spend the day skidding Tuthill-prepped 911s around a frozen lake in the wilds of northern Sweden. If you think this sounds like a heap of fun, then you’re not alone. We thought so too, which is why we’re asking 313 members who might be interested in a day spent perfecting the art of oversteer in a winter wonderland to register their interest via email now. Drop us a line at 313@caffeineandmachine.com.