Canyon Laker has passion for restoring Porsches

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David Bustamente is a native of California who grew up in Sylmar. David and his wife Leah moved to Canyon Lake from Woodland Hills three years ago, just one month after getting married in Lake Havasu.

David, an avid wakeboarder, had been to Canyon Lake many times for wakeboard tournaments. He and his two young daughters, Erika and Bianca, traveled throughout southern California participating in the Hyperlite tournaments in the mid-90s. Canyon Lake was one of the venues that would host the tournaments they participated in.

Following their marriage, David brought Leah to Canyon Lake to visit friends. Leah, an avid slalom skier, instantly fell in love with the community. “I knew if I brought her to Canyon Lake she would fall in love with it and want to move here,” said David. One month later, the newlyweds moved to Canyon Lake.

As a young boy, David developed a passion for cars working alongside his dad Steven, whose hobby was restoring American muscle cars. David became interested in Porsches and bugged his dad to buy one. His dad refused. His reply was, “Why would I want to buy a car where the motor is at the wrong end? ”

Dave’s fascination with Porsches continued into his twenties, so when his dad gave him a Honda motorcycle as a wedding gift at the age of 22, he naturally traded it for a 1966 Porsche. “It was my very first Porsche. It had no engine and no transmission,” said David. “I knew how to rebuild American cars, but I didn’t know how to rebuild a Porsche. I am self-taught.”

David worked in concrete construction for twenty years, but never gave up his hobby of restoring Porsches. For years, he would restore a Porsche then sell it and start the process all over again. He began restoring Porsches for friends and eventually gained a reputation as a skilled Porsche mechanic.

Over the years, David attended many Porsche parts swap meets and built an extensive original Porsche parts collection that he began trading and selling on eBay, which allowed him to quit his day job 15 years ago. He continues to sell the lucrative parts on his eBay store “Early Porsche Parts.” He also began manufacturing Porsche headliners for early Porsches, which he sells to dealerships and parts stores.

To date, David has restored more than 100 Porsches. “I only restore early air-cooled Porsches.” Air cooled Porsches were built prior to 1998. It takes David about 40 hours to rebuild a Porsche engine, but for him, it’s a passion. “My enjoyment is in the building,” he said.

David’s latest love is a 1966 Porsche 912 with a sunroof. When he purchased the car for $6,000 it was a rusted mess. It took him nearly three years and $30,000 to restore the car to its original beauty. It’s a rare car and one of only 100 made with a sunroof. Now, the car is showroom quality and worth approximately $70,000.

David keeps the car pristine in a storage facility and only brings it out for the Canyon Lake Farmers Market Car Show, Buddy’s Pizza Cruise Night in Lake Elsinore on Wednesday’s and for an occasional car show.

Earlier this year, a friend who is a member of the Canyon Lake Car Club encouraged him to join the club. Made up of primarily classic American muscle cars, he wasn’t sure he would be welcomed in the club with his foreign classic. They welcomed him. “I have been welcomed by everyone. After all, we all love restoring cars and admire each other’s work.”

Two weeks ago, David entered his 1966 Porsche 912 in the Canyon Lake Car Show, an event put on by the Car Club. He didn’t win but he had a great time participating.

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