Spoke with John Dilger tonight, editor of ESSES, regarding permission to post my past work with the publication on my blog. As mentioned in the previous post, I was the art director/graphic designer for ESSES. I have copied one of the articles that I wrote and photographed as well. Behind the scenes scoop: I resigned from ESSES after a year for no other reason than that was the length of my contract. It was a great gig and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so that I wanted to continue doing it in the form of this new book project. John Dilger and Chuck Miller gave me carte blanche with the project but there’s nothing like “being your own boss.” The ESSES publication continues to be a great bonus to paid memberships. Also, I’m fairly certain people already forgot my term with ESSES.

Here are some of the captions as they appeared in the article. Roll over to link to sites.

1> John Holleran, owner and gracious host of Holleran’s Performance reviewing dyno results.

2> Pete Stout, Editor of Excellence, and Jim Breazeale, owner of EASY, plotting my exile from the R Gruppe.

3> Jason McCandless in agreement with Pete and Jim.

4> Jon Sycip’s car on deck.

5> Gruppe huddle.

The full read posted with permission – ESSES, Volume 19, Number One, March 2009, Spring:

The ’74 Carrera 2.7l engine is screaming near redline. The room is filling with smoke like two-dozen smokers on a ten-minute break. I glance towards the owner, Jon Sycip, and try to read his expression. It’s somewhere between shock and needing a diaper change. The tears confuse me. It could be the smoke in his eyes. Holleran eases off the throttle and the dyno eventually rolls to a complete stop. I wish it didn’t stop. It sounded glorious with the triple out rally muffler, PMOs and R rain shields. <<REWIND

It’s like any normal weekend morning. I head out to meet John Gray for a cup of java and talk Porsches. Except this time we get our java to go and head out to an independent Porsche repair shop in Pinole, CA to meet up with 2-dozen NorCal guys. It’s “Dyno Day” at Holleran’s Performance! I glance over at Gray and tell him “this should be fun.” His reply,  “Mmmmm-yeap.” Many of Gray’s replies start or end with “mmmmm-yeap.” <<REWIND

The suspension and brake work is getting close to finished on my bastard 68L. Holleran assures me we’re still on schedule to have it ready for Treffen ‘08. It’s on the lift and I am admiring his work. My obsessive compulsive disorder pales in comparison to his OCD. I feel like a mentally healthy person compared to him. The most qualified head shrinker could not cure him. The man is sick and his work even more so – it is simply breathtaking.

He interrupts my moment of admiration, “Hey Robert,” not sure why he calls me Robert, only people with neckties call me by that name, “I was thinking of a dyno day for the R Gruppe guys. Do you think you could help organize it?”

I smile on the inside and reply “Mmmmm-yeap” and finish the thought in my head “because it’s a freakin’ great idea and did I just imitate John Gray?” >>FAST FORWARD

The dyno day begins. Holleran goes into assembly production line mode. All the cars are pre-inspected, strapped down and run three times on the dyno. The owners receive a print out of the test report that contains a graph of the engine torque and horsepower. No more inflated numbers from optimistic owners. The dyno does not lie. Holleran evaluates the graph and provides a basic prognosis. He makes a lot of new friends that day! >>FAST FORWARD

Holleran managed to run fourteen cars by lunch, so a small group of us are enjoying a delicious meal at Kinder’s Meat Deli. I listen to Harvey Weidman, Jim Breazeale, Cris Huergas and Holleran talk shop. I’m amazed at how much of their lives overlap due to their love for these old cars. They have great stories to tell and I enjoy each and every one of them. The knowledge at the table is immeasurable. With bellies full, the question finally gets asked, “So Holleran – who had the most horsepower today?” He smiles and says he has to double check the reports. It’s the first time I catch Holleran in a lie – he already knows. <<REWIND

Jon Sycip gets his diaper changed and Holleran shows him the numbers. The graph indicates 221hp at the wheels and the good news is that Holleran thinks with a little tuning an additional 15 ponies could be found. He’s happy and the expression on his face made organizing this event all worth it. I like these guys.

Hold it! That’s not the end of the story. Who had the most HP of the day? It was the car with the…uh ummm, “least clean” engine bay. Jim came in at 227hp and 230lb ft of torque with his short stroke 3.2-liter (9.3.1 compression, 100mm Mahle pistons, stock crank/rods, stock SC cams, Weber 40IDS and tall intakes from PMO). Congrats Jim and enjoy the Dead Fish dinner gift certificate compliments of Holleran.

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  1. Adell Fehrle says:

    This a fabulous post and may be one that ought to be followed up to see what happens

    A chum sent this link the other day and I’m desperately awaiting your next write-up. Continue on the remarkable work.

  2. Seen your web site via msn the other day and absolutely enjoy it. Carry on the truly amazing work.

  3. jon sycip says:

    hi bob
    how are you doing?

    nice blog website. it brings back so much memories.


  4. Bob Tilton says:

    Hi Jon,

    How the heck are you?! You should come out to EASY the first day of the month! Haven’t seen you for ages.

  5. jon sycip says:

    Hi Bob
    My dad still has his all original ’74 Carrera, I should take it out for a drive to EASY… I drove it recently and after driving it, how I really miss my car…


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