How "Porsche Parts Obsolete" began PDF Print E-mail
by David Coleman

    The day is indelibly inked in Gary Emory's mind. He was a novice parts gofer at Chick Iverson's Porsche dealership in Newport Beach, with an assignment to pick up an order from the distributor in Culver City. As he awaited delivery of his parts, he noticed to his horror that authorized personnel were dumping brand new 356 seats, motors and transmissions into trash bins behind the distributor's facility. What he saw that day "used to drive me crazy because I'm an enthusiast."


These photos are in 1974. Gary and Doyne began unloading everything as the trucks rolled in and dropped off pallet after pallet of N.O.S. parts. Everyday was like Christmas. 

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Emory subsequently learned that those parts in the dumpster were recycled before they ever actually reached the dump by the enterprising dump rats, who sold the goods on the black market. 

 Porsche knew this was happening too. So they took measure to insure that these parts, that were supposed to be written off as surplus inventory, were actually destroyed.


 Emory recalls that "field reps would take a hammer to the parts they wouldn't buy back from the dealers. We used to sneak around and try to keep them from wrecking the parts, but their job was to destroy that stuff." After awhile, the distributors got smart and installed on-site crushers.


 Although it would take Emory 15 years to come up with a better scheme for disposing of surplus inventory, he finally convinced Porsche to allow him to bid on, buy, and distribute these valuable items that would otherwise be mindlessly destroyed. In 1975, he opened Porsche Parts Obsolete in Costa mesa, and for nearly a decade, he acquired, catalogued and sold both vintage and new old stock (NOS) parts that had been declared dead inventory at the dealer and distributor levels. Emory vowed to Porsche that he would improve the goodwill by making available parts the customers could find nowhere else- a precursor of the Porsche Vintage Program.

 Along with all the prosaic bits and pieces came a truly astonishing cache of racing equipment that was so extensive that it arrived at Costa Mesa in four separate semi-trailers. In addition to all the Carrera 2, 904, and 906 parts that Porsche had been collecting for years in Lanham, Maryland, Emory also acquired Richie Ginther's entire 914 racing inventory from Culver City.


 Those were the glory years at Porsche Parts Obsolete, when Emory could provide complete annular brake sets for spyders, sheet metal for Carrera 2 engine compartments, 9" alloy-steel wheels for 906s, and cranks, rods and blowers housings for the four-cam motors. Looking back at that period now, Emory says wistfully, "Most of the best cars in the U.S. have parts that came out of my inventory in those days."


 In 1992 Gary decided it was time to make a lifestyle change. So he packed up the operation and headed for Oregon. He purchased a 50 acre farm in the Willamette Valley. This is the heart of Oregon wine Country. After a year and 20 semi truck loads Gary was ready for business in his 15,000 sq foot barn.

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Thanks, Rod Emory