Karl Wilen, Owner: I started out in the Porsche business as the lead tech and shop manager for Imagine Auto here in Kansas City. While there, we built, modified, and maintained every Porsche from mild to wild. 930’s to 997TT’s and everything in between. Track cars to street cars, we didn’t discriminate. We built some crazy machines over the years that rivaled the best in the nation. Need 700hp out of your twin turbo? We can do that. Supercharge that 996 or 997? No problem. Suspension work? Corner Balancing? Yup, all easy. I left Imagine Auto shortly before they closed, being disappointed with the industry, I hung up my tools. That lasted about 2 months, and all of a sudden people came knocking on the door wanting me to do work for them. I found out people hadn’t gone to IA to have their car serviced, they had gone to IA to have me service their cars. That was a good feeling. Doc Wilen Racing was born. That quickly grew into a side business that was hard to keep contained out of my two stall garage. It really has become a hobby blown out of proportion. While not necessarily planning on being in the business permanently, a reputation was created, and it was in my blood with no known cure. My neighbors always were excited to see what cool Porsche would show up at the house next, there wasn’t anything I wouldn’t tackle. With having to get back into a larger shop setting always on the back of my mind, it finally has come to happen. When I am not at the shop, it is likely one of us is at the track maintaining customer cars, or getting out for a few laps ourselves. It isn’t just a job for me, I am an enthusiast who loves working with Porsches….and have been known to even dabble with daily driver business 😉 You can also find me on the various Porsche forums online by the handle of PorscheDoc (Rennlist, GermanAutoForums,Reutterwerk, Planet-9), IAPorscheDoc (6speedonline) or karl2bdc. I am also the current Crew Chief for PF Racing, a professional race team here in the KC area. We operate in IMSA, Trans Am, and World Challenge campaigning GT4 Mustangs.
I started the blog in 2009, because I wanted people to be able to follow along in their car’s journey through surgery. Because fewer and fewer people these days work on their cars, that general mechanical knowledge is kind of a dying breed. I kept hearing people talk about taking their car to a shop and saying “oh they fixed something with the A/C.” What did they fix? “Oh, well I’m not really sure.” I wasn’t happy with that response, and I didn’t want my customers to walk away with that feeling. Over 90% of people are visual learners, that is, you can explain something to them over and over again, but until they actually see it, it might not click. Then the blog came to me. We had toyed with the blogging format a few years ago at IA, but nothing to this extent. Nothing on a daily basis. Now you can log on and see exactly what was replaced, where it was located, what it looks like, and a description of the problem (or maybe look up a problem you might be experiencing 1000 miles away in another state). Many people have been following the Doc Wilen Racing Blog for the last 3 years, and I have watched the traffic to the blog grow further than I ever imagined. We averaged about 150 views a day fairly consistently, and over 3 years had 68,000 views. Considering the first 6 months took a while to build steam, that isn’t too shabby! The blog is linked to worldwide, across many different car forums on the internet (or interwebs as I like to call them), and addresses many of the issues we come across on a daily basis. Of course, we incorporated all of that into the new website, and it looks like it has transferred over fairly seamlessly. We will continue regular posting as if nothing has changed, it will just be here at the new site, versus the old wordpress site. –Karl
We definitely couldn’t be doing this without the awesome support of the local community!