A third party of trailblazers joined their ranks in the early ’80s, customizers like Tony Garcia, Tony Gerace, Chris Powell, Phil Bagley, Hayden Burvill, Gordon Ledbetter, Jeff Gamroth, and Rod Emory, among others. Later, Cris Huergas, Freeman Thomas, and Roger Grago introduced the idea of forming an early 911 club called R Gruppe that would celebrate these modifications.
Mayo will reluctantly tell you he just happens to be from the second group. But, of course, there is more to it than that. Here’s the untold story.
In 1967, Mayo became a member of the Northern Ohio Region of the PCA. Then in 1971 he moved to Texas’ Maverick Region, where he remains an integral participant today. Initially he worked as a mechanic at Porsche dealers in Dallas and Fort Worth. Later he set up a shop in the nearby suburb of Euless, where his reputation solidified. If you wanted your Porsche optimized for autocrossing in the South, he was the guy to do it.
“My first Porsche was a 1960 356 Roadster,” reveals Mayo. “I campaigned it in SCCA racing for a dozen years, then sold it in 1978 to move up to the D/P class and a 911. That’s when a customer’s son spun a 1970 S coupe and bent the left rear control arm. Rather than repair it, the man sold me the whole car for $1500!”
Mayo never drove that 911 S on the street. He just stripped it down and converted it for racing. He did the same thing with a 914, an autocross weapon affectionatly known as “The Cockroach.” It was about the same time that he partnered with Al Zim in Euless, repairing Porsches and modifying them for sport purposes.
“We had a customer in the early ’80s who had a Silver Euro 1972 911 S. The coupe had no A/C, no sunroof, and a plastic gas tank,” Mayo recalls. “It originally came out of California and had been maintained by Andial [another early innovator]. Whenever I would do a service on that car, I was always impressed with how well it ran. That was, to my way of thinking, the last of the original “hot-rod” Porsches.”
As luck would have it, his customer decided to sell the ’72 S in late ’83. Mayo wanted it bad, but the going price was a stretch for him, even though he laughs at the number now. Somehow he made it happen, and thirty years, two divorces, and 100,000 miles later he still has that 911.