Mention the name Jay Lloyds in Porsche circles and you will get a knowing smile. A quiet private man, Jay is also one of the most experienced air cooled Porsche mechanics in North America.
Having got to know him through his instagram account I had the pleasure of finding myself in his shop in Ontario one snowy day in February 2014. Entering through the back door I found myself staring at 2 of the most beautiful 911’s I have ever seen, a 1993 964 Speedster in Gulf Livery and a 934 recreation in classic Jägermeister orange.
An Australian by birth, his knowledge and experience are breath taking, but the modest man he is doesn’t talk about it much. He started work in the golden age of air cooled Porsche, his career has taken him around the globe.
A keen racer himself, he quickly moved to race engineering with the famous Zeiss and Flying Tigers teams based in Hong Kong. Competing around the Far East and building the Zeiss Cars that won the Asian Championship on numerous occasions.
In 1980 he moved to the Roitmayer Team in Munich, West Germany and then spent several years preparing the teams 935’s and RSR’s for events at the Nurburgring, Spa, Monza and Paul Ricard to name a few.
To keep himself busy he also prepared two works racing motorcycles for Ernst Gschwender for the World GP500 Motorcycle Championship.
After Europe and a brief return to Asia, he moved back to his native Australia where he worked as the technical advisor for Alan Hamilton Porsche and prepared race cars for, amongst others, Stefan Bellof, Manfred Winklehock, Rolf Stommelem and Hans Stuck to name a few.
He then returned to Hong Kong where he formed his own race team with a small group of customers before finally settling in Canada in 1993.
After moving around several specialist Porsche outfits he again opened his own business Lloyds Autosport in Mississauga where he continues to turn out of cars of the highest standard today.
When I first met him the Speedster and the 934 were undergoing final works. The Speedster, belonging to a client, had been found as a shell in the US and been completely rebuilt with a 3.8ltr single plug twin turbo and custom intercooler, a 3 year build process. The 934 recreation, Jay’s own car, turned from a tired 1982 brown 930 into a 520bhp beast with hand made flares necessary to house the 12” AutoArt wheels. Both cars entirely built on his own.
I finally got to understand just how good his work was in August 2 years ago when on the way back from a day with him at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park he pulled over and invited me to take over the driving.
The car is simply phenomenal and a joy to drive. At lower revs, calm and easy with power spinning up at an incredible rate when required. At the end of the drive I was shocked and humbled when he told me that no one else had driven the car.
This was hammered home to me during a discussion with Magnus Walker in LA the following year. Who (knowing the car), when he discovered I had driven it, was hungry for the details of how it drove. Both this car and the speedster have subsequently gone on to win numerous regional awards such is their quality.
Having spent a lot of time with him over the last few years I have had the opportunity to understand the philosophy that drives him. In simple terms it is to keep the cars true to what Porsche intended.
This does not necessarily mean keeping cars factory stock, quite the opposite, but only to do to cars what he believes the old Werks unit at Porsche would have done or approved of. This means that nothing is done for show and modifications must have a purpose that makes the car a better performing vehicle or better suited to the customers use, whether a road or race car.
Hanging around his shop I have got to know a few of his customers, each one tells the same story, “I bought the car, went through several garages getting burned on each occasion before I ended up here. When I got my car back after it’s first visit it was completely different and it is the car I always wanted”. I think that is the best compliment any engineer can get.
Funny, warm, generous to a fault whilst still managing to be a grumpy old wrench monkey he has quickly become one of my favourite people in Porsche world and it is a great honour to know and get to spend regular time with this true Porsche legend.
You can follow his work and see more of his builds on instagram (@jaylloyds)
(all photos copyright Jay Lloyds and/or Pomopar)