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To my southern Cali brothers, any recommendations for mechanic shops?  Either for the routine stuff (oil changes, valve adjustment, etc) or more involved/skilled jobs.  I'm in the west side, but happy to drive farther out if it's worth it.

As a bonus, would love to also learn of any other service providers that you think are notable, for example, body shops, upholsterers, etc.

Here's what I've gathered after reading various past threads, but many of these threads are 10 to 15+ years old, so I imagine the landscape's changed.  Also, all of these are pretty far from west LA, it would be nice to have somewhere more local for the frequent stuff and otherwise drive out to these big guns when needed.  Organized roughly based on proximity to west LA:

  • Auto Meister in Manhattan Beach, CA.  Ask for Robert or Randy.
  • E&C on Reseda Blvd, San Fernando Valley, CA
  • Chico Performance Racing in Arcadia, CA
  • Vintage Motorcars in Hawaiian Gardens, CA.  Greg.
  • Unique Imports in Mission Viejo, CA.  Owner is Chip.
  • Mesa West in Costa Mesa, CA.  Ask for Norm.
  • Larry Jowdy in Ontario, CA (unfortunately, if it's the same Larry, I believe he may have recently passed... 😞)



@ford356outlaw, I had promised that I would tag you on this thread, sorry it took so long to finally post!

Last edited by Theron
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@Sean Seena. I had used German Car Service on Olympic and Pontius for our BMW.  I had received notice that they closed, but then heard they reopened, original owner sold to the longtime employee.  I just tried to call them but it was busy, and I am not in town to do a drive-by at this time.  They were really great and I would for sure use them for servicing the 912 if I were to have it in the west side, but currently, as written before, we are both in Reno.  

@Sean Seena posted:

To my southern Cali brothers, any recommendations for mechanic shops?  Either for the routine stuff (oil changes, valve adjustment, etc) or more involved/skilled jobs.  I'm in the west side, but happy to drive farther out if it's worth it.

As a bonus, would love to also learn of any other service providers that you think are notable, for example, body shops, upholsterers, etc.

Here's what I've gathered after reading various past threads, but many of these threads are 10 to 15+ years old, so I imagine the landscape's changed.  Also, all of these are pretty far from west LA, it would be nice to have somewhere more local for the frequent stuff and otherwise drive out to these big guns when needed.  Organized roughly based on proximity to west LA:

  • Auto Meister in Manhattan Beach, CA.  Ask for Robert or Randy.
  • E&C on Reseda Blvd, San Fernando Valley, CA
  • Chico Performance Racing in Arcadia, CA
  • Vintage Motorcars (previously Vintage Speedsters) in Hawaiian Gardens, CA.  Greg.
  • Unique Imports in Mission Viejo, CA.  Owner is Chip.
  • Mesa West in Costa Mesa, CA.  Ask for Norm.
  • Larry Jowdy in Ontario, CA (unfortunately, if it's the same Larry, I believe he may have recently passed... 😞)


@ford356outlaw, I had promised that I would tag you on this thread, sorry it took so long to finally post!

Larry passed earlier this month.

Anabel Chico of Chico's Performance here in Arcadia is a top notch place for expert service. I know two SOC members who use him now and both are happy. I was over there last Friday and saw he's working on a 912 Porsche. Most of his work is VW engines. Recently he developed a turbo system that all fits in a VW, Porsche replica and you would hardly know it's in there by looking at it or until stand on it. I think he's going to retail the kit a $3200.00. Anyway, I would recommend him and it's worth giving him a call.  Tell him Bruce with the Red Speedster recommended him.....Bruce

Paul....Yes it's a blow thru system.

The turbo fits below the round rear tin to the left of the oil pump. All four tubes of the A-1 exhaust converge down below along with the gate valve. One tube ascends thru the rear tin about where the left heater hose went thru and then up to the top of the carb. The heater hose hole on the right side of the tin is where the inlet tube comes up from the turbo to take in air. pretty clean install ! I think he says he's setting them up for 7to8 pounds of boost. Believe the carb is "weber style" two bbl progressive set up  and jetted properly to be used with a blow thru turbo system. Boost pressure is adjustable of course.

Chico has two systems. One for a type 1 and another for a type 2. I'll get some photos this week when I go over to see him.  I know he will have some photos on his web too.

Stan....I'm sorry you were disappointed with Chico's work or products. In all fairness, and I'm glad you mentioned your experience. I certainly would question the validity of someones reputation if it was always perfect or "wonderful".  Of course your input is valuable no matter what the topic. You certainly have earned that reputation on here.

Oh...A little note !  I stopped by VMC today and spoke to Greg. He told me that we needed to meet in two weeks to finalize my Spyder build. He said it will take a month but that's optimistic I think. Anyway I will be in Mexico the day after Thanks giving so hopefully we can work out any build obstacles or directions before I leave.  Sooo, I'm pretty amped up tonight.............Bruce

@BADSPD - Stephen thanks for that rec, I think you're referring to this German Car Service (Yelp page)?  I just tried calling, it's busy, but I bet this is the old number if it's under new management.  Their website says they've closed, but it could very well be that they haven't updated it yet...  I'll try to drive by soon but my other car has a flat, so I'm currently stranded!

@Robert M thanks for confirming that, that's unfortunate.  

@aircooled @Stan Galat thanks for a fuller picture re Chico.  I think it's impossible for any one service provider to be perfect across the board, as evidenced by a bunch of reviews I've been reading re various providers.  People think they're either saints or devils.  Of course, I'd wayyy rather rely on the experiences here rather than some random Yelp reviewer...  

Bruce, sounds exciting about your build!  

Stan, you strike me as someone who does most of the work yourself therefore not needed to rely on a shop, but any other recommendations otherwise?

Speaking of Yelp, has anyone come across any of these shops?  I've tried my best to evaluate them through Yelp reviews, but there's a lot of noise and variables.  I don't want to suffer from too much paralysis by analysis, but I also know that one bad apple mech can bring on a world of hurt, so I'm trying to be as careful as possible up front:



Otherwise, the current list:

@calmotion posted:

@MusbJim Jim might have some favorite. having so many vehicles under his belt.

@Sean Seena

Sean, I used to take my car to Larry Jowdy (Ontario) but as you already know he has since passed away. I have taken my car to Greg at VintageMotocar , but nowadays he is so busy with completing and shipping cars that it is rare for him to take in service work.

I would take Bruce-s @aircooled advice and give Anabel Chico (Chico's Performance) a call for info.

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