A motorsport shop that also services street cars, with a heavy specialization in Porsche. Intrigued? Read on!
I had mentioned in my ‘Introduction to Wisconsin’ that the state benefits from a healthy ‘Euro’ scene. BMWs, Benzes, Audis and Porsches are equally loved when compared with the average muscle car. With the trees shedding leaves and the temperature dropping, most folk decide to tuck their prized automobiles away for the winter around this time. Unfortunately that translates into a scarcity of meets and other car-related activity.
By a stroke of luck, I had a heard of a professional motorsport outfit close by that specialized in Euro vehicles, especially Porsche. I had also heard that whenever anybody visits the shop, there is always something special on the floor. Time to put that to the test, methinks.
So, on a misty weekday morning not too long ago, I made the short trip to Kelly Moss Road and Race. Located in a relatively rural area by a set of railway tracks, the blue warehouse type structure gave nothing away, besides the name of course. Putting my hand on the door handle, I wondered if the shop would live up to the hype that I had been repeatedly exposed to. I needn’t have worried.
Entering the shop, I introduced myself and exchanged pleasantries with the floor manager, who gave me free rein around the garage. So far, so good.
On my immediate left, an Audi A7 and a BMW X5 were undergoing routine servicing. To the right…
It took me a few moments to register what I was looking at. To say that the shop specialized in Porsche would be a major understatement. Almost every model with the crested badge was present in the shop!
I decided to systematically work my way around the shop in order to catalogue each and every car. A Canadian 911 RSR clone sat directly in front me, on jack stands, missing its flat-six motor and transmission. To it’s right a Porsche 991 GT3 Cup car with a funky red and white livery. Moving to it’s left, a Ferrari 355 (!) missing its wheels and its motor. At this point, I gave up any system or order and wandered the shop, moving from car to car like a squirrel, while Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ emanated from the shop’s stereo system.
It was easy to understand why Kelly Moss is known for its impressive motorsport program. 3 Cayman GT4s, 3 991 GT3s, a 997 GT3 and a 993 RSR racecar, all kitted for track duty, were to be found in various states all around the shop. Colorful liveries, an abundance of carbon fibre, race-spec roll cages, beefed up suspension and a total lack of creature comforts separated these machines from their more pedestrian brethren.
Shelves in between the cars held various miscellaneous parts, including headlights, headers, intakes, carburettors, door seals and even bumper mesh. I also found the 2.8-liter flat six motor and the 915 gearbox which were destined to return to their original place in the RSR clone, looking like new. In a far corner, a Porsche 356 Speedster body was high in the air, awaiting paint and an interior, but sporting its motor, which had been neatly fitted in place.
Gradually, I worked my way deeper into the shop, ultimately coming to the very back where there was a massive rack of cars, stored until their owners wanted them back. Once again, Porsche featured heavily with multiple 997 and 991 Cup cars, a 914, a 993 RS, a 911 Slantnose and a 996. Other members included a Chevy 3100 Pickup, an Oldsmobile, a Caprice Classic wagon, a Datsun 500 and a Lotus Espirit.
Eventually, I tore myself away from the rack and went in search of more motorsport hardware. A trail of BBS wheels, Stoptech brakes, MOMO steering wheels and other miscellaneous items led me past two 964s, two 924s (one which looked suspiciously like a Carrera GT) and a Mercedes Benz 190E (yes, the lovely 2.3-16 version) to a darker section which happened to be the dyno room. Sitting on the dyno, was the single wildest Porsche 911 I have laid eyes on. After asking politely, the car was rolled out of the shop so that I could get a better look.
Originally a 964, this car had been turned into an off-roading beast. A dark grey hue, with at least 8 headlamps gave it a slightly intimidating demeanour, while off-roading tyres, a bull bar, a winch and the letters ‘Safari RS’ left no one in doubt as to this machine’s true intentions. The mechanics chuckled as I pored over their handiwork; eventually pointing out that another was in the works.
After exhausting my trigger finger and satiating my appetite for Porsches, I decided to call it a day. Walking away from the shop, I could scarcely believe what I had just seen.
Porsche enthusiasts set themselves apart by saying that however old their cars may get, they were built for one purpose: to drive. The funny thing is, they actually follow through with that. At Kelly Moss, the same gents work on racecars and streetcars. While there is little chance that a race motor will be dropped into the back of your regular 911 ‘by accident’, the passion and expertise that comes from decades of working with a competitive motorsport program is rarely found elsewhere.
A combination of a popular manufacturer with its roots deep in motorsport and a workshop that has taken that heritage to heart must surely be a recipe for success. Whether they perform routine services at pitstop speed is a different matter…
A massive thank you to Andy, Nathan, Derek and the rest of the crew at Kelly Moss for answering all my questions and moving the cars!