Ed Mayo’s measured delivery and soft demeanor are misleading. Behind that weathered exterior is a mind that’s working overtime. When he isn’t thinking about fixing early Porsches, he’s figuring out new ways to make them better.
I first met Mayo in the spring of 2000 at the 10th Anniversary gathering of the Early 911 S Registry in Las Vegas. He needed a ride to the event hotel, and I had an open passenger seat. During that short run in my 1972 911 S, I learned a few things about the man.
Even then Mayo’s reputation preceded him—at least to those who had heard of him. He had won the technical quiz for the early 911 category at the Porsche Club of America’s Parade on numerous occasions and would often take first place at the event’s autocross. He was also known for building some of the best hot-rod 911s east of California.
What I hadn’t discovered yet, until that brief drive together, was that Mayo is the real thing. His humble and self-effacing manner is the opposite of self-indulgent. That and his salt-of-the-earth character explain why he’s so well liked. Along with his authentic appearance and disinterest in marketing, it also accounts for why he remains relatively unknown, even today.Today, image is everything. Yet long before there were social media gurus there were the first of the early 911 hot-rod innovators. They were racers who studied Porsche’s For The Competition Driver 1967 parts list and 1968/1970 Sports Purpose Manual. They ordered “Rally Kits” and “Sport Kits” from the factory, then made them even better and the car lighter.
Some of these early 911 pioneers are well known to Porsche enthusiasts: Eberhard Mahle, Max Moritz, Gerard Larrousse, Jürgen Barth, the Kremer brothers, Paul Ernst Strahle, Peter Gregg, Mark Donohue, Alan Johnson, Richie Ginther, Michael Keyser, Bjorn Waldegard, Alois Ruf, Francis Tuthill, Al Holbert, Bruce Jennings, Chuck Stoddard, Vasek Polak, the Aase brothers, Dieter Inzenhofer, Jerry Woods, and Gary Emory, the original “Outlaw.”
Other names are perhaps less familiar and include some U.S.-based early 911 hot-rodders from the ’60s and ’70s: Folks like Roger Bursch, Dan McLaughlin, Mac Tilton, Ray Litz, Adrian Gang, Bill Yates, Al Martinez, Levon Pentecost, Jerry Titus, Bert Everett, Davey Jordan, Tony Adamowicz, Rolly Resos, Bruce O’Neil, Mike Hammond, Dick Elverud, Harold Broughton, and Dave Bouzaglou.