Home Porsche 911 Auto Umbau – A Passion for Porsche.

Auto Umbau – A Passion for Porsche.

Auto Umbau – A Passion for Porsche.


By Tom on Tuesday, September 26, 2023

How did a team of automotive craftsmen change course from repairing police cars to bringing new life to similarly arresting designs? Robin from Auto Umbau explains.

It’s not an obvious career path. Robin and his team are all drawn from the former Millbrook Proving Ground, now UTAC Millbrook, which many enthusiasts will know is one of the UK’s premier test tracks. The nascent company had two specialisms – repairing and maintaining police cars, while restoring classic Porsches as a sideline.

While one was the ‘day job’, restoring barn finds and corroded classics to their former glory was the passion and in 2010, Robin and his team went ‘full Porsche’, and dedicated themselves to resurrecting neunelfers and their ilk. For once, the ‘heart-ruling-head’ warning was wrong. The move paid off and the order book is full.

Track record

Based in Bedfordshire, the track is ideal for ‘in the wild’ testing, giving the team the chance to, in his words, “see where the car’s at and assess the geometry”. And if you must spend your working day putting cars through their paces, and could swap pandas for Porsches, well, wouldn’t you?

Like all great passions, Robin’s affair with Porsche began quietly when he acquired “a wreck of a 911 – which I still have.” The workshop team know – and love – their cars and a walkthrough the Auto Umbau garage is an Aladdin’s Cave of German roadcraft.

What’s in the box?

Robin’s tour takes in plenty of examples of the marques in which they specialise; 911s and 911SCs, 924s, 944s and 928s, as well as water-cooled models including C996s, Boxsters, 997s and 991s.

Over here is the 1976 incarnation of the 911 with electronic issues, while this is a 911S, on a 1971 plate; and there is a Targa needing a full restoration. Swap Stuttgart for Silsoe and you get the picture.

Robin insists on “forever repairs”, shunning mild steel for stainless, with single and double-sided spot welders to ensure seam-sealed panels. With no ‘on-site’ paint specialist, Auto Umbau can be “picky” about the quality of outsourced finishing, treating every customer’s car as he would his own.

Clearly, a company with such high standards, working on iconic cars, will be insistent on best-in-class components. Sourcing suppliers is as important as tools. Not every part can be a Porsche original, and AutoUmbau won’t use pattern parts for classic cars. Step forward Design 911.

Tiers of Joy

As a Tier 1 supplier, Porsche trust Auto Umbau to deliver a restoration or rebuild to the same standards as Porsche themselves. Robin and his team must deliver their skills while subject to stringent standards of rigour as their German counterparts.

Robin is happy to recommend Design 911, citing their pricing, good service and, and Sam’s knowledge as ‘excellent’, and his response rates as “word class”.

And the proof?

The 911 with electronic problems? Now fitted with fuel accumulators and injectors from Design 911 while the Targa sports sparkling new panels from Restoration Design, sourced from Design 911.



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