Skip to content
Paperback The Gold-Plated Porsche: How I Sank a Small Fortune Into a Used Car, and Other Misadventures Book

ISBN: 1592287921

ISBN13: 9781592287925

The Gold-Plated Porsche: How I Sank a Small Fortune Into a Used Car, and Other Misadventures

Select Format

Select Condition ThriftBooks Help Icon


Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New

Save $8.46!
List Price $14.95

1 Available

Book Overview

"This isn't a book about Porsche restoration. It's about Wilkinson's colorful life. That, along with elegant writing, is what makes this book so endearing-the tales are told without ego. This is less a tale about a machine than a tale about a man enjoying a machine."-- Car and Driver Stephan Wilkinson was looking for something to do. So he bought an old, run-down Porsche and over the next two years tore it apart and rebuilt it in a garage behind his...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Fast-paced and entertaining

I read the entire book in one night. Parts of it are laugh-out-loud funny, such as when the author's wife (with daughter in tow) asks whether the plane the author's building has only two seats on purpose, so that one of the three can live. A fair amount of Porsche mechanical detail is included, but perhaps not quite enough toward the end of the book. (I'm not saying it has to be to the level of Paul Frere, but a bit more would be nice.) Overall, one of the most entertaining books I've read in quite some time. I'd buy it again.

Way Better than Expected

I am sharing the author's adventure now as I attempt to do a restoration on a '65 Porsche 912 that is already way over the breakeven point for this car. I do it happily and without any regard for economic gain. This book was a vindication of my avocation and not unlike all those woodworking projects that had to be perfect and consumed way too much time and money - we do it because we love to do it and it says who we are and what we are able to do . . . in spite of the everyday pressures to take a path of lesser effort. Thank you Stephan for a wonderful distraction from my projects.

Eveything Wilkinson touches turns to gold....

In a perfect world we'd all lead such amusing lives as Mr.Wilkinson. Unfortunately (or thankfully, depending on your heart condition) we can't. Instead we get a near-perfect book. Why only 'near' perfect? Simple: 213 pages of this (insert own thesaurus synonyms for 'fabulous' here) book is just simply not enough. Once you sink into this book, buddy, you're gone. Cheapskates, ignore the cover price and splurge -it's well worth it. Every page, every line of text seems crafted with just the right precision and care that the author put into restoring his car. Whether you read this as a tip guide, as entertainment or to live vicariously through Wilkinson's misadventures it's sure to please.

A Fun Read for Anyone Who Loves Nuts and Bolts Adventures

Stephan Wilkinson was the editor for Aviation and Car and Driver. A Harvard graduate, he has spent a lifetime working various projects, including a year at sea, built his own airplane in the garage at home, tested various high-end automobiles for review, and restoring his own collection of fast cars. Part biography, part Zen and the art of Porsche maintenance, this tongue and cheek memoir is a sure thing for many laughs. Stephan's wife decides he needs a new project and he decides to restore a 1983 SC... a car worth at best, $20,000 in perfect condition. He finds the model he wants in a run down, "as is" exotic car garage in New York City and pays $11,000. Over the next two years and $50,000 in parts later, he had his perfected Porsche. The reader is along for the ride and the enjoyable and humorous look into the culture of the Porsche fanatics and the history of the legendary series of cars.I am one of those people who finds tightening doorknobs with a screwdriver a major feat of technological achievement. Also, I have never, and probably will never, drive or own a Porsche of any variety. I really enjoyed reading this book, however, as another amateur tackles the famously complex engine of the Porsche. I admire people who seek perfection as much as the author. The point is, this book is a very enjoyable read even for those who don't have a passionate interest in high-end cars and engines. From his ancient wooden barn in upstate New York, Stephan rebuilds and restores his masterpiece. Before the end he takes us back to his many colorful adventures through his numerous jobs and travels. Here is one of my favorite passages from the book after the arrival of his Porsche:"What in God's name had I signed up for? In front of me sat a small coupe poised like a hunkered-down toad on its wide, high-speed, Z-rated tires. It was a machine that many people consider to be so incomprehensibly complex that it should only be worked on by people named Dieter and Rolf, imperious Teutons in white shopcoats. Tattered as it was, this was a Porsche, made of aluminum and magnesium, leather and fine steel, hand-assembled in Stuttgart in annual numbers that would have sufficed for a day's production of Ford Tauruses. What right did I have to tamper with such a jewel?"Needless to say, anyone who loves cars will devour this book in one or two sittings."Your Porsche book is magic. If on picking this up a reader expects a how-to manual on restoring a Porsche 911, he will be disappointed because all you give him is a how-to manual on life. The clear and colorful way you explain difficult and convoluted mechanical functions is pure John McPhee at his best. Your experiences - with cars, as a merchant seaman, as an EMS driver, building airplanes - come together in this glorious tale. Thank you for sharing it."-- Auto Week

I admit it, I'm the author...

...but I will point out that John Phillips, in Car and Driver, wrote, "Stephan Wilkinson, a C/D Editor in the mid '70s and a current contributor, spends $10,500 to buy a trashed '83 Porsche 911SC. then he invests $59,500 in parts and two years of his time, all of it played out in the confines of a barn behind his house. He emerges with a Porsche worth about $20,000, a car he and daughter Brook share on 'track days' near Wilkinson's home in New Work's Hudson Highlands. A labor of love on two counts. Although Wilkinson replaced, refurbished or restored every nut and bolt, he describes the process sparingly, recalling as many fiascos as successes. Restaining the car's leather seats. Twin-plugging the cylinder heads. Polishing the engine fan with jeweler's rouge only to watch it corrode again immediately. He created an engine producing 290 horsepower and then had to cut a hole in the hedge to take a maiden test drive. But this isn't a book about Porsche restoration. It's about Wilkinson's colorful life. A former editor of Flying Magazine, he describes assembling a single-engine airplane from Alaska spruce. He recalls stripping the seats out of publisher Bill Ziff's personal plane to fly to Canada and haul back a Ducati motorcycle lashed to the aircraft's floor. He remembers flying a loaner Cessna over Wounded Knee in South Dakota and subsequently being questioned by the FBI. He recalls summers working abouard a 10,000-ton freighter, with merchant seamen nicknaming himn 'Harvard,' a nod to his alma mater. He describes his gory experiences as a volunteer ambulance driver. And he confesses to an embarrassingly slow lap at Lime Rock, where he once forgot to release a race car's parking brake. "That, along with the elegant writing, is what makes this book so endearing--the tales are told without ego. wilkinson is amused by life's inevitable disasters and humiliating blow-ups, trotting them out so everyone can laugh. this is half-biography, half 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,' less a tale about a machine than a tale about a man enjoying a machine. Quite a few of the, in fact. _Highly_ recommended."
Copyright © 2023 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell My Personal Information | Cookie Preferences | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured