Mark Kinninger has been turning dreams into reality his whole life and long before he became an ASE Certified Mechanic. Many times for himself but mostly to answer a calling that makes machines come alive and he has done so for Black Forest Automotive in San Diego, CA, for over 30 years.
Mark is the go-to technician for all things air-cooled and he spends his spare time creating amazing machines for grateful new owners. In fact, 5 of his builds have been featured in Excellence Magazine! He has also spent many days behind the wheel at the track in addition to performing trackside support for the lucky few who are blessed by his expertise that maximizes vehicle performance and avoids DNFs due to 'asking too much of the machine'. He understands the demands placed on high performance machines as well as the demands placed by Porsche enthusiasts on their mechanics to do it correctly, the first time.
Whether you are in search of routine maintenance for your daily driver or committing to your 'bucket list build', Mark is one of the few in the USA who can deliver on schedule, on cost, with a quality commensurate with the marque. He truly enjoys being one of the very few who can lay their hands on a Porsche and make it worth more money.
Let Mark reimagine your dreams and turn them into reality. Reach out today and have a chat with Mark to understand how his low-profile demeanor commands the respect (and trust) of so many PCA enthusiasts and racers.
Mark has had his hands on 100's of Porsches and nearly owned that many over the 30 years he has been a student of all things air-cooled. This incredible experience gives him the ability to recount the 'right way to do something' after perhaps learning a few ways (i.e. shortcuts) that won't stand the test of time.
Some of Mark's RSR features:
Steel fender flares welded into the rear quarters
Factory front wide body fenders
Lightweight carpet interior/door panels
Wevo gate shifter
Rebuilt motors and transmissions
CARB compliant motors for California buyers and furnished with SMOG certificate
Welded in sunroof panels
Odyssey Extreme mini-battery with custom mount
Fully sorted upon delivery and guaranteed to please
How To Team With Mark For Your Dream Build
Mark will ask about your goals and objectives and steer you to different builds in order to present all that is in the 'art of the possible'.
Once design elements are selected, Mark will present a build sheet outlining costs and timeline. Mark's rates are well below industry average due to his low overhead and belief that he should be doing all the 'heavy lifting' and not sub-contract out critical design elements and metal work that are the backbone of a superior build.
Once a decision to move forward is made, Mark will either source a donor chassis or you may provide one. He will then commence the build and present invoices every 2 to 3 months documenting work completed. Payments will be scheduled accordingly and must be made to progress to the next phase. This becomes important during the final stages as your new 911 more closely resembles what specifically fires up your soul.
Due to Mark's high demand, initial deposits are not required. This speaks volumes about his ability to deliver on promise and commitment to excellence.
Commit to Build
It will take Mark about 12-18 months to complete your newest addition to the family. He will fully sort the build so you could feel comfortable flying into San Diego and enjoy presenting your new pride and joy to each and every soul between San Diego and where you'll put your new baby to bed.
Be forewarned though- one simple stop to get gasoline could easily turn into 4 different conversations and an hour of your trip spent discussing all things Porsche with lustful onlookers.
Not a bad way to spend an hour truth be told.
Mark's Test Pilot
Mark has an 'ace in the hole' by name of Erik Kinninger- a true hot shoe that Mark raised around all things Porsche. When it's time to let 'em fly, Erik hops in then tells Dad the weak areas of performance (like there are any) or any challenges that need to be sorted out while usually posting top time of day.
Nice having a hot-shoe driver for a son (and a Dad who gives you the reins to some mighty fine steeds!).
Sept 21, 2018 & Jan 31 2020
"Mark is one of two mechanics that maintain my 70RSR.... Mark’s reputation as an engine builder is second to none. Here in SoCal, its not that uncommon to hear, “Is that a Kinninger car? Duuuuude!”"
"Mark is one of those: any car he touches just gets better. He absolutely dialed the WEVO shifter in my 70RSR"
T Ferrer, BaT
Sept 17, 2018
"Mark built my M491 with a 3.8L that was featured in Excellence in 2008 (Wide Three Eight) and now after almost 2 years of ownership, I have had the opportunity to chat with Mark about my car, the details on the build and motor work. He’s always been incredibly generous with his time and it always surprised me how enthusiastic he was about a car he had built some years ago...It’s about 15k miles on the motor now and based on the extensive paperwork and conversations with the previous owners and now my direct experience with his work, I can say without any reservations, his work stands the test of time. There is a lot of guys building “hotrod” 993 motors but not many of them with a history of incredible performance and longevity."
Sept 15, 2018
"A number of years ago my friend with the ’75 Carrera penciled out rebuilding the stock motor. When he got discouraged, I suggested he look for a used engine instead. I just happened to see an ad that Mark had posted on the Bird for an engine he was looking to move so another project could take its place.
Long story short, we drove down to San Diego with a weak 2.4 and came back with a screaming 3.0L on carbs installed and dialed in by Mark himself...that engine is still running strong and yes, it sees 7k rpm too."