Automobile Atlanta: Porsche Nirvana
If you drive a Porsche, are restoring a Porsche, or are considering the purchase of a classic Porsche, you seriously need to pay a visit to Automobile Atlanta, usually referred to as simply “Auto Atlanta.” Here, the Porsche is practically worshipped. In fact, it's known among auto enthusiasts as "World 914 Headquarters," and its founder, president, and CEO, George Hussey, is known as "Dr. 914."
Automobile Atlanta sspecializes in several models of Porsches, but as far as the 914 is concerned, they have no rival. And its the recent rise in popularity, the 914 is helping to make Hussey a valuable commodity - he's a master when it comes to their resoration. As he puts it in Hemmings Motors News, "914s are all the rage these days, and people are restoring and enjoying them like never before." The last 914 was made some thirty years ago, and as Hussey explains, "Like anything that's this old, parts wear out. The biggest problem right now is that we got spoiled by Porsche stocking 914 parts for all these years. Bosch has discontinued a lot of the equipment for the fuel-injection system, and some new owners are surprised to find that items like interior and exterior trim can be more expensive than that of a 911."
How much does Hussey know about the 914? He wrote the book on it - literally. He's the author of Tech Tips 700: A Complete Technical Guide to the VW-Porsche 914. That should definitely tell you something and give you a warm fuzzy feeling about coming to this man for help and advice about Porsches. He's had a love affair with the Porsche for thirty years.
Auto Atlanta had a rather humble beginning. It all started when a car aficionado by the name of George Hussey began volunteering part time in a repair shop that specialized in foreign models. Hussey got to know the Porsche intimately, admiring its amazing engineering and superb construction. In the seventies, while working for Chrysler, Hussey became involved with 914s. From his apartment on Atlanta’s north side, Hussey bought and sold numerous 914s in his spare time. It didn’t take long for the pastime to elevate to business status, so in 1978, Hussey opened Automobile Atlanta.
At first, the business was more of a used sports car lot than it was anything else, even though the Porsche dominated. Over the course of the next couple of years, however, Hussey realized the need for restoration work and Porsche parts, so to meet the demand, he acquired a larger facility in Marietta in 1981. From there, the business grew exponentially.
Today, Auto Atlanta enjoys a sterling reputation in the Porsche world. They specialize in parts for the 914, 924, and the 944. Auto Atlanta also has an amazing showroom of Porsches that will leave fans drooling. Among the inhabitants are the 914, the 914-6, the 924, and the 944, along with the occasional 911 and 356. Whether you’re shopping for a project car or one that’s ready to win a car show, you’re sure to fall in love.
In addition, Automobile Atlanta is the place for regular maintenance service, complete overhauls, and everything in between. Their new endeavors include exchange engine and gearbox programs. As Hussey puts it, “The combination of all the different elements is what makes us unique.” He’s right. Auto Atlanta is virtually a one-stop-shop for Porsches. Not only do they offer parts, services, and cars, they also have a great interactive website and a host of catalogues with parts, Porsche accessories, and even Porsche clothing items. Their message board is a great place to get help from the Porsche experts, also, and their “group buy” program can save you some big bucks!
Of course, Auto Atlanta receives many orders via phone and the internet, but Hussey has been surprised at the number of visitors the business receives in person. And these guests aren’t just from Atlanta, the Southeast, or even the U.S. – they’ve had visitors from as far away as Australia and Europe!
Why has Auto Atlanta been so successful? Hussey sums it up by saying, “…we really love the cars. Most of the staff here at Automobile Atlanta drive Porsches. We relate better for that reason alone. We can offer tech support from out hands-on experience. I like to tell people that we are the only place where our telephone salesmen are required to have grease under their fingernails.”
What does the future hold for George Hussey and Automobile Atlanta? He already has several concours class wins under his belt for numerous 914s and for his 356B roadster. As George explains, “Our overall goal is to be sort of a ‘vintage Porsche dealer’ providing all the services for the older cars that Porsche dealers provide for new cars.” After all, Hussey firmly believes that Porsches were meant to be driven – not to be neglected somewhere in a lonely garage.
Automobile Atlanta is located at 505 South Marietta Parkway, in Marietta, GA. Marietta is just fifteen miles northwest of Atlanta. The doctor is in!
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