New cars are fast, have crazy tech and are easy to come by as long as you have a healthy bank balance or friendly bank manager. But to be a real car enthusiast, I think you need to own a classic at least once in your lifetime, and if it’s a Porsche, even better.
Nestled right in the heart of Cape Town’s central business district you’ll find Dogleg Werks. This specialist Porsche workshop is owned by Matt Kreeve, someone who fell so in love with the classic air-cooled scene that he left his financial career and sold his shares in an asset management company to follow and fund his passion.
Matt has lots of memories involving cars, from trips in his gran’s Jaguar Mark II, to his dad’s BMW 5 Series, and lightly crashing his uncle’s prized Mercedes-Benz 450 SL into the garage door at home when he was a youngster.
His first car was a 1976 Alfa Romeo Spider – which taught him more than a few mechanical repair skills – but he eventually moved on to VWs and Audis, before arriving at his goal – a Porsche 997 Carrera S.
Then the Porsche bug bit.
After working out of his home garage for while, Matt decided he needed a proper shop. That’s how Dogleg Werks became a reality less than two years ago.
This is a small, boutique-like operation, but that’s the way Matt likes it. His few employees are all skilled Porsche specialists who focus on just one or two cars at a time, doing things properly. It’s quality over quantity at Dogleg Werks.
Around the shop are a number of old engines and body parts – all collected by Matt over the years – that add some real character to the place.
Another showpiece – but one that is most definitely still in use – is his recently-featured 930 Turbo Flachbau.
This 356C Outlaw is an epic machine that Matt has invested more hours than he’d like to count into, but the end result – as always with these types of projects – was totally worth it.
The paint job is stunning, but it’s just one impressive aspect of many. Out back is a 2.1L engine from Willhoit Auto Restoration which became Willhoit Racing, providing the 356 with plenty of power. And just check out the interior.Strip, Restore & Reassemble
This mint 993 was on the operating table, undergoing a deep refresh. So all glass, brakes, suspension and drivetrain components get removed and renewed, as well as the car undergoing some aqua blasting, while any surface rust also gets sorted out.
Damn these look good in black!
The shop van on the other hand needs no work. I think it’s perfect as is.
Dogleg Werks’ technicians take care of all of the assembly work in the main shop, where there are a lot of spare parts around the place. Everything is super-neatly arranged and stored though, which makes my OCD very happy.Parts, On Parts, On Parts
So I did mention a haven of classic Porsche parts, and the main shop although quite well stocked, was not it. Just around the corner from Dogleg Werks – in a warehouse with no signage and no clue to what’s hidden inside – is Matt’s real treasure trove of parts.
Now how does one person or shop come to have so many parts? Matt told me that the bulk of them came from another South African Porsche specialist shop – specifically Carrera Motors in Johannesburg. They’d been in business since 1983, but when they closed for good Matt was able to broker a deal to purchase all of their inventory.
If you can think of a classic Porsche part, there’s a good chance that Dogleg Werks has it in stock.
The older cars get the harder it becomes to bring them back to their former glory, with parts availability usually becoming the biggest hurdle. Especially things like NLA parts, for example the piece of rear Targa glass on the glass rack above.
So when they’re not working on customer cars, the Dogleg Werks team are continually maintaining and refurbishing parts that come through their doors.
One floor up in the parts storage facility, there are a few cars being stored along with recently-finished restorations waiting to be returned to their respective homes.
It’s nice to know that shops like Matt’s are looking after so many parts that will slowly make their way back onto timeless air-cooled beauties, so they can live to drive, entertain and enthral their owners for years to come.