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Bruce Anderson: RIP to a Porsche Head

by | Feb 13, 2013 | Classic Porsche Blog, Porsche People

Another bereavement in the Porsche community this week, when the respected technical writer, Bruce Anderson, passed away at the age of 75. Bruce’s wife, Stephanie, sent me the following story of how Bruce got into Porsche cars and built a career from his passion:

“Bruce was head of publications for Hewlett Packard’s Santa Clara Division in California. He was a tech writer first at HP. At the same time, he was a Porsche guy. Can’t tell you how many he owned back in the day but his love was the air cooled 911 etc. He and his friend, Bob Garretson, would tinker on the cars on the weekend. Thus they began “Garretson Enterprises”, which in fact was primarily owned by Bruce and his brother, Clark.  Then in 1974 Bruce decided to quit HP and open a real shop.

“When that relationship fell apart in 1986, Bruce decided to write the “911 Performance Handbook”. He was Tech Chair for the Porsche Club of America and did that for 21 years, helping guys work on their cars in the garage. He also became a great photographer: most of the photos in his books are his. He also served as the Technical Editor of Excellence Magazine from its inception until he passed.”

I never met Bruce, but his writing was a favourite source when I first came to Porsche. My first-edition copy of his Porsche 911 Performance Handbook is on the desk as I type, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to know air-cooled.

Never wishy-washy in opinion, Bruce did his research and was ready to stand by his point of view. His attention and forthright delivery set a proper example: this loss leaves a hole that will prove tricky to fill. There’s no doubting his place as a much-loved member of the tight Porsche community and Bruce will certainly be missed.

Friends of the man speak warmly of days spent at Monterey listening to jazz – a great love of Bruce’s – and long nights at Daytona and Le Mans. With a taste for red meat and fine wine, Bruce was all about living his passions, and his writing is rich with the same. Few authors share as much detail on the technical aspects of engines and performance as Bruce: visit the Bruce Anderson blog to read some for yourself.

Former Porsche CEO, Peter Schutz wrote the foreword to Bruce’s performance book. Peter is sincere in his appreciation for the man’s driving force.

“Bruce is one of those people who never does anything half way. His knowledge of Mexican food and jazz is exceeded only by his knowledge of Porsche, and particularly the 911 in all its variations. It is thus in the true Bruce Anderson style that he has decided to share his love and knowledge with the rest of us, in this book. Beyond all else, Bruce is a sharing person.”

Bruce had been in and out of hospital for months: purgatory for one who so enjoyed being out and about in the company of Porsche heads. With his passing comes peace in the sound of air-cooled flat six engines in Porsche heaven. Best wishes to his family and friends, surely blessed to have known him. The rest of us will continue to enjoy Bruce’s work through his legacy of words and ideas.

RIP Bruce Anderson: May 27, 1938  – Feb 9, 2013.


  1. Matthias

    So sorry to hear. A copy of ‘Porsche 911 Performance Handbook’ on the shelf behind me as I type this.

    He and his writing will certainly be missed. RIP

    • John

      I am still here leafing through mine an hour after I typed the above! Good stuff.

  2. Tritone

    Just want to add my thoughts of Bruce. I have known him since the mid-’70’s; he worked on a few of my Porsches. He was also a big part of The Apple Turbo Team in the early ’80’s with Rahal & Fitzpatrick. He was so cool even notoriously anti-car Steve Jobs loved to chat & listen to his stories!
    RIP Bruce, I hope there’s a Sportomatic waiting for you upstairs!

    • John

      Fantastic insight! Thanks for that and well done Bruce.

  3. jim sorden

    I am stunned. I have known Bruce since 1964…we were first friends at H-P.
    I will truly miss him.

    jim sorden


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