In a mid-century warehouse in a quiet backwater where west LA meets east, exquisite builds take shape.
Most are the 964-generation 911s that bridge the gap between the G-Series and water-cooled 996s.
Workshop 5001’s Marlon Goldberg realises most existing cars are coming to the end of their service lives, and he makes them better than new.
Marlon served time with other Porsche specialists and was apprenticed at a Bentley and Lamborghini dealer in New York: “I wanted to work for Andial, which ran the Porsche racers, and I eventually did six months there with one of the founders, building a 3.8 motor for my dad’s 964.”
Now he adds his own stamp to these – the term ‘restomod’ sells them short.
These are completely rebuilt, enhanced takes on the originals, beautifully detailed and with a projected life of another 30 years or more.
Engine building is his speciality, as is his 3.9 stroker motor, which, thanks to the wonders of modern electronics, makes more power than an original 930 turbo but runs happily on 91-octane Californian pump fuel.
Typically, they’ll include rods from Carrillo, pistons from CP or Mahle, ARP fasteners and stronger 993 turbo head studs.
What marks out Marlon’s builds is the attention to detail: aerospace-quality fasteners abound, and wiring harnesses are custom-made. Getting the look just right is all-important.
An older, 1968 motor is now electronically injected but has period-looking injector stacks resembling the RS’s set-up.
Marlon started the company nine years ago and still builds all of the motors, with two full-time staff plus two fabricators working in another building, and two part-timers.
Wife Paula looks after the office, in a building the pair found and renovated over nine months.
Complete builds are the focus of the business and take 12-18 months. At a $200 hourly rate charged across the board, the price soon mounts up to $750,000, even $1million (£600-900,000), but customers keep coming.
“Eight years in, we’re on build 12,” says Marlon. “For every one of them, we do about five refurbs.”
Each job is unique, and owners can opt for as much or as little as they like under the Sports Purpose Makeover option.
Along with a couple of almost-finished total rebuilds (in very of-the-moment grey), there’s a stock-looking 964 in original paint that’s here for a 3.8 motor rebuild, RS-type suspension set-up (KW dampers are a favourite) and a Sports Purpose seat and wheel.
Stock passenger and rear seats remain so the owner can enjoy the car on road or track but still accommodate a family.
Eight cars were in during our visit and one out for paint: “It’s a measure of how difficult it is to find a painter we trust that sometimes we have to send a car to New York.”
An RS America is in for one of Marlon’s 3.9 engines but will remain outwardly stock, and a 1975 Carrera MFI – “Europe’s best-kept secret” – now has a 3.45-litre engine making 320bhp.
The light-grey car is more extreme, with carbonfibre panels and a 390bhp, 300lb ft 3.9-litre motor.
“The 3.8 is just a bore change, but the 3.9 needs a crank from a 997,” says Marlon.
Other details include Kinsler throttle bodies and Adel Wiggins anodised fasteners.
BMRS oil pipes have an olive joint between hard and flexible sections. “Porsche swages them together, so when the rubber section fails you have to throw the pipe away,” he says.
Marlon owns a 992 GT3 and an ’84 G-series, but admits that his own cars “need work”.
The company also plays with the earlier air-cooled cars, including 356s, but always keeps one of the latest 911s handy as a reference – and a reminder of their build-quality and performance benchmarks.
Reliability, therefore, is essential.
“A full build is good for another 25-30 years,” says Marlon. “And we encourage owners to drive them.”
Images: Ekaterina Gorbacheva/Jacob George
- Name Workshop 5001
- Address 5001 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, USA
- Specialism Porsche 911 restorations and upgrades
- Staff Seven
- Prices $200/hour
- Tel 001 323 641 7003
- Web workshop5001.com
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