How this Porsche specialist came to own his dream Carrera GT

Photography by Naveed Yousufzai

Growing up in his father’s German mechanic shop in San Francisco, Jimmy Prountzos' earliest memories include experiencing everything from air-cooled Porsches to luxury Mercedes. Now with his own shop, Junipero Serra Independent Porsche and Mercedes-Benz, Jimmy has continued the legacy and become a cornerstone of Porsche culture in Northern California, maintaining and selling enthusiast cars from both marques.

He practices what he preaches, too. His personal fleet includes a Mercedes G55, hot-rodded Porsche 356A, 993 Turbo, Carrera 3.0 and none other than the almighty Carrera GT — all of which get driven as intended. We met with Jimmy at his home in California wine country to peruse his collection and learn more about the Porsche 996.2 911 GT3 he is currently representing on Marqued Auctions, which he sourced for a customer and has serviced since 2013.

Photographed by Naveed Yousufzai

Marqued: Junipero Serra focuses on Porsche and Mercedes. How did you first get an introduction to this world, and how did you develop a focus on those marques?

Jimmy Prountzos: I'm a second generation craftsman. My dad is a European car mechanic with a focus on BMW, Audi, Porsche and Mercedes. He immigrated from Greece in the early '70s and ran a shop in San Francisco. From a very young age, I'd go to work with him on the weekends, after school, or any day off I had. I had a lot of exposure to automotive mechanical work growing up from my father and all his mechanic buddies, and got to learn from the old school. I basically grew up on fumes and asbestos.

I remember being so excited for my dad to finish working on a car because he’d always take me out on a test drive with him. Many of my early memories are of him driving fast up and down the hills of San Francisco. I can still feel my stomach going up my throat flying off every hill. I just fell in love and could not wait to do the same one day.

Seller Profile: Porsche GT3Seller Profile: Porsche GT3

Photographed by Naveed Yousufzai

He always prophesied that Porsches and Mercedes are the true greats, and I owe my passion to what he exposed me to. Even early on, I was intrigued by the shape and sound of a 911, the smell of oil from the motor, and it was something I always aspired to have. I became fascinated with car culture, and specifically fast, sporty German cars.

Marqued: At what point did you pivot into turning the passion into a career?

Jimmy: Throughout high school, I knew the only thing I wanted to do was work on cars. My daily focus became servicing cars and modifying my car. After school I immediately got into the industry full-time. I’ve never had any other profession — always been a mechanic — and am a certified Bosch Master Technician with specialized training in many specific areas.

I started working for my dad in the mid 90’s, seriously training under him and his strict work ethics and building up my Porsche and Mercedes expertise and clientele. Eventually by 2007 I established myself to the point where I was able to be an exclusive specialty shop with just two marques, and stuck with what I personally wanted to work on day in, day out. It's been successful and rewarding and has given me the opportunity to maintain, own and enjoy the cars I love.

I have a full time staff and work on 300-400 cars a month. It's busy, it's fun, and can be stressful at times, but I love what I do and am excited going into work every day and facing the challenge vintage or new cars can give me. We do everything on vintage or new Porsches and Benzes from service, repairs, modifications, parts and car sales.

Photographed by Naveed Yousufzai

Marqued: Tell us about how you help sell some of the cars you’ve worked on?

Jimmy: It’s important to me that I buy and sell what I’ve worked on or know how to work on. By specializing in the cars that I sell, I can represent the car with transparency and honesty, and can give a feeling of security to the buyer having them know that my expertise is behind the deal. I have a long service history with many of the cars I sell and about ninety percent end up going to our network of about 2,500 clients.

Marqued: You’re currently representing a 2004 Porsche 996.2 GT3 on Marqued Auctions. Can you tell us a bit about it?

Jimmy: A Porsche enthusiast that I grew up with is a customer of mine. He came to me one day in 2013 and said he wanted either a GT2 or a GT3 and we found him this car. It has the GT3RS stripe on it with a factory GT3RS spoiler, Techquipment cage, color-matched hardback seats — all the goodies.

Photographed by Naveed Yousufzai

In my opinion, most 996 GT3s we see are a bit plain looking by comparison. This example has a nostalgic race-themed look with the stripes and details. Since the 996 GT3 RS was never sold in the US, it’s a nice tribute and a look you don't often see. The owner would do driving events, but never tracked the car.

We’ve maintained the car since we helped him source it, and have also serviced the car within the last 500 miles. The car comes with New Michelin tires, new Porsche factory shocks and struts, brake pads and rotors, brake flush service, plus more. It has the RS shift cables to help with a bit more precise shifting. The factory wings and radio are included in the sale.

It's a great car and ready to go to a new home. Someone needs to buy it and drive the hell out of it.

Marqued: What are your thoughts on the 996 GT3 in general?

Jimmy: I’ve spent a lot of time with these cars and appreciate the details Porsche put into the build. They are built extremely well and are rock solid. Coach work, upholstery, interior, the Mezger motor, six-speed, analog, lack of driver aids — it checks a lot of boxes for a spirited driver. Given where Porsche prices are going, I think the 996 GT3 is a great car to get into and is a safe investment, especially when they hit their 30-year mark and so on.

Photographed by Naveed Yousufzai

Marqued: Tell us about your Porsche Carrera GT.

Jimmy: I have been a Carrera GT fanboy pretty much since the day it was announced, and loved the idea of Porsche putting a race-built F1 motor into a carbon tub and body and offering it to the public. In the past 15-plus years, I have bought nearly every Carrera GT diecast, RC car, poster, book and piece of memorabilia I can find, and dreamt of one day owning one.

Well, I went nuts last year and bought the CGT, which was offered off-market to me and just so happened to be in my dream spec of black on black. To make the purchase I sadly had to sell a few 911s and some other cars. When I bought the CGT, I was only months into recovering from a back fusion surgery and vividly remember the painful hurdle it was to climb in, get into drive position, and operate what is basically a street legal race car.

While sweating and in pain, and with quite a bit of buyer's remorse being that I had spent the price of a house on a car, I was pretty nervous and had a slight feeling of regret, but as soon as I drove the car 100 feet and shifted into 2nd gear, I instantly knew I had made a fantastic decision.

Photographed by Naveed Yousufzai

I'm trying to enjoy it as much as I can, between running a shop and being a husband and a dad, and am always looking for the opportunity to show it or give some Porschefile a drive. With all the excitement of ownership and love I have for the car, I've decided to organize a Porsche Carrera GT drive in California next year with hopefully as many as 20 to 30 Carrera GTs so we can gather and eat, live, and breathe the magic Porsche created for us.

You can check out activity in the 911 GT3 market here via

More about Jimmy

You can follow Jimmy's Instagram (@mr.jimmycarrera) for more on his personal collection, and can find more on Junipero Serra Porsche and Mercedes at their Instagram (@jsporschemercedes).

Meet our contributors

As an avid driver and collector, photographer Naveed Yousufzai (@eatwithnaveed) captures California's car culture from a true enthusiast's point of view for various automotive publications.

Comments (...)

What to read next


Antares Au's full throttle shift from Wall Street to race track



This Malaysian Porsche 911 went from scrapheap to showstopper


bmw e28 5 series ownership roundtable

Enthusiast Roundtable: The BMW E28 is a classic driver for the modern world


rennsport seven

How Rennsport Reunion 7 transcends Porsche as the ultimate enthusiast gathering


Suggested listings


1973 Triumph


Eldersburg, Maryland 21784

$16,350Sold May 07, 2024


1964 MG

B Roadster

Eldersburg, Maryland 21784

$11,200Sold May 07, 2024


1980 Triumph

TR8 Convertible 5-Speed

Eldersburg, Maryland 21784

$13,500Sold Apr 23, 2024


Sell a Car




Photo Guide

How to buy a car online

How to sell a car online