Alfred M. Bauer, (b: April 16, 1935 – d: January 15, 2010) was almost five years old when he watched his southeastern picturesque town of Bamberg, Germany become faced with a historical confrontation that would eventually etched into the darkest corners of History. Witnessing the carnage of war and devastation, in his own backyard took a toll for both his family and friends. By the time he reached ten years old, the Second World War fizzled down and came to an end. He then got to watch his war torn town needed to be rebuilt from the ground up. Long gone were the smoldering remains of cobble churches, walls, and wooden structures that idealized a time when history and culture was not defined by monstrous political gains and the dehumanization of races. It was there Alfred learned to use his hands and understood the earliest concepts of mechanics. By the time Alfred completed his upper level education, he landed his first dream job at the Mercedes Benz dealership in Forchheim, Germany. It was here where he learned to service cars such as the 1950 Mercedes Benz 220 Convertible and the 1954 Mercedes Benz “Gull Wing”. It was not long after that his skills were realized and by 1956, he found himself relocated into another Mercedes dealership located in Switzerland.
Two solid years of full immersion of Switzerland’s corporate lifestyle and the love of respect for high end automobiles allow him to gain a high level of respectable experience. So much his experience, that he uprooted himself from Europe and took a move to the United States. With his sites set to opportunities, he joined Martin-Johnson Porsche/VW in the bustling City of Oakland, California. As 1958 rolled around, just when he arrived, the electrified Key System streetcar lines became dismantled which created a demand for more personal automobiles. It was that these same years that lead the way for city planning to create the main city arterial, streets, highways and eventually the American Dream, a house with two cars in every garage. It was also the year when Dwight D. Eisenhower had developed an inter-highway renovations and infrastructure throughout the United States. The automobile had now gained a different future which brought extensive needs for driving to suburbs, getting to work, and being out in countrysides covering vast distances of auto vacation travels. The European sports car became a household status symbol and lead to a purpose. Both the economical VW and the luxury Porsche fueled the passion for life and times of the urban populations. The executive businessmen could also obtain use of a car to reflect status. It would not have been hard to see Al Bauer getting to watch the 1959 Karmann Volkswagen Beetle and the 1960 Porsche 356B be presented to the market by his homeland. He would have also raised an eyebrow reading about that one of twenty-one ever made 1960 Porsche 356 GTL Carrera-Abarth with some of them being sold to private businesses in America. Spending most of the 1960s wrenching his way to knowing just about everything there is to know about Porsches, Al then would leave Martin-Johnson and open up a new shop in 1969.
1969 was a developmental year of generation gaps, while in the racing world the four year old Porsche 911 would see its evolution long body. Targa, 911S, 911T and 911E all would represent a lifestyle of those that would take their Porsche and prep it for factory sports-purposes. Bauer Porsche on 24th Street would be the place to go to get weekend modifications or car repair. Al and long time Oakland Mercedes specialist, joined forces at that repair shop. Al himself had not raced or felt that any Porsche would need to become overboard with excessive horsepower, even though some clients would come and get his shop with those modifications. Philosophical differences in both cars made different types of clients with different priorities. Al worked on Porsches and the partner worked on VW and Mercedes. Driveways into each of the shops were literally doorsteps from each other. Al then teamed up with a new partner Franz Webber, another homeland German mechanic, to then lead a very profitable and successful kind of shop.
By 1973 the Al Bauer and Franz Webber relationship was at the crest of pure business success. A new mechanic, Chris Lanzatella, then is offered an opportunity to buy out Franz Webber.
Al Bauer and Chris Lanzatella remain business partners until 1994. There new shop tuned engines, rebuilt suspensions, provided service for these performance machines. There was a point the needed to retire Al Bauer got bought out by Lars Giersing. It was then Chris and Lars who team together. It was also that year when the Porsche 911 was then getting to see the RS Carrera superbly functional “ducktail”. The Porsche 914 and 912 Coupes take the lead on cars that fill the shop. The two mechanics then fed into an ear of performance sports cars, and by 1995 the Bauer Racing Team was born. The team itself main function was to race cars. They also were able to ferry different client race cars from shop to tracks during seasonal events. NASA, SCCA, autocross, track…they did it all. It helped develop the name Porsche, and its no doubt they drove fast. Racing interests for the two mechanics feverishly continued to grow. It was fun, it was dangerous, it was down right adventurous. Just like how Porsche itself has had extensive involvement in racing that started in the early fifties with the 1953 Porsche 550 Coupe, these two guys did the same with highly modified cars in 1996-2100. They would carefully watch the drastic changes in racing, but no matter, they shared one common dream, to drive fast. It was in 1995 when Bauer decided to race three cars. The most favorite car driven by Chris was a 1972 Modified 914, painted white before its current yellow color. There was also two turbo 944s also raced at tracks such as Limerock Raceway in Connecticut and Sebring Raceway in Florida. Their race car mover also took them to places such as a El Khart, Wisconsin, with Club Racing in Mossport, Canada. It was also at Super Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada that let their race cars achieved over 180 mph.
In 2001 Chris Lanzatella kept the name and took full ownership of Bauer Porsche Repair. They now hold on to a wonderful shop located 444 23rd Street, Oakland, California, completely with every conceivable tool to repair and service your Porsche. As for the glorious days of more racing, once again the track will show who displays the best uses of horsepower.